Monday, January 26, 2009

Suddenly Susan (is Sailing)

Our story left off with us waiting for my friend Susan to arrive in Manzanillo. Susan and I met when we were both interviewing for a Bosch Foundation fellowship in Germany, circa 2002. She got it, I didn't; but we kept in touch and when she came back from Deutschland we worked together for a couple of years at VentureArchetypes. Good times!

We hung out in Manzanillo for a few days. Manzanillo is a large-ish city, but very chill and mostly off the beaten tourist path. It has a certain vibe that's very cool but hard to explain...unpretentious and's not trying to "be something more aspirational" like many Mexican towns, with the rampant condo / timeshare / indoor mall developments and aggressive sidewalk touts and omnipresent billboards trying to sell a pre-fabricated but very sterile version of an "upscale lifestyle"...(ok, enough ranting, Nathan).

Anyway, we hung out at the Las Hadas resort, where Roger and I fished from the boat a bit, and Susan bravely went for the "Coco Loco". Obviously, this was a questionable choice....see the before & after pics:



I also fed my growing Internet addiction and got caught up with some email and blogging. Finding a reliable WiFi connection is one of the greatest challenges and a perpetual mission, and I've been tempted to hoist the entire computer up the mast. But here is my next-best effort (standing up top of Roger's boat):

Next, we set sail for the 40-miles passage to Tenacatita Bay. We tried a new experiment, with Naomi sailing on Roger's boat and Susan on Hurulu. But 2/3rd the way we took a detour and anchored at Melaque, which was a nice bay absolutely swarming with both Pelicans and Mexicans. I am not making any link or comparison between Pelicans and Mexicans, I'm simply saying the bay was teeming with activity from these two groups. Literally-- the pelicans would spy a school of minnows and swarm there; and, it being Sunday, half of Mexico goes to the beach to drink beer and roll around in the surf. Fun times all around.

We also used Melaque as the 'staging ground' to enter the channel into the lagoon at Barra de Navidad at high tide-- 8 am. The channel is very narrow and if you slip just a few feet out of it, you'll get stuck in mud, so it pays to enter with as much water under the keel as possible.

Thus far, the morning has been spent sitting at a waterfront cafe
eating breakfast and drinking coffee. Susan, ever the active one, has already kayaked, walked around town, and gone swimming at the beach (it's about Noon), while the rest of us have barely had our coffee. More updates later...

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