Mahahual Blues

Monday, January 5th, 2009

bikiniI’ve been in Mahahual for a week and a half and feels like forever. I’m sort of in limbo now, waiting for my friend from San Diego, Ali, to come on the 11th. I haven’t ventured outside of the town because I don’t want to do anything twice. I’m also saving my money because I’m sure I’ll spend a lot when he gets here. We’ll have two weeks, with a car, to explore all of the Costa Maya. I thought about flying to Mexico City and couchsurfing but I haven’t bought a ticket yet. Perhaps I’ll go before Havana. If I buy tickets now, I can get them for $60 one way from Cancun.

On New Years Eve I went to a party on the beach, surrounded by jungle, just north of the lighthouse. It didn’t get going until after midnight. There was no count down, just a bunch of shouts when the clock struck 12. The crowd was mostly the ex-pat locals. There were Canadians, Germans, Italians, Austrians, Mexicans and Mayans. I took a nap beforehand, from 6 to 8, so I could last longer. When I awoke Gary and Larry already turned in for the night. At 1 I called my friends in the States to wish them a happy New Years. I went home at 4.

The next morning, someone dropped by the pier and told us that the immigration official was in town, at the port captain’s office. When we went there, the port captain told us he was upstairs celebrating his birthday. Upstairs, Gary and I found him drinking whiskey with some friends. We filled out a form and got our passports stamped. The immigration official offered us some whiskey and we accepted. Keep in mind this happened before noon, but on New Years Day (and your birthday), I think it’s acceptable to drink before noon. He asked for a tip we each shelled out $10.

One day we scouted out a potential snorkeling area for Crystal Blue Persuasion, in another boat. There’s a reef all along the beach and there are only a few poorly marked entrances. It’s especially dangerous for a catamaran to enter because of how wide they are. Crystal Blue Persuasion still hasn’t left the dock since we first tied up.

As per the business, things are moving slowly. The doctor, owner of the pier and business Tequila Beach, where the pier is, was very excited at the sight of our boat. It’s definitely the sexiest boat for miles. Lots of the cruise ship passengers stop by and ask if it’s one of the excursions. We’ve had to disappoint them. Gary showed one couple the boat as a photo-op. We’ve been saying we need photos of girls in bikinis on the boat for the website and brochures, as if that’s what you’ll find if you come sailing with us. Anyway, this girl was the perfect model so Gary took some photos (see above). I was unfortunately absent, probably plugged into my computer somewhere. Given the interest in Crystal Blue Persuasion, I think that the doctor and his lackeys might be giving Gary the run-around. They say they’re waiting for brochures, but you don’t need a brochure to sell a ticket when you’ve got customers knocking down your door. The thing is, they have other, smaller, crappier, non-sail boats that they take people out in. In the meantime I’m trying to spread the word and find customers independently so Gary and Larry can get a little cash and then people could see the boat in glorious action, creating more demand and buzz. But it’s a delicate situation because Gary hasn’t officially incorporated yet and if the we get kicked off of the dock, there’s really no place to dock that would be convenient and lucrative. I figure as long as he shares the profits, the doctor won’t really mind. I think Gary should just start going out to spur the doctor into action.

A couple times I went fishing off the pier with a little hand line. At first I was using hot dogs as bait and caught 6 little guys that were barely worth eating. Later, after learning some from the other fishermen, I started using sardines as bait with bigger hooks. I haven’t caught as many this way but I caught one sizable pargo. I think it’s called a snapper in English.

I’ve been sending out inquiries about my next voyage, to the South Pacific, and I’ve got one solid lead. Arnold, of Monet, has more or less accepted me but he’s just waiting to hear from Gary as a reference. Here’s his latest email below:

My german friends leave Monet in Galapagos. From Galapagos you are the only crew member and the first stop will be at Fatu Hiva, Marquesas, these are about 3000 nm, the next stop is Nuku Hiva the main iland of Marquesas Ilands, where we pick up a friend of mine, Guenter from Germany. I intend to stay a couple of days in this reagion. Then we cross the Tuamotus atoll ilands to Papete; if the weather is moderate I intend to go into Rangiroa atoll.

After a couple of days in Tahiti turn to Moorea and then Rangiroa where Monet comes on the hard for the next months!

I wanted to go all the way to Australia, but maybe I can find a boat going there in Tahiti.

Last night I met a drunk Mexican who’d lived in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco for eleven years. 24th and Mission to be precise. There’s still some seedy blocks nowadays but I’m sure it was a lot worse back in his day, not as many hipsters and trendy restaurants. I rattled off all the Mexican places l knew like Taqueria El Farolito, Taqueria Cancun, Tin Tan, Pancho Villa and, of course, the tranny bar that I used to live behind, Esta Noche. He smiled in reminiscence. It’s refreshing when you meet someone who knows the area you’re from when you’re traveling. The bartender, Servantes, gave me tips on where to go in Cancun, since he’d lived there his whole life. In fact, he gave me some free drink tickets for a bar called Daddy-Os.

I’m now working on a website for Crystal Blue Persuasion. Here’s a map of Mahahaul that I made from a photo I took of a map posted on the boardwalk or malecon.Mahahual Map

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