We departed Zihuatanejo around 10 AM on Tuesday. Following the diagnosis of our dive tanks as “trash” we paid our $80 bill with the dive shop and prepared to leave for points north and better diving. Our friends were concerned that we were transiting the lonely coast of the northern Mexican Riviera by ourselves but as always we were not concerned as we have never had any trouble with “bandits” since we left the US. As we were passing the industrial city of Lazaro Cardenez we noticed that we had picked up an unlit target on our radar. An unlit target is something we can see on radar but can’t identify when we go outside and look for lights.
At the time we noticed, the “target” was 4 miles directly off our stern. At first look it appeared to be a phantom “hit” on the radar but 10 minutes later when the same hit or “target” showed up behind us but closer we assumed it was a boat. Bill eventually started talking about spear guns, flare guns and machetes in a kidding manner but after the “target” closed in to within 2 miles off our stern, we both started planning out contingency plans if the target actually was pirates!
Lisa immediate started hiding everything of value. Computers were stowed under mattresses, cell phones were hid in the bathroom, wallets in the hamper even string beans and cans of tomato sauce where moved from their normal resting spots and hid in places were they won’t be found for months to come.
Bill took the practical approach and prepared the flare gun with its 12 gauge shells for action. As the “target” came within 1 mile and then ½ mile, we both strained to see the actual boat, but of course there were no lights shown. Bill started reading the directions on the flare gun when we still couldn’t identify the target as it approached to within ¼ mile and once he was educated stood up on deck with a loaded gun preparing for action.
Eventually one of us decided that turning on additional deck lights might help us see the “bandits” and when we flicked on the lights the target immediately moved to the starboard side of our boat and passed us without issues. We don’t know if it was Bill standing up top with his “Charlie’s Angel’s pose”, gun in hand and ready for action or if the boat was just a group of Pangarero’s out for a fishing trip but our adrenalin was high and our relief pleasant when they fell off our radar screen. Currently we are sailing into Manzanillo with just 17 miles to go. Arrival will be tonight around midnight.