Sunday, March 09, 2008

English Speaking Lessons at University of Loreto, Mexico

This week started off with winds blowing from the Northwest up to 30 mph. Last Sunday was a beautiful relaxing warm day and I decided to take the afternoon off and bask in the sun. After getting settled on the lounge chair with sunscreen, cold cerveza and good book in hand, the wind came from nowhere. Within 10 minutes doors and windows of nearby homes were blowing open and shut, construction dust and dirt was flying everywhere at incredible force that it felt that I was being hailed upon. The palm trees were swaying their fury dance and you could barely see the ninth hole on the golf course for the cloud of dust rising above it.

Our sportsfishing yacht was anchored downtown in front of our building and when I drove to the office Monday I could not believe my eyes as the boat rode the waves with agility and grace as the wind and currents swirled around it. I was torn between hiding and watching as Captain Chino and crew tried for 30 minutes to get the panga close enough to REEL TROUBLE for him to jump onboard and move the boat to the safer waters of Pt. Escondido. The driver of the panga was an experienced captain accustomed to handling 130 ft. yachts and still after many attempts it was clear that it was too dangerous to get close enough for Chino to jump onto the boat. When you compare the length and width of REEL TROUBLE to the panga in this photo, one gets more appreciation for being secure when Mother Nature decides to change the weather at a moment’s notice. Our 34’ Luhrs yacht is extremely seaworthy and built for these waters and elements.

Ron and Vicky of FN369 chartered REEL TROUBLE for a 3 hour cruise. They wanted to take their friends John, Patty, and Gilbert on the water to see the islands and do a little fishing. It started out as a beautiful calm day as we headed out towards Carmen Island directly as the orange sun was rising behind the mountains. We saw a pod of dolphins along the way and slowed down so they could play with the boat.

Captain Chino and First Mate were very excited when they saw this swarm of birds. Where there are birds, there are fish! After scanning the horizon for fish on the surface, quickly baiting and throwing down lines, there were a few bites but these were “junk” fish, and not worthy of true fishermen! So, we continued on our search for the great yellow tail tuna. We came across a few pangas and stopped to put the lines out. The wind picked up again suddenly and no fish were biting anywhere. We decided to move on and continue all the way around the island rather than try running against the winds coming from the north. The pangas decided to follow us on the same route as it would be too dangerous for them to go against the strong currents. I can not imagine 3 hours on a panga in this weather and am so glad those days are over and we now have options!

We made it safely back to Pt. Escondido and put $500 USD of diesel in the boat. Singular charges a service fee of 22% to pull along side the dock so you can access the Pemex. This means that we had to pay $110 USD service fee JUST to buy the gas on the water. Governments certainly know how to tax the luxury market in every country … but I guess this is how they pay for the new marina they opened last year. Maintaining a boat is a lot of money anywhere, and that’s the reason we have our Velero Del Mar Membership Program. No Hassles, No Worries, and boat is always ready for you and other limited members. Ask for more information or visit www.velerodelmar.com or call me at 602 628 2920.

This week guests of Nellie’s Place Hotel were specialists from La Paz, who had come to teach and demonstrate how to safely handle and move reptiles, including snakes, scorpions and lizards. No need to worry, these are for clients who have purchased large uninhabited hectares of land where the wildlife have been free to roam undisturbed for centuries. It is important that they are concerned enough to educate their staff on identification and information, and how each of these animals relate to the environment in the circle of life.

Loreto is a desert similar to Phoenix. I must admit that I have seen more snakes and scorpions in Scottsdale than I have during the past 4 years in Loreto. It is rare to see these creatures in developed residential areas where there is activity and construction. Even the reptiles prefer to live where there is peace and quiet and less dust! You should be aware in the hot summer months when hiking in the mountains as they hide under rocks and bushes and get mad if you step on them or disturb their habitats.

UABCS-Loreto (University of Loreto) has maintained programs for the English speaking community. Starting with classes in beginning Spanish, it has expanded these programs to include multiple levels of Spanish, workshops, excursions, and lectures. Now the first students to enroll in the degree program are nearing graduation. To give some of those students practical experience in running an endeavor, much of the responsibility for the program in English has been given to a small group of them. Not only have they been involved in planning the offerings, they will teach, guide, and lead most of the activities. So much to learn!

Sam Salinas, Head of Campus, invites you to visit them or check out their website at www.uabcsloreto.com for more information on Spanish Classes, Educational Excursions including Snorkeling, Blue Whale Watching, Carmen Island Tour; Workshops for Latin Dance Lessons and Baja Cooking; as well as their Lecture Series on topics such as the Marine Park, Construction in Loreto, History of the Missions, Marine Life in the World’s Aquarium.

Have a great week!

No comments:

centerpointe