Troncones and Sharkfest

We always enjoy  a trip to Troncones, a quieter village not far from Zihuatanejo. I believe it was surfer central way back in the 60’s and still popular with surfers, but now also has a large contingent of  lovely beach front homes and hotels. Our purpose for going this particular weekend was the “Sharkfest Swim”  that I have participated in over the last 6 years.  There are Sharkfest Swims all over the US in large bodies of water  But those are competitive swims, timed events for serious folks. This is the relaxed, just for fun Mexican style swim.  For me the challenge is that I can still do it at my age and I’m determined not to come in last. But with my fit bit I did track my time and distance, 48 minutes to swim 1,613 yd. That is pretty close to my average pool time of 2:48 for 100 yds

The surf was easy going in, I was able to get thru the waves and out into water where I could put my fins on with out being washed back and forth.  We swim as a large group at first but soon everyone is swimming at their own pace.  We head straight out to where

KO coming ashore

our boat is then make a left turn.  This has us safely swimming around the rocks at Point Majahua then we head for Hacienda Eden in Manzanillo Bay.  A distance of about 1 mile mas o menos. As I approached the shore I could see the surf was getting high and wiped out one or two of the swimmers as they finished. 2 years ago I got caught  in  two huge sets of waves that took both my fins, my goggles and my swim I pod never to be seen again. I thought it was going to take me also. Put a couple of young strong men helped me walk in thru the waves.  So now I’m mildly terrified of huge waves.  So I hung back and watched the next couple of sets break and when the paddle boarders said “swim like hell” I did.  One of the then helped me get my fins off so I could walk in with her.  I love to swim, but don’t like the waves.

img_1172We had a pleasant stay at Tronco Bay Inn.  All my Spanish classes were a big help as no

The Senor at sunset

English was spoken there.  They have a nice pool , a good restaurant and good rooms with a great ocean view. But two days was all the Senor could handle of peace and quiet as he was missing his football games.

The pool was beautifully lit at night, changing colors to even red and lavender.  Signing off KO

Bienvenido 2019

img_1141When I was a child, about 8 years old, my parents explained to me that it would be 2000 before we had a new century.  I got to figuring it out and I was going to be in my 60’s and flatly stated that was terrible, I would be too old to have any fun on New Years.  Well we aren’t quite the party animals we were at the turn of the century put we still went out with friends, ate , drank, saw the New Year in with our toes in the sand watching the fire work all around Zihuatanejo Bay.  Little did the 8 year old me know, it’s 19 years past the turn of the century and I’m still not to old to have fun and celebrate.

The Senor went fishing with his friend Dave both of them caught a dorado.  They are really good eating.  I put up enough fish in our freezer for at least 12 meals. img_0976 While the Senor went fishing my friend and I went shopping, but first a stop at “Fishers” at the Ixtapa marina for breakfast.  They have the most delicious breakfast cocktails where I indulged in a Pepinillo a mix of liquid cucumbers, lemon and lime soda and Tangarey and a fantastic poblano enchilada and egg dish. Then on to the shopping at the MicMac shop which specializes in very cool clothes made of img_1144very cool cotton.  It’s hard to say who enjoyed the day more, the Senor and I.

This morning when I arrived at the swimming pool for my morning laps there was no one in the pool.  There usually are two or three other folks enjoying the pool, but this morning I had the entire Olympic size pool entirely to my self for a full 45 minutes. Great way to start a day. My ” Sharkfest” swim is just a week away. Signing off KO



Dave, me and the Senior at Mi Casa

The Senior and I along with friends Dave and Vickie went to Troncones on Friday to stay and play at Mi Casa Es Su Casa before doing the 1.1 mile  Sharkfest swim on Saturday. Enjoyed the food and the pool there but have discovered cabs are very expensive in Troncones and in future years will stay closer to Hacienda Eden where us Sharkfesters assemble Saturday morning.

There were 22 entrants this year, with the youngest swimmer being 24 years old and the oldest 79, I was the next oldest. The surf was quite flat which pleases me easier to get in and out of. And I have learned a bit about riding the waves or diving through them and they are not quite as intimidating as before. But nonetheless  getting in the water at Majhua was a bit of a challenge as we were walking on rocks for quite a way before the water was deep enough to swim and one swimmer never made it off the beach due to a stingray.  Once I get to water deep enough to float then I can get my fins on, I prefer to do this after I have passed the breakers, but didn’t wait today as I wanted off those miserable rocks. Now my fit-bit says I swam just  mile and did it in 47 minutes.  That’s about a standard time for me swimming in a pool.  I was sure I swam more than a mile as the paddle boarders who keep us on course were forever turning me in the right direction.  I can’t swim a straight line in a pool and sure try to head out to sea in the open ocean.

This is not a competition, there are no time keepers, most of us are happy to finish

Swimmers coming in

swimming strong, and of course I never want to be the last one in.  I had asked the senior to be ready to help me get standing after the swim.  I always find it difficult to stand up at the shore edge with the sand and waves pulling you back and with my

me at the finishline

new knee my balance is still a bit unsteady at times.  Once at the shore edge I had a heck of a time getting my fins off as the breakers, small as they maybe, kept pushing me around and by the time I got the right one off I had done some damage to my 3rd toe.  Probably just a sprain, but it hurts and is purple and has me limping a bit.  Swimming is easy, getting in

Purple toe

and out of the ocean is not easy for me.

The Senior only had his “pre smartphone” cell phone to take pictures with and then the only way I could transfer them to the computer was to use my phone to take a picture of the picture on his cell phone. So picture not so good.  All and all it was a good day, I will keep lap swimming and participating.  Signing off KO


Friday afternoon we went out to the village of Troncones and checked into the beautiful Inn at Manzanillo Bay. Checked into our beach bungalow to discover they have been completely redone since last year.img_0114  Very luxurious, complete with a private outdoor courtyard shower. Had a lovely dinner, a couple of drinks and retired to listen the sound of the rolling surf.

