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May first is always exciting for us, as it is Dana's birthday o. We started the day with a SCUBA dive off of some rocky islets off of Isla Isabella. Dana and Mike went first as we only have diving gear for two at a time o. Fletcher and Nancy took the second shift. While Dana and Mike were down, a helicopter flew over and dropped rat poison right on top of us in the dingy! Oh well, we covered our nose and mouth and waited for it to blow over, but if we start twitching, you will know why. The dive itself was nice. It is pretty shallow, so you can stay down for a long time. There are huge schools of fish that were fun to swim with and through. When we got back to the boat, it was time for lunch, followed by cake and presents o. Dana had requested cup cakes, so that is what she got! We had a very nice, fun, relaxing day followed by a Thai inspired dinner and then a movie. The next day was back to school. We are starting our second to last testing period for this year. The countdown is close. We are all very tired of school and ready for it to be over. While the kids studied, Mike and Nancy took the opportunity to go for an exploration around the island and snorkel a couple of other spots. For recess we went skurfing o (a cross between water skiing and surfing), and all ended up pretty sore. It was so nice to be anchored out at an island again... oh, yea, this is why we are living the lifestyle that we are! It is nice to be out cruising, rather than just anchored off of a town. We spent three wonderful, peaceful, fun-filled days out at Isabella. Even though we could not go on the island because of the rat eradication, we had a great time being out there.
We motor-sailed overnight to Mazatlan and got in the next morning. Our friends were waiting for us with a slip ready. The next day we hit the ground running. We have a huge list of things to get done while we are here. We were going to haul the boat and get a bunch of work done. This is just regular maintenance work, but it involves hauling the boat out of the water and getting all the work organized. The first week was spent gathering information and getting bids for all of the work. We figured it all out and made our appointment to have the boat hauled out the following Monday. We were still working on our tests for school, but we did take some time out for fun with our friends. We had a night of pizza and bowling o, and another day that we went for Sunday breakfast o and beach play o. Fletcher brought his board along, but he only surfed for a short time as there were a bunch of jelly fish around that day. Don't worry though, he did get to go surfing a few other days and had a blast. It turns out that May and June are the big jellyfish months in these parts. We still had fun exploring the area, and even managed to find a beach around the corner that did not have jellies and was a great place to swim and explore.
Monday morning, we moved the boat over to the boat yard in preparation for the haul out o. We borrowed a cart, and moved a bunch of stuff off of the deck and into a storage room. Once we were out of the water it was work, work, work. When we are up in the air o, we do not have water to use, so life is a bit more difficult, dirty, and hot! The work that we are getting done is some regular maintenance, and some to get the boat ready to sell. What does all this mean to us in our daily life? This means that we are about 12 feet up in the air, have no water to use on board, have to keep the boat closed up all day to keep the sanding dust and paint fumes out, and are all packed in this little sardine can that is very hot and dirty. Sound like fun? It is sort of like camping. There is a toilet and showers and sinks available to us, we just have to climb down a very tall ladder, walk across the boat yard, over a small wall, across a driveway, and then, finally, we are there. The good news is that then the work will be done and we can enjoy our last few weeks of cruising once we drop back in the water. It will be so nice to be back in the water and have water to use on board. Right now, we have to haul all the dishes down after each meal to wash them, but I am grateful that there is a sink for us to use. We are also trying to keep up with school. We start on the boat in the morning, and then, after breakfast, we move over to a room that the cruisers can use. Nancy does dishes and the kids work on school. Not horrible, but like I said, it will be nice when the boat is in the water again. Another bonus of being in this particular boat yard, is that there is a marina attached to it with great cruiser facilities. There is a pool and jacuzzi available o, a great air conditioned cruiser lounge to hang out in (where we do dishes and school), nice showers, and in general a very nice place to be.
While we are here, we are enjoying Mazatlan and taking advantage of some of the cultural events that they have here. There is an amazingly beautiful old theater here called the Angela Peralta o. They get world class performers coming through regularly. We went to the ballet one night with some friends and saw "Coppelia" o. It was a very fun performance to take the kids to. Dana, who had seen it before on TV, but not live, was very excited. We got sort of dressed up and went to town for a quick dinner and then the show. Everyone is asking about swine flu. As far as everyday life, it is a non-event. The only time that we have been affected at all was at the theater, they made everyone wear masks o. It seems that it was more of a media event than anything. We have not heard of it being anywhere close to us anywhere that we have been. We have not heard of anyone getting it, either directly, or friends of friends, or friends of locals, or any others. It has been very hard on the Mexican economy, as the tourism just came to a screeching halt.
Another day, we went to a fun water park
o and had a blast with
all of the locals. Mostly, it was nice to be cool, wet, and off of the boat
for a whole day. The kids were going non-stop for about eight hours
straight. We all slept well that night. Another activity, that Dana
has been helping with, is feeding the local stray cats
o and helping to trap them
to get spayed or neutered. She goes every night and feeds them cat food.
One day we got a fish and cut it up and she took that over for them. Dana
was very popular that day! Our friends on another boat left for a month,
while we were sad to see them leave, they let us use their bikes. This was
great. The kids had a blast cruising around the
neighborhood, and every spare moment was then spent on the bikes
o. We now
know that one of our first purchases when we settle down in a couple of months will be some second
Please click to enlarge!
Dana's birthday morning; heading towards the islet dive site; Mike and Dana gearing up; there goes Dana... and Mike; about to go under; the B-Day "cake".
More water play at Isabella, Fletcher and Nancy skurfing.
The haul out in Mazatlan, and boat yard scenes. Nancy and Hopper hanging out at the pool and jacuzzi after a long, hot day of work (boatyard in the background).
Fun and games with another boat family: bowling one night; breakfast and coastal exploration another day.
Our culture night at the beautiful, old, Angela Peralta theater; Swine flu prevention masks; scenes from Coppelia.
A day at the water park; the "mommy slide"; and the kids having a blast! Dana feeding the neighborhood stray kitties, the kids on the borrowed bikes.
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