Josie looked baffled at the abrupt end of the most painful radio conversation I have ever heard. We wandered aimlessly toward an unknown and unseen marina with no slip assignment or idea of where to go. We drifted through the mooring field and spotted a dock; can’t be that one move on. Slowly a group of motor yachts began to appear and it looked to be the only option.
A panga came out to meet us as we approached the entrance to guide us to the floating dock. It was at this point that it became clear that the Acapulco Yacht club had nothing but Mediterranean moorings and I knew this could only go poorly.
This is a moment I have been trying to avoid since we set out on this adventure, namely because for all the excellent qualities our boat has it doesn’t back up for shit. It is completely unresponsive in reverse unless you are moving at a reckless speed. Also one can not forget the obstacle course the windvane, propane tank, solar panels, split backstay and pushpit/stern pulpit create.
So there it was, a racing boat to one side and a freshly painted pleasure yacht on the other. Never one to back down once a challenge is presented I hand Josie the boat hook and briefly explain that she needs to get the hook under the mooring ball as I slowly motor up to it. After a few good passes and a few not so good all resulting in failure one of the staff offers his assistance. I reluctantly agree knowing that after he is aboard and I begin to back up from the dock the boat will turn itself 90 degrees before I make it clear of the other boats.
I carefully pull into the space and our mooring guide, Alejandro, climbs aboard via the bowsprit. I throw the boat in reverse and as predicted the bow drifts towards the fresh paint and the stern towards the mooring line of the racing yacht. I am hard over on the tiller with no luck while Josie and Alejandro do what they can to keep us clear. Although I am sure none of the spectators were impressed with our antics, up till this point I would say the whole thing was going rather well; we hadn’t even hit a single boat yet.
In one pass we manage to grab the mooring ball and begin to pull it up and attach the mooring lines. Now all that’s left is to slowly back up between two expensive yachts, with a slight cross wind, in a boat that can’t be steered in reverse. Again I knew this could only go poorly, but there was no turning back now. Come what may I put the boat in reverse and we began to move toward the dock.
I was beginning to feel quite good about everything as Vento Dea smartly slid dead center into our space. It didn’t last, our mooring line was too short and we stopped 15 feet from the floating dock. With no momentum the wind began to takes us to places we didn’t want to go. Josie used the rubberized handle of the boat hook to keep us away from the other boats while I grabbed some more line for Alejandro who was manning the bow line. We move forward to slacken the mooring line before attaching a piece long enough. It was very two steps forward one step back or rather two steps back one step forward.
Okay everything is set, back into reverse and away we go. The same shenanigans till we are within 5 feet of the floating dock and we can throw the stern lines to a couple of bystanders. Once they have us tied up we are able to pull the boat back slowly till it is as close as possible without risking the windvane.
The Acapulco Yacht Club has beautiful grounds, excellent facilities and some of the best showers we have seen this side of La Cruz. But I must say that it is very much a traditional yacht club, the kind of place where you are required to carry membership cards while on club property. I suppose to give a sense of exclusivity one comes to expect from such an establishment. This sort of thinking tends to leave a bad taste in my mouth and I felt more at ease with the grounds keepers and line handlers than with the members.
Although mainly stopping for marine supplies and services we made it out to the malecon and nearby zocalo on the two nights that we were there. A lively night market, street performers and public movie screenings were all within a stone’s throw of each other. As with most major cities good food is abundant and easily found. Our stay was short and the area we were in was under massive reconstruction so I honestly have little to say about Acapulco itself other than to try the pozole if you pass by this way.