Monday, February 07, 2005

Zihua Sailfest

Zihua Sailfest started on Wednesday, the 2nd of February. We attended all three of the cruiser seminars. Jim Corenman, the man who developed Airmail and Sailmail, the onboard email system that we use, gave a presentation. We picked up a few tidbits of how we could use the capabilities in new ways.

We then attended a seminar for Northbound Cruisers, those planning to spend the summer in the Sea of Cortez. They made it sound like an endurance test because of the heat, the bugs, and the volatile weather systems that sometimes include hurricanes. We do plan to head north for the Sea of Cortez, but we will likely haul Kavenga out of the water during the high hurricane months.

The third seminar was for Southbound Cruisers, those planning to head south for Central America and the Panama Canal. We're not planning to do that at the moment, but it was interesting nonetheless. The islands of Panama, in particular, sounded enticing.

Capping off the long first day of Sailfest, we attended the kick-off party and auction. They had two humorous auctioneers, one American and one Mexican. They auctioned off many donated items and services, including jewelry, paintings, dinners, jungle-cave excursions, etc.

The next evening we watched the Flare Shoot-out. Numerous hand-held and aerial flares were set off in the middle of the bay from the Port Captain's boat. It was announced on marine VHF radio the brand and type of flare being fired, so it was a good opportunity to see which flares were the most effective. The Pains-Wessex SOLAS flares, both the hand-helds and the parachute flares were the brightest and lasted the longest. All of the flares fired were beyond their expiration dates and there were a high number of "duds", particularly the small Sky Blazers. Conversely, few of the Pains-Wessex failed to fire even when several years out of date.

The next day we participated in a "Dinghy Poker Chase". We were given clues to locations or other boats scattered around the bay. Using the clues we found each of the locations where we picked one card at random from a deck until we had a complete hand. Unfortunately, it was not good enough to win either the prize for best hand or worst hand (A,Q,10,2,3).

The same afternoon there was a chili cook-off and bake sale. Kay made her delicious lemon bars for the bake sale. Steve bought tickets for the chili cook-off and sampled 10 of the 13 entrants. We also sampled most of what was offered at the bake sale. So much for lunch and dinner.

We didn't participate in the Sail Parade from Zihua to Ixtapa because Steve still isn't 100% since his fall. We did however attend the festival's wrap-up barbeque on La Madera Beach at M.J Ritchie's beach restaurant. Four other restaurants also had tables and your ticket allowed you to pick a meal from any one of the five. Kay went for a cheeseburger with potato salad, while Steve went for a total carb-out pasta meal of spaghetti, lasagne and shell pasta salad.

This was also the occasion of awards presentation and the final raffles. Kay had earlier won a bead earing, necklace and bracelet set that she gave to another cruiser for her daughter's birthday. On this day we also won a Z-What! T-shirt.

All the proceeds of Sailfest go to support and improve the local schools, particularly those for the indigenous children, many of whom only speak Nihuatl and need to learn Spanish. This year they almost doubled the results of last year and took in around 430,000 pesos or about $40,000.



At June 10, 2005 at 10:31 AM, Blogger Barefootsailor said...

This is a great synopsis of SailFest. Wish we had connected earlier!


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