Sunday, January 10, 2016

Las Hadas Hotel, Manzanillo. Just like the old days.

This afternoon we decided to change the scenery in the front yard so we pulled anchor and headed the short 4 miles across the bay here in Manzanillo.  There was a very nice, gentle breeze so we decided to practice our skills, go old school (in the days before the combustion engine) and sail off the anchor.  I pulled the anchor as Marne manned the helm and it went off perfectly.  Just as the anchor set into the bow sprit Marne used the tiny bit of forward momentum to turn the boat off the wind and after securing the anchor on the bow we quickly rolled out the drifter and quietly sailed out of the anchorage.  It felt great.  We didn't hear the rumble of the diesel until we needed it to set the anchor and secure the boat for the night after we had arrived at our destination.  I love sailing point to point using only the power of the wind.  It is so peaceful and I always find myself in my happy place during those times.

Here on the other side of Manzanillo bay we anchored in front of the world famous Las Hadas hotel.  If you haven't heard of it, Google it.  It is quiet, calm and beautiful.  There are only two other boats anchored here with us. As we went ashore and walked around the hotel grounds it reminded me of my last visit here in 1980 aboard my dad's Liahona, his 1979 Westsail 42'.  I am sure that a lot has changed as far as the surroundings but the hotel itself looks just like I remembered it back in the day.  The beautiful white, castle like buildings, gorgeous pools, palm trees and a private beach are a vacationers paradise.

I remember back then that we pretended to be hotel guests and crashed the pools all day. We felt like rich celebrities.  Also being in the pools was probably the first fresh water bath we had in months.  We still bathe in the ocean 95% of the time but having a water maker aboard, we do get a fresh water rinse after bathing.  Back then there was no marina here in Las Hadas so we sailed over to the main port of Manzanillo where my dad topped off the tanks paying around 15-20 cents a gallon for diesel.  Tomorrow, when fill up with diesel we will be paying a bit more, around $4.50/gallon.

Being here reminds me of so many things and I often find myself thinking back on the life changing trip that I had with my parents on their Liahona spending a little over a year aboard traveling from southern California south along the Pacific coastline, through the Panama canal and then north along the inside of the Caribbean through Central America.  It was an amazing trip and little did I know then that it would plant a small seed that would lay dormant for more than 30 years before sprouting deep in my soul the desire to return to the ocean.  Thank you mom and dad.  I think of you with gratitude every single day.

SV Liahona
Bret and Marne

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