Prepping for the Crossing in the Legendary Zihua!

Coming down to the last few weeks in Mexico before we point the bow west without seeing land for upwards of a month!!

We are anchored in Bahia de Zihuatanejo off the beautiful Playa la Ropa.  Alyssa flew back to the states to visit family and pick up our new tandem inflatable Hobie Kayak we ordered for my birthday!  She is flying back on Sunday with a huge haul of boat parts that either we can’t get down here or that are much cheaper in the states.

I have been running around Zihua collecting the parts and supplies we will need during the passage through the south pacific.  Running errands down here takes great patience and low expectations for success.  For example, trying to get 15w40 diesel oil for our engine included the following:

I landed on the municipal beach and was greeted by a slow, but friendly local who smelled like he had been soaking in a sewer.  He informed me that he watches the dinghies for ‘propina’ (tips).  I decided to trust him (or more accurately, our insurance).  I asked him where I can buy oil for my diesel engine, he replied “Si Amigo, oil for diesel, no problema, but we have to take cab.”  I asked how much it would cost and he said 30 pesos so we got a cab.  I sat in the front and he was in the back and managed to smell the cab up even though all the windows were down.  I asked a few times en route “This is a boat store, Barco Tienda, Si?”  He replied “Si Amigo, boat parts store, almost there”  Well, we arrived the the Mexicana Commercial, the Mexican Equivalent of Wal-Mart and he escorted me to the aisle with Automotive oil (of course NO diesel oil here).  Mind you he is only wearing shorts, no shirt, no shoes (with sand up to his knees), long hair, dirty and smelling like a septic tank…..and I’m apparently with this guy.  haha

I told him this isn’t what I was looking for and said I’ll have to go to a boat store.  It also donned on me that now I have to get this guy back to the beach, which included another smelly cab ride and 30 pesos.  Once back I walked to the centro and caught a bus to the Ixtapa Marina.  For sure they will have a boat store at the 650-slip high-end marina right?  Well, after the long bus ride over the hill, I found the little barco tienda and also found that they don’t have oil.  The trip was not in vein because a woman in the marina office told me that there is a little store across from the bus station in Zihua that sells oil for diesel engines.  Excellente!  There was a chance I would find oil today!  

Another chicken bus ride later I found myself in downtown Zihua to catch another bus.  Well the bus took me right back to where I passed on the previous chicken bus but at least I was at the right place.  I found the store – more like a counter on the sidewalk and they had 15w40 oil!!  Score!  I wanted 16 liters but I only had cash for 14, so I hoofed it in the heat back to the same Mexicana Commercial I was at earlier in the day, hit the ATM and headed back to buy the oil.  One cab ride later found me back at the dinghy and my smelly ‘guide.’ who of course wanted a tip for all of his hugely beneficial guidance.  I gave him some pesos and headed back to the boat to give our trusty Perkins engine a much needed oil change.

I also changed the racor fuel filter, fixed the broken fishing rod holder and re-wired the faulty primary bilge pump float-switch.

Most of the critical projects are done.  We still need to go up the mast and inspect all the rigging and I want to flush, bleach and sanitize the water tanks and plumbing once more before we depart.



So other than making a final provisioning run, we are set for the crossing!  As of now it looks like we will depart the first or second week in March, weather-depending of course.  And then it’s Adios Mexico!


  1. Slove's Gravatar Slove
    February 22, 2014    

    Nice story. That is one way to get oil. I’m willing to bet that if you need extra crew mr. Smelly butt propina man would gladly accompany you across the pacific 🙂

    • February 22, 2014    

      haha. I figured out why he is slow…….copious amounts of pot. He was passed out under an umbrella today and his amigo made the universal signal for smoking a joint. Tough life he has!

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