fishing out of Mazatlan

6:20 AM departure Mazatlan marina.

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The boats were busy as trips from the previous 2 days had been cancelled due to high wind.

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Sunrise from the boat.

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Dad had taken many Mexican fishing trips in the past & was looking forward to another one.

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The anchor is welded rebar, quite flexible just-in-case it gets snagged.

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The highlight of the trip for me was an unexpected acrobatic show by California Grey whales!

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El Capitano. 18 years piloting these waters.

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We were bottom fishing. Light rods, 2 hooks baited with shrimp.

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Yvonne caught the first fish and the biggest Grouper.

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The water was choppy on the 90 minute ride out. I felt slightly seasick all day.

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We had 6 Canadians with rods in the water. Cost about US$50 / person. (Boat is US$250 plus tip for a 7hr day.)

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We were out with the Escuelo fleet, recommended by gingo locals.

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It was difficult to “feel” a hit with 200ft of line out.

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Bottom fishing you catch many small fish but have no chance at big Dorado or Marlin.

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	FisheRob.
FisheRob.

With our haul in the cooler & much smoother seas, the trip in was relaxing.

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Giant iguana guarding the harbour.

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Disclaimer: Rick did NOT catch this fish.

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Skipper cleaning our red snapper.

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Larry from Alberta let us keep his fish.

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Dinner for 4. Yvonne’s grouper & 3 snapper. We gave the rest away.

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the Maori Haka

haka I recently saw video of the guards at the Pakistan – India border doing combative drill while taking down their respective flags. Awesome!

It reminded me of the fantastic Maori Haka war chant. Most people know it from the All Blacks Rugby Team.

Actually the All Blacks introduced a revised Haka in the summer of 2005. It includes a throat slash gesture, controversial but appropriate — I thought. They typically slaughter opponents.

On the All Blacks official website:

videos of the All Blacks performing the Haka

extreme hiking – the triple crown

TGO FEB 2006

Matt Squeeky Hazley, a Brit, is the first person to thru’ hike America’s 3 foremost long distance trails within a calendar year – and in the process set new speed records for two of them. This despite bungling the logistics & suffering some of the worst weather in history.

Matt, 25, hiked the trails known collectively as the Triple Crown – the Pacific Crest (2650 miles), the Continental Divide (around 2800 miles) and the Appalachian Trail (2170 miles) – between May 4 and December 29.

That’s more than 7600 miles in 260 days, at average of around 30 miles a day; take rest days into account and his average walking day was more like 40 miles.

Matt’s achievement is all the more remarkable because he deliberately hiked the trails “out of season” to reduce his chances of success.

Tiime for a rest?

Nope. He plans more long distance record breaking hikes. Walking he expects to average well over 50mi / day which would put him faster than trail runners.

travelogue – Mexico is a crappy country

Rick\'s mugWhen I say crappy, I mean crappy for ME — a gringo traveller.

This phrase — Mexico is a crappy country — started to ring true after I was overcharged US$20 by an otherwise lovely hotel manager. Then duped by an otherwise friendly taxi driver into taking 2 cabs instead of the one large vehicle I had requested.

Now I write this after spending 4-days on a pristine island paradise here. This land has great potential. But it is woefully underdeveloped for the most part. It is astonishing how far it lags behind big neighbour, the USA.

Seems to me Mexico has most of the worst attributes of the first and the third worlds. It’s expensive — but there is no recourse available to the customer when wronged. (Except to blog the culprits.)

A (bad) muffin cost more here than in Canada — and the bakery salesgirl systematically shortchanges you. Yeesh.

Wages are perhaps 15% of those in Canada. Yet prices are the same for most things. Where is the money going? Not to pay Mexican taxes, that’s certain.

A woman I met on a kayak tour was suffering buyer’s remorse. She recently retired. Her husband died last year. The sharks met her arriving at the Cabo airport. She bought an expensive condo from that first salesman.

In Mexico you are vulnerable if you are recently arrived, elderly, if you don’t speak Spanish.

It ticks me off.

I’m one of the few who feels that the best thing happening in Mexico is the inevitable domination of McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Applebee’s and the ilk. Efficient companies with fixed prices & quality control.

Mexico is a crappy country for the long-term traveller.

I wish I was in Laos.

Next travelogue on this trip >> Island of Women

travelogue – La Paz, Baja

Most jet straight to raucous Cabo when they come to Baja. I am much happier in mellow La Paz.

From Mazatlan I caught the ferry.

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The (expensive) trip was supposed to take 14-16 hours but it was closer to 22 hours for me. I watched 5 family movies. Have you seen Freaky Friday?

Last millennium I stayed at Pension California. They haven’t updated it since. El Cheapo = US$15 / night.
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Every morning I waltzed down to Exquisito for excellent cofee & free wireless internet. I was “working” — doing a website for a client.

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La Paz (the Peace) is one of the best liked cities (165,000) in Mexico. The main entertainment is strolling the waterfront Malecón.

Most of my photos are — as usual — statues.

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I like this statue best. About 1/3 the entire world population of sea mammals live in the waters of Baja.

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I bussed out to Tecolote beach.

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From here you COULD paddle 4.5 miles to the island in the distance. I thought that was a bit dangerous. So instead of renting a kayak, I signed on with a guided kayak tour.

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Sunset with rum and raison ice cream in a giant hand-made waffle cone.

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new books by Ron Shewchuk

book cover Congratulations to my buddy Ron Shewchuk on the publication of his latest book, Writing and Editing the Internal Publication.

He’s posted a new blog in conjunction with the release.

Ron’s new corporate communications blog, For Your Approval

Ron has a best selling cookbook still on the shelves and a second cookbook ready for publication. Cookbook details on Ron’s homepage.

RonShewchuk.com