Wednesday, March 28, 2007

More beaches, more hammocks and now swimming

LA MANZANILLA, Jalisco, Mexico - There has been a thaw after six months, not in the ice, but in the 'frozen shoulder' I've been battling that took me from a guitar to playing a ukelele and left me almost addicted to aspirin.

For the first time yesterday, I was able to actually swim - a few breast strokes anyway - without screaming. The shoulder is still sore, and my left arm has started giving indications that it, too, would like to go on strike, but progress is evident.

In the bay water yesterday, in front of our palapa, I was joined by Chief Engineer Scott Noble who has discovered 'organic tequila,' a home-brew of sorts made with no preservatives. The smokey-tasting stuff probably encouraged him to jump in, and do a little mugging for the camera. He also was studying some documents before he went crashing into the surf (the second photo below) until he saw that I wasn't carried out with the tide or fell victim to any sea creatures.

Scott superman pose
Scott does Schwarzenegger

Scott studies on the beach
Scott studies mysterious documents

Less mugging and more relaxing was done by Captain Sanders Lamont at the palapa where he discovered an unused hammock and demonstrated the side mount, side dismount and one-handed-plop-into-the-hammock maneuver that is so difficult when carrying a full can of Modelo in one hand. Later today, we have hammock practice scheduled, once we replenish the Modelo Especiale supply.

Sanders finds his niche
Sanders demonstrates his prowess at hammocking

Every day has included some amount of exploration of the town and countryside, during which we've spotted dozens of plants (and a few animals) that are unlike anything we've seen before. Scott and his crew reported seeing a fairly large critter that looked like a combination of a monkey and an anteater - sort of a Mexican sasquatch. Yesterday we saw some strange fruits hanging off a tree on a street in one of the neighborhoods just up the hillside. They look like a cross between a banana and a starfruit, with a few genes of a New Zealand Kiwi thrown in.

Strange fruits
Strange fruits

Tonight was supposed to be fish-on-the-barbecue night, but the local fishing fleet struck out earlier today and Javier, who is the all-around guy here our palapa, said we will have to wait until tomorrow night for our fish fiesta - provided the fishermen can find some dorado in the morning. And no word from anyone on whether the strange fruit is edible or not either.

Another mystery for tomorrow.

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