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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hasta Luego Santiago Bay

We are currently underway for Zihuatanejo and, as John said this morning on his last Amigo net as net manager/controller, leaving our friends behind in Santiago Bay was one of the hardest things we've ever had to do. Besides Stan and MJ, our very best buddy boaters who are now our dearest CLODs*, there happened to be a convergence of several summer in the Sea boats and other old and new friends who won't be sailing farther south this year. This made it especially hard to sail out of the anchorage yesterday without tears. Thank you to everyone who stopped by or got on the radio to give us your well wishes and encouragement. You helped put the emphasis on the excitement of beginning a new journey rather than the sadness of leaving good friends.

Our final week in the charming town of Santiago Bay was another fun filled one, with more good food (ice cream and pizza right out of the SolCasa freezer!), darts, futbol (another Picudos win!), and power shopping for provisions. Stan and MJ's van really got a workout hauling people and groceries, at one point dragging the exhaust tube over topes (speed bumps) while hauling a load of nine people back to the beach. We paid a visit to a botanero in Santiago Bay where the singers were tone deaf (but enthusiastic), and we speculated that the waitresses were moon (day?) lighting as private entertainment on the side. They didn't have a hard liquor license so I drank my first Coronas in years, and the botanas (snacks) included a lukewarm and very thin fish soup, fish ceviche, and that was all. We had a great time soaking up the local color, but next time I'd go back to Bar Social in Manzanillo for the food! Stan and MJ took us on a road trip north to Barra de Navidad on Monday where we picked up our mail from Adios, stopped to talk to cruising friends at almost every block, and ate lunch out with some of the gang. Southern Belle hosted another game of Texas Hold 'Em (my first) where I actually came in fourth out of ten players, and our host, George, finally won the pot. Ziggy went after a Tarantula Hawk wasp one afternoon, John couldn't catch him in time, and Z. got stung right under his chin. He was obviously uncomfortable for the rest of the day but didn't have any respiratory problems from it. And finally, Nakia organized a happy hour get together at the El Rey ramada on the beach which turned into an impromptu birthday party for me. People from 20 or so boats attended, there were cakes, ron ponch, and even presents; it made for the perfect bon voyage party too.

We can't thank Stan and MJ enough for the "mi casa es su casa" offer they extended us. The miles they put on the van, the bottomless beer bottles, the wireless, the Skype phone, the grocery shopping and touring, the walks, the dart games, the laundry service, and of course, best of all, the warm friendship they share with us, are what make it especially difficult to leave Mexico. And it was especially reassuring to find that this is one of those simpatico relationships that extends beyond sailing onto land. Thanks you two, and you'll be hearing a "codigo azul" from us again one of these days!

Linda and John

*Cruisers Living On Dirt