Monday, July 13, 2009

favorite shots around town

and now for a few of my favorite shots around town

Sunday, July 12, 2009

home bound july 13

we're heading home today for 2 months and we'll miss the lifestyle we've grown accustomed to here in mazatlan - but we sure won't miss the heat and humidity.

we're being sent off with a gentle reminder of how quickly things can change. i was awakened about 4am with lightning and by 6 it turned into a squall with pelting rain, thunder and lightning (very close by) and winds clocked up to 35 knots. i'm assuming we'll still make our flight later this afternoon. it is exciting to watch nature roar up like this with the boat rocking and rolling at the dock and my hair whipping my face. pure pleasure.

now, a few random shots to remind us of how special this place is.

one of the hotels i walked through had a koi pond with lily flowers

and koi more than a foot long

walking down some of the streets can be a real surprise when you peek inside the open windows like this place.

jim's big adventure

jim's big adventure was taking the ferry from mazatlan to la paz. just in case you can't identify him from the masses, he's the tall good-looking guy circled in red. he says clearly he's not writing this....

he went to la paz to help dave and mary ann bring their boat star dancer over to mazatlan. since mary ann is recovering from a broken foot/ankle, and since their boat is a sister boat to ours, it seemed like a good idea at the time. plus it gave him an opportunity to see what ferry travel in mexico is like. we also needed to buy a dehumidifier.

so he got a tour of the bridge, he met the captain and several of the crew. i'm assuming he got to practice his spanish as well. he says "un poco".
the sail over to mazatlan was hot but completely uneventful except for the lightning storm at night which was nerve-wracking.

mazatlan moments

Here’s a recap of our time in Mazatl├ín since we’ve been here 2 months to the day. The first month we took intensive Spanish classes Monday-Friday 5 hours in class and at least 5 hours studying. A typical day would be to catch the 7:55am bus to downtown, walk to class, lunch break 11:30-noon, leave class at 1:30, stop for a cold drink and practice habla espanol. Back at the boat we’d study until 9pm or later. Not very exciting but we did learn a lot, including bus routes. The second month we did a lot of reading, socializing, finding good restaurants, a few boat chores, and trying to stay cool. It’s been about 97° in the shade with 100% humidity and the ocean about 85°.
Highlights include:
Our first lightning storm a week after we arrived – unfortunately I was sleeping on deck at the time because it was too hot below. We’ve had several more storms since then.
Bought a fan, an air conditioner, and a dehumidifier. Life is now tolerable below deck.
We had our first tropical depression which included torrential rains, thunder, lightning, and near hurricane winds clocked at 60+mph. Our jib sheet started to unwrap but Jim got help from our neighbors to tie it down temporarily. A couple days later we took down all the sails.
Spectacular sunsets each evening off our bow – our daily ritual.
Animal life abounds around the marina and in town. Quite often we surprise a blue heron wandering down the dock, large and small iguanas gawk at us walking around the marina, and numerous fish swim around the boats and often we see fish jumping out of the water. Each evening around sunset flocks of pelicans, frigates, and grackles (?) fly overhead.
Movies (with Spanish subtitles) on the lawn twice a week here in the marina, with the best popcorn (las palmitas).
The marina surge – often feeling like an earthquake on water. You have to be really creative tying the boat to the dock. We have 12 dock lines – 4 big cargo straps, 2 bow lines, 2 back-up bow lines, 1 stern line, 1 back-up stern line, 5 spring lines and 1 back-up brest line. God forbid should we have to pull out of here in a hurry.
The AC yoga stretch. Going on deck and going below requires the agility of a spider monkey as you swing your legs over the AC onto the companionway steps. I can’t even guess how many times a day this happens. It’s a good deterrent for the unwanted visitor.
Personal triumphs – I walked the entire length of the malecon (once was enough) barely escaping heatstroke. Jim says he survived four weeks of Spanish class.
Moments of pure pleasure:
Sitting on a park bench in the pazuela, in front of the Peralta Theatre, listening to the xylophone player.
Riding the bus and listening to the guitar player who just came aboard sing and play his guitar.
Watching a spontaneous performance of a musical group play, dance and juggle in the middle of a busy multi-lane intersection.
Fidel bringing us ice-cold lemonade while we folded the mainsail in the heat of the day. And for Jim, having Fidel hand him a cold beer under the bathroom stall door.
Dave’s dinghy tour of the waterways and marina
A live musical performance on Star Dancer with fellow cruisers playing guitars and flute and singing great blues and jazz.
photo id:
1 - sunset off the bow
2 & 3 - flooding after storm - from the bus
4 - flooded downtown street
5 - flooded intersection by plazuela
6 - fresh juice and fruit cart - we had daily OJ from "jugo man"
7 - typical food cart going to set up for business
8 - local bus driver in his domain (he asked me to take his picture)
9 - one of the local buses - you read the windshield to see where it's going
10 - vendor selling bread
11 - our dock line strategy - there really are 12 lines
12 - one of the pools at marina el cid with caves and high dive
13 - a local iguana poolside
14 & 15 - our neighborhood blue heron