Cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style ~ December 2003


Where did the year 2003 go?? What a year it has been….mostly grand and wonderful and fun, peppered with many friends and many adventures, some exciting and some unhappy moments as well, but mostly a very interesting and a very good year.

December 1st The Cat’s Meow checked into Marina Palmira in La Paz, after completing our tow of the sailing vessel Plum. It was strange to be tied to land, hooked up to electricity and water, to have neighboring boats all around (and many of them were reeellyy BIG boats!) with the noise of people and traffic and the lights of the marina and the city…. It was quite a shock. It was nice to have electric power, to be able to use my hairdryer anytime I wanted, and to have really strong water pressure in the shower! La Paz is a nice small city, replete with many stores and goods and foods that were inaccessible in the Loreto area and out on the water. The best part of being in La Paz was spending time with friends we had not seen for quite a while, like Pat and Roger of Victory of Wight, and Nick and Willie of Artemis; along with spending time with boating buddies from Corazon and Milagro and Wild Flower and Calliope and Ballena, all of whom we had not seen for a little or a long while. During our stay, we enjoyed a number of fun dinners and lunches and other get-togethers. Valentino and Sally, of Plum, were gracious enough to take us out for a very special dinner ~ and their company was wonderful, as always. We spent time at the local gringo watering hole, Paradise Found, for birthday celebrations, some Monday Night football, etc. Friend Pat and Robin spent a few days wandering the streets and shops of La Paz, and having coffee in our favorite and wonderful coffee house. I had a lycra suit made to fit (for snorkeling) along with a matching hood, for about $45US. We had the carpets and upholstery cleaned, and TCM had a really good overall cleaning, inside and out. These are things you can do when you are tied to a dock!

After 10 days in La Paz, we left in the late afternoon, headed directly for Mazatlan, about 220 miles on a diagonal crossing of the Sea of Cortez. We knew there was some bad weather coming that could keep us in place for about a week, so we headed out! Thirty two hours later, we put the hook down on the lee side of a small island, just outside of the entrance to the marinas in Mazatlan, at about 10 p.m. We rocked with the swells, slept well, and slipped into the marina entrance the next morning. Since then, we have been at a dock with water but no power, where it is not crowded, not very noisy, and where we can work on the boat and no one bothers us about any of it. So now we are busy doing many boat projects: Robin has replaced the non-skid decking on the main deck, has made the first attack at the aft deck and transom in preparation for painting, and has painted the entire starboard side of the hull and the lanai room! The port side is next, plus finishing the non-skid on the top deck….  Martin has actually installed the on-demand inline propane water heater (which TCM has carried around for over three years!); he is working on getting a small engine prepared to act as a generator ~ this is currently tied to the dock and needs to be moved into the engine room, what a hoot that is going to be ~ and he is fixing and installing and working on many other projects, as well. Friends on Ballena, Springbok, Summer Wind, and Cabaret, plus others, are all nearby and we see them often. We have been enjoying the city of Mazatlan a bit more than we have the other times we have been in the area. Plaza Machado, the Old Town area, the wonderful huge and completely stocked markets and malls, and the beaches are all fun, and Mazatlan has some of the best restaurants around. So, it isn’t ALL work and no play!

The Christmas and New Years holidays were a whole lot of fun here in Mazatlan! Christmas day’s highlight was a dinner/potluck organized by friend Susie on Cabaret, and held outside, here at Marina Mazatlan. Over 100 cruisers and friends attended. We gorged ourselves on 7 turkeys, 4 hams, plus veggies and smashed potatoes and gravy and dressings and all types of pies and cakes! And, there was plenty of food for everyone! It was quite festive, with all of us dining together al fresco, donning some of our holiday duds. 


Christmas dinner, Mazatlan


 After dining to our tummy’s content, we played that silly gift-exchange game and we all hurt from laughing so much on such full stomachs. Even Martin got into the act when we all sang Christmas carols, and we all had a grand time!  


Singing their hearts out


That is John on Cabaret and Bill (with the other Santa hat on) of Summer Wind providing the harmony (?).

New Year’s Eve was another gas ~ we joined about 18 other cruisers for a dinner complete with music, dancing, champagne, etc. at one of the restaurants in the “gold zone” of tourist shops and hotels. To say it was fun would be an understatement. This was another event organized by Susie of Cabaret, and wherever she goes, there is fun and frolic! We danced with other gringos and Mexicans out for a good time; watched fireworks and watched some kids beat the crap out of a pinata on the beach.

The next day, January 1, some cruisers ~ mostly loco Canadians ~ kept up the Polar Bear tradition by jumping from a low bridge that is between two of the marinas, into the less-than-clean and less-than-warm water. Onlookers gathered at the palapa to watch and to count heads before and after the jump. Some are just crazier than others.



Ready…Set…                                                                           ….JUMP!


As for other tidbits, this is how we can buy our produce while docked at the marinas. This is Gumen and his produce truck, loaded down with wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables, “almost free”.


This is how we buy produce


Also, the local marina palapa is the cruiser “hang out” spot, where there is often music, open mike nights, very good food, and gatherings for almost any reason or no reason at all. 



The palapa at the marinas                                                    da’ girls, Mazatlan palapa


Dawn continues to sit in prison ~ the latest hearing continued her sentence ~ the lawyers have made a formal complaint ~ the last appeal has been registered and should occur in about a month ~ we are still hopeful and pray each day for Dawn and her family.


We both hope your holidays were wonderful and that 2004 will be a grand year for all!  Be sure to check back with us for more cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style.