Friday, May 3
Ted’s grandson Jack flew into Manzanillo from Salt Lake City, after a demanding year at Westminster College in the business school and aviation program. Alex welcomed Jack aboard Embajador with an icy cerveza, and the two set off to explore the marina’s boats and visit with Alex’s friends. As the men returned to Embajador, her blue lights were lit up, attracting sea creatures that were interesting and enticing enough to capture and keep in the bait tank for the night.
Saturday, May 4
Jack and Alex spent the day in the marina, cleaning Embajador in preparation for the rest of Jack’s family’s arrival. The bait tank cleaning yielded a couple dozen painful spikes in Alex’s hand – the remnants of the sea creature that was captured the night before. Still unidentified…maybe a sea mouse?
Ted, his son Todd, Todd’s wife Jan, and their daughter Jenny arrived early evening with family friend Dennis, leaving snow-capped peaks in Colorado, with a snowy forecast on the way. Comfort awaits aboard Embajador, where bags were stowed and a round of Acacia margaritas were served.
Alex radio’d for a “taxi aquatico” and we set off into the village of Barra to be wowed by a stunning sunset throughout our dinner at Seamaster, one of Alex’s favorites. The evening game of Rumikub aboard Embajador was interrupted by a beautiful fireworks display from the hotel, with impressive colors exploding above the marina.
Cinco de Mayo
We were fortunate enough to catch the French baker’s last delivery of the season. Every year, Emeric operates from El Dia de Muertos to Cinco de Mayo; much to the delight of everyone aboard, we stocked up on quiche, pies and croissants.
Morning jogs were followed by hours of wake surfing in the calm waters in the lagoon. Jenny was the first one up, carving the wave and showing her dad and brother how it’s done.
Both Jack and Todd were up and surfing in no time, and with all the weight in the dinghy, we created a nice surf wave that Alex was able to stay in for a bit – without the waterski rope.
After the surf sesh, the group took the dinghy out the cut for a swim just beyond the town’s surf break in the refreshing, rolling sea. Dennis and Ted assembled the new pedal/paddle Hobie and took spins in the lagoon and marina – the craft MOVES!
We headed into Barra for a Cinco de Mayo feast, and chose Manglito’s, delicious as always. Cinco de Mayo has become a large holiday in the US, but is a quiet day in Mexico. We learned that May 5, 1862 is the day that 2,000 Mexican fighters defeated 6,000 French soldiers in Puebla, but that Mexicans celebrate their independence from Spain on September 16.
From a local vendor, Dennis picked out a lovley pearl necklace for his sweetie back home in Colorado, while the laughs were non-stop as Ted opted for a squeaky rubber chicken – which might be is visible in future photos aboard Embajador. After a stroll through Barra, the group returned to Embajador, where laughter and brave bets were placed throughout two rounds of Wits and Wagers, a favorite family game.
Monday, May 6
Workouts and tennis took up much of the morning, with a 6-0, 6-0 domination of doubles play by Alex and Jan against Jack and Jenny. Though none of the group has played much tennis in 2+ years, the level of play was entertaining and solid. Ted and Todd worked via conference call meetings all morning. Provisioning was a group effort, and most important on the list was Todd’s major success, his favorite meal in Mexico: pollo asado entero. He ordered four whole chickens, to the amazement of the pollo establishment. Jack found the beer and ice, while Jenny and Jan scored fresh tortillas, ceviche and beautiful local produce – all essential elements of a fabulous lunch spread.
After a quick stop at the fuel dock, Embajador headed north for the hour and a quarter cruise to Tenacatita, where we were the only boat in the bay.
Alex and Todd caught the left break at the entrance to the mangroves, enjoying the paddle board surfing for hours.
Ted launched the Hobie and cruised about the bay, and we finished off the evening with Chinese Checkers, where the two newest players took #1 and #2: Dennis and Alex, respectively.
Tuesday, May 7
The anchor was pulled and we were underway by 7:30am for a day of fishing, following the charts that Alex had marked from last week’s success by Chris and his group. One 30-lb yellowtail, countless porpoise jumping our wake and spinning under the bow of Embajador were our rewards for hours of trolling (along with plenty of napping and reading).
We chased birds and fish activity until 3pm, then turned back toward Tenacatita for another evening surf sesh on the paddle boards, and more Hobie pedaling and paddling.
The evening’s spectacular dinner of grilled tuna, fresh ceviche and salads was only outdone by the sunset viewed from the California deck.
Wednesday, May 8
Alex navigated the dinghy through the mangroves, on the lookout for crocodiles (of which we saw one skulking in the water) birds, spiders and crabs. In the 10 years since the Herricks have motored through the mangroves, much has become overgrown, and the wildlife seems as abundant. No surprise that Alex was a pro timing the entrance and exit through the surf break in the dinghy, where we spotted several rays in the sandy bottom of the ocean floor. Jack’s drone captured the mangrove adventure.
The afternoon aboard Embajador passed with much swimming and enjoyment of the light, refreshing breeze. Jack and Alex caught countless waves on paddle boards at the entrance to the mangroves.
Sighting birds diving and circling in the bay, Todd and Alex hopped into the dinghy and chased toros on a bait ball, to no avail. In the late afternoon we all jumped in the dinghy, and swam ashore at La Manzanilla for an early dinner on the beach. Alex skipped the shore excursion and grabbed a rod for more fishing, caught a 35-lb toro and released the strong fighter back to the sea. The food at our beachfront restaurant was delicious (especially the Pescado Veracruz), and the helado found on main street was a hit.
Restaurante Cato looked like the nicest of the beach front establishments, with tablecloths, at the south end of the La Manzanilla beach. Alex came back for us, and we swam back out to the dinghy and headed across the bumpy bay to the Embajador for a few rounds of Rumikub.
Thursday, May 9
The calm morning waters and cooler temps called to the paddle boarders, Hobie pedalers, and wake surfers.
2’+ trumpet fish, angel fish, puffer fish and eels were spotted by paddle boarders near the rocks in the north end of the bay. At noon we pulled anchor and motored back to Barra de Navidad, while enjoying a lunch on the lido deck – today’s menu was top-notch: sashimi yellowtail topped with olive oil, soy sauce, capers and onion, along with fresh salads and guacamole.
At dinner time, we took the dinghy into Mary’s in the lagoon – a fantastic recommendation by Alex, with smiling waitstaff assisting us ashore and serving delicious whole fish with platanos (hauchinango) and the infamous empanadas de camaron.
The post-dinner lagoon cruise revealed a half-sunken sailboat that Todd and Jack could not resist exploring.
Friday, May 10
Today is El Dia de Madre in Mexico, and Jan was greeted with a lovely red rose from a neighbor in the marina seeking to celebrate all mothers. Jack departed early for a flight out of Manzanillo with our new favorite taxi driver, Carlos, who will arrange a Suburban for larger groups, and can be reached at +52 315 107 2472. Jack headed back to another month of college courses, feeling refreshed after seven relaxing days in the sunny skies of Mexico aboard Embajador. Jenny led a morning gym workout for Todd and Jan, and then the group headed to the pool for some slide and swim time, and lunch of fish tacos and hamburguesas. An afternoon full of conference calls for Todd and Ted led into an evening of Acacia margaritas on the California deck, along with the last of the yellowtail sashimi and a lovely tin of Black River Caviar. Game night at sunset, followed by a movie in the salon, rounded out our last night aboard Embajador.
Saturday, May 11
The Colorado group was off early, and appreciative as ever for a fabulous week in Mexico aboard the beautiful Embajador.