Monday, March 7, 2016


My stay at Casa Mango had been pleasant and I left there reluctantly and hauled my bags down the street to Comet, which was conveniently docked right at the end of Calle Marlin where Casa Mango was located.  Between trips, I ran into Betty, who was getting ready to cruise south for a few weeks and learned that I would be able to sublet her room at Agave Azul for 1000 pesos a week after she left on Monday.  As much as I love Don and Comet, this was welcome as we would have plenty of time to get sick of each other once we left La Cruz for points south.  At this point, the plan was to remain in La Cruz for a few weeks so that Don could get some canvas work done and then cruise south to Zihuantanejo.  Having a room would make it easier to engage in my shoreside pursuits of
One of My Drawings from Casa Mango
running, drawing and playing the guitar.

Comet in La Cruz Marina
Life in La Cruz passes pleasantly, although there isn’t always much to write about.  I met old friends, went to sailing seminars and passed time playing Mexican Train dominoes and darts at the Gecko Rojo.  The one newsworthy event that occurred during my brief sojourn on Comet was a tragedy that befell one of my domino and dart playing friends and her partner. Connie and Barry were cruising on Barry’s boat, Rage.  Barry had built Rage himself and it was his only home when he returned to Canada.  The boat was constructed using a method known as cold molding, which is basically fiberglass laid over very thin plywood.  The boat was out in the anchorage and Barry and Connie had taken a room above the Cava de los Martinez so as to facilitate coming and going as Barry had no motor for his dinghy.  Since he had to row to and from the boat, he had anchored in close to shore, off the reef just south of the marina.  Sunday afternoon, there were large swells rolling through the anchorage.  Rage drug anchor and, before anyone could do anything, went aground on the reef, tearing a gaping hole in her port side. 

It was late afternoon when we heard of this calamity over the radio. I figured that any salvaging that was going to get done would have to happen before dark.  I grabbed my water shoes and made a beeline for the beach where the boat had gone aground.  The tide was low and the water was too shallow to approach Rage by boat.  Dinghies would have been flipped by the breaking waves.  The only way to approach the boat was by wading.  More and more people kept arriving and eventually we must have had 50 people stretching in a line from the boat to the shore, standing in water up to our thighs, passing kayaks full of gear and possessions back and forth from the boat to the beach.  Between the construction method and the location where she went aground, there was no way to refloat the boat.  We got everything loose off the boat that night.  The next day, the boat was pulled up onto the beach where the fuel tanks, mast, winches, and engine were removed over the following week.  Finally, on the night of the full moon, Rage was burned in a funeral pyre.  Boats seem so stout when they are plunging through the ocean, but they crack like eggs when they meet the shore.  (I apologize for the lack of photos, but I knew I'd be getting wet, so left the camera and phone at home.)

Betty left on Monday, but I couldn’t move into Agave Azul until Tuesday afternoon because their water pressure pump was broken.  Monday, I stomped all over town putting up posters to advertise the upcoming free spay and neuter clinic.  I had promised to help my friend Dani, who organizes the clinic each year.  We should have had more helpers, but many people were busy assisting Rage.  We spent most of the afternoon taping flyers to phone poles in the blazing heat.
My Room at Agave Azul

Tuesday, I mustered enough motivation to head into Puerto Vallarta in search of Eduardo’s new computer repair shop after I moved into my room at Agave Azul.  I took the bus into town after lunch and arrived about 14:30.  I had no trouble finding the shop (Compulectronics at 28 Bernal), but the shop was closed from 14:00 to 16:00.  I crossed the main road and sat in a café, reading and drinking a coffee frappe until 16:00 when I returned to the shop.  There was still no sign of Eduardo, but a line was starting to form.  Eduardo appeared about 16:15.  He quickly determined that my keyboard was defective and even an external keyboard didn’t work.  He needed to do some research, so I left the computer and headed home.
The Pool at Agave Azul
I was hot, so I stopped in Nuevo Vallarta to buy beer and a few groceries.  They didn’t give me a bag for the beer, so I put it in my backpack along with a few other items.  The collectivo going home was crowded and I got jostled while settling myself and groceries in a rear seat.  Suddenly, I felt moisture.  Somehow the selfie stick in the bottom of my backpack had punctured a can of beer.  The beer poured out and drowned my poor iPod which I had forgotten was at the bottom of my pack.  My technology juju had definitely reached a low point.

