$940,000MN (Pesos). That’s how much money was raised by SailFest this year. It’s an astounding amount; approximately $88,000 US dollars. They only needed an additional $40,000US to build the new school (except the city didn’t come up with their portion for the building materials, which will cost an extra $20,000US). The volunteers and organizers all worked hard to make it happen, and approximately 100 boats showed up ready to play. We attended all the events including the auctions, CD release party, beach potluck, beach games day for the kids, pursuit race (we crewed on another boat), dinghy treasure hunt (we were one of the clue boats the dinghies had to find), and sail parade (more on that later). By the end of the week we were pooped, and about $500 lighter in the wallet. But I got a beautiful freshwater pearl necklace in the live auction, and all the money goes to the kids education, so it’s all good.
The part that hurt was the $100 we spent paying off the Mexican fishing panga we smacked into during the sail parade. We were near the end of the parade of about 42 boats, which went through Zihua Bay and out to Ixtapa. There was a Mexican panga they passed, which kept “drifting” closer and closer to the parade. By the time we got there it was so close to the parade we couldn’t see it when the boat in front of us passed and it went right up under our bow. Of course they didn’t speak English and our Spanish is still horrid, but they just kept saying “problema” and pointing to the engine, which started just fine. We didn’t want to just leave, not knowing how much trouble we might be in with the Port Capitain if we did. Finally they said $2,000 pesos ($200 US), and Rob countered with $1,000 pesos. They said ok, and got a heck of a bonus for their day of “fishing”. When we checked later with the local Expat and owner of the cruiser’s bar, he assured us we did the right thing by negotiating and paying them off.
Another painful moment was when we realized that the bottom paint that works so womderfully in Seattle waters has no effect on the growth in Zihuatanejo Bay. After about three weeks the bottom of our boat was completely encrusted with barnacles. Rob dove on it with scuba gear and literally scraped the entire hull. When we were getting ready to leave last week we had to dive again. This time I did half of the boat, and that’s a job that truly sucks. The barnacles were still coming out of my hair when I combed it after my shower.
But all in all Zihuatanejo was a marvelous place to hang out for seven weeks. We didn’t get to see much besides the immediate town because the SailFest work kept us so busy. But we’ll be back next year as participants and enjoy it then.
Now we’re enroute back to Manzanillo and the Gold Coast (Tenacatita and Barra de Navidad). Some friends from Seattle are in Santiago Bay, which we should arrive at today around 3:00. We’ll hang out in the area for five weeks, then Brittney will come down for Spring Break. We should hopefully have some time to get caught up on boat chores before she gets here, since we didn’t get many done in Zihua.
Today on Yohelah we’re pretty proud of the accomplishments of SailFest and ready for some rest time………