Looking for a Catamaran Cruising Blog?

If you found this blog via a link from a cruising site ~ we did cruise Mexico on our Ocean 49 cat for a season. See the first text box on the right for links to our preparations, trip down Baja, life in Mexico, cruising and trip back up to SoCal. Unfortunately we are back to the grind in the USA...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Two Speeds

Remember how easy it is to buy a fishing license in California?
You drive over to the bait store and buy one.
You fill it out and put it in the little plastic thingy you hang around your neck.
It takes longer to drive to the bait store than it does to purchase, fill it out and hang it around your neck.
Here in Mexico it is a whole different story.
They have two speeds when they are assisting you.
Slow and super slow.
Well, maybe three speeds, slow, super slow and extremely slow.
It's a three step process, so I think three speeds is more accurate.
First you go to the fishing license lady.
She is in the front room of an old moldy house on a side street in a full on neighborhood.
Nope, no commercial building for the fishing license lady...
She gets an old house.
You hand her your expiring license.
She looks at your expiring licenses for awhile then types a little on her computer.
Then she stares at the computer.
And you wait.
And wait.
And wait.
And wait some more.
You wait about an hour.
Then 4 pages print off.
She hands them to you and tells you to go to the bank and pay the fees.
And to check the receipt at the bank to make sure your name is spelled correctly.
If the dude at the bank mis-spells your name, you lose your money.
Next day, take the bus to the other town on the other side of the bay, because this town has no bank.
Yes, no bank.
So, take the bus, walk to bank, give the 4 printed pages the fish lady gave you to the dude at the bank who hopefully can spell well.
Check receipts.
Sign the receipts.
Pay the dude who actually does spell well.
Back on bus to first town on other side of bay.
By this time it is afternoon.
Back to the fish lady.
Hand her assistant the paperwork.
She looks at it.
Turns it over.
Looks at the blank backs of the 4 pages and receipts.
Looks at it some more.
Types a few things in her computer.
Then she stares at the computer.
And you sit and wait.
And wait.
And wait.
And wait some more.
You wait about an hour.
Then the assistant hands the same 4 pages and receipts to the fish lady.
Who looks at the 4 pages and receipts.
Then she types a few things in her computer.
Then she stares at her computer.
And then you wait.
And wait.
And wait.
And wait some more.
You wait about an hour.
Are you starting to see a pattern here?
So then the fish lady tells you her system is down and that maybe in 10 minutes she can print the licenses.
So you decide to walk to the Port Captain to do the check out paperwork.
He too, is in a house in the neighborhood, but not a moldy one lucky guy.
So you walk there, do the paperwork and walk back all in about 3 minutes and the fish lady is still staring at her computer.
So back to waiting.
Now it is dinner time, so a decision is made to return the next day.
Now it is a three day process.
Three steps.
Three days.
Three speeds.
And it's not even over yet...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Triangle Pics!

"Mexico Dave" David going up the jungle cruise.

The dinghy welcome sign in the lagoon at the top of the jungle cruise.

The panga dock and dinghy beach in the Tenacatita outer anchorage lagoon.

My view from a chair in the sand at the outer anchorage...

My coconut cup complete with fresh coconut juice and rum!I just HAD to buy this cup when I was in Florida...

The view from the Sunset Bar in Barra.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More From The Bermuda Barra Triangle

We celebrated Valentine's Day at the top of the triangle in Tenacatita, complete with champagne, orange juice, coconut cookies and a Valentine's Day cookie I found for Jim in Barra.

We watched rays jump for joy probably to knock parasites off...

We watched Chris and friends sail "Hiolani" through the anchorage.

More beautiful sunrises.Watched a sailing trawler sail into the bay, then motor into the anchorage.A first...

Another flash from the past!
Mark and Kathy on "Lisa Marie" came in for a night.
We hadn't seen them since 2000!
And for some lame reason, I never took any pictures of them up close...

Jim tried to feed a begging pelican some freezer burnt dorado.Picky, picky pelican spit most of it out...

Then another flash from the past!
David Kaye, or "Mexico Dave" as some of you know him, was in the area and visited for a couple of days.Complete with coconuts...
He was on his way slowly from Canada back to his boat in Hualtulco.
We enjoyed one night in the outer anchorage with him.

And one night in the inner anchorage drilling holes in coconuts along with a jungle crujise trip.
Sent him on his merry way and back to the regular scheduled programming once again.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Bermuda Barra Triangle

In the triangle.
Happily stuck.
We bounce back and forth between the lagoon in Barra and the anchorages in Melaque and Tenacatita.

We are still enjoying beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

We had a wonderful happy hour on "Brendon" with Steve and Denise.
They are friends of Patti from ex "Adagio" ~ amazing how your friends friends become your best friends for a day...
They may be heading across to the South Pacific, so we may never see them again.
Or maybe we will run into them in 10 years somewhere, like we keep seeming to do with people we met way back in the "Thistle" days...

We saw a cross in smoke ~ sort of like seeing Jesus!A sideways cross that was...

We had to play "dodge the divers and pangas" as we left the lagoon on our way to Tenacatita.Yes, these guys are all right in the middle of the channel!

Ok, and now back to our boring scheduled programming until we get better internet.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kayaking With Nacho

Yesterday I went kayaking with Nacho The Dolphin.
Well, I kayaked and he swam.
He does not have opposable thumbs ~ he can't hold the paddle.
This was the first time I saw him this year!
And he surfaced about 15' in front of me.
I floated.
He circled.
We had fun.
People on boats watched.
We hung out for about 15 minutes.
We might do it again today too...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

P.S. Cruising Gang From Years Past

There is a tienda at the outer anchorage in Tenacatita now!
With FOOD!

