Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just a little bit more Zihuatanejo before we go...

Well, Zihuatanejo is starting to feel like home. And you know what that means:

                                                               It's time to leave.

Dinghy beach at Zihua

The sad reality of traveling life is thus -- right when you know the place and come to care for the people -- right when you have settled in and you can find your way around -- it's time to go. Ah, well...

Espiritu rests in the anchorage behind the charming Zihua fish market

This has been our favorite destination so far in our travels. Zihua will be hard to beat.  There's even a sweet little movie theatre right here in town, called the Cinema Paraiso. We saw "Man on a Ledge" in English with Spanish subtitles.

It's quite enlightening watching the Spanish subtitles to an English film. For instance, I learned (over and over again) that the Spanish word for "S-H-I-T!" is "Maldicion!"

It doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, now, does it?

Another view of charming Zihuatanejo

We had a rather shocking experience the other evening:

We were strolling through seaside Zihua. Mexicans mixed happily with gringos, children laughed, teenagers played basketball, and locals sold their wares. Just another evening in paradise.

 We heard a woman making a presentation to a gathering crowd at an outdoor stage area, so out of curiosity we decided to check it out.

She spoke loudly into a microphone in rapid Spanish on the stage with a display of the Mayan Calendar behind her. Suddenly, she turned to the east and told us to raise our hands. She then directed the crowd to follow her as she chanted to...the sun God? She spoke so quickly I could only understand bits and pieces, but suddenly we were in the middle of a couple of hundred people chanting and droning to a Mayan deity!

There were several gringos in the crowd, and stunningly, they simply followed along, raised their hands and chanted away!

Then, she directed us to turn towards the north, raise our hands and follow her chants and drones to...the  stars, I think it was? Or another Mayan deity of some sort.

And everyone turned, lemming-like, and followed her.

This was really sort of shocking to both of us, as I truly thought Mexico was nearly completely cloaked in an enveloping (and controlling) blanket of Catholicism.

I kept looking over to the corners of the crowds, where I half expected a group of priests and nuns to come running through the crowd slapping our hands with rulers and breaking it up.

Can you imagine this scene being tolerated in the U.S.?

I have no idea how prevalent this is here. But what was amazing was the way passersby (and gringos!) just dropped their shopping bags, raised their hands, turned toward the sky and simply joined right in!


A Canadian sailor proudly displays the maple leaf off of his ster

In other news, I've noticed that the majority of Canadians sailing here in Mexico prominently fly their national flags.  What makes this interesting is the fact that the majority of the American sailboats -- well, DON'T.

The topic of the politics of the American cruiser is a delicate one. And it's not easily defined.

One especially positive aspect of this unplugged cruising life is the fact that we are all essentially removed from what we can all agree is the tawdriness of the 24 hour news cycle. And I can't tell you what a relief this is. "Cleansing" only begins to describe it.

Interestingly, politics rarely comes up in our discussions with other cruisers. And since most of us have made the decision to NOT fly the stars and stripes, the question is: Why?

It's easy to imagine that many non-flag wavers are far left types who aren't fans of the increasingly imperialistic turn of our country over the last 15 years.

But to say that most American cruisers, and most non-flag fliers, are lefties would be a gross miscalculation.

The stars and stripes is a sight rarely seen amongst American cruisers here in Mexico

Many American sailors here have a strong libertarian streak. Those with this independent personality type are also, not coincidentally, more prone to throw off the shackles of modern American life and head south.

The same goes with "Tea Party" types. And I suspect there are a few of those down here too.

The interesting conclusion that I must come to is that while most American cruisers in Mexico are extremely independent and unconventional, politically they tend to be either left/far left or right/far right.

With practically no-one in the mushy middle.

Well, if we were followers then we probably wouldn't be down here, right?

So why not fly the flag, though?

It may simply boil down to fear and common sense. Regardless of your political views, one must acknowledge that for many different reasons, the popularity of the U.S. and it's policies is at it's lowest point since, well...EVER.  Poll after poll shows this, sadly.

So not advertising the fact that one is an American is probably a smart move, albeit not one that Chris and I are taking.

We do fly our flag. Because regardless of what we may or may not feel about current U.S. policy, the U.S. is still our home. It is where we were born, and nearly everyone we love lives within it's borders. For better or for worse, it is our motherland.

And regardless of your political or religious views, what American could disagree with the sentiment:

                                                         "God bless the U.S.A.?"

Well, we're pulling up anchor tomorrow morning and heading south to Acapulco with our buddy boat "Talaria." The weather prediction is for fair winds and following seas during our one night passage.


  1. Actually, "maldicion" just means curse. The actual translation for s-h-i-t is "mierda." : ) Hopefully you won't hear it or need to say it anytime soon!