It has already been a week since we arrived in Mazatlan last Saturday but it feels like a lot longer.
The 90+F temperature combined with 70% humidity was quite a shock to the system as we stepped outside the airport. Would I ever feel fresh and cool again? Streams of sweat coursed down my face and into my blouse as we waited for a collectivo taxi to gather some more passengers.
We arrived at the Marina Singlar to be greeted with hugs and kisses from the staff who were having a BBQ. It felt as if we had come home.
My luggage had not arrived with me and I figured that it was probably due to a close connection between my flights at L.A. Airport. I was worried that the expensive sheets, winch handle and other items for the boat may never make it despite the airline agent's reassurance that the bags would be delivered within a day or two.
Miraculously, we received both pieces the next evening with a note explaining that the lock on my duffel bag had been cut by the U.S. Transport Security people to examine suspicious looking objects. It was all Chris's fault, of course, as he had packed a conical zinc for our propeller and it looked suspiciously like a missile tip! Combined with the saw blades, safety harnesses and my ethnic name on the bag, I can understand why they thought I might be a terrorist - if only they had seen my photo and my 5 foot frame!
As for our Ladybug, after 5 months at the slip, it was in remarkably good shape, thanks to our friend Tony, who came over each month to air it out and check the engine etc.There were only a few telltale stains from water leakage on the galley counter beneath the main hatch, amazing considering the nightly showers in the summer.
On our first night we had a simple supper of huevos rancheros cooked on Ladybug II as we had to rely on a little shop near the marina for supplies. Chris filled our water tanks from the dock and I realised that we would be drinking tepid water for months to come - yuk!
The next morning, we took the air-conditioned bus to the Mega for our staple foods and fresh produce. The A/C cooled store was a welcome relief from the humidity and heat outside. In fact, when we entered the store, it felt as if we had stepped into a freezer. It was a challenge figuring out which veggies and fruit would survive in the not so cool lockers on board ( we do not use ice as the lockers are poorly insulated ). Since we do not have a working fridge either, we keep a few necessary items like cheese in the staff fridge at the marina.
It took several mornings to rig the boat again in readiness for cruising and Chris has now stripped and applied Cetol to both the cap and rub rails giving the boat a lovely varnished look. We were sapped of energy most afternoons due to the heat , so we sat close to the little fans inside the cabin and occupied ourselves by reading. In the evenings we generally take a short walk around the marinas for some badly needed exercise.
Our only excursions have been to a swimming pool at a nearby resort and a nice beach for a swim. The usual 20 minute walk to the beach probably took longer under the scorching sun but it was well worth it. I needed some encouragement to get beyond the breaking surf as it looked quite turbulent out there. On the walk back, I picked up a coconut from a bunch left by workmen trimming a palm tree outside a house and we asked a gardener to use his machete to cut it open for us. The coconut milk was sweet and delicious!
It's been great getting in touch with some of our old buddies out here, although most of them are up in the Sea of Cortez and we probably will not see them for a while. A great surprise was finding some long lost friends through Tony. We had lost contact wit musician friends Lori and Ken after spending a very special Christmas 2008 with them in Magdalena Bay and found them right here in Mazatlan.
This coming week we shall be heading to the amazing Copper Canyon which is 4 times larger than the Grand Canyon. We plan to take the El Chepe train to Creel from Los Mochis, stopping at some small villages en route to hike the fantastic trails to waterfalls and cave dwellings used by the Raramuri Indians.