Friday, February 26, 2010

el salvador at last

how many cruisers can you get in one taxi? one more.

leaving the big box store

pathway from the marina to the hotel

the highway outside the hotel - moments earlier a herd of cattle were passing by

during our trip down here i saw many patches of this along the way. it looked like bees swarming on the water and when we sailed through a patch it/they just melted away so i have not idea what it was

we said goodbye to mexico after a year of exploring the land and the sea. we crossed the dangerous part of golfo de tehuantepec with blue skies and enough wind to let us fly at 9 knots. when the wind died, and we were out of the danger zone, we went off shore and couldn't see Guatemala as we entered central america. after 4 days, mostly sailing, we arrived at bahia de jiquilisco, the entrance to bahia del sol, to wait for our escort across the bar (shallow sand bar and high waves). jim meandered us back and forth in the open bay (just like he does when he's racing) waiting for the escort - a guy on a jetski - who said follow me. and we did. with everything we've heard about high waves pushing you up to surf the huge wave into the small estuary, we were really tense about it, but it was no big deal and we said, is that it? we're here?

so we arrived feb. 22 in the morning filthy and exhausted. after getting the boat secured to the dock i took 400mg of ibuprofen for my foot and we both crashed until early afternoon. since then we've enjoyed a lot of socializing with two power boats, Traveller and Solveig. Ed cooked us dinner the other night and i had a fabulous smoked salmon in alfredo sauce over pasta while everyone else had beef bourguignon.

yesterday most of us ventured into san salvador for some shopping. it took over an hour by bus, then we took a cab to el centro, eventually arriving at pricemart which is central america's costco. 5 cruisers with big shopping carts in a big box store - well let's just say it was a miracle all 5 of us fit in that cab who drove us back to the marina because we missed the last bus.

today we're taking a whirlwind 3-day tour of el salvador, a bit of honduras and antigua, guatemala. stay tuned for lots of pictures.

Friday, February 19, 2010

wandering around huatulco

Everything went smoothly completing all the paperwork to check out of Mexico. We had very little wait with the port captain, then quickly went through migracion, back to the port captain, and finally left with migracion and customs who drove us back to the boat for our inspection. We’re ready to go after one last trip to la fruiteria and we get the bottom cleaned this morning then we’re off with about 7-8 other boats also heading to El Salvador.

We’ve enjoyed our time here and found some really good restaurants (you know we travel on our stomachs). Photos will follow in a later blog about all that. Here’s an overview of our most recent wanderings around town.

during a walk through the parque de ecologica i saw a number of trees with ant trails

and trees with serious thorns

and trees with odd growths

and trees with termite nests

and then there were the cactus - some in bloom

and more heart trees

and then walking around town i saw this huge full-body mask that's worn during carnival (i think) which they're gearing up for

carnival rides getting set up for the weekend carnival

the military setting up an exhibit across from the cathedral

one of the military guys and a camouflaged commrade

the information booth with photos, something like recruitment enticement

i've only seen young men operating the huge looms - and many of you know i take a lot of pictures of feet which will be part of a future blog
migracion and customs workers giving us a ride back to the boat - such a cute couple (but don't tell anyone it's a secret)

one of the many leaves found in the zocolo

one of the lucky mexican dogs with a home (in the chinese restaurant)

puppy report in huatulco

i'm so excited to report the mama dog and puppies are going to be taken care of.  in a prior post i mentioned jim and i finding a mama dog and 2 puppies in an undeveloped area near the marina.  well it turns out there are 4 puppies.  while they look fat in the photos, it's really distended bellies from malnutrition and parasites, along with skin infections common among street dogs.  all of this can be cured with care and attention.  jerry on m/v mystic michael was kind enough to give me the name of a local vet and he agreed to meet us (chris and craig from the big mega yacht in the marina) and look at the dogs.  he showed up on his motorcycle, along with his assistant, but he was well prepared.  he vaccinated the pups and mom and said he's sure he can find temporary homes for all 4 puppies until they're adopted and mama dog too.  she's also getting fixed and he's going to look at her leg.  she's about 2 years old and about to go into another heat so we caught her just in time. the pups are 5 weeks old and absolutely adorable.  we were thrilled he was willing to help.

