Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

CSI – Zihuatanejo: Hotspur's On the Case

Eliott Ness, Hercule Poirot, Jessica Fletcher, and Hotspur have one thing in common… they are crime solvers.

Zihua Sail Fest is the height of Zijuatanejo and one of the best events of the year – bringing in numerous volunteers and participants to help raise money for the education of some very disadvantaged children. Many of our friends participated in the parade and the Regatta this year that goes to help more than 400 kids. Here is a funny recap from one of our friends who participated in the Regatta: s/v Just A Minute

Who could have expected that some of those same generous participants of Sailfest would be the victims of a crime?  Who would have thought that the Hotspurvians would snap a photograph that would help prove one man’s innocence?

Hotspur arrived in Z-Town, as many call it, one day after the 2012 Sailfest Regatta. Awards ceremonies were scheduled and it was well known that many cruisers would not be aboard their vessels after the hour of 4pm. Hotspur was invited to attend, but our crew was tired and we opted to stay aboard and sit in the lovely breeze our cockpit offered us.

The view was spectacular. After sailing in gray rainy conditions to get to Z-town, the sunlight bouncing off the hillside homes was a welcome vision. Sailboats sat primly on their anchors, Hobie Cats weaved their colorful sails in and out of the fleet, and local families frolicked on the inviting beaches. It was a beautiful site.

I ran to get the camera to try and capture the moment. The photos were disappointing – that beautiful reflection just isn’t as magical on a computer screen as it is in real time. I put the images away in a folder on my desktop and told myself I’d cull through the photos and toss away the less than exciting pictures later… or so I thought.

The morning following the awards ceremony, s/v Stay Cat and s/v Beyond informed the fleet that they had been robbed. Someone had boarded the vessels (Beyond's hatch had been smashed to gain entrance) and stolen items, including a laptop. Luckily, the thief was interrupted before he absconded with a stack of other expensive equipment, which sat in a pile beside the companionway. More worrisome, a galley knife had been taken and was discovered in another part of the boat. It is probable that the perpetrator used that to arm himself against anyone that may have caught him in the midst of his caper.

Cruisers intend to be helpful to one another, but sometimes hunches and bad vibes just aren’t enough to charge a person with such a egregious crime as armed robbery. There were those who immediately radioed that they suspected a heavy set Mexican man who comes by boats in his white canoe to clean the hulls. It has been reported that he scams cruisers by cleaning hulls without being asked to do so, charging $60US and doing a crummy job to boot. But being a lousy bottom cleaner is far different than being a thief. Hotspur was there to save the day - well, at least to save the conviction of an innocent man.

Hotspur’s photo captured proof that a small blue boat, probably a kayak, was behind Stray Cat’s starboard hull. Though it isn’t a clear enough photograph to prove who did it, it is obviously clear enough to prove who didn’t do it. Luckily for the man in the white canoe, he was exonerated by my photo.

Do you see a crime taking place in this photo?

All kidding aside, boarding a boat is a serious offense. It is protocol even for good friends to ask one another permission before they come aboard. You just don't do it unless it's an emergency or a priority. And leaving your dinghy in the water at night and having it stolen is like baiting a baby with a piece of candy. It is far different than having someone come aboard your boat and rob you. For the poor couple on Stray Cat, this is their second robbery - the first being in San Blas.

A blown up version of the above photo. What do you see behind this catamaran?
Side note: thanks to Patrick on Just A Minute for the title of this blog post. He came up with it right before he and my husband jumped in their dinghy and cowboy-ed out to confront a kayaker who was getting just a little too close to the boat the other night. Some poor woman trying to get a better internet signal was scared half to death. Oh, and now if anyone who owns a blue kayak is spotted - well ... click-click!

No comments:

Post a Comment