travelogue – Mazatlán fishing – catch and decease

Many come to Mazatlán, Mexico solely for sport fishing. Gamblers go deep for marlin, swordfish, sailfish, tuna & especially dorado (dolphinfish). I’ve been shut out twice on those trips.

This time we opted for a bottom-fishing trip expecting to haul in dozens of snapper & grouper.

That we did. But the real highlight was a gymnastics display by whales!


See (in a new window) more annotated photos of the McCharles family Mazatlán fishing trip. OPEN icon

Next travelogue on this trip >> Costa Bonita resort.


Bill Murray

During one of those ice-breaker activities at camp last summer, I was asked for my favourite actor.

I named Bill Murray. Just to look at him makes me laugh.

Bill is at his best these days. Right on the edge. I don’t know what comes next.

He has been great in everything since Rushmore (1998).

One exception — Broken Flowers. That movie just did not work for me.

I just saw The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. A worthy addition to the Murray canon.


warning – The Inn at Mazatlan, Mexico

The Inn at Mazatlán is one of the best resorts in town, no doubt. It’s been my home in Mexico since Katrina first took me there over 20-years-ago.

It is not a perfect resort. None are, of course.

One warning to would-be condo investors in Mexico.

Consider the “carrying costs“.

I paid C$5000 for 1 week a year for 23 years. My “condo Fee” started at US$75 / week / year. Very reasonable.

But when my annual bill reached US$400 for that week, I walked away from my unit, unable to sell a time-share with such a high condo fee.

My brother bought a unit at the Inn at Mazatlán about the time I walked away. His condo fee started low and is now well over US$400. He is starting to have doubts.

Fact is, you can rent a week at a 4-star resort in Mazatlán for US$400.

Be sceptical of pretty people and pretty condo pitches in Mazatlán. Things can only get worse for those who own at the Inn. Americans may be required to get a passport to travel to Mexico by 2007. Many will stop travelling to Mexico. Money will get tighter here.

This will further stifle business in Maz, still disaffected from the decrease in travel from the USA after 9/11.

If you have plenty of money, I recommend the Inn at Mazatlán — but it is cheaper to rent as you go.

The Inn at Mazatlán official website

Inn at Mazatlán

book – Land of Two Halves (New Zealand)

Rave review for Joe Bennett, a British expat’s tour of New Zealand.

First I must declare Joe is cheap, distrustful, grumpy & masochistic. He must be inept too to have so much trouble travelling the best travel country in the world.

Joe stayed in motels rather than superb hostels.

He shuns excellent public transport, insisting on hitchhiking far reaches of New Zealand.

It’s profane, absurd & funny. Very funny. This should be mandatory reading for every wide-eyed newby backpacker issued a tourist visa to New Zealand.

To read the first philosophical treatise on hitchhiking pick-up A Land of Two Halves.

travelogue – Mazatlán jungle tour

The most popular tour out of Maz is the boat trip through estuary mangrove swamps.

Our family took the tour, most of us for the second or third time. Excellent — especially the birds.


The boat gets you very close to bird life.


Birds are increasingly tolerant of tourists here.


This is the flat-bottomed boat used on the tours. They sometimes get stuck at low tide.


Mangey beach dog.


New on the tour is a research project growing … sea horse.


We got about 90 minutes on a pristine, protected beach.


A lovely spot marred only by the recent introduction of quad vehicles. (Gladly no one rented one the day we were there.)



It is astonishing the number of over-weight people lounging the beaches of Mexico.



Great Blue Heron.


Feeding the pelican.


These giant birds have learned to come to the boat for a daily handout.


Long-time tour guide Polo even puts a fish on his head. (I remember Polo from my first jungle tour perhaps 20 years ago. Then he had a pet racoon on the boat.)


Yvonne feeding the birds. 🙂





The pelicans truely are impressive.


Getting the fish is the easy part. Keeping it from your dive-bombing competitors is the bigger challenge.


This hat went overboard. The skipper retrieved it.


good news – populations beginning to decline

graphRussia’s population is expected to fall by 22% between 2005 and 2050, Ukraine’s by a staggering 43%. … Japan … has started to shrink and others, such as Italy and Germany, will soon follow. Even China’s population will be declining by the early 2030s, according to the UN, which projects that by 2050 populations will be lower than they are today in 50 countries.

Declining populations | Incredible shrinking countries |