Monday, February 20, 2006

San Blas was good. Zeewat was great. Puerto Escondido is the best.

Apparently some movie that was released in Italy 2 decades ago used Puerto Escondido as their setting and so many Italians fell in love with it and actually moved here that this place feels Mediterranean. Playa Zicatela is the beach that has the massive breakers. Here's my confession: Thrice I paddled out and twice I chickened out. Yesterday though, I did drop in on an 8 footer that was barreling along as if it was a run away train heeling off the tracks. I got into it, and I got out of it, and no one got hurt, and no one will ever talk about my performance but - I've now got bragging rights.

Then I went to the point and let all the little Mexican kids snake my waves. As if I had a choice. These kids are so good and smiley and sneaky. The only way I ever get to drop in, is if it's their wave. They don't care. They just whip circles around me. One kid was casting his net from his boogie board and catching 3 - 5 fish with every cast. Right there next to us surfers. So cool. He showed me how he snaps their little necks. Darling child. Then, with one fish between each finger he paddles ashore. He looked like some alien with fish knuckles.

I went to one of the many secluded beaches yesterday and snorkeled and stared at the topless bevy of Norwegian 20 some-things. Then I drank some beer and stared some more. I'm damn near 40. It's time to start staring right? Nah - probably not.

Lots of internationals here, and not just Italians. The Scans play guitar on the beach, The French talk endlessly about the surf, the Aussies drink, and the Brits burn in the sun. It's easy to spot the Aussies cuz they look more SoCal then the Southern Californians.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tinker Bell Magic Dust

Back in the 80's my dad had a Nikon 35 mm with an external flash and when the battery would wind up for the eye burner it made this ever increasing high pitched squeal. That's exactly what this pod of 38 dolphins that has been following us all day sounds like. You can hear them through the hull whistling and chirping and screaming.

How do I describe the things I've seen? I mentioned before the bioluminescense (sp) and how it swirled greenish blue in the head. The red tide is in full bloom in these waters and the dolphins look like torpedoes coated in Tinker Bell magic dust as they run strafing patterns across our bow. I sat on the pulpit and watched them while my jaw dragged in the swell. Then I climbed the mast to the first spreader to watch the show from elevation. These mammals are athletes on the level of Cirque Du Soleil. However, I didn't have to pay $125 a seat for their acrobatics. I got it for free and my vodka and Squirt cocktails didn't cost $12 either (we can make 24 ice cubes a day. That's 8 apiece! Per day!). The guys and I mumbled superlatives for hours. I've never seen anything like it. Every once in awhile when the joy was too much to contain I would yell,"Yes! Mammals!" Then I was embarrassed. I don't know. What was I suppose to say?

The moon hasn't arisen, so the galaxy is lit up like "Lite Brite". If you've ever thought camping in the desert was the way to view the heavens I may have a suggestion for you.

We've finally found that ever elusive wind, or it's found us (Let's not ever fool ourselves into thinking that we are in charge), and we have been sailing wing in wing for the last 6 hours which is just about impossible. Ask anyone who knows. The wind just isn't that dependable. We are actually going to have to find a way to slow us down so that we don't arrive at Puerto Escondido before the sun rises.

Maybe some midnight surf/skiing?

Kinda bored, can you tell?

We've been becalmed for hours. We had some of the biggest dolphins swimming around the boat today. Why don't they pull us. Stupid dolphins. I put on my climbing harness and Colin lowered me over the bow so I could "get right in there". Man they can squeal loud. They can also slap their flukes and dirty the water more than you thought possible. I guess I wasn't invited in the fun. Then we put the biggest surfboard in the water and pulled it behind the boat. At 2500 rpm you could actually stand up on it and "ski".

Flat seas and no wind.

Kinda bored, can you tell?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hey Gang!

En route to Puerto Escondido from Acapulco as I write this. I never thought I'd spend Valentines day with two other shirtless dudes on a small boat. Everything about that sounds unattractive. We have another 100 miles to go and then we arrive at a break they call Mexico's Pipeline. It's been small everywhere else I've been but for this place that might be a good thing.

