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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dangerous place?

News stateside is that Mexico holds extreme danger to us and other visitors. Between drug deals and shoot-outs, kidnappings and theft, one ought to hightail it back to the safety of the good old US of A.


During our last year in Richmond, CA, there were 43+/- drive-by shootings that took place within a few miles of the marina. We know of no anglo who has been murdered here or experienced theft in Mazatlan, and the only items missing in Ensenada were two pairs of shoes Paul had left on Xanadu's deck. Fine, a dinghy was reported stolen at Bahia Santa Maria, but it was on a long leash and the fishermen there are very poor.

Drug issues exist in many places. But at least here we don't worry that someone will kill us just because they're having a bad day.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Xanadu's Crew

Paul and Tamar and their boat Xanadu, and at Normandie's Birthday dinner at Playa Mazatlan. Also in the dinner picture is Erwin of s/v Thea Renee.

We became friends with Paul and Tamar in Ensenada, and they caught up with us here in Mazatlan. Check out Paul's videos at

The Vagabond 47 Thea Renee

Thea Renee's owners, Erwin and Phyllis, have lovingly cared for their beautiful boat, especially its gleaming, perfectly varnished teak. This picture captures them sailing through the anchorage at Stone Island, off Mazatlan, with their tanbark sails flying.

We're moving away from varnish and opting for the choice Paul and Tamar made on Xanadu. Paul had tried everything in his years as the owner of a boat with lots of lovely brightwork. Now he uses Semco, which allows the teak to retain its just-sanded look. Much, much easier on the application side. We'll see how it works on Sea Venture's miles of caprail. As I, Normandie, age, I need a less labor-intensive maintenance schedule. We took advantage of the low labor rates here in Mazatlan to get most of the varnish removed. The low rate meant the fellow did the work to his satisfaction, not ours, so we've had to resand all the hard-to-reach areas. We offered to pay more, but that meant harder work. Sorry, said he, as he pocketed his paltry fee and slunk away.

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More Mazatlan

Playa Mazatlan is a hotel on the Gold Coast, Zona Dorada, and is a lovely place to go for lunch or dinner. We had my (N's) birthday feast there: six people, drinks, appetizers, lobster for me, and all for about what you pay for two in the States.

The last picture is of the park in the center of the old city, surrounded by restaurants, near the opera house, a couple of blocks from the cathedral and central market.

Winter here is 70 to 80 degrees during the day, then cool nights so we can snuggle under blankets as we sleep. Perfect.

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Mama's 81st B-Day Feast

Harker's Island hush puppies, local shrimp and asparagus with a strawberry shortcake for dessert. My mother's almost 93-year-old brother Ecky came to celebrate with us, as did good friends, Susan and Grace.

We journeyed to Charleston to pick up my mother on the 3rd of March, leaving the boat in Mazatlan under the watchful eye of Phyllis and her husband Erwin of the Vagabond 47, Thea Renee. I'll post a picture of it later.

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