We showed up in the large bay that makes up Acapulco just before dark after a good sail down from Punta Papanoa. Henry on the catamaran Rapscullion had been here before and headed to an empty spot near the pangas around the Port Captains office that was smooth and in 20 feet of water. The other anchorage is deep and crowded with moorings. Next morning we hooked up with Henry and Tony and Shannon from Sweetie to do some touristing. Since they charge 100 pesos to tie up a dinghy here and we weren’t comfortable just leaving ours on the beach, we all jumped into Henry’s ride and split the tie-up fee.
We did a busy day of hitting the tourist spots. First, the main square and local church. Then off to the Fuerte San Diego. The old fort that defended Acapulco’s trade (in what was then New Spain) from some famous pirates, English (think Francis Drake) and others, who all wanted some of Spain’s riches.
We walked along the malecon looking for our way back to the dinghy dock. We turned down a dark road that headed us to a dead-end because the tide was too high to cross the beach. On our way back we heard the first shots. As we walked up the street some locals came out and told us we couldn’t turn right (the direction we’d come from) at the end of the street because of a shooting – but left was OK. Off we went- to the left and finally found the entrance to the marina. After a short negotiation the guard let us in. By this time a police helicopter was flying overhead. We walked down the dark path toward the dock and stopped near the pool deck. This is when the volleys started. We heard at least 100 rounds of gun fire go off. We were smart enough to hang tight next to the thick stucco wall and could see the action fro across the small bay we’d just walked around. The police helicopter decided it would be smart to turn off his lights as he flew round and round us overhead. We could see guys inside a hotel-like building moving around with flash lights and heard a few more rounds.
The excitement went on for another half an hour or so, then we decided to brave taking the dink back out to our boats. Henry was driving and convinced that this was just part of Chris’ special birthday celebration. As they say, all’s well…
PS: From the morning newspaper report, this was a planned operation to capture 3 ‘assassins’, who are now in a Mexico City jail.