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Old 29-08-2012, 15:36   #106
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

Note that the hired caretaker was also hired to build and install the mooring. The boats owner said it was the heaviest mooring in the bay, and that there were boats larger than his on smaller moorings which did not drag. And in any case no one at any point said the mooring dragged, they said the chain parted, which as has already been said is less than likely. Also on the night in question winds were not high. This guy got robbed, face it. Sure he made it easy for them, but that doesn't make it right.
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Old 29-08-2012, 15:44   #107
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

funny how the eye witnesses say was a storm breakaway. these are folks without interest in the boat or the politics.non boating souls.
breaking a 11000 pound break test chain is EASY for a formosa 51--minret--you should kniw that--these boats arent ericsons. or catalinas. my friend said he saw a boat like mine come into bay. he saw it breakaway. in a storm.
i trust my crewman over someone who lost a boat and did it by error in judgement. i have known the man for 9 yrs. he dont lie. AND he lives just up the hill from the anchorage and has been watching for my arrival---which willnot happen before end of hurrycame season. i had a feeling about going to zihua in summer--DONT DO IT, i was thinking, isnt season for it. no protection from storms.

btw--my friend in zihua is not a local.
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Old 30-08-2012, 03:26   #108
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Note that the hired caretaker was also hired to build and install the mooring. The boats owner said it was the heaviest mooring in the bay, and that there were boats larger than his on smaller moorings which did not drag.
The OP did not say the guy who built the mooring also babysat his boat... Besides, if the boat did in fact break the mooring chain, what responsibility did the Babysitter have in the early morning? I don't know and the OP didn't say. But his writing didn't say anything about someone staying on the boat, just that he hired someone to watch it. In most circumstances that means check it once a week or during storms.

One problem with the later is the area the boat was moored. It is not safe during storms since it is wide open towards the ocean.

Based on my experiences anchoring in that same spot twice, off Playa Ropa, we had to use a stern anchor to keep the boat into the the waves. The beach behind the anchorage always had 2-4 breakers and really was safe to land a dinghy. I was there during the cruising season (Feb 2011 & Feb 2012), or the calm season.

In my opinion, no one could have gotten to the boat if there were winds of 30 knots or more. The area is pretty shallow, about 35 feet at 1/2 mile off shore and the rollers coming from the ocean would have been huge. This would have contributed to the mooring chain breaking.

As far as the size of the mooring and for those of you who have not been to Z-Town, there is a large mooring field off the north end of the bay, near the commercial pier. There is no more room for moorings and I understand why the Port Captain would not allow the OP to set another mooring there. Don't believe me just take a peak at google earth.

Also the boats moored in the field range from small pangas, water taxis and small sport fishers of about 25-30 feet. So the OP stating he had the heavest mooring in the bay, really doesn't mean anything in relation to boat size, since he had the BIGGEST boat on a mooring in the Bay and outweighted the other boats by at least 4 to 1.

I spent 17 months on the Pacific side of Mexico and the Sea of Cortez (Gulfo de California) racking up just over 4000 nautical miles during our stay. We left six months (Mar 2012) ago for Central America.

Yes, there is property crimes against boats, especially unlocked or unsercured equiptment like outboards and dighies... But there was no violent crimes against cruisers in the 17 months I was in Mexico.

I know this because the entire time I was in Mexico I was a Net Controller on the Sonrisa Net and was active on the other SSB Nets.

The only violent crimes I have first person knowledge of was two drunk teenagers fighting on a beach near Manzanillo and when we left Mazatlan last Dercember the Police were involved in a shotting with two criminals near the marina. No boats or boaters were involved in either incident.

Someone else mentioned seeing bodies and heads... I would guess he was embellishing, since no boater I met in Mexico or spoke with on the SSB during our 17 months ever reported seeing or being invovled in violent crime.

Would I travel to the border cities or some of the other hot spots... Absolutely not! Just like I would not drive through the crappy areas of Detroit, Oakland, LA or Washing DC. But to call the whole of Mexico a dangerous area and recommend not to travel there is silly.

In my humble opinion those people who believe this, should move to Idaho, build you compund and wait for the end of the world...

Several years ago I traveled extensively in Japan... One theme among the Japanese was how violent the US was... Their discussions with me were always focused on the violence in the USA... Many like the ones the people here, had never visited the US, but reported it was unsafe and told their friends not to visit the USA.

Someone recommended using the press as a source of information, but over the last 15 years the news has become a business and tend to sensationalize its presentation to sell advertisements. Un-biased reporting is a thing of the past, rest in peace Walter!

As an example, over the last week, the news had been reporting on the Hurricane in the Caribbean... Every headline was sensationalised, "Will the leeves hold", "Thousands might be evactuated" or "Massive flooding predicted". All over a Tropical Storm that made Cat 1 Status and a far cry from Katrina and it's Cat 5 strength!

For those of you who haven't been to Mexico, but believe it is a violent and unsafe place... I suggest you stay away and leave this little slice of heaven to the rest of us!
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Old 30-08-2012, 03:46   #109
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

Here is a Goggle Earth link to Zihuatenajo Bay.

The OP's mooring was located off Playa Los Gatos (Southeast corner).

Notice the breaking waves along the entire east side of the bay.

The mooring field he wanted to use is in the north end. There are lots of pics of the area...

Make your own decsision
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Old 30-08-2012, 05:11   #110
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

Can someone give me an example of a cruising incident that wasn't preceded by some questionable judgement calls?

Or is there a cruiser here that can't admit that there has been a time or two where without the benefit of a good dose of luck, they would also be the subject of some serious sailing forum tut-tutting???

