Postcard from Z-Fest

Playa Principal Anchorage

March 11, 2018

We are wrapping up our time in fabulous Zihuatanejo.  Checked out with the Port Captain, provisioned, got fuel, saying good-bye to friends. We spent a month here, a memorable time.  Here are the highlights:

Raft-up Concert on Muskoka, Sail Fest

Raft-up Concert on Muskoka, Sail Fest

Sail Fest por los Ninos

Unfortunately, we arrived at the tail end of this event. Cruisers donate their time and boats taking local people and tourists out for short cruises. We did enjoy one sunset cruise aboard Muskoka with gracious hosts, Scott and Laurie. The cruise ended with a raft up concert featuring José Luis Cabo, a renowned & beloved local artist.  By all accounts, Sail Fest was a huge success with proceeds going to help fund education projects including the building of schools, scholarships, and more. Schedule permitting, we’d like to participate next year.

Bahia Zihuatanejo

Mateo, Dinghy Attendant extraordinaire

Mateo, Dinghy Attendant extraordinaire

There are 4 beaches here: Playa Principal, Playa Madera, Playa la Ropa, and Playa las Gatas. We anchored primarily in the main anchorage in front of Playa Principal. Pros and Cons for sure. The water is green and gross which means no swimming or water making for us. It can also be rolly. We had a few days with big swells coming through the anchorage. We were able to dinghy to shore in spite of the wave breaks thanks to the friendly ever-present dingy attendants waiting on shore to help with all landings and launches for 10-20 pesos. We did have a couple of rough landings/launches when the waves were big, but no permanent injuries, just some wet clothes, groceries, dirty dinghy and frazzled nerves. A big plus here is Hilda & Ismael’s concierge service for boaters. With their service, we had laundry, diesel, and even beer delivered to the boat. 

Cooling Off

Footloose at Isla Grande/Ixtapa

Footloose at Isla Grande/Ixtapa

It’s quite warm and humid here. We went to Playa Ropa and nearby Isla Grande/Ixtapa and Petatlán just south for some cooling off, water making, boat cleaning, snorkeling and relaxation.

Cruising Community and Town

Dining with Friends, Patrice & Lou (Sonamara), Lisa (Footloose), Maureen & Bob (Paradisea)

On average, 20-25 boats were anchored here with us. There is a cruisers net Monday-Saturday, at 0830, on Channel 22 with volunteer hosts. We caught up with friends here, enjoying many meals and the Guitar Fest!  With the heat, cooking is less fun. Fortunately, Zihuatanejo has no shortage of good restaurants. Every Thursday is “Posole” night. We tasted some at Any’s, delicious. Spectacular dinner at Kau Kan, serious food (tuna tartar with ginger, grilled lamb chops…) with a stunning view. There is no shortage of entertainment either with live music all around and sports. A few friends were able to watch the Olympics from one of the many sport bars here. Curling and Cerveza anyone?  And the best is the basketball court right in the center of the beach walk. There is a very active league with players of all sizes, ages, and abilities taking it to the court. Very popular with the locals, who surround the court to watch in the warm evenings, snacking on popcorn or ice cream.  I must give a shout out to Cuattro Cycle, a cool (air-conditioned) cafe, with excellent service, food, coffee, WiFi and is pet friendly. We spent hours parked at a table with laptops, coffee, green tea, and baked goods catching up on business, surfing, and writing.

International Guitar Festival: XV Anniversary 2018,  Mar 3-10

Opening Night, Carlos Uribe & Jossy Gallegos

What a week this has been. A stage is set up right off of Playa Principal with beach concerts every night, 8-11, as well as gala events at various restaurants. Opening night on the beach stage was a great introduction to all artists.  We thought we could listen to some concerts from our boat, but often there were conflicting sounds drowning out the guitarists. Better to go to the beach to hear concerts for only $100 pesos each ($5 cover)!  We also attended a couple of gala events, seeing Jossy Gallegos and Nick Vigarino at Coconuts and Goh Kurosawa and Tom Lumen at Bistro Delmar. Many different styles. We really liked Leonardo Parra Castillo who played “delta” blues. Listening to him, I’d swear he was from Mississippi, not Colombia.  Another night featured Eric McFadden and Omar Torrez. Wow. I could go on and on. We have some new music for our boat collection!

Moving Day

Last night we enjoyed one more meal on the beach with our friends, listening to the Guitar Fest finale. Today it’s quiet. Many boats are pulling up the anchor, time to move on. The fleet is changing once again, as new boats come in replacing the departed. We will linger another day and then it is our turn.

Thank you Zihuatanejo, next stop somewhere near Manzanillo…

10 thoughts on “Postcard from Z-Fest

  1. Janis Clark

    How do you decide it’s time to move on?

    Gosh, what a fabulous time you guys had in “Zeewah”. The stories, photos, descriptions made me feel like I was there. Thanks!

    1. Lisa Britt Post author

      Thanks Janis! this time we planned on leaving after guitar fest. Other times, it’s the weather, or just feels like time to explore elsewhere. We have lots of time, so schedule is not usually an issue:) best to you- Lisa

      1. Janis Clark

        Question: since time and schedules are not an issue, do you guys feel totally relaxed? Just wondering without these usual pressures/limitations if you feel like you are in a completely state of being. You can email this if you prefer.


  2. Rich

    Lisa and Michael,

    Looks like Z town is a must do! Another great post with awesome photos. Is it me, or is Lisa getting more beautiful every day.

  3. Joe Graceffo

    Hi Lisa and Michael!
    Looks like Zihuatanejo is the sweet spot between beautiful land and seascapes and night life! I could tell you especially loved the music. I’ll echo other comments by saying the food photos always make me hungry. Whether I just ate or not! I look forward to your next post.

  4. Allison Lehman

    Are you guys going to get a chance to see the ruins south of Ixtapa? Sounds like life is good in Zihua.

  5. Carol Levine

    Lovely commentary. Much more interesting than the latest anchor windlass contribution (sorry Michael but it is what it is 🙂

    Things here are moving along. I retired last month officially. Now just waiting for the last money so I can close up for good. Yeah!!! I’ve been spending my time getting ready for Sedar next week (happy Pesach) and planning our May road trip to Utah and Colorado. Assuming the National Parks are still open of course!. You are sailing the high seas and we will be traveling the high ways. Miss you both and hope to see you during hurricane season again. Assuming we are around, of course. Lots of travel plans. Now if I can get Charlie to let go!

    Love, Carol

    1. Lisa Britt Post author

      Hi Carol-

      Great to hear from you. Congratulations on the retirement. Here’s to traveling the highways! I hear you are going to Alaska? Hope to catch up and exchange stories when we visit late July. best to you & Charlie- Lisa


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