Friday, January 29, 2010

The Lessons of Life...

I was looking at the anchor snubber today and noticed that it had been sitting in the water for long enough that it had developed a small garden of sea life. Bright yellow and black fish hung in the shade of the anchor chain and a thin layer of crystallized salt has formed where the rope meets the water. Such is life in the slow lane these days.

Eric accidentally knocked the frigate into the water with a coconut, after originally planning to scare it away from our dinghy painter. And then it was a rescue mission to save the big frigate. These birds can't fly after their wings get wet!

It was less than a week ago (before Eric's emergency) when Eric and I arrived in Carrizol, a beautiful anchorage tucked only a few miles north of Manzanillo. Not a single building littered the steep-to shoreline and a lovely palm tree patch looked down over a small rocky beach at the far end of the cove.

What a wonderful surprise it was to wake up to crystal clear water and a cool breeze the next morning! We could see our anchor 35 feet below us and the area just begged to be explored! We rowed to shore that day, anchored just off the beach and swam in. After doing a bit of beachcombing (and returning with nothing of value) we clambered up a cleared path and came to a lovely vista point with a well-maintained road leading up into the hilly region.

Leave it to Eric to find useful things (like 5/8" hose for our cockpit drain) in an abandoned Jeep parked up in the foothills by Carrizol!

We spent several hours wandering around the area that seemed to once have been the site of a major building project- with signs pointing to cleared out areas for condos and aparetments that never got built. Gardens with avocado trees and other vegetables stood forlorn on the roads ridden with weeds.

After our exploring we returned to the palm trees and spent several hours tossing rocks up at the towering palm trees in the hopes that we could get some sweet coconut juice. After competing to see who could knock more down and clean them on the curb at the road (and giggling until our gyts hurt and our arms were sore from peeling and throwing rocks), we walked back to the beach with eight coconuts!

Our coconut adventures left us full of sweet juice and coconut fruit, and our bodies sore from throwing rocks, peeling husks, and laughing!

That night our wonderful friends Linda and Mike from Tranquilo invited us along with a single hander, Kevin from Tashee for dinner onboard their boat. We talked well into the night and enjoyed a barbeque with real charcoal...which was a real treat!

Americans and their football. Pfft. Just about the whole anchorage in Barra joined together at a hotel to watch the football game. We came for the internet... and to cheer for NY... because everyone else was cheering for San Diego. NY won!

The next morning, We forced Eric into Tranquilo's dinghy and we rushed him into Manzanillo to see the hotel doctor for severe abdominal pain. After the doctor assured us it was only an intestinal infection, we stocked up on antibiotics and EletroLyte juice and headed back to Carrizol.

The next morning we were introduced to Berk, Casey and "Mighty Quin" from the sailboat Isis. After I gobbled down from Mac and Cheese, Kevin and the Isis crew and I went snorkelling on the wonderful reef at the anchorage... Quin could name just about every fish you pointed at, and even knew ones if you could describe them to him! Not bad for a four year old!

We left that afternoon to Las Hadas for a follow-up appointment with the doctor. The wind was wonderful- on our stern at around 15 knots. Although Eric wasn't well enough to set our jib up with the spinnaker to sail wing-on-wing, our main had us going at a hot 4.8 knots the majority of the 4-mile sail.

Las Hadas anchorage is nice, but the regular water skiiers that do circles around the boats are a headache. At least the hotel pool is free...

Since Eric's operation things have been slow and relatively benign. I'm beginning to really enjoy our mandatory walks that Eric's doctor has prescibed him. No more alcohol for the poor fellow, so we go for an "ice cream date" everyday- it gives us something to look forward to after the hot and sometimes painful walks.

Eric's recovery is going so well that he often surprises me now at his grinning and usual self (that I haven't seen in quite some time!).

Although the recovery period is going to be a long one, Las Hadas is full of beautiful gardens and pathways and has access to pools and... of course, ICE CREAM!

A beautiful sunset over Las Hadas hotel grounds. The gardens and amenities here are beautiful... although you better be wealthy to get a room here... they start at $500/night!

We'll keep everyone updated on how the ice cream dates are going, and whether as Eric heals, he gets to the ice cream parlour faster than before!

If we have learned anything out of this ordeal, it's that you never know what's around the bend for you...

Eric's strength is coming back in full force. This picture was taken only a couple of days after his operation. We were in Paradise Restaurant!

We hope all is well and everyone is healthy and safe and enjoying the weather (whatever it may be) this crazy, crazy season!

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