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Planned Zihua Cruise Ship Pier Stirs Red Hot Controversy

August 1 - Zihuatanejo, Mexico

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

If the Mexican government has its way, more cruise ships would disrupt the peaceful nature of Zihua's bay.
Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Due to its tranquil, unspoiled nature, the coastal fishing town of Zihuatanejo has long been a favorite of travelers and expats - an authentic Mexican town sprinkled with tourists, rather than a tourist town sprinkled with Mexicans, as could be said of neighboring Ixtapa. If the government's plans for a massive cruise ship pier are enacted, however, Z-town's peaceful, unhurried nature will be irrevocably altered.

According to Mexican newspaper reports, a team of engineers recently conducted a depth survey of the bay to assess the best possible location for the pier, which will be able to berth three cruise ships at a time in deep water. Its terminus would be in the heart of the downtown waterfront district. The existing pier, where cruise ship passengers currently offload via tenders, would remain intact.

Zihua map
The proposed cruise ship dock would jut out from basketball court to about the middle of the bay.
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Although Mayor Silvano Blanco Deaquino claimed in a newspaper interview that the proposed project "would obviously benefit all of the residents of Zihuatanejo," there is substantial opposition to the project from local citizens and businesspeople - most notably from a group called SOS Bahia - as well as from expats in residence. Opposition leaders are urging local businesses, fishing cooperatives and the general public to join them in a 'protest letter write-in' campaign, a signature-collection petition campaign and to support their public service radio spots. Go to for more info on how you can help.

Like Cancun, neighboring Ixtapa was developed specifically to accommodate mass tourism. As a result, the region has received a steady flow of tourism dollars without compromising the peaceful nature of Zihua and its sweeping crescent bay. Needless to say, the American and Canadian expats who have chosen Zihua as their permanent or part-time residence because of its relatively serene nature are deeply opposed to the pier project — as are cruising sailors whose favorite anchorage may soon become a cruise ship parking lot.

- latitude / at


The Second Half Is Open

August 1 - San Francisco Bay

The ‘second half’ of the Bay’s never-ending racing season opened for business this weekend under spectacular Bay sailing conditions. The 105 boats that raced in the distance race portion of the YRA’s Second Half Opener on Saturday saw the best the Bay had to offer as morning gray skies gave way to plenty of sun and delightfully typical nuclear conditions.

City Lights
City Lights was the first boat to round the buoy at Point Bonita on Saturday, but by the time they got back to Treasure Island, some of the trimarans and fast planing boats had caught up.
© 2007 Peter Lyons /

Numerous boats recorded their top speed during Saturday’s run from the turning mark at Point Bonita to the finish in the Estuary. Accordingly, some also managed impressive wipeouts along the way.

Cento Miglia
Cento Miglia goes down for the count off Horseshoe Cove.
© 2007 Erik Simonson /

Caleb Everett's Melges 32 Stewball won overall honors on the 'Ocean' course, while Michael Andrews’ previously ocean-hardened Santana 22 Bonito stuck to slightly calmer waters this weekend and won on the 'In the Bay' course. Both boats’ names will be added to the Schumacher perpetual trophy for best showing at Saturday’s half of the Second-Half Opener.

The busy commercial traffic in the Bay helped make or break the fortunes of some on Saturday. Not long after this photo was taken, Golden Moon passed Elan and then hooked on to the wake of another ship for a 5-minute, 13-knot surf session that sealed the Moonies’ Express 37 class victory.
© 2007 Erik Simonson /

Whether worn out by the previous day or by Encinal YC’s raging party on Saturday night, fewer boats stuck around for Sunday’s buoy racing, though we understand it was still competitive. Congratulations to the following division winners from both days:

Multihulls: Three Sigma, F-27, Christopher Harvey (5 boats)
Express 27: Freaks ona Leash, Scott Parker (5 boats)
Beneteau 36.7: Mistral, Ed Durbin (4 boats)
Antrim 27: Cascade, Steve Rienhart (2 boats)
SF 180: Harry, Newport 30-II, Dick Aronoff (4 boats)
Express 37: Golden Moon, Kame Richards/Bill Bridge (7 boats)
Islander 36: Windwalker, Richard Shoenhair/Greg Gilliom (5 boats)
J/105: Taboo, Phil Laby/Rich Pipkin/Mary McGrath (2 boats)
Olson 25: Shadowfax, Mark Simpson (9 boats)
Olson 30: Hoot, Andrew Macfie (3 boats)
Santana 22: Bonito, Michael Andrews (3 boats)
Party Circuit G (< 66): Stewball, Melges 32, Caleb Everett (10 boats)
Party Circuit H (69-96): USA10, Beneteau First 10R, Ben Oldham (6 boats)
Party Circuit J (99-117): Novia, Cal 39, David DeMeter/Dick Baker (12 boats)
Party Circuit K (120-168): Chimera, Little Harbor 47, C. Grant Miller (12 boats)
Party Circuit M (> 171): Star Ranger, Ranger 26, Simon James (7 boats)
SF 30: Encore, Wylie Gemini 30, Andy Hall (7 boats)
IOR Warhorses: Aleta, Peterson 46, Keith Brown (3 boats)

