Feb 282008
 

Well at one time I was planning on leaving for the Marquesas today, but the fates have been against me. The biggest is the underdevelopment of the trade winds. Right now they’re a good 600 miles offshore and blowing less than 10 knots. I’ve also had a hard time getting someone to come out and clean Bodhran’s bottom. I wanted to have a good professional job done before I left, not to mention the fact that I really didn’t want to snorkel in the lagoon. The divers just got done cleaning the bottom and I should be renting a car tomorrow to drive to Manzanillo to provision and clear immigration. Then it’ll just be a little matter of waiting for the wind to build, but I’m going to try to be out of Mexico by the middle of next week. Of course the little matter of clearing out of Mexico may throw any number of monkey wrenches in my plans.

These guys drive around the lagoon every once in a while cleaning 4 or 5 boats in a day:
BottomCleaning

 Posted by at 12:57 pm
Feb 222008
 

OK, it’s 2 in the morning, I’m drunk and Tate and I just got back out to the boat, but I thought this was awesome. Thanks Trev for passing this on.


Jason or Jerry, you decide.

 Posted by at 11:57 pm
Feb 222008
 

Steve and Tate and some spectacular vistas on Isla Navidad:
Overlook

Well things are definitely wrapping up for this year in Mexico. Steve, Tate and I got a good long hike in over in the hill behind the Grand Bay the other day. We’d hiked to the top a couple of times, but had never explored the dirt roads back behind. There’s still lots of trail back there to explore, but the heat of the day was coming on and we needed some beers.

We had an extreme low tide when we were hiking up on the mountian. Here’s a good look at the unmarked, usually underwater bars we have to navigate through to get to the anchorage here in Barra:
Bar

Of course when we were in playing music and eating at Mexico Lindo, we ran into a whole gaggle of boat musicians who I’d played with up in Mazatlan. Steve had to leave the next day, but we set up a big jam session at Pipers. We had a great time and packed the joint. We had to quit playing for a little bit to watch the total eclipse of the moon.

Best pic I could get of the eclipse:
Eclipse

Kinda dark, but the best pic of Tate and I pickin with some of the other cruisers at Pipers:
Pipers

Cool pic of our instruments on the pool table between sets:
Instruments

Tate and I are going to be out running errands today and then pickin late into the night. He leaves in the morning and who knows when the next time Cabin Fever is going to get together. So we’re going to have to make tonight a good one. Then it’ll be a couple of days of provisioning and checking out the weather and I’ll be jumping off for the 3000 mile jaunt across to the Marquesas. I’ll probably get one more post up before I take off, but then it’ll be a good month or more before I make landfall again.

 Posted by at 7:39 am
Feb 162008
 

Yesterday was quite the day down here in Jalisco/Colima Mexico. I’m not sure what state I’m anchored in right now. It’s Colima and the Grand Bay hotel side and Jalisco on the Barra de Navidad side of the lagoon. Either way, we all woke up before sunrise yesterday and caught taxis into the cleverly named capitol of Colima….Colima. No not Colima City, it’s just named Colima. At least a little confusing. Anyway, the 6 of us rented two cabs for the day and made the 2 hour drive to the big volcano right outside the city. Our drivers didn’t admit till we were up there that they really didn’t know where they were going. We thought that there was a National Park and hiking around the volcano, but we ended up bouncing ourselves to pieces on a little cobble stone road until the cab drivers decided that the suspension just couldn’t handle it, so we turned around and went back down the hill.

Tate, Steve, Beth, Jane, myself and Tate in front of the steaming volcano:
Volcano

After coming down from the volcano, we ended up in the the zocalo in the little town of Camala. Sergio from the Sands recommended this little restaurant on the edge of the square that just brings out appetizers as long as you’re drinking beer. It was great. They just brought out plate after plate of tacos, taquitos, tostadas and shrimp until we had to cut them off and tell them that we were full. The beers were $3 a piece, which is outlandish by Mexican standards, but they didn’t charge us at all for the food. Not a bad deal and really nice to get all sorts of different tapas that we might not have ordered ourselves.

