March 2010 Trip Report

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Escrito por dwbesq () via proxy desde (?) el día martes, 30 de marzo, 2010 a las 10:25:02 horas :

Iíve been coming to Z to fish and relax for many years now. This year, it was just me and my 14 year old daughter as my son and wife travelled to Florida for the week of March 13-20. We won, they lost.

Anyway, we departed and arrived at Z nonstop via Delta from Mpls, MN ahead of schedule after a pleasant flight. Luggage promptly delivered to the carousel and Customs was easy. The same MLT Vacations rep as always was waiting to assist us with our air-conditioned transport to the Hotel Irma, which left promptly. Reverse the foregoing, and you have our departure 8 days later. I donít miss Northwest Airlines at all.

Our first day there we spent with Thierry and others from Carlo Scuba. Although we had some equipment difficulties, they kept their professionalism, and we ultimately felt safe with our dive masters. Thierry gave an excellent briefing of each site, and worked tirelessly. Although visibility was poor at the surface, it was better at depth, which on our first dive was at 60-70 feet. We saw many rays, Bat and Electric, Moray Eels, and innumerable interesting fish (Puffers, Needles, etc.). Given the conditions, which were also cold at depth, we decided not to book a second day this trip, with anyone, but fish instead. We did speak with Adventure Divers, and may give them a try next time.

So, we fished 3 days, two with Rene Morales aboard the El Rene and one inshore hunting Roosterfish with Adolfo on Dos Hermanos.

The El Rene is a 34í 1978 Bertram with an excellent floor plan and fly bridge. Captain Rene Morales was formerly the Captain of the Vamonos II, which excellent fleet is owned by his brother. This is his own boat recently acquired, and his first mate Iris now works this boat with Rene. The El Rene has an open and very tall cabin conducive to bill fishing, and an excellent fly bridge layout with seating behind the console, as opposed to in front which is more common on Bertram yachts. We were away from the pier at 6:15 am each day, and back each day about 3:00pm. Iíve fished with Rene now for about 5 years or so. On Day One, my daughter hooked up with a Blue Marlin on light Sailfish tackle, and after an hour on 30# line, she boated it. We missed another Marlin hook-up earlier that morning, and spent a few minutes trying to entice a Sail following bait, to no avail. Day Two saw one Sailfish follow, and a missed hook-up, but a lot of sunshine and the typical Rays, Porpoises, etc. No fish and no complaints here. The crew worked hard. It is a big ocean. The Blues were clearly biting, and we ran two lines on downriggers with sizable Mackerel and Bonito.

Day Three had us with Adolfo on Dos Hermanos for a run at Roosterfish, which he openly indicated were scarce at best. We purchase live bait, and we made a run up to Puerto Vicente Guerrero casting the surf. The Jack Crevalle were plentiful, the first of which was the largest I have seen or landed, and as my arm would tire, Adolfo would back us into the current to land numerous Spanish Mackerel, Amberjack, and Bonito. We left by 6:30 am, returning well after 2:00pm, arms aching.

We ate at the usual spots, without complaint, but were especially pleased again by Salvadorís Red Snapper and the same at Letyís with the customary order of Coconut Shrimp. Also, Caprichoís always delivers on the higher end, and their CrŤme Brulee may now be the best Iíve had anywhere. The Hamburguesa Stand and Sunday night taco vendors on the lower end have yet to disappoint. Breakfasts at La Casa Cafe and the Zihua Pancake House were excellent, but the best to me remains the Huevos y Chorizo Tortas early at the Pier. MJ and Richieís also seemed better this year, and became a regular afternoon stop during Siesta. My favorite place in the world, La Sirena Gorda, wouldnít make change for me to pay a musician, who was mid-song, so I dropped 200 pesos on him, which he probably deserved anyway. After that, they returned to my table to take our order. I left. They know me, and know better, so Iíll be back, but donít do that to me again. Thatís how we started stopping regularly at MJ Richieís, so whoís complaining, right? Thatís how Z works.

The Hotel Irma has been mildly updated with paint and interior decoration, and I just never have a complaint about this place. It is always clean, the front desk solicitous and friendly. Jaime, Carlos, etc. know what they are doing, and the changes remain modest but appreciated, so Iíll be back. The new Spa and Julie there provided the best massage Iíve had, and as a result has caused my usual stops for the same on Las Gatas and La Ropa to pale by comparison.

We spent an afternoon at Las Gatas after diving with Carlo Scuba and another later in the week. The new pier is appreciated, but the ticketing system can be a little slow if you are heading back to the municipal pier early as they wait for enough holders of your ticket color to justify a trip. I didnít wait. I parted with 20 pesos, and took the first panga back. That probably isnít an approved method, but it got me back when I wanted to, and for the price was worth it.

So, to summarize, the water seemed bluer, the fish larger, the weather warmer, the people friendlier, the environs safer, the service better, the beaches softer, the colors brighter, the prices lower, the Canadians slimmer (thatís a joke), the sunrises earlier, the sunsets later, and the food tastier. This is now way too long, but I should mention that I saw the sun set every day. I saw it rise over the mountains every morning. I slept like a rock on a bed that felt like one. I smiled and tipped like my life depended on it. And maybe most importantly, due to the benevolence and careful stewardship of the Zihua locals, I was able to again share my most favorite place with someone I love. Oh, I almost forgot to mention; I exhaled, if only for a week.

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