And about 17 different brands of hot sauce.
No more hitch hiking to Rebalcito or dinghying across the bay to La Manzanilla needed.

Nacho Average Dolphin

Yes, cruising gang from years past, Nacho the dolphin lives!
Jim saw him at the outer anchorage in Tenacatita!
For you that are not members of the cruising gang from years past, Nacho the dolphin is a big boy with a big notch out of his dorsal fin.
He use to torment Ray and Lucy's dog by swimming leisurely past "Pepina Rae" and staring up at the dog.
For. Hours.
Nine, ten and eleven years ago, we would see him with his little dolphin gang in Tenacatita, Melaque and Santiago Bay.

The new people call him Chip.
I corrected the new people.

So we are back in Tenacatita!Anchored in the inner bay.
If Google Earth was taking a picture right now, we would be one of the lower left boats at anchor.We are back to swimming, making water and doing laundry.
And then kayaking, swimming some more, visiting and watching boats come and and go out.

We had a little generator problem which Jim the amazing fix-it man fixed.
He also fixed the watermaker on "Grey Max".
He is quite popular with "Grey Max" and me now.
Not that he wasn't already popular...

We have been watching dolphins, including the fabulous Nacho, swim through the anchorage.
We have been watching loads of small rays jumping out of the water.
We have been watching fish jumping.
All from the cockpit or kayak!

One more Google shot of the jungle cruise ~ which we will probably do again.Because we can...
See the little river?

Ok, back to the cockpit to watch for Nacho, his pals and the rays!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Meander About Barra & Bus to Melaque

We walked more of the skinny little streets of Barra in search of the bicycle rental place to buy coffee beans.
And yes, we will go to the coffee bean store to rent bikes.
Don't ask.
It is what it is.
It is Mexico...
Also in search of a place to get Jim's haircut.
Well we didn't find either place, but we did find all of this:

Bahia de Navidad with Melaque in the distance.

The beach with a cheap tent for rent hippie house with the lagoon behind.

We found that Barra could use a good electrician.

We found a dog that wanted out.And where to buy lingerie.We found that man and a big white bird can fish together.And we were reminded of just how beautiful the grounds of The Grand Bay Hotel and Marina are...

This of course being the owner's private swimming lagoon...

Then a bus trip over to Melaque with Wally and Linda of "Andanzas".
They are pretty much marina-bound until Wally finishes healing from his back surgery, so anchoring in Melaque with the beach dinghy landings is out for them right now.
So how to see Merocky?
Bus and tienda tour by us.
We showed them the Hawaii Store full of American products and great produce, along with the "produce store in the street".
And where to buy pig and cow meat.

Or does the painting on the wall mean they sell pig that has been prepared by cow?
I'm so confused.

Then to our favorite palapa restaurant on the beach for lunch for the three of them.
I wasn't feeling well, so opted for mineral water and a float in the little surf in lieu of a taco salad.

Found another Mexican Dog for the Mexican Dog Calendar that Suzie and I are going to put together "someday".You would never see a dog that looks like this in the US...

Back on the bus to Barra.
Back on the panga back to the marina.
Back in the dinghy back to "Meerkat".
And all I wanted to do was sleep...

Felt better, so back in the dinghy to Chris and Lorry's house for a great dinner of dorado, smoked marlin pasta, salad and bread!
Y U M!
Oh, and endless fresh water showers in their guest bathroom too!!!

Let the meerkats hang out with Jungle Joe for a bit.
Ok, Jungle Joe is NOT a good influence on the meerkats...

Talked until 10 pm.
Either I was going to sleep on their couch or I had to get back in the dinghy again...
Back in the dinghy.
Beautiful slightly less than full moon lit up the lagoon ~ what a fun ride in the warm night with the boats at anchor, anchor lights reflecting in the water, Grand Bay lights sparkling on the hill.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Water Guns and Water Slides

Oh boy ~ more internet time here in the lagoon!

We figured the back corner of the lagoon must be the litter box multi-hull section, as there were three cats parked pretty much side-by-side the other day.

Us, "Carinthia" and "Wirewalker".
With some monohulls in the foreground.

Nice, calm anchorage huh?

Now it is back to just us anchored here, but we do have a tri parked in front of us.

Talked Wally and Linda of "Andanzas" into dinghying into town to listed to some music at The Sands on Sunday.

Amazing what low tide will show you.
Things like fish pens that you had no idea were even there and had probably dinghied over at some point...

Linda and I learned what loofahs look like in their natural state.And found a parking lot full of children's rides.
Linda, easily dared took one for a spin.

Her ride was abruptly ended when a guy inside the building shot her with a water gun.
I guess adults aren't allowed to have fun on these?
Or maybe he was an adult and shooting her with water was his idea of having fun?
Or maybe he shoots all the kids too?
Ohhhh, that would be fun!
I could get into that ~ a new thing to do.

Ok, what else?
Walked through the narrow streets and admired this huge tree.

The best part of the day?
Going for a dip in the awesome pool at The Grand Bay!

Jim and Wally cooling off.

The worst part of the day?
Going down the water slide with Linda the first time and not plugging our noses...
My insides of my nose got pushed up to the top of my brain cavity.
Quite painful actually.
So stupid us we decided to try it a second time and were smart enough to plug our noses ~ success!
Fun, we didn't drown and the insides of my nose were soon back to where it was designed to be.

We enjoyed a full moon coming up over the lagoon.
We enjoyed watching small gulls eat the stale chips we tossed over the side.

We bought fresh food at Maria's Tienda in the small lagoon town of Colimilla.
I love all the piers, pilings and buildings along the side of the lagoon!

And last night ~ a lovely sunset!