The full moon is just off the port bow. The dolphins are swimming alongside. When I flush the toilet the bioluminesence (sp) makes the bowl glow green (Thinking of you Kelly Flaherty;-) A container ship with a Greek accent gave us the weather report, it looks like clear sailing.

Good night all.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Peeling Panels

We attended a party tonight on another yacht. Big beautiful one too. Just Ryan and I, because Colin usually has his own agenda when it comes to social engagements and large parties. He is a virtual non participant in arenas such as that. Fine with me. He's good at everything else.

We've anchored with Jerry and his crew of 2 a few times now: Careyes, Barra de Navidad, Santiago and now Zeewat. He's 67 (feels more like mid 50's), a retired physician from SF and as likeable a man as you could ever wish for. I just want to help him, and smile at him, and ask him where he's going next. His crew is his nice cousin Libby, late 50's, couldn't tell a story to save her life, Manhattanite who loves movies. And Audry, 60ish widow with that shrill English accent (not the good kind) that makes you want to grind your teeth and crush puppies. If a chicken could speak it would sound like Audry. The two women only speak when the other is speaking, so . . . my head moves like I'm at a tennis match. Really uncomfortable, but man do I like Jerry. "He's just so damn likeable", that's our phrase.

I had a moment tonight as we motored back to Barraveigh on the dinghy: Sailfest just ended, there are 100 boats anchored all around us, the city lights ring the whole bay and this town has a 3 story law just like Mission Beach. No massive hotels that ruin the skyline and dilute the town with a weekly influx of tourists. The heat and humidity is so high here that travelers are the only traffic you get. This place has charisma. Lots of it. I highly recommend it.

The lifestyle is one of wet butts and night rides on fast dinghies, low to the water. We wave at our small community members all day long, and it's more likely that people will know your boat rather than your name. Most greetings begin with, "Oh I know you! You're on Barraveigh”.

1.) I've always smiled a bit too much but now the good and the bad of it is that it's bleaching my teeth and putting maps on my face.
2.) I'll be 10 years older when this trip is over in 5 years.
3.) I'm tanner than you.
4.) The upholstery panels are peeling off my cabin walls due to the humidity.
5.) There is inch long green shag carpeting on the waterline of the hull. Hot water equals lots of scrubbing.
6.) Jimmy Cliff was right, "You can get it if you really want."

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Humidity Bonnet

We spent the last 2 days surfing Nexpa. That place is it. Small waves this time of year but nicely formed and kind folks in the water with real infrastructure on the beach.

We are headed to Zihuatanejo (Zeewat) and will be there in about 15 hours.

New rules to live by:
1.) Don't let Ryan cut your hair in 15 knots of wind in a rolly anchorage (just kidding, he did fine)
2.) Always bring shoes. My feet are officially ravaged. All my fault.
3.) Canadians aren't so bad after all.

3 days ago Colin flew into PV and took the bus down to Penchilinguillo (we call it pinchegringo) The bus hit a truck and he was delayed by half a day. Some nice Canadians drove me all over the place looking for him (I didn't know his bus hit a truck and was delayed 12 hours). They asked if he had any way to communicate with us and I bitterly stated, "I guess a signal mirror" as a caustic joke. Hours later as we were miles away and pulling out of the bay some flashes caught Ryan's eye. Sure enough, someone was signaling us from the shore with a mirror. Later, on the beach, after we re anchored and I paddled in to give Colin a hug and collect him, the Canadian said, "good thing you made that joke about the signal mirror." They had taken his wife's gigantic vanity mirror from the bathroom and gone nuts with it.

We now have no reason to drink Nescafe ever again. Colin brought loads of Trader Joes Coffee. We also have some stuff we needed for the boat and a shark video! That should make swimming more exciting.

We have a new game also. It's called "Name the Injury". We show a wound and then the others have to remember what happened and where. It works well since we are almost always together and hence most likely witnessed the injury and since we are in the water 4 or 5 times a day nothing really heals.

Random Clearing House (France, Albania, USA, Colombia)

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