Wednesday marked the beginning of the spay and neuter clinic.  I went for an early run and then reported to assist at the clinic at 9:00.  I was assigned to work in the recovery area.  The animals are
Cats in the Recovery Area
dropped off between 9 and 11 in the morning.  Cats, being smaller, take longer to come around after anesthesia, so they are operated on first.  The animals are anesthetized and then shaved and prepped for surgery.  Dogs are intubated to keep their airways open.  Anesthetized cats are completely limp.  When they come out of surgery, we take their pulses, temperatures and respiration and note the results on a form.  We recheck these every half hour until they wake up.  One of the problems with the smaller kitties is that they get cold.  To prevent this, we snuggle them close together in a line front to back.  Every fifteen minutes or so we flip them over.  They look precious all lined up like that.  We pet them constantly to stimulate them and watch for signs of waking.  We don’t want any escapees.  When they start lifting their heads, we treat them for fleas and ticks and then put them in a carrier.

Dogs are a whole different story. They mostly come out of the anesthesia very quickly.  Often we
Waiting for This Husky to Wake Up
barely had time to remove the breathing tube and IV before they woke up.  If we got time, we checked them for ticks and removed any we found.  The smaller dogs such as Chihuahuas took longer to come around.  We had to flip those over every few minutes and rub them to stimulate them.  Some seemed to enjoy the attention and refused to wake up.  The few that we knew to be aggressive went straight into carriers the moment they stirred.  On the first day of the clinic we altered eleven cats and eight dogs. 

Thursday, my friend April the tour guide led an excursion to the Puerto Vallarta botanical gardens.  The gardens are located on the other side of Puerto Vallarta on the road to Barra de Navidad.  It took us about two hours to get there.  We walked around the gardens for a few minutes and then ate a nice lunch in the very pleasant restaurant before joining the docent led walk at 13:00.  The gardens were lush and beautiful, with many species of orchids and bromeliads.  Despite their ubiquitousness, the bougainvillea were magnificent, as well.  One of the most exotic specimens was a jade vine from the Philippines with flowers in a surreal teal green color.  After the tour, we took a walk through the gardens to the river and back and cooled our feet in the stream. 

Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden
Jade Vine

Bees Loved this Flower

As a group, we had decided to spend more time at the gardens at the expense of April’s usual tour of Puerto Vallarta.  We did, however, stop and take a quick walk around Old Town, the Rio Cuale, and the main church.  Then we loaded back in the van and drove back through rush hour traffic to La Cruz.

Please excuse the strange placement of photos.  I have only a tablet that works and cannot control positioning with it.
Orchid House

I spent Friday and Saturday back at the clinic.  They had done fifteen animals in my absence on Thursday.  Friday we did ten cats and fifteen dogs and Saturday was dog day with eleven cats and 19 dogs.  It was a lot of work, but very gratifying.  People brought animals from far and wide, arriving in everything from milk crates to pink lace tablecloths.  The Mexican vets and vet techs who do this every day under challenging circumstances are amazing.
Cat on the Operating Table

While I had had a busy week, Don had spoken with his canvas maker and determined that she could not get to his work until the middle of March.  Rather than wait around in La Cruz, we decided to sail south to Zihuatanejo and then get the canvas work done on our way back to the Sea of Cortez. I spent a relaxing weekend at Agave Azul, which really is a lovely place with a nice pool (actually kept clean) and a large shady common area hung with hammocks that was once a bar.  While not as large or comfortable as my room at Casa Mango, my room was 80% cheaper and the company was excellent.  Sunday, I spent helping Don tighten the stanchions on Comet.

I hadn’t heard from Eduardo since he had asked me to change the password online the week before.  We were planning to leave on Tuesday, so I headed back out to Eduardo’s on Monday morning.  He had reformatted my computer and saved all my files.   The keyboard still didn’t work and he didn’t have an English one available, but I could still use it in tablet mode, as it is a convertible machine.  Unfortunately, the internet at Agave Azul was intermittent and I didn’t have time to update my blog before I left.

No comments:

Post a Comment