Saturday morning at 8:00 am we walked a short way down the road to check in for the swim at Hacienda Eden, get our numbers written on our hands which is how we check in and out of the water. We walked about a 1/4 mile down the road to  the beach at Majahua, giving us a chance to meet each other and get to know one another.  Several of the group have swam the Alcatraz to San Francisco Sharkfest and other like me are mostly pool swimmers.  At just short of 73, I am one of the oldest swimmers.  My goal is always to finish strong and not come in last. At Majahua we got our instructions on how to swim way out past the rocks and the current at Punta Majahua, then make a left turn and use the light house on the beach as a beacon to head for. We counted out our numbers and into the water go 15 swimmers. The  8 paddle boarders serving as spotters and guide posts were already in the water. One paddle boarder was accompanied by  her small dog with his life jacket on. A panga (small motor boat) accompanies the group for anyone who might choose not to finish.

The distance is a little over a mile. The challenge for me is not so much the distance but swimming in the open ocean. It is very different considering the waves, currents and no black lines on the ocean floor to keep you oriented. At one point one of the paddle boarders placed her board in front of me so I would run into her so she could  give me a course correction. I was swimming way to far out to sea. That’s their job to keep everyone on course and account for all. Being a crawl stroke swimmer all I see is sky and sea as the land is on my left.  So you swim awhile and stop to check the direction and swim on.

Last year I had a great deal of trouble at the finish point as the surf was very high and I needed help getting oout after being tumbled several times..  This year was so much easier, but I did come in with a side stroke so I could keep an eye on the waves and made it “no problema”, proudly calling off my number to man checking the swimmers in. I don’t know and really don’t care where I placed, I’m not fast, but pretty steady. Friends said they thought I came in about 6 or 8.  Middle of the pack, feels good, and I know I’ve had a good work out.

img_0128This year we were awarded medals, kind of a nice touch, had a group picture, and were busy congratulating  ourselves. What made this year special for me was  I had my own rooting section. Along with Doyle, friends Faye and Paul with two of their friends and Bonny were all there at the finish line to cheer me on. Hopefully some one has a picture of me coming in as Doyle was on guard to help me if I got caught in the surf.img_0132

Bonny went back to our hotel and we had a great breakfast and returned back to Zihuatanejo. Will I do it again, probably, but will just have to see what next year brings. Signing off KO



We took the bus out to Troncones drop off point, and then began to walk to the taxi stand which isn’t far.  A nice young couple in a mini van with 3 kids stopped and offered to take us part way in, we were in the process of accepting their hospitality when the “combi” pull up behind them.  We thanked them for the offer, but would have greatly over crowded their rig and we took the combi to the Inn At Manzanillo Bay.

Bungalow #8 poolside with the ocean a few steps away ocean
Bungalow #8 poolside with the ocean a few steps away ocean

Our room was a charming bungalow with an ocean front view and a hammock from which to enjoy it and the sunset on our patio. It also came equipped with a 10-12 inch iguana, who had established territory in the wall pocket where the door slides.  I asked if we got charged extra for the

Our unexpected roommate
Our unexpected roommate

iguana and was told it came free of charge.  The windows are all wood louvers including the sliding pocket doors where you are cooled by an overhead fan and a nice sea breeze.  So cool that the Senor got up in the middle of the night and turned off the overhead fan.  Before dinner we went for a swim in the pool, then changed for dinner.  The Senor enjoyed a sirloin burger, while I had quesadillas of cheese shrimp and mushrooms.  We retired to our patio and had drinks before calling the lovely romantic (that translates to no TV) evening quits.  It appeared that the iguana retired else where for which I was thankful. In the morning I convinced the kitchen staff to give me a little yogurt to mix with my protein stuff and we were  ready for the short walk to Hacienda Eden to sign in for Sharkfest.

This is my second “Sharkfest “swim at Troncones . It is a 1.1 mile fun swim, not a race but still a competitive event.  It is not for novices, but for folks who swim a mile in a pool in 50 minutes or less.  I just barely make it as I average a 46 minute mile. At 70 and 11/12ths, I’m the oldest swimmer, the youngest was 21. My goal is simple, to complete and not come in last. I was successful coming in about in the middle, unofficially number 10 of 17 swimmers.

Me finishing the Sharkfest swim
Me finishing the Sharkfest swim

We start in Majahua  and swim out around the point ending at Hacienda Eden. Many paddle boarders help mark the course and keep people like me from swimming out to sea.

Paddle boarder with his dog
Paddle boarder with his dog

One paddle boarder’s dog rides with him.  As this was my second swim it was easier in respect I knew what to expect, but I think there were more swells this year keeping it interesting.  It’s a fun event!

As we walked back to the Inn at Manzanillo we noticed the sign posted on one of the residences requesting the fruit vendor to stop.  It’s like

Sign requesting fruit delivery
Sign requesting fruit delivery

businesses at home putting out the UPS sign when they need a pick up.  Near the entrance to the Inn was this huge boulder encased by the tree’s roots.  The tree was tall and the roots thick and most likely quite old.  So how did this happen?  Did the tree grow on top of the boulder and an earthquake push the boulder up, or did the tree grow in dirt and the boulder got push up into the roots, or did rain and erosion finally wear the dirt away or was it unearthed in bulldozer construction.

Tree growing around a boulder
Tree growing around a boulder

Some  things you just have to ponder . I’m the pale one in pink with fins in the group picture.

Sharkfest Class of 2015
Sharkfest Class of 2015