Position Report and Family Crisis, September 2008
This is NOT a normal Position Report!
We are starting with the draft (below) of the report we were working on
at the time we received a urgent email from our son Ralph. What
took place after that email is below the draft. We will put the photos into the report at some time.
Start of draft...
Profeco wrap-up I will try make this short and to the point. After the
long process of going to the Profeco office each time we were asked to.
And providing any and all information requested. And the travel agency
received there 3ed summons to appear, and did not! We were told that
Profeco could do no more, but would be glad to make us a copy of our
file (for a copy fee) so we could take it to a lawyer and we could then
take them to civil court. AND, by the way, we would need to go back to
La Paz to do that.
So, we felt like we were out the money. OK, so, we talked to a couple
of local people to see if any one had a friend who might be a lawyer
over in La Paz. We actually found some one. We offered to sign any
paper that might be required to allow him to take the travel agency to
court in our name and said we did not want any of the money he might be
able to recover. He said that for USD$400.00, he could not even take
it. So, at this time the matter is closed. Done. Finished.
Settling in here in Mazatlan is bitter sweet! We like the area and have
made our selfs comfortable. The boat is secure and we are arranging for
a lot of items to be taken care of as we wait out the hurricane season.
The engine needs it 1000 hour check up, we are thinking of having a lot
of canvas done. Other items also need attention after living aboard
since 1996. BUT, just sitting here, in a marina, when we would normally
be out cruising the Sea is hard to do. We both feel like we should be
moving, anchoring out, diving, and exploring!
We have taken our first inland trip. We teamed up with Bridget &
John of S/V Sailsoon and went to Concordia and Copala. Both are small
towns not far from here. It was a real adventure. We priced out a
rental car for the 4 of us, but decided the bus would do just fine. So,
we went to the station and bought our tickets. When we asked for a
round trip, we were told, "no, you need to purchase your return trip
tickets at that end". So, off we went.
The first stop was Concordia. A very nice small town that specializes
in pottery and hand made furniture. As we were coming into town, we saw
a number of pottery places by the road side. We got off at the bus
stop, but it sure did not look like it had a major bus station. As far
as we could tell, there were no pottery places in town. It was just a
small place. So we found a small roadside restaurant and had a fine
We were told that there were many small open truck that we could take
to Copala at a very small cost. But we wanted to see some of the
pottery. When we asked the drivers about stopping along the way, they
said no, they could not stop, but they would go slow for us! After we
talked it over for a bit, we found a cab that would take us to the
pottery shops and then on to Copala. The fare was reasonable, so we
hopped in and took off, the way we had come!
After our stops at a few places, we were off to Copala, and there were
no other shoppes on the way between the two cities. So it was good we
took the time to get the cab.
Once we got to Copala, we were somewhat confused. We thought that there
would be a bus station there. But what we found was that Copala was
much smaller than Concordia! We talked to the cab driver and he said
that we could walk back to the main street and catch a bus back from
there. But we didn't feel that adventuresome, so after a bit of
bargaining we arranged for the cab to come back and pick us up in a few
hours and make sure we we got to the bus that would take us back to
Copala had very small cobblestone streets and was VERY quaint! It had a
few very nice places to stay and had a very "old world" feel to it! We
enjoyed it a lot. I said I would like to come back and spend a night in
But Jill said we would probably be bored in a few hours.
We found this restaurant
That has "WORLD FAMOUS pie! And IT WAS VERY GOOD!!
After we had an early dinner, we caught our cab back to Concordia and
the driver dropped us off at a bus! NO BUS STATION! We got on and the
money was collected on the bus on the way back. We had a very good time
and enjoyed the trip a lot.
You know, one of the things we enjoy the most about Mexico, is the very
warm family atmosphere! Something that we think is lost in a lot of the
USA. When ever we walk the malacon (sea side walkway) we see
families walking it together. Not just couples, but children, parents
and grandparents, all together. We took the bus to town the other day
and the driver had his small daughter with him. She had a small seat
next to him! She was having fun being with dad. This was not a special
"bring you daughter to work day". Just the daughter spending time with
dad and the employer was not upset about it. Here, it seems that most
employers understand "Family matters". Employers don't make believe
that employees don't have families! OK, so much for my rant....
We were treated to Mazatlan unique experience the other day. First, I
need to say that Mazatlan is famous for shrimp. Some of the best shrimp
in the world is caught here. They have a very large fleet of
ships that reside here. The other day we took the bus down town to a
street famous for selling shrimp. For a block or more there are stall
after stall of vendors with large tubs of ice with all types of shrimp
in them. Not just big or small, but different types also. Some of the
vendors even sell blocks of frozen shrimp, but most are fresh from the
boats. So, we walked until we found a vendor that we liked, and decided
on the type of shrimp we wanted. We then bought a Kilo (2.2 pounds).
She weighed them out and put them in a plastic bag for us. We then took
the bag in hand and walked a couple of blocks to a cantina. You walk
in, grab a table and the waitress comes over and asks what type of beer
you would like. She takes your order and the shrimp. As long as you
drink a beer, they boil the shrimp and serve them on a platter to you
for FREE! So, we, along with a couple of other cruisers sat around
drinking a couple beers and peeling and eating shrimp. Then the "Banda"
band started playing. Very different, but a fun time! And the shrimp
were GREAT! Oh yes, did I tell you the fresh shrimp were USD$10.00 per
The other pastime here in Mazatlan, when not working on your boat, is
just like La Paz, the Wednesday half price movies. Almost every
Wednesday a batch of the cruisers here get together and head off to the
movies. They are first run movies in English (with Spanish subtitles)
for USD$2.50 per person. The popcorn and soda special is about USD$5.50
for a medium popcorn and 2 sodas. NOT BAD!
Often, after the movie, we all head out to a restaurant for dinner.
Some times it's Pizza, other times it's a standard dinner. One place we
stopped at has a special, 2 Rib Eye steak dinners, complete with salad,
baked potato and all the fixings, all for USD$16.00.
So, thats about how our time has been going. We are hoping our sons
will join us next month for another more extensive inland trip. We are
looking at visiting Teotihuacan near Mexico city and maybe some of the
other ruins. We have been looking and wonder how so many people think
that going to Europe to see ancient civilizations is a must, when there
are so many so close to home. Believe me, we traveled through Italy and
saw a lot there, but the ones here are just as impressive! Maybe more
End of draft......
A family Crisis
late in August we received a urgent email
from our son Ralph to call him AS SOON AS WE COULD. We were lucky that
we were at Marina Mazatlan as we had WiFi access. We used Skype to
contact Ralph. He stated that the police came to the house and said
they found his car, burnt to the axle. They were asking why he had not
reported it as stolen. He informed them that he had let his brother
Aaron use it to go to a work site some distance from the house. Ralph
then called all of Aaron's friends to see who had seen him last. No one
had seen Aaron for about a week.
After talking to Ralph, we rushed to the Phoenix area to help search
for Aaron. We have found out that our son, Aaron, has been brutally murdered! Needless to say this has devastated us!
We are now staying in Aaron's house and will be here until we are
confident that the persons responsible for this unspeakable crime are brought to justice.
So, we will not be doing our 4 year gear report or any other position
reports until we are able to return to the cruising lifestyle. We are
not sure when that will be. So, please keep us in your thoughts.
Jill and Greg