Debbie and I want to wish all our family and friends the best through the Christmas season and we hope you all get lots of what you want. As for us we are hanging on the hook in Chamela a magical place here in Mexico, as the song goes by Jimmy Buffett” A Sailors spends his Christmas in a Harbor on the hook :
Debbie and I returned to Mexico after seven years and wondered how the country and people might have changed. To sum it up in a few words “It’s All Good”.
After a fast sail across the Sea of Cortez we landed in Marina Mazatlan for a full month. The Marina itself has changed little and the prices are reasonable. The thing that has really changed is the number of restaurants in the immediate area of the Marina, they number-5 with a great variety of food and reasonable prices. We were totally blown away with “Christies the new sports bar where they have -20 TVs to watch the games on and a happy hour that lasts from 11am-6pm, where you can buy 12 oz mugs of Negro Modelo beer for just 6-pesos or about 60-cents US. It was a good thing the beer was cheap as they struggled to produce anything good to eat, with the exception of the supreme chicken nachos that were quite good. There is a first class mall with a 16-plex theater where the movies on Wednesday are just 2-dollars per person also within walking distance is a Wall Mart all of which makes Marina Mazatlan a great place to stop.
There has been a lot of concern about safety in Mazatlan, but as far as we could see it is really very safe and for anyone that wants to commit a crime Mazatlan is not the place, as there are police and military everywhere and they are heavily armed. We were in a bank and there were armed guards both inside and out and every military person that entered the bank to do business was “packing”, and guess what no one was concerned nor did anyone get shot. “Huh Imagine that”!!!
The cruise ships are once again returning to Mazatlan after avoiding the place for several years.
Debbie took line dancing lessons three times a week and we trained and ran a 5-k race that was ran as part of the Mazatlan Marathon, a world class event where one million dollars is paid to anyone that can break the Mazatlan record time. This year the Kenyans came one- two- three but could not beat the record.
We watched the best fireworks display we have ever seen on the Malecon (a walkway along the beach in the city) where they were set off from seven different locations all about 100-yrds apart. We were within 50-feet of one of the launch sites, “Scary” at times. They actually had fireworks that shot up then came down and entered the ocean then immediately shot back up into the night sky as we all looked on in disbelief, they even went as far as 3 miles high, lasting a good30 minutes. A must to see if in Mazatlan
We enjoyed the wonderful company of old friends as well as many new ones and the month flew by. Soon it was time to sail south to Puerto Vallarta where we stayed just over a week and once again had an amazing visit with many of our old friends in La Cruz. One very special day was our visit to Lupe’s magical place Los Arroyos Verdes. The hotel grounds are Botanical Gardens the likes of which we have never seen. The site is 25-acres of Gardens and art works that are world class. Lupe’s home defies description, you would have to be there to try and drink it all in. Lupe is a sailing friend from 1999 and she owned the Guadalajara water company and has invested heavily in this remarkable Shangri-La. The band played from an Island in the middle of a huge swimming pool. You can stay there for 1200-1500 dollars a month all utilities included or if you want buy one of her Condos for 250k. We just enjoyed one fabulous day trying to soak it all in.
The Christmas Tree decorating party at Casa Lori owned by Russell & Lori was a fun time meeting new friends as well as the seeing the ones we met 15yrs ago, Debbie again sang a beautiful Christmas song that had us all in tears.
Just a quick note; it appears that the Mexican government is cracking down on boats that do not have current temporary import permits. Not only must you have the permit but if you have your boat in a marina the Marina must have a copy on file. So far they have impounded 338 yachts. One of these yachts is Profligate belonging to the owners of Latitude 38. We are unsure how this will all turn out but it sounds like it may be 3-months before the government will release these boats after the owners have paid restitution.
We will spend about 5 days here in Chamela then sail further south to Barra De Navidad where we will spend a month on the hook.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year,your Amigos Jeff& Debbie