Multihulls: Wingit, F-27, Amy Wells (1 boat)
Express 27: Mirage, Terry Cobb (2 boats)
Beneteau 36.7: Mistral, Ed Durbin (3 boats)
Antrim 27: Cascade, Steve Rienhart (3 boats)
SF 180: Goose, Catalina 30, D. Michael Kastrop (3 boats)
Express 37: Bullet, Michael Maloney (7 boats)
Islander 36: Windwalker, Richard Shoenhair/Greg Gilliom (3 boats)
J/105: Ultimatum, Musto Gunan (1 boat)
Olson 30: Hoot, Andrew Macfie (1 boat)
Party Circuit G: Bodacious, Farr 40 1/T, John Clauser/Bobbi Tosse (5 boats)
Party Circuit H: Mintaka 4, Farr 38, Gerry Brown (4 boats)
Party Circuit J: Sheeba, C&C 99, Michael Quinn (7 boats)
Party Circuit K: Mer Tranquille, Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 34.2 (5 boats)
Party Circuit M: Latin Lass, Catalina 27, Bill Chapman (3 boats)
SF 30: Shameless, Schumacher 30, George Ellison (4 boats)
IOR Warhorses: Aleta, Peterson 46, Keith Brown (1 boat)

- latitude / ss

Puerto Los Cabos Opens to the Sea

August 1 - San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Puerto Los Cabos
This photo, taken last October, shows where they broke through to the sea.
Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Jim Elfers, Marina Manager at Puerto Los Cabos Marina at San Jose del Cabo, reports that the marina finally opened to the sea on July 11. Eventually, it will boast 420 slips, making it the largest in Mexico, but only 90 or so will be available this year. Elfers says they plan to have the entire facility up and running by late 2008.

- latitude / ld

Ha-Ha Entries Near 100

August 1 - Mill Valley

If you're planning to do the Baja Ha-Ha this year, you should know that space is running out. As of 10 a.m. this morning, Ha-Ha Honcho Lauren Spindler reports that 92 official entries have been received, and reminds hopeful Ha-Ha'ers that she is limiting the number of entries to 200 this year.

To get your entry packet for the 14th running of the cruiser's rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, which starts on October 29 and has stops at Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria, please send $20 to Baja Ha-Ha, 401-F Miller, PMB 140, Mill Valley, 94941. For more info on the Ha-Ha, or to see the complete entry list, visit Here are entries #73-92.

73) Wind Trekker / Corsair 31 UC tri / Tom Brown / Oxnard
74) Fidelitas / Tayana 460 Pilothouse / Gernot Winkler / Chula Vista
75) Second Wind / Beneteau 331 / Cory Reinking / San Diego
76) Havfruen / Thackwray 94 / PK Connor / Campbell River, BC, CAN
77) Simple Pleasures / Freedom 36 / Bernard Slabeck / San Francisco
78) Full Quiver / Beneteau 405 First / Steve Lannen / San Francisco
79) Ciao / Catalina 34 / Juan Spampinato / Point Richmond
80) Rhapsody / Beneteau Oceanis 510 / Patrick Horton / San Diego
81) Entropy / Hunter 456 / Robert Forbes / Newport Beach
82) Mischief II / Island Packet 380 / Robert Miller / San Francisco
83) Wand’rin Star / Hans Christian 44 PH / Gary Engelman / St. Clair Shores, MI
84) Pangea / J/30 / Mike Leary / Ventura
85) Marissa / Tayana Vancouver 42 / Bill Murray / Blaine, WA
86) Pipe Dream / CF 37 / John Davis / Long Beach
87) Talaria / Ericson 38 / Bill Martin / Sausalito
88) Zephyra / Morgan OI 41 ketch / Russ Noorda / Lake Tahoe
89) Merry Rowe’s / Hallberg Rassy 46 / David Rowe / San Diego
90) Dolfino / Catalina 42 Mk II / Rick Lino / Marina del Rey
91) Tribute / Farr 58 / Neil Kaminer / Mermaid, DE
92) Blue Lightning / New York 36 / Michael Riley / Seattle

- latitude / ld

August Latitude Hits the Streets

August 1 - Bay Area

Latitude 38
Photo Latitude / Annie

© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

The August issue of Latitude 38, hot off the presses, is hitting the streets today. Check it out for great TransPac coverage, the latest hullabaloo over the America's Cup, Tahiti tidings and a whole lot more!

- latitude / ld

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