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This IS retirement
The mundane and politically incorrect
Gabriellas grandpa
03/04/2008, Nuevo Vallarta

This will be a strange post, I'm sure. The type gringo one meets depends on the geographical location in Mexico. Here in Puerto Vallarta there is a real mix that includes just about every type I can think of. There are the affluent group that has numerous sub-groups that I break down as Normal, Not so Normal, Better than the Rest, and Lottery winners. There are booze-heads and older hanger-ons that are stuck in Paradise. There are hippies and flower-children that float around not knowing they are in Paradise. Then there are the real crazies that are up to their eyeballs in conspiracies. I think I run across half these groups on a daily basis. Oh, your wondring what type or group I come under? Of course, the normal, sane well adjusted gringo who really enjoys visiting different cultures in the south....right? In Barra De Navidad there is a large contingent of hippies and people living on very low government payments. I think Zihuatanejo is overloaded with Canucks living ashore in moderately priced condos and apartments. Each area is made up of a little different group with their own sub-culture. As you can tell, I have a lot of time on my hands if I can sit around and think of this stuff. I was going to say something about the workings of the Mexican physical structure, but maybe that is going a little over the top.....who am I to comment on their streets, buildings, and everyday life. It's their life and culture and I'm just a visitor here. As I was motoring in Nuevo Vallarta the other day, I called Marina Nuevo Vallarta on the radio to enquire about a slip to rent. This was 8am and I got a response. I asked if there was a tie up on the pilings(the least expensive option) and the guys responding said 'no'. I asked if there were any slips available and the guy said "no". The guy responding sounded a little grumpy and I decided to head in the breakwater anyway and check it out for myself. I pulled in and tied off on an empty dock and preceded to the marina office. I had to wait for 15 minutes for it to open and was wondering who that was answering my radio inquiry. I went into the office when it opened and rented my mooring with no problem. I asked the marina manager who that was on the radio and he told me he did'nt know. I figured it was some gringo who had a tough night and did'nt want anybody to crowd him out in the marina. There has been other radio high jinks going on in Metropolis. This is when you know that your in an area that has too many gringos and a few of them can make this normally wonderful experience a little sad. And then there are the me, I know what a drunk is. People slip away from the normal confines of their hometown area and they let loose a little too much. They really seem to pour it on when there is no real scrutiny from relatives or friends. All this rambling is to cover just 1/10th of the time I spend down here.....the rest is all bliss.

03/05/2008 | Bryan
Hi Phil. Well that's an interesting observation. Sounds pretty normal really for this day and age. Kind of like the sort of stuff that makes sailing such a therapeutic adventure. Being on the water at full sail must be like heaven compared to being on land. haha. Enjoy. Bryan & Ronda.
03/05/2008 | Susan
A really good posting, Phil. From our boating experiences, I think you really nailed it. How about the women cruisers? How many do you think are going along on the man's dream, who would rather be back home? We ran into a lot of them down south.
03/02/2008, Nuevo Vallarta

I left Barra for an overnight stay at Tenacatita and then continued on to Puerto Vallarta. I guess I'm being a little more diligent in my weather picks for sailing north after the bashing I took leaving Acapulco. It was a wonderful sail northward to P.V. with constant winds in the 10 to 15 knot range from behind me. I sailed with the 110 jib up for a few hours and then with the main only still doing about 5 knots. I did'nt want to arrive to early(before sunrise) because I like to see where I'm anchoring. My friend on Jacaranda mentioned that there were tie ups on pilings in the Nuevo Vallarta marina for $7 a night....that's in my cruising budget. So I continued into Nuevo Vallarta and am in a secure environment not affected by wind and swells. The big downfall is that I'm not able to hook up to any affordable wifi. So I have to go to the Paradise Village MALL and use their expensive(55 pesos an hour) hook-up in the air conditioned store. This mall is real luxury compared to everything else in Mexico. There is the Mexorc racing going on and Paradise Village and the rest of the area is filled with high tech boats and a festive atmosphere. I'm going to download some pics of the area and the canal with expensive homes and their expensive boats. Parts of the canal area looks better than Marina Del Rey or Newport Beach. I think my next blog I will go into the day by day doings of a hapless cruiser in Mexico. I mean mundane things and mishaps that you would not normally hear about. Like falling down(tripping) at the bus stop with computer slamming into the ground. I have to collect my thoughts so I can present it in a way you can comprehend. Still havin fun and still MISSING MY PRINCESS.

03/02/2008 | Susan
I figured that you must be on the move. It must be fun seeing all the Mexorc boats. I, for one, enjoy hearing about the mundane parts of cruising as well as the exciting:)
You're right about the homes on the canal; they look as if they could be up the New River in Fort Lauderdale or Newport.
Land of the French Baker
Gabriellas grandpa
02/24/2008, Barra De Navidad

Back to the land of fresh Almond Croissants delivered right to the boat. I awoke this morning and thought I was in San was foggy and the temperature was 62 F. Before I left Santiago the air and water temperature had been plummeting to the low 60's. I had one reading in the ocean of 61 as I was motoring up the coast to Barra. I seriously did not not realize that it could get this cold down here in Mexico. I guess I'll have to suffer through this while you all up north enjoy balmy 50s, strong winds, and the wet stuff. I had a nice 5 hour motorboat ride to Barra in slightly confused seas and a motor that wants to not run. I have a squeeze bulb on my fuel line so I can bleed my fuel system with ease. Well, the bulb keeps collapsing and I thought it was my air vent being clogged....after a little gumshoeing I discovered that my fuel tank is dirty and clogging my pickup line. So this is a must fix item while here.....I have to take it out and clean it up some how. Other than that everything else is running fine. I should be here for about a week or ten days then move on up the coast. Most of the places I go to for the next month or so will be places revisited. Once I jump off to La Paz on the Baja peninsula it will start to have new and hopefully exciting info and pics. The picture on this post is of Isla Grande. Those are passengers waiting to catch a water taxi to go back to the mainland and my boat is right there in the middle.

02/25/2008 | Bryan
Dynamite, Phil. This is the next best thing to being there with you. Pics are great and documentation second to none. We're looking forward to the info and pics you are referring to from La Paz northward. I bet one of those Turtles could put a bowling ball size hole in your bow. Enjoy. Bryan & Ronda.
02/25/2008 | Susan
I was up in Berkeley on Saturday visiting my mother. Saw the new Bay Bridge which my brother said is almost ready to open. Here's a link:
It was really cold and blustery. The Chinese Year of the Rat Parade float makers in SF were battening down all the rat floats for the expected gale force winds at parade time of 5 PM.
02/25/2008 | Chuck and Elaine
Hey Phill,
We are in Las Hadas and will be heading for Barra on Wed. Maybe we'll see you if your still there.
02/26/2008 | Millie Kuykendall
Just read some of the comments you've been recieving. Kind of fun and enjoying the pictures as well. Sorry about your engine trouble but glad things are running smoothly now. We are well and hoping the 'rainy' season is about over. Pastor had another funeral, nobody you know tho. Your adventures sound fun but we aren't water people, can't even swim!! Blessings, Millie.
03/02/2008 | Wolf and Jan
well you should have come over to the other anchorage in Tenacatita, we were still there on the 24th, actually we left there on the lst and are back at Los de Marcos now, we will be here til after Easter, let us know if you get near us again before you head across. We travelled by truck down to Acapulco, but too big for us, then we went further south and then up to Mexico City, that was a nightmare.TTFN

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