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The Southbounders Cruising Notes were compiled by Daisy and Ed while in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, in 2003, after the Holidays. It includes very interesting and informative notes from experienced cruisers who had already cruised Pacific Central America, the Galapagos, Caribbean Panamá, and the NorthWest Caribbean.

It was published in CD-ROM in Zihuatanejo, and was made availabe for a $10US donation to the Zihuatanejo Indian School, as part of Zihua Sailfest 2003. To our knowledge, there were more than 70 copies "sold".

We enjoyed compiling the information, and thanks is due to all the contributors who provided whatever they could to make the trip for new cruisers more enjoyable, interesting and safe.

Below is our introduction to the document. The document itself (all 115 pages) is available on this web site. It takes a while to load, so be patient. Click here to see the document itself.



IMPORTANT! READ CAREFULLY!  None of the contributors to this compilation of cruising notes, nor its editors, assume any responsibility for the accuracy of the information. USE THIS INFORMATION AT YOUR OWN RISK!

We hope you find these notes useful as you head south from Zihuatanejo. We have compiled the information in these notes from many sources. Virtually all the material comes from letters and emails from cruisers who have recently explored the Pacific Central American and Western Caribbean waters. Some also contributed their experiences in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, as well.

 The idea for these compiled notes came to us as we sat here at anchor in beautiful Zihuatanejo Bay, aboard ¨SIESTA” (our CSY 44 center-cockpit cutter), preparing for our trip south to the Panamá Canal and on to our home in the Florida Keys. We felt we needed current information. Conditions can change quickly in these waters.  We wanted access to fresh, recent information from other cruisers like us, to supplement the many excellent cruising guides that already exist. And we wanted this information organized in such a way that it could be referenced easily. Yet we wanted to do a minimum of editing, to keep the scope of work manageable to a reasonable period of time.

We give our thanks to the many cruisers who have contributed to these notes. For example, Anne, from the ketch MICHAELANNE, came on the VHF in Zihuatanejo and offered her own cruising notes and those of other Southbounders she had compiled on diskette. Other cruisers currently in Central America were contacted via email and immediately started sending very useful information about places they visited. And we already had a file of cruising notes of our own, received from many cruising friends and owners of other CSY 44’s. We are particularly grateful to Don and Gwen on TACKLESS II, and Dave and Stacey on SOGGY PAWS for their many detailed cruising notes. But there are many, many others. So thanks to all of you, you know who you are, and your names all all over these notes, using as much detail as we could find!

The emails, logs and letters included in these edited notes in many cases were not meant to be included in a cruising  “guide” type of format. We have done very little, if any, editing on these letters. As such, they include a number of illustrative, anecdotal, sometimes even quasi-personal observations, that we feel best colors and exemplify the best of the cruising life.  As a result, you will find very different styles and types of information intertwined into a cruiser’s “patch quilt”. We hope that all these genuine stories and sketches will help you get into the frame of mind of a cruiser about to enter the beautiful waters of Pacific Central America and the Western Caribbean.

We also found some other excellent sources on Central America, which we recommend reading. In the spring of last year, 2002, the Southbounders in Puerto Vallarta put together an excellent set of cruising notes, and published them as the SOUTHBOUND CRUISERS RESOURCE DIRECTORY 2002/2003, on both paper and CDROM media.  Rick offered us a copy from Rick’s Bar’s files. We have added this document to the Zihuatanejo CDROM as well. Also, Walt made available his file of paper documents kept at the Zihuatanejo Yacht Club, from previous Zihuatanejo Southbounders. We selectively copied small portions of these paper documents for our own use, but could not include this information, since the text was not in machine-readable form, and could not easily be added to the CDROM.

We welcome comments and future articles and emails from the readers of these notes. We will publish what we receive on our web site, along with these original notes, to enable future Southbounders to benefit from your new experiences and adventures.

We wish fair winds and following seas to all the Southbounders from Zihuatanejo! ¡Qué tengan todos una aventura maravillosa por Centro America!


Ed and Daisy Marill

Zihuatanejo, Mexico

January 18, 2003


These cruising notes were made available to cruisers in Zihuatanejo, in CDROM media form, both as a Microsoft Word document, and as an HTML file, viewable by any web browser, without the need for Microsoft Word. These notes were distributed via CDROM during the 2003 Zihua Sailfest Event, for the modest contribution of $10US to benefit the local Indian school. Printed copies of this CDROM were not made available, although they could easily be produced from the CDROM. Copies of this disk will be left at Rick’s Bar and at the Zihuatanejo Yacht Club, for the use of future Southbounders who come here to prepare for the journey south.


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