No, I’m not referring to a local problem or an incident of any sort. In fact I’m writing about one of the most delightful evenings I have ever enjoyed in Manzanillo.
Thanks to the kindness of friends, my husband and I were invited to enjoy a birthday celebration with their family and friends aboard a beautiful 32 ft. deep sea fishing cruiser for a two hour sunset cruise. Her name turned out to be ‘Double Trouble.’ But she was hardly ‘trouble’ as we slowly moved from the marina at Las Hadas into the bay and began a spectacular tour along the several bays of Manzanillo. The weather was hot, clear and perfect for the ideal sunset we anticipated. We were gently lulled by the buoyant cradle of this pristine white sparkling vessel and comfortably seated in the roomy main deck with open walls of windows or atop the cruiser on benches under an awning.
With a few coolers filled with ice-chilled champagne and the ocean breezes blowing through our hair, I could not have been prepared to see Manzanillo so incredibly stunning from this seaside perspective and nestled in the lush green hills of the mountains. It literally sparkled in the late afternoon sun as shafts of sunlight touched the waves and the cliff-dwelling homes, hotels, and towers, surrounded by bougainvillea and towering cactus.
For the past eight years having enjoyed this marvelous winter location on the west coast of Colima Mexico, our exposure has included walking the local beaches, site-seeing day trips, vista viewing from our sea-side terrace, night-life and in-land tours or trips to Guadalajara for shopping and gallivanting with expat friends and our terrific Mexican neighbors. We were now enjoying a completely new experience. One we will never forget.
Leaving from Manzanillo Bay we skirted the hills of La Punta (the point of the peninsula) letting our eyes explore the horizon and beautiful cliff structures along the way. The pelicans nest in great numbers in the cliffs and are always such marvelous creatures to watch. They are so ungainly looking on land or in the cliffs with their awkward beaks and webbed feet, but in the air they soar like guided missiles and dive for their prey like cunning torpedoes. They almost always hit their mark.
We rounded La Punta and entered Santiago Bay for more beautiful views of the hills and beaches. We passed a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe atop the rocks, somehow lovingly built here by the locals and on past Elephant rock which, as we passed by, looked surprising like its’ namesake, trunk down.
In the northern portion of Santiago Bay where the Mexican locals enjoy a beach area called La Boquita (mouth of a river) we came upon a number of pelicans who appeared to be casually standing on the water. At second glance I realized that this was the place where the remains of the frame of a shipwreck rested on the bottom of the bay and created a great spot for pelicans to watch for schools of fish just below the surface of the water or just have a snooze. This location is also where many residents of the bay love to snorkel and explore fish life and corrals sheltered by the sunken ship.
As we left the bay we entered more open sea and to my great joy finally got up quite ‘close and personal’ to the gigantic freighters and tankers. They are parked at intervals skirting both bays and awaiting their turns to slowly make their way into port. They will unload/reload their containers filled with cargos of food, fuel, autos and commodities from all over the world. The port of Manzanillo moves over 2 million TEU’s (twenty foot equivalent units) per year as Mexico’s’ busiest port. We’ve spent many an afternoon on our terrace playing scrabble and watching the ships coming and going. At night many are lit up like Christmas trees especially during that season. Still it’s difficult to fathom just how big these babies are until you’re up close to them. They are gigantic with lengths longer than 1,200 feet with containers stacked up to 4 levels. When you are finally close enough to see people walking on deck you realize that the bridge portion of the vessel is like a five to seven story apartment building. It’s a big business in more ways than one.
And now as we head back to Manzanillo Bay, the sky is a lusty rustic orange to fuchsia colored backdrop as we all watch the final moments when the sun sinks into the horizon and the skies continue to reflect the most delicate of rose colors long after the glowing ball has disappeared.
Dinner at the marina awaits and these memories are etched forever.
Suzanne A. Marshall hails from western Canada and has been living the good life in Manzanillo over the past 8 years. She is a wife, mom and grandma. She is retired from executive business management where her writing skills focused on bureaucratic policy, marketing and business newsletters. Now she shares the fun and joy of writing about everyday life experiences in beautiful Manzanillo, Mexico, the country, its people, the places and the events.