I can appreciate that the discussion is beneficial in terms of lessons to learn, and the local insight by folk such as Zeehag has been informative, but at the same time this guy and his family lost their boat, I think he has learn't his lessons the hard way, maybe we could cut him a break.

There but the grace of God go I?
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Old 30-08-2012, 07:53   #111
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

there are many who lose their boats on the pacific coast of mexico--usually at sea or on their way into a cove they shouldnt be trying to get into for some reason--depth, shoaling, rocks, biig seas......the baba 30 that went outside of cedros to never be heard from again ...ever--the 55 ft ketch into the beach in san ignacio a few years ago--we all make mistakes--we need to learn from our mistakes instead of repeating them without learning. if we do not learn, we wake up dead, as the others did who failed before us. is not an easy luife at sea--but it calls us and we adapt. we adapt because we love it. we make sure our stuff is good--if not--we repair or die. nature is not a gentle soul, and pacific was a misnomer from day one. another storm is coming to zihuat--- is forming as we watch passage weather and other sites. will not come to shore anywhere but zihua, according to models-but.........
i feel bad for the guy--his boat was lovely---formosas do not die on rocks--they are repairable with thick hulls and helluva salvage value. even hurrycames do not destroy them. those of us who love these boats do repair them when holed, when broken and when in trouble. mine was left on santa barbara's breakwall for a week. is now mine and becoming better. if the man wants to save his boat, is doable, or was, when first happened. i hope he didnt just leave the boat to die a long miserable death--was gorgeous.
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Old 30-08-2012, 10:24   #112
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

"He was clearly the leader of the group. As he spoke questions began to pop into my head. First he had said the wind came from the east. To the east was the beach and hills at a distance of about 100 yards, hardly enough fetch to form waves to break the chain. Another fellow, the same guy that made and set the mooring for me, said that if I looked at the chain it might look like it had been sawed but, that was only caused by him re-attaching it. Only Able could look me in the eye as the story unfolded. The boat had gone on the rocks in the middle of the night yet they were there to save her. What were they doing way over there in the middle of the night? I began to understand that the people with the AK’s were still there and I kept my mouth shut. Able kept mentioning that the Port Captain worked for him. He said that I needed to have a meeting with the Port Captain first thing in the morning. As we spoke more and more people began to show up claiming to have helped. Able finely stopped explaining himself and said I owed 8,000. When I handed him the pesos he laughed and said, “Dollars”. Nobody in the crowd wanted less than $1,000. Even the ponga driver wanted $1,000. They charge 50 pesos for the ride over to this area so that worked out to 240 trips at the 12 to 1 exchange rate. One of the divers wanted $1,500 for one dive because it was at 1am. He also happened to be the man that now owned Azteca. They all lined up. They had already gone through my belongings including my mother’s ashes that were in a box tied with a ribbon. The box was empty and her ashes were on the counter top. I gave Able 10,000 pesos and he said he would tell the Port Captain to meet with all parties at 10 am the next morning. I asked if we needed to check with the Port Captain about the meeting time and was told again the Port Captain worked for Able and would meet when he was told to."








I don't know why you guys keep thinking anyone who thinks his story is plausible is somehow attacking Mexico. I didn't see anyone say you shouldn't cruise there. As a number of people have already said, this could happen almost anywhere.
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Old 30-08-2012, 16:42   #113
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A Quick Geography Lesson

OK folks,

I'll just post this picture to give y'all a lesson in World Geography, just in case you don't know how it's supposed to work!

(I don't really remember where I got it, but here it is anyway.)

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Old 30-08-2012, 16:45   #114
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

i thought manhattan was center of world with teejass next......
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Old 30-08-2012, 16:48   #115
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

Hey, waitaminnut. That's a forgery. Where's Texas? Must be a Yankee map....
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Old 30-08-2012, 16:54   #116
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

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Hey, waitaminnut. That's a forgery. Where's Texas? Must be a Yankee map....
Remember, this is a map of the way most Americans view the world. They probably don't know the size or shape of Texas, or any of the other states either for that matter!
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Old 30-08-2012, 17:09   #117
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

What, all 57 of them? Not even Superman could remember all of those....
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Old 30-08-2012, 17:12   #118
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

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What, all 57 of them? Not even Superman could remember all of those....
Let's just narrow it down to two:

1.) Texas

2.) Wishin' they were Texas!

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Old 31-08-2012, 08:15   #119
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

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I don't know why you guys keep thinking anyone who thinks his story is plausible is somehow attacking Mexico. I didn't see anyone say you shouldn't cruise there. As a number of people have already said, this could happen almost anywhere.
+1 Yes...I agree. I could have posted that the US is a changing place. But we already knew that. It doesn't matter why it's changing but it is. The Narcos have branched out into some cruising and tourist grounds. My reason for posting was to bring awareness to folks here. Do what you want with that information. For me, Mx is not a destination...just a stop over to the South Pacific. I could sail from Southern Ca. directly to the Marquesas, but that would be a haul and sketchy with a 120 gallon water capacity.
These few incidences are remote at best but if it turned into something more regular, I might consider a direct path to the South Pacific.
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Old 31-08-2012, 08:54   #120
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Re: Mexico...a Changing Place

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... For me, Mx is not a destination...just a stop over to the South Pacific. I could sail from Southern Ca. directly to the Marquesas, but that would be a haul and sketchy with a 120 gallon water capacity.
These few incidences are remote at best but if it turned into something more regular, I might consider a direct path to the South Pacific.
Haven't you heard? Marquesas is a changing place, reverting to cannibalism. Better stay home.

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