We left on 3 pm Friday the Thirteenth with the first 18 hours or so being really, really, really bumpy. Sleep for the first night was practically nonexistent. Imagine trying to sleep on a trampoline while someone else was busy jumping on it. Yeah, it’s not all fun and romance.
After that, the seas calmed down and we had quite a nice ride for the rest of the two-day and two-night trip, arriving in Marina Mazatlan early Sunday morning. Originally our plan was to stay here for 3-4 nights, then move on down south.
But this is cruising, and plans change with the wind, or with new (however temporary) friends. We met a few people around the marina and they convinced us to spend a few days and explore the area a little bit. This marina is only $38/night for our boat, so we are here until at least Monday.
The marina complex includes several large condo buildings, restaurants and a couple of small tiendas (shops). My first exploration involved doing laundry. I was (slightly) disappointed to learn that Monday was a national holiday and the office was closed, meaning that I could not purchase the tokens required for the marina laundry. That disappointment turned to sheer glee when I discovered an open laundromat right here on the property.
Sheer glee turned to absolute giddiness
when I realized that this is not a do-it-yourself laundry, this is a weigh your dirty stuff, leave it, come back tomorrow and pick it up all washed, dried and folded. I’m in!
On another walk between Nakamal and someplace, I started up a conversation with a couple who invited us to their dock’s daily 4 pm “Safety Meeting”. Meaning everybody who shows up is responsible to their beverages safe from spilling. At that meeting we learned that on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings both the Vegetable Man and the Shrimp Man stop here.
So the next morning I from the Vegetable Man’s pick-up truck I bought six tomatoes, a head of broccoli, a couple jalapeno peppers, and celery. He also had grapes, apples, pears, beets, potatoes…lots of choices. I exclaimed that his oranges were “naranja, no verde” (orange, not green) and he schooled me on oranges – “green ees for juz (juice), orange for de pillin’ (peeling)”.
Extra-large, fresh, wild-caught Mexican white shrimp are priced in the double digit per pound range in the U.S. (like $12.99, or more). I bought a little over two pounds (a kilo) for $15. Of course, you have to get over the fact that you are buying shrimp out of a cooler in the back of some guy’s mini-van.
Every morning at 8 am there is a “Cruisers’ Net”. Imagine a telephone party line, or scheduled conference call, with all interested boaters coming on at the same time, and a single leader. Every day the agenda is the same agenda – call for anybody who needs medical or mechanical assistance, roll call, new arrivals, planned departures, weather report, tide report, exchange rate, general announcements, for sale or trade, open discussion. A couple days this week were very windy and the seas very choppy, so it was announced that the port captain had put up the “red flag”, meaning no boats could leave the port. As another blogger that I follow says, “I guess they don’t want have to come out and rescue us”. I doubt the seas were bad enough to endanger a boat like Nakamal, who is designed to handle the seas, but why plan on going out for an uncomfortable ride?
And to continue the Mexican WalMart tour, John and I made an exploratory trip to the WalMart at Mazatlan Marina, conveniently located only about a mile and half away. Fresh Christmas trees had just been delivered. Ahhh, the smell of pine greeted us as we approached the building. This was well-stocked with some of the things that I could not find in San Jose del Cabo – like the pick-a-size paper towels. It’s the little things that excite me.
The next day we made a trip into town. This involved all kinds of new experiences.