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Position Report, 2007-02-24
We haven’t sent out a new report in some time now, as you may have noticed. There is something going on here every day. It is sometimes very difficult to keep up with all the fun. A new restaurant opened here in La Paz. And we have made it a goal to try everything on the menu. It is that good! We have celebrated several events here. It is called Las Tres Virgenes. It is Nuevo Mexicana cuisine.
We do have three notable (out of the ordinary) exceptions that you might be interested in.
Last November we were invited to spend a week with some friends in Cancun, Mexico.
We flew into Merida as an added bonus and took a bus to Cancun. This part of Mexico is very different from the Baja. There is much more rainfall and it is tropical.
Cancun is a BIG tourist town and has so many people there that we felt a bit out of place at first. But as you can see, Jill adapted quite quickly.
I guess you could say we did what most people do when on vacation. We swam in the warm water, sat on the beach, toured the city, and ate too much fine food.
The high point was a trip to CHICHEN-ITZA!
This was a wonderful experience. We did our visit on the one day during the week that they also do a night time light show. We arrived early in the afternoon, left the park for dinner, and then returned for the show. About the only thing we can say was that it was breathtaking.
One of the things we learned came as a surprise to us. For some time we heard about the Mayans sacrificing people to the gods. When we saw the ball field where they played the games, we were given a talk and informed that it was NOT the losers of the game that were sacrificed, it was the winners! They would not send inferior people to the gods. That puts whole new light on “winning” doesn’t it?
And perhaps one of the more startling things we experienced was their skill in not only mathematics, astrometry, and building, but also in acoustics! As it turns out they worshiped a bird. When you stand on a spot that is in front of the main pyramid, AND in front of the other main building at the same time, and clap three times, the echo you hear is the exact same sound the bird that they worshiped sounds like! This was designed into the construction!
The day after we returned to La Paz from Cancun, Greg departed on a trip to deliver a trawler from the San Francisco Bay area back here to La Paz. Due to weather conditions and one small problem with one of the fuel pumps, it took from before Thanksgiving to after Christmas! A third guy who had volunteered to help, dropped out at the last minute and a good friend Kevin Cole agreed to help.
On the way down, when we stopped in Los Frailes for the night Kevin and I sat at the table and had a beer together. I realized that I had held Kevin in my arms not long after he was born. And now, here we were having a drink together. Something was VERY wrong! How did he grow so old so fast and I have not aged much at all????
The third adventure we undertook has its roots stretching clear back to when Greg was still working at Lockheed Sunnyvale.
As I was working on the Image spacecraft project, one of the scientists, a Dr. Don Levi, came back from a vacation. He knew I was a sailor and so we were talking and he said he had just returned from a trip around Cape Horn! We talked for a time about how good his trip was.
This took root in the back of my mind and I had not thought about it for a number of years.
Last summer, in the heat of the Sea of Cortez, I was thinking about a cooler place, and thinking up an idea for a vacation trip we could take to some place we would not take our boat to. And the idea of the Cape Horn trip popped back up to the surface of my mind!
During a conversation with Gordon & Susie of Spirit Long Beach (we were cruising in company at the time) I mentioned that we were going to look into a South America trip around Cape Horn. They thought it was a GREAT idea also. So, plans were formed and reservations made.
We departed La Paz in mid January, and flew to Buenos Aires, Argentina. We stayed there for a few days before boarding our ship. What a wonderful place!
The food was GREAT!!!
We attended a Tango show that was a lot of fun!
Even McDonalds was there with something surprising..
You can tell it was a hard life aboard the ship as we sailed on to the South.
The ship was the Norwegian Crown, 616 Feet long at 34,242 Gross Tons and held about 1,100 people.
The ship started in Buenos Aires and made stops in Montevideo, Puerto Madryn, the Falkland Islands, rounded Cape horn, then Ushaia, Punta Arenas, Puerto Chacabucco, Puerto Montt, and ending in Valparaiso Chile.
The Falklands was one of our favorites! We made a trip to Sparrow Cove to see the Penguins. If you head that direction, DO THIS SHORE EXCURSION!!!!
Around the Horn…
About the worst weather we had was on the way between the Falklands and the Horn. We had 70 knots of wind and large seas. Even this boat was moving a lot.
That lifeboat is on deck 7! And you can see the spray going a lot higher than that! The next port after the Horn was Ushaia.
When we were there, Jill and I talked to some of the local people and found out that just 2 days before we arrived, another LARGE ship had come in with a lot of passengers with broken arms and legs due to heavy weather!
And to answer a question that may be in the back of your mind, in keeping with an ancient tradition, we had two Cape Horn ceremonies. One on the ship as we made the crossing…
And then, after we rounded the cape, in Punta Arenas, the one that let’s people know we did it.
We were also treated to the sight of a few large glaciers!
We are now back in La Paz, waiting on some company to visit, getting ready for a haul out and making ready to go to sea soon.
As we finish this up, Carnival is just finishing up. This year, it seems like it was better than ever before. The floats in the parade were wonderful! The shops (booths) on the street we full of wonderful goodies that no one can live without like glowing, shimmering, squeeze balls and plastic brightly colored plastic slinkies. Soooooo….. The fun never stops!
Greg & Jill
call us up on a map and see where we are! To do this just click on the a link I have placed below...