Blessed Lady

This is the cruising blog of the sailing yacht Mabrouka. The Favorites in the side bar allow those with discriminating taste to filter for just the stuff you want to read. Thanks for visiting, Roy.

13 September 2015
21 August 2015
21 August 2015
20 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Mazatlan Marina, Mazatlan Mexico
13 April 2015 | Off Club Nautico, Mazatlan Commercial Harbor, Mazatlan, MX
15 February 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
13 February 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
25 January 2015
06 January 2015 | Mazatlan, MX
24 December 2014 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
24 December 2014 | Mazatlan, MX
22 December 2014
21 December 2014
18 December 2014 | Playa Isla de la Piedra, Mazatlan, MX
18 December 2014 | Mazatlan, MX
15 December 2014 | Ensenada des los Muertos, Mexico

Visitor from the Frigid North

06 January 2015 | Mazatlan, MX
Emily in MazatlanIt's been so long since I've added to this blog that I had to go back through my most recent entries to recall what lies I've told. Thus, I discovered that I'd ignored Mitch's participation in my Old Mazatlan explorations. (Apologies, Mitch.) He did inspire several forays into town, not the least of which were his multiple attempts at becoming an actually legal tourista. The border authorities kinda skipped the visa process when he drove into Tijuana with his brother. Then, when he tried to fix the problem, they made it just too hard to correct their mistake later. The best they could do was offer to deport him so that he could come back in properly. Isn't bureaucracy a wonderful thing? So, Mitch explored with me under cover for a couple of days, then packed up his sh*t into two back packs, one HUGE, one normal and we had a fond farewell at the Club Nautico dinghy dock late one Sunday night. He was off on a southbound bus to meet friends and climb the second (?) highest peak in Mexico, then embark on a hazy plan to become a reverse wet back working on a truck farm down in Guadalajara somewhere.

On December 30th my daughter Emily would become the first state-side visitor of my cruising life. Enrique arrived early in his taxi to pick me up at the marina as promised and delivered me to the terminal in plenty of time. Unfortunately, US Air didn't do the same for Emily. I had entertainment, though, since someone else had arranged mariachi to greet their guests. It was a disappointment that Emily didn't come through while the performance was still under way. I would have liked to claim that I'd ordered them for her.

Back on Mabrouka I got Emily settled in and we set off on a week of visits to Old Mazatlan, great meals out, tourist shopping, poaching sunshine and beach-side chaise lounges at nice resort hotels in the Golden Zone, and several 10 mile, 10 peso (66 cents) bus trips along the malacon to explore down town.

Though Emily had arrived on December 30th, I hadn't made New Year's Eve plans. Fact is, I'm not much of a New Year's Eve-er, but there was a night of music and food to be had at the nearby Chill and Grill, so it didn't take much encouragement from Emily for me to book a table. I had high hopes for the music since I'd heard some really great rock-n-roll rolling across the harbor from the place on Wednesday afternoons. What we did get was a pretty good acoustic guitarist, but he was, frankly, a bit of a sleeper. Anyway, he didn't keep our attention for the four hour trip from dinner to 12 PM. Emily was more interested in the throbbing base from the techno that was imposing upon our evening from across the highway. Needless to say, we didn't make it to midnight and went back to Mabrouka for (disappointingly for Emily, I expect) a DVD. That didn't keep me going 'til midnight either. What an old fart.

Me and Emily at El Presidio restaurantOne of our nicest down town discoveries was the El Presidio restaurant a couple of blocks west of Plaza Machado. We had been browsing graffiti and street art on the exterior walls of abandoned buildings and alleys in the neighborhood west of the plaza and Emily had discovered some entertainingly inappropriate tags that she chose as a backdrop for Facebook selfies with her smart phone. I had anticipated photo-ops myself, and had lugged my Canon and a tripod along. Doorways are a common attraction for amateur photographers since they hold still for you and offer fairly static variations in color and lighting that allow the untalented to play with camera settings at their leisure.

