Sailing away with Nikk and Jan

Archive for March, 2013

The News from La Cruz

Took a month-long break from writing the rainbowspinnaker blog, and made the mistake during that time of updating many of the apps on the iPad, including WordPress. They changed the format for the screen, so now it only works while the iPad is turned on its side while entering text. Unfortunately, they didn’t think about the people like me who have a Belkin keyboard attached to a folder which holds the iPad horizontal while typing. So now I’m up here in the Sky Bar, with the iPad balanced against my pack and the Belkin keyboard sitting on the table. The wind is blowing about 15-20 knots from the north, and I’m trying to sit where the iPad won’t get blown off the table. That said, it’s a beautifully brilliant day of sun and wind. Across the bay there’s marine haze hovering over the water, but here the air is clear, the water is sparkling, and the only haze is coming from one of the constant fires down by the beach, where they’re burning piles of vegetation slashed from the too abundant growth of trees, bushes and creepers.
Here in La Cruz the vegetation is getting extremely dry in the last few months before the summer rains. A couple of times it was cloudy and sprinkled, but that’s it for any precipitation since Jan 1.

Mostly days here in La Cruz begin with rising at a little after 7am, heating water to make green tea, and grabbing the yoga mat, clock, and hair tie to head up to the VIP Lounge at the marina to teach yoga for an hour. I’m substituting again for the regular yoga teacher who needed to go back to the States for a few weeks. Monday and Wednesday is Spanish class after yoga, and then it’s reading, shopping, taking a walk, planning for dinner, cooking dinner (unless we go out to eat), and more reading. My mobility has been a little compromised for the past ten days because I tripped on the edge of a platform and twisted the top of my left foot AFTER a salsa dancing class. Been gimping around ever since. Probably walking three miles down the beach two days after the accident didn’t help. Ni modo (“oh well” en espanol).

Before heading to Portland February 20 Nikk and I and our friend Jane from Midnight Blue finally took the bus over to the Mezcales estuary to bird watch. Following the directions gleaned from the internet we walked to the main plaza, and then headed down the road away from the plaza that Nikk was sure led to the estuary. Luckily Jane speaks Spanish pretty well, and after asking directions to the estuary we were sent to a path down into the mud and mangroves. Soon it was time to spray on lots of insecticide, and we continued to follow the trail, seeing and hearing very few birds, but unfortunately finally hearing the highway nearby, which was totally wrong for the map I’d found on the internet. During that time I managed to slip while trying to see if the lagoon was nearby, and impaled two big thorns from a palm branch into my shin. I still have a little lump under the skin a month later, but no infection luckily.


Mud and Mangroves


Sighting a Groove-Billed Ani

At that point retracing our path seemed like a pretty good idea, and after again asking directions we found out that it was the road away from the plaza that Jan wanted to take in the first place. Crowing about being right just didn’t seem like a productive thing to do, so I kept my mouth shut and we walked a mile or so down a dusty road and found the estuary, complete with lots of birds, little crocodiles, and one rather large about ten foot long crocodile sunning itself on the bank by a pond. Jane and I were stalking some snowy egrets in the trees by the pond, and walked right by Mr. Way Too Large Crocodile. Nikk yelled at us, scared the croc, and he launched himself into the pond. Jane and I gasped and agreed it was a close call.

The crocodile whose name we later found out was Pancho


Wood Stork perched on a mangrove tree


Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Black-necked Stilts and Coots

Spending ten days in Portland wasn’t as much of a shock to my body as I thought it might be. I’d stashed a whole big suitcase of clothing and boots at my daughter’s house, every day involved putting on a whole lot more layers than I wear here in Mexico, and going out to take care of numerous appointments, spend time with family and friends, and get used to driving in Portland traffic. I rented a little Mazda2, it was a great little car, in ten days of driving all over the place it used just a little over ten gallons of fuel, about a gallon a day. There were four birthdays to celebrate, my friend Matt’s (the 20th), Serena’s 1st (the 24th), Bridger’s 7th (the 26th) and Jesse’s (I won’t tell his age because I have a hard time believing I have a son that old) on the 28th.
Here is a picture of the four grandchildren at Serena’s birthday party.


Nikk had to go to Portland right after I returned, so we didn’t see much of each other for three weeks. While I was gone Nikk was visited by his godson Matt and wife Laurie, and a surprise visit from his daughter Tobie and family. So here’s a picture of Nikk’s grandchildren out sailing on Balance.


We’re getting ready to sail off tomorrow or Thursday for Mazatlan and then across the Sea of Cortez to explore the desert islands off the coast of Baja Caifornia Sur. We’ll be gone for over a month and we’ll miss La Cruz, so I’ll end with a scene captured by Nikk while he was out walking on the cobblestone streets.


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