Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of you a fabulous Christmas!!

It's been a different Christmas this year, but good all the same. With John gone, my Christmas Eve started with a sleepless night, as the wind howled through the marina, I was up several times to check our lines throughout the night. Come morning, I moved the boat to a slightly more protected slip, then it was off to the markets with Mary from Sorceress! We wandered through downtown looking for fresh produce and assorted odds and ends. Of course it was a zoo, with lots of last minute shoppers out and about, and the street vendors in full force. But it was great to explore with Mary, as she has been coming to La Paz for 10 years, and knew all the best places to shop, and most of the shop keepers. We found our needed supplies, and headed back to the marina, after a fabulous lunch of chile rellanos. Mmmm....

I spent the evening with new friends on Pisces, Jacob and Julia, and their friends Curt and Nancy from Raven. Jacob ferried Curt, Nancy and I out from the docks to their anchored boat - doing three wet trips through the chop in their 2 passenger dinghy. Julia made a spectacular rib roast, along with knoodles (german specialty - sp??), and we enjoyed the evening sharing stories about our travels so far, and the nuances of each of our boats. As it turns out - Curt and Nancy had looked at Renova when she was for sale a few years back. Small world. After dinner we wandered downtown (again, thanks to Jacob's ferry service), and found ourselves at Midnight Mass in a large catholic church, presided by the bishop! It was a fascinating experience. Some notable moments included:
  • The bishop and his 'team' were ushered in to the tune of Jingle Bells.
  • The music throughout the service was provided by a BAND...complete with vocalists, electric guitars, bass, violin, snare drum and cow bell.
  • Listening to a service in another language is allows one to imagine what the content of the service is, but also to listen to the tone of the speakers, paying attention to the fine details that aren't as obvious when you are focused on the content.
  • The church was stunning - there was standing room only, and the congregation was obviously very devout.
  • The incense that was burned throughout the service was strong and tickled at the eyes and throats of us gringos. The locals seemed less affected, although there were sporadic coughing fits throughout the service.
  • All of the hymns/carols were familiar melodies, but in Spanish, making the differences in language seem less significant somehow.
Today, Christmas Day, I joined Eric and Mary for a fabulous dinner on board Sorceress, where we ate like champions!! They have been my Christmas Angels - taking care of me, and checking in to make sure I'm ok - even delivering gifts! Eric has great stories and information on spear fishing, and Mary has a talent for pouring delightfully yummy drinks. What a great team!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Driving Inland

Although the bus was cheaper, we decided to rent a car to get John to the airport at San Jose del Cabo, a couple of hours away from La Paz. It turned out to be a great trip, as we stopped for breakfast to check out La Ventana and scope out where we might stay on our next trip here. We also passed over the Tropic of Cancer, and stopped at the beautiful beaches of Los Barriles.

Here are a few of my observations from this trip...
  • roadside shrines - from the very simple to the elaborate and decadent - serve as a continual reminder that it is probably a good idea to drive the speed limit (or close to it);
  • the numerous empty beer cans strewn along the road side, have a very similar effect;
  • in Mexico, it is unnecessary to mark upcoming speed bumps - (thankfully it's a rental);
  • learning the rules of the road by following the cars in front has not always proven to provide me with the best interpretation of the legal driving regulations;
  • stop signs are indicative that there may be traffic coming from an alternate direction - the actual stopping part is left up to the discretion of the driver;
  • cows, sheep, goats and dogs all roam freely along, and on, roadways; and
  • the ecosystem changes wildly within a relatively small amount of time/kms - ranging from flat, arid regions, where cacti seem to be the only vegetation for miles, to lush valley bottoms with a diversity of shrubbery and vegetation.
Apparently, it blew hard all day while we were away from the boat. Our neighbors, Eric and Mary, have been a blessing...they watched the boat while we were gone, and welcomed me back at the end of a long day with a drink and good conversation.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Flood...

Sorry about the lack of blog posts. It's been a busy few days.

Last night, we received news that our home in Campbell River had flooded, as a result of a cracked toilet tank. Sheesh. Thankfully Darren and Ken were quickly on scene to mitigate the damage. Because we have a storage locker in the house with our 'stuff', we were worried that the boxes were all wet, and would need to be sorted and dried out. We quickly booked a plane ticket home for John, and agreed that I would stay behind in La Paz to watch the boat.

Today, we replaced more of the hoses on our head system, and generally got ready for John's departure. We've rented a car to drive John to the airport at Cabo tomorrow, so we also did a huge provisioning shopping trip, and an excursion to Home Depot (yep - even in Mexico) to grab insulation for our poor fridge.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happiness is....

I blew out my flip flop
Stepped on a pop-top
Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home
But there's booze in the blender
And soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on

---Jimmy Buffet---

Happiness is...(I know the suspense is killing you)... a new pair of flip flops. Three weeks is a VERY long time to be flip-flop-less. It is also a long time to live with someone who is flip-flop-less....just ask John.

And...because it is Christmas...this is my gift to here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

To La Paz....Eat Your Heart Out

This post is dedicated to our many fanatic know who you are:

This is our first Dorado...a prized game fish in these parts (also known as Mahi-Mahi). We caught him about an hour before we reached the La Paz Harbour, shortly after John fell asleep. It was an exciting fish to bring to the boat, and he didn't dissapoint. The colors in the photo above are very muted, compared to when he was fighting on the line, and he flashed various shades of green, blue, yellow and silver - it was beautiful. And...I heard unfamiliar words from John - "Are we going to keep it"? We did, of course. We quickly filleted it, and turned on the fridge to super cold. We made ceviche out of a portion of the fish, fried some up for lunch immediately, and attempted to freeze the remainder.

Making the ceviche...note to self: buy lime juicing gadget....

Otherwise, our passage to La Paz was uneventful. We left at 1:00 in the morning, and arrived 8 hours later, with calm seas and little wind for the entire trip. We tied up in a marina in anticipation of our first proper shower in three weeks. We were also excited about the prospect of laundry - which has been waiting even longer. After several weeks on the boat, in various sea conditions, and sitting at anchor, every surface was covered in salt. We were looking forward to giving the boat and ourselves a good hose down.

Shortly after we arrived, Narama also tied up in the marina. Heidi and Steve joined us that evening to share in the bounty of the fresh Dorado.