Woke up: Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico
Went to sleep: Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico
New Friends, Familiar Dilemma
Peter was exceedingly proud of himself when we arrived in Bahia Manzanillo in front of the Las Hadas Resort the other day. We pulled in, he scanned the area, drove to a spot he liked and dropped the anchor. Viola! We’re anchored! He patted himself on the back for two days. The first time in his captaining career he made an anchoring decision in under 2 hours.
The next day, Peter watched with amusement as Whirl Wind motored ever so slowly into the bay. Eleven boats were anchored in an area about the size of three football fields. The boats were situated in an array of four rows with 2 – 3 boats per row. We watched while Whirl Wind went up one row and down the next. Up one row and down the next. From below, I could see his mast. It looked like he was circling us.
We left in the dinghy to go to town. While walking the length of the beach, we watched Whirl Wind lower and later raise his anchor half a dozen times. Peter was gloating.
We walked back from the Mercado and watched Whirl Wind move yet again. I said, “Peter! That poor man’s been trying to anchor that boat for three hours!”
Peter was feeling his pain. “It’s a critical decision. A lot rides on this,” he explained. “Whether or not the captain sleeps at night is solely a result of how comfortable he feels with the plight of his anchor.”
Later, I saw Peter wave to a gentleman in the pool. I followed him over to say hello. It was the skipper from Whirl Wind. I told Ron and his wife, Marianne, of the many challenges Peter has faced trying to make an anchoring decision. Ron admitted, if you reviewed the track left by the GPS of his efforts to drop anchor, it looked like a hyperactive child playing with an Etch-a-Sketch.
Due to the natural deepwater harbor of Manzanillo, the area has hundreds of years of maritime history. Much of what has been documented begins in the early 1500’s.
In 1522, Hernan Cortes was searching for a rumored trade route between China and the original inhabitants of Pacific Mexico. In the following years, Spain established a trade route between Spain and the Asian countries of China and India. Trade items traveled thousands of miles across the globe and two oceans from Spain, to the Atlantic Mexican port of Veracrus, then by land to the Pacific and from the Pacific Mexican ports of Acapulco and Manzanillo to Manila in the Philippines and vice versa.
Today, Manzanillo is one of the busiest ports on the Pacific coast. The second largest industry is tourism. With miles of white sand beaches and abundant sail fish, tourist began flocking to Manzanillo in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Once Club Maeva and Las Hadas Resort, along with an international airport were operational, Manzanillo was quickly discovered as a vacation hotspot. Manzanillo currently has a population of just over 130,000.