Excitement in Paradise
07/13/2012, Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta mexico
OK...so there isn't really much excitement in paradise right now, it fact a better title would have been "boredom in paradise", but who would read the blog with that title? Yes, I am beginning to see why all of my fellow gringos have bailed out and gone back to their native countries for the summer. We have definitely fallen into a weather routine here in paradise. Beginning sometime in the evening or during the night the clouds roll in, the thunder shakes the ground and the sky lights up. Oh, and the rain comes down...usually very hard. Not to be negative, there are some advantages to this, it does keep the temperature down, it washes off the boat nicely, and trying to figure out which one of my ports (windows) is leaking tonight, gives me something to do.
I'll be returning to San Diego myself for a couple of weeks, so all kidding aside, I am busy not only with trying to stop all the leaks but also getting Si Bon ready to face the storms on her own for awhile.
07/06/2012, Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta mexico
Well, the BIG news this week is that Sharon landed herself what seems to be a great job with a place called The World Learning Center. While this a perfect opportunity for her, it will mean that she will be staying in the US for at least the foreseeable future. I am hoping that she'll be able to sneak in a vacation or two this winter, and come down for some warm weather and sailing.
So once the hurricane season is over in November, I will be back to looking for crew members to go sailing with. Banderas Bay is a perfect location for short and easy sails, which is one reason why I decided to stay here for the summer. There are several great anchorages within Banderas Bay, and without any overnight sails we can get all the way to San Blas.
In other news...tomorrow I'll be finishing my Spanish class, and I'm still not fluent...or anywhere close to it, but I didn't expect to be. There is still lots more studying to do. I've also booked a trip back to San Diego the end of July, I'll be staying for two weeks before returning to Mexico. Along with visiting family and friends I will also be taking care of things like doctor appointments and tax appointments.
So with a heavy heart I say congratulations to Sharon, and you know how much I'll miss our sailing adventures together, but we'll have plenty more adventures together, sailing or otherwise :)
Election day in Mexico
Tomorrow (Sunday) is election day in Mexico. The Mexicans will be electing a new President and most of the underlaying cabinets (or whatever they call them here). Now, I think that it is a pretty good idea to hold elections on a Sunday for a number of reasons. Think about it for a minute and ask yourselves how many times you've use your job as an excuse for not voting....I know I have more than once. Procrastinators will also have all day Saturday to figure out who they want to vote for. To help everyone out, Mexico has banned the sale of any alcohol beverages...anywhere in Mexico. The ban started today and lasts through Monday. Yes, you read that correctly, right now you cannot buy alcohol in Mexico...ANYWHERE, not in a bar, not at a resort, not in a tienda....no not even in Walmart...NO WHERE!!!
Now, of course all of us that live here (including the Mexican voters), knew about this, so we stocked up in advance. The tiendas yesterday were even handing out little strips of paper that clearly said, in both English and Spanish, " make your purchase today, no alcohol sales sabado o domingo (Saturday or Sunday).
Unfortunately Saturday is a big rotation day for the resorts. Many Mexican vacations begin and end on Saturday. As I passed the airport today on my way home from school, there were two large planes unloading a fresh batch of gringo tourists, most of whom are probably pretty pissed off right about now. I'm sure there are plenty of folks that were chomping at the bit for a nice cold cerveza, a tasty margarita on the rocks, or a shot of tequila...who are right now sitting in their hotel room, sober as a Mexican voter should be. It did cross my mind yesterday to overstock my Refrigerator and try to make a little profit out of the situation...but I decided against it and am now happily sipping a cold cerveza by myself, and writing this blog (pic).
The rainy season
06/29/2012, Puerto Vallata
Is this the beginning of the rainy season?
When I would tell the local gringo boaters that I planned to spend most of the summer here in Paradise Village Marina they would at first laugh, then they would say something like "hope you like rain" (I don't), or "better buy an umbrella" (I did). Just about all of those boaters have now left the area, their boats covered up and left in the care of a Mexican boat sitter. Just about every night for the past two weeks it has rained, not a ton of rain but pretty steady....until last night. Now you have to understand that I am from San Diego, where in a good year it rains 10 inches, yes, that is the yearly total. Here is a breakdown of rain for Puerto Vallarta area;
October-June 9 inches (total)
July 7 inches
August 9 inches
September 10 inches
Last night we had a squall pass over and IT FREAKING POURED. accompanying the downpour was thunder that shook the boat and intense lightning, which with a 60 foot metal pole (the mast) above your head, is definitely a concern (probably be a separate blog on lightning). On a 14 year old boat there are always a few drips here and there, especially the ports (little windows on the side of the boat). I thought I had had the drips narrowed down to one port, but last night found out it is more like 4 ports. So out came the tupperware and plastic bowls and now, along with my homework today it looks like I'll be kept busy working on the new (or recurring) drips.
So..in answer to the"is this the beginning of the rainy season" question, the locals say NO. They say that the street that looks like a lake now (pic), will look more like a river once the rainy season is in full gear....oh boy!
Oh, and since I started writing this blog the thunder is back and I am assuming that the rain and lightning will soon follow....oh boy again!
You think English is easy?
06/22/2012, Spanish school
As predicted Spanish level 2 is considerately more difficult than level 1 was. The introduction to level 2 pre-warns you that it is the most difficult of the 4 levels in the Warren Hardy program, as we are now dealing with past tense. Adding to the frustration is that I can be standing in line at Subway and some little kid in front of me, that looks to be 4-5 years old starts rambling on in Spanish and is perfectly understood. Then I step up utter a few words and the worker looks at me with a blank expression. Yes, I was just about to give it up yesterday, and then I thought about some of the posters that my school has up poking fun of the English language.
Let's face it, English is a crazy language too. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which a house can burn up as it burns down, and in which an alarm goes off by going on. Then there's the word "UP". A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning and close it UP at night. When it threatens to rain we say it is clouding UP....when the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. Well it's time for me to close UP my computer and open UP my book and continue my quest to speak fluent Spanish....or at least as much as a 4 year old.
06/18/2012, Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta mexico
translation; The beach
One big benefit of Paradise Village Marina is that it is very well protected from summer storms that frequent this coast. I am tucked pretty far up the estuary and between me and the ocean are first a row of high-rise hotels, then a road, and then another row of mid-rise condos, a high-rise medical center and a mall. all these obstructions are great protection from storms and/or....God forbid hurricanes. The bad news is that they also keep any kind of normal cooling breeze away. Another BIG benefit to Paradise Village Marina is that I am able to use ALL of the resorts amenities, including their beach (pic). So, it can be sweltering in the estuary on Si Bon, and I can take a quick 5-10 minute walk and be laying under a palapa, with a beautiful ocean breeze keeping me comfortable. The other day i went body surfing and was shocked at how warm the ocean was...I think it was the warmest I've ever felt the ocean....including Hawaii.
Think I'll finish up some paperwork, do a little studying, and hit the waves....adios.