After Camala we made a reasonably unmemorable trip to downtown Colima, which is a very pretty colonial city, but we only spent 15 minutes walking around as it was the heat of the day and we needed to get back to Barra for our gig at Rey Momo. It was a hot cab ride home and we grabbed a quick dip in the Sands pool before heading up to Rey Momo for a sound check. Then it was a quick dinner followed up by playing music until well after midnight. A fun, fun day, but we had been going since sun up. I took the water taxi home and went to bed, but Tate, Steve and Betsy rallied and played the Sand Bar till the wee hours of the morning. You know it’s getting bad when I can’t keep up with a retired Montessori school teacher.

Tate, Betsy and myself picking at Rey Momo with Steve and Dan over in the corner:
ReyMomo

 Posted by at 1:53 pm
Feb 142008
 

Well the gangs all here in Barra de Navidad. Betsy flew in from Powers, OR the day after Tate and I got here, Tate’s parents Tate and Jane came in the next day, and my old mandolin pickin buddy Steve came in from Bellingham, not to mention all the good folks we meet just hanging out in town. The times couldn’t be better.

Betsy, Jane, Little Tate, Big Tate, and Steve out sailing on Bodhran:
GroupSailing

We started out last Sunday with a benefit volleyball tournament to raise money for local sea turtle programs. Beth is a volleyball coach back in Powers and saw a flier on the wall of Rey Momo. There was no question as to whether we were going to play or not, the only problem was that there was a $500p entry fee. Now you have to understand what a bunch of cheapskates we are, but Justin was kind enough to sponsor us as a Rey Momo team if we could get enough people together. So Tate turned to the couple at the next table at the bar and said “You guys look semi-athletic.” From that, we met Seth and Amy and team Rey Momo was born. The tourney was out at the Copa Cabanyas out past the golf course on Isla Navidad. It’s a cool little spot, but in the middle of nowhere. Still they seem to be doing fine and had a great sand volleyball court with the beach in the background. We had some ringers on our team with Amy and Beth both being long time volleyballers and with Tate’s reach. We rolled to victory in our first two games, but then the Alaskan Airlines flight with Tate’s parents flew overhead and our front man had to take off to go and meet the plane. From there our fortunes took a bit of a dive, but we still ended up taking second place coming up through a loser’s bracket in a single elimination tournament. I’m still not sure how that worked. Maybe it was because we were the crowd favorite, pickin tunes on the sidelines between games, or maybe Justin slipped the organizers some pesos to keep us in the tournament, who really cares? In the end old Justin got his money’s worth. He took the afternoon as an opportunity to be obnoxious and heckle everyone that he’s been wanting to flip crap to for years. He was in rare form by the time we took the water taxi back to Barra, heckling all the yachties in the marina from the prow of our panga for their opulent lifestyle choices that are ruining his beach paradise.

Betsy, Seth, Amy and T riding in the back of a pickup truck on the way out to the tourney:
Shuttle

We didn’t really get any action shots, but that’s team Momo out on the field:
VolleyBall

Pickin under the close supervision of the local constabulary:
OutlawPickin

That night we met up with Tate’s parents at Mexico Lindo for dinner, and who should arrive? Good old Mandolin Steve a full day early. He was supposed to hang out in PV for the night before coming into town, but quickly tired of the big resort city and decided to take a bus to meet us. Now Steve’s never been here and we weren’t expecting him so you might have thought that it would have been hard for him to find us, but he was carrying his mandolin at the time and some guy stopped to ask him about playing music. Well of course Steve mentioned that he was coming down to visit Tate and myself. “Jason and Tate?” the guy replied, “they’re having dinner in Mexico Lindo.” So Steve was quickly directed towards us and settled right in for a night of pickin and eating quesadillas.

Betsy and Old T pickin on our favorite street corner:
BetsyTatePickin

The last few days since have been a bit of a blur. We’ve been doing some surfing. Betsy stood up on a wave for her first time. I got everyone out sailing. We had good wind and went up and anchored in a little bay north of Melaque where we went swimming and downed a 7 avacado guacomole. The rest of the time we’ve been pickin. As Old T put it this morning, “I love it how we take a little pit stop for sleep and get right back pickin” after a session on the boat that went until 2am and then started back up in the cockpit at quarter to 10 this morning. My voice has been shot, but fortunately Beth sings like an angel, so she’s been picking up the slack while I rest up for our big amplified show up at Rey Momo Friday night. Should be a good one. Hopefully Tate will plug his mic on his mp3 recorder into the mic jack and not the headphone jack this time and I might be able to get some tracks up on the site.

Tate and Steve pickin poolside at the Sands:
TateStevePickin

 Posted by at 9:35 am