Uhl in Zihuatanejo, Mexico – When I woke up, I grabbed the camera and went up to the top deck to take pictures of the sunrise. While up there I met a couple from San Diego and chatted with them for a while. Then while looking out I could see something in the water...dolphins! I ran over to the side and tried to get as many pictures as I could. I managed to get a few shots with the dolphins in mid-air. I saw a mother and a baby breach side-by-side! That was cool. After they were out of sight, I went down to Deck 3, hoping to see more dolphins, but at a closer vantage point. Taking pictures from Deck 10 with a pocket camera, doesn't really cut it! But I never did see any more dolphins.
After that, I went to the gym. I had just been doing easy workouts on the various cardio machines, then some core work and light lifting. I hadn't tried the stationary cycle until yesterday. It's the typical health club, electronic ergometer, with inaccurate wattage and all. But at least it had toe straps which I was able to adjust to get a snug fit. So today I tried to do 2x15's. I set the resistance to a decent wattage but it definitely didn't coincide with my PowerTap. I set it so that it felt like around 250 and did two, 15-minute LT intervals. I did monitor HR and it seemed a bit low for the perceived exertion, but that's to be expected on a ergometer like this. The saddle was huge and I couldn't get its height adjusted to my liking. I still got a decent workout in and then I ate breakfast.
After the workout we got ready to go to port. At Zihuatanejo, we had to be "tendered"; since the port is so shallow, we anchored out in the bay and the lifeboats would take us ashore. We packed up our beach stuff and headed down to the lifeboats. It was a short jaunt from the ship to shore then we talked with the people at the information booth. After much discussion, we decided to go to Ixtapa Island, which seemed like it would have the best snorkeling and most protected beach from the waves (for our niece). It was a two part trip: First, you take a taxi over the hill and past Ixtapa city to get to a dock. Then, from there you pay $3.50 to take a small boat that ferries you to the island. The taxi drive only took 20 minutes and we got to see a bit of the countryside.
The ferry was quick and it dropped us off on a small dock next to a cozy beach. We walked along the beach and were solicited to stay at sections of beach in front of the various bars/cafes. We didn't want to sit in those areas as we felt we'd need to buy something, which we weren't planning on doing. So we walked all the way down to the end of the beach where we met Nacho. He was a long-haired, dark-skinned Mexican who was really nice. He only spoke broken English but he was very friendly and let us use his chairs and umbrellas he had set out, without pushing us to buy anything.
We went in the ocean and I put on my swim goggles an swam alongside the shore. The water was perfect temperature; not too warm, not too cold. We hung out some more, then Heather and I decided to go snorkeling. We snorkeled on the other side of the ridge, at another beach. This is where most of the snorkelers were. Heather and I held hands as we snorkeled out from one end of the small bay to the other. It was weird how one second you're in warm water, then you'd go through a section of cold water. There were a lot of fish around the reefs at the sides of the bay. Lots of bright florescent-colored fish. The fish ranged from only a couple inches long to about a foot. We didn't see anything that large. The visibility was OK but it was somewhat rough on this side of the island so we didn't venture too far out.
We came back to our spot at Nacho's and I did some more snorkeling. After relaxing a bit more we headed back. So back on the boat ferry, then another taxi back to Zihuatanejo. Once we got there, we walked around all the little shops. It's a pretty little harbor town; much cleaner than Acapulco. Jen bought some more jewelery, Heather's mother bought some vanilla and I bought a coconut ice cream cone. They say you shouldn't pay full price for anything, so I even negotiated with the ice cream lady and got one scoop on a cone for $1, less than what they were asking for a one-scoop cup.
We took the life boats back to the ship and then showered and got ready for dinner. While getting ready, we could see them lift the lifeboats back up onto the ship. It's quite the process. We noticed that the lifeboats are rated to hold 150 people each! They weren't that big, but I guess in an emergency as long as it doesn't sink, that's all that matters. When were tendered, they only put about 40-50 people on each boat.