when i asked about any local animal rescue groups he said huatulco doesn't have one yet but they in the process of forming one.  while we were visiting, a man came by on his motorcycle to drop off food which he's been doing all along.  then a while later a couple drove up in a car to drop off food (they said they come by several times a day and were surprised to hear there were 4 pups).  it was an amazing experience to know how many people came together to help this poor mama dog.

i'm so grateful for chris and craig's help with calling the vet and making this happen.  it just goes to show it's a good idea to follow your heart - and don't let anyone tell you "why bother because there are so many animals that need help".  we saved 5 today and that feels pretty good to me.

feeding time a couple days ago when there were only 2 puppies

mama is getting her injection for fleas and ticks - she was a very good patient

craig holding one of the puppies we hadn't seen before

the alpha puppy getting her vaccination

one of the 2 smaller puppies with beautiful facial markings

one of the bigger puppies who overcame her shyness eventually

alpha puppy who tried to hog all of mama's milk and the food

after food and water it was time to play under the bridge where they live until next monday when they go into temporary homes for adoption

Sunday, February 14, 2010

heart trees and podcasts in huatulco

a heart tree for valentine's day

mama and her pups

a yellow-winged cacique nest

the days pass in slow relaxation.  we continue the hunt for good restaurants and yesterday morning our neighbors loaned us their bikes.  we got to explore an on-hold housing development with flat streets and sidewalks, full of overgrown empty lots and a myriad of birds and bird chatter.  jim discovered a mama dog and her 2 pups living under a bridge, and no i didn't take one of the pups.  cruisers from another boat here in the marina are taking her food and water with the hope of getting her and the pups into a vet.   it was loads of fun seeing huatulco up close rather than from th backseat of a cab.

we continue to monitor the weather.  it looks like we'll be able to leave this coming thursday.  if not, well i've been downloading plenty of podcasts and there's the america's cup to watch, along with the olympics if i can figure out how to get a live stream.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

carbs a comin'

oh oh, carbs here we come

i got one of the bird nests!!!!!

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the church off the zocolo


what a day of gifts for me. jim mentioned to enrique, the guy who cleaned our boat, that i wanted one of the long bird nests and how could i get one. he came back last evening with the most beautiful and intricate nest i could imagine. i was thrilled. it's now safely packed away. i've been told they build them, use them once, then they're abandoned. it will travel with us until we bring the boat home.

today i'm baking bread, my first attempt in many many years. jack from mandan came by with his sour dough started and showed me how to manage it on a boat - a mixed blessing, i know, considering my addiction to carbs. what a great experience and it smells fabulous as it's baking.

weaving weather forecasts in huatulco

shuttles hanging from one of the looms

good luck piece on one of the looms

yes it's a real cactus but not sure why they're hanging at each end of this loom

upstairs at the weavers

undyed yarn

i spent yesterday exploring around the zocolo (town square/park). someone showed me the best fruiteria (pictures on another day). i also found a local weaver and other local artisians. there're a lot of items from oaxaca and guatemala here and it's hard to find the local artists. the folks at the weaving shop were friendly and allowed me to take pictures. the next weaver posted signs and said i had to ask permission and give a tip! i noticed the men do the weaving pulling a cord to send the shuttle back and forth. the women do the sewing.

on the walk back i was daydreaming about the long bird nests, wondering how i'd get one, and i wasn't watching where i was walking.  oops.  i took a nasty fall and spent the rest of last evening icing my foot while flat on my back. today it's much better and i can hobble around.

weather continues to concern us. it appears the high in texas is gaining strength which, in a few days, will send strong winds across the yucatan peninsula (gaining strength) and out into the bay - the bay we have to cross heading south. so it looks like we'll be here through the weekend.