El Presidio restaurantI'd found one across the street from Emily's photo shoot. It was a dark hole in a broad expanse of wall that boasted a modest burnished bronze plaque outside, giving an air of restrained elegance that contrasted with the street art only 15 yards away. After clicking away a few shots, the subtle drama of the entranceway pulled me in where I was greeted by three attractive young ladies who were stationed semi-formally in black skirts and white linen blouses beside an elaborately lettered menu displayed on an easel inside the door. One that spoke English escorted me, with my camera and tripod, down a rustic corridor and into a huge shaded, but open-roofed interior dominated by dilapidated plaster walls that were patch-worked in rough brick, with contrasting terra-cotta tiled patios and dramatic stairways that found their way up past the arching branches of the large fig trees that grew up through the ruins. The cool, shaded setting echoed enchantingly with the quiet chatter of splashing water and the whisper of leaves.

A more skilled photographer could have spent hours in photo-shoots there. It became apparent that the hostess had been trained to keep her restaurant from becoming a mere backdrop for local photographers, since she immediately informed me that I couldn't take pictures unless someone in my party was in them. The place was whispering devilishly in my ear to be photographed, so I went back outside and lured Emily in for pictures. I hadn't planned on staying to eat, but the ambiance was so enticing that we did decide to have a couple of drinks and came back a night or two later for dinner. I have since recommended El Presidio to several friends and "liked" the restaurant on Facebook. Enter "El Presidio Mazatlan" in FB's search box if you'd like to see more.

Our other favorite destination was the "old" Pueblo Bonito in the Zona de Oro just south of the marina. We'd put on our bathing suits, throw towels over our shoulders, pack reading material and suntan lotion, and walk the mile or so from the marina to the big resort hotel. I don't think we were unwanted or even unusual in "sneaking" through the lobby to the beach behind the hotel. No one questioned us as we walked past reception, around the pool, and down the seawall steps to cop a couple of chaise lounges in the sun and enjoy free entertainment throwing a borrowed Frisbee, playing in the surf, watching the other tourists, and fending off beach vendors. All we had to do was bring our own towels. In any case, we made up for our imposition by buying lunch and cocktails.

Emily and I spent a grand week together, shopping and touristing and eating out and generally lazing about, so it was sad to send her on her way.
Vessel Name: Mabrouka
Vessel Make/Model: CT-41
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Roy Neyman
Mabrouka and I have been partners in crime since October 1998, hanging about in West Coast waters, first in San Diego, then in Seattle. All of that time we've lived together aboard. [...]
I've called this blog "Blessed Lady" because that's my preferred translation from Arabic for "Mabrouka". She's a 1980 CT-41, one of several clones of the original Bill Garden design Mariner ketches. At 50 feet from the tip of her mizzen boom to the tip of her bow sprit, she's 16 tons of [...]
Mabrouka's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 10 of 10
On the streets of Freemont
Street art edited.
Elvis the stuffed cat is a memento of my daughters at the age of about 5.  The peace sign was a gift from good friend, Karyn Borcich.  Thanks to both!
This is Swan as I knew him, though in a more rugged environment than we ever shared.  We usually met at the coffee shop or at Voula
This is of Swan as I would also like to have known him, ...cigarettes, cameras and wine.
This is Steve hosting our Elliott Bay Design Group company picnic at his vacation home in Darington.
I never went fishing with Steve, although he let me try out his fly casting rig in the river by his house during one of the company picnics he hosted.  I
The winter slip on Lake Union
Temporary raft up with Molly Bella near my old slip at Stimson Marina
This album shares photos from mainland and Baja Mexico.
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 1 March 2015
The beginning of the South Pacific cruise, heading to San Diego and Mexico
1 Photo | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 15 August 2014
Killing time with local sailing and projects before heading south with the Coho Ho Ho cruiser's rally
56 Photos
Created 29 June 2014
Kathy and Karyn (with a "Y") used me as an excuse for a party. I was just fine with that!
25 Photos
Created 31 May 2014
On Lake Union where Mabrouka and I spent the winter
20 Photos
Created 31 May 2014
Shakedown cruise to Port Townsend
7 Photos
Created 25 May 2014
Gunkholing in the Seattle area, with me and Mabrouka getting our sea legs back under us.
50 Photos | 28 Sub-Albums
Created 14 April 2013
Custom made sailing skiff hand-built by NW School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock, WA
18 Photos
Created 21 March 2013
Pre-retirement cruising pics
27 Photos
Created 21 March 2013
Photos accompanying Projects blogs.
43 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 12 March 2013