Thursday, January 17, 2019

Back to living, loving and writing now that my ' malaise ' is over see I came down with an ultra rare for me head cold right after New Years. It was horrible, my sinus was so clogged up the pressure hurt and then my throat got raw and then it went to my chest and I was pushing 2 weeks of it. So, I got on Wikipedia and looked up sinus cold and then self prescribed myself the proper dose of Amoxicillin which I started on Friday. Today is Thursday and finally I'm close to being my old self for whatever that's worth....I was just really tired and to use my word, loogy all the time but Wikipedia had a list of symptoms for my cold that included something I'd never heard before, the dreaded ' malaise '. Webster lined me out on that deal and it's no wonder I felt like #^&@ that malaise is horrible....melancholy , anxiety , general discomfort , uneasiness who's cause is difficult to identify ( that one is scary ), disquiet ( I hate anything quiet ), anguish, my advice, at the first sign of malaise you better get on some drugs...period- finito. Don't let this happen to you !

But having our oldest son Maxwell Steven come to Mazatlan helped me kick my malaise. He got me up off the couch and helped me take my mind off this debilitating condition that I didn't know I had. Here's a pic of MP and Max at Stone Island where we wiled the day away playing Scrabble and sharing fellowship....Note to MP and Max...adding and S to pluralize any word that somebody else painstakingly created is a chicken #^&@ strategy...especially when you do it on a triple word score. It's just no way to win and you both should be ashamed. Period.
So yesterday we got Max to the dentist, a bit of parenting ya know. He hadn't been to the dentist in 4 years because nothing was hurting, you know the deal... we've got 4 large invested in those pearly whites so we got our friend Francisco to do a cleaning along with the ' visit a dentist ' lecture. It was getting hot when we left and spotted a new refresco stand and figured we'd get a refreshing drink to have on our walk through the new city park by the aquarium thats being built. Well it wasn't quite what we thought they'd be.  I had Mango - Crema that would make a bulldog break his chain it was soooo good. It was Mango sorbet layered with thick real cream and then a small layer of something that could have been lard or Crisco with a real sweet Karo type of syrup on top...boy howdy. MP went a bit more conservative and had frozen Jamaica which is actually Hibiscus flower pedals, imagine that .
This close up below will tell you why I always try to lose 10 pounds before we go to Mexico. It's why I gain it all back as well....I really believe that the wonderful food here is one of Mexico's best kept secrets, people N.O.B. just don't seem to really know just how good the food is.
Then we walked through the Park which is being re-built around the saltwater lagoon that used to be pristine with crocodiles etc. We did find some natural habitat and the birds and iguanas were everywhere. The Park was closed and I guess we shouldn't have walked through it but our Mexican neighbors rarely will tell you no...but they will give ya a pretty good dirty look when you're somewhere you shouldn't be...Mp only stayed mad at me for an hour. Here is the view of the new lake which has concrete paths all around and walla.... a boat with fisherman aboard.
I know a lot of you regular Mile 14ers are wondering where the dead fish pics are. Well I ain't got any O.K. ? I shouldn't have to explain everything, I just don't have any and I know most of you know why...I just don't,,,and besides , I've had a malaise problem.

But come back, Please. I'll fish better and harder. Saturday night I play music at a bar so that might be a good story....gotta go, Max has us on the run, and that's a wonderful thing.

Monday, January 7, 2019

I'll try anything twice

I took that same picture in front of the same bird blind about 2 1/2 miles up from us on Cerritos back in 2002, our second year in Mazatlan. I had my first digital camera and I set the timer the same way in the same place and snapped a not so good pic of me and the same woman. All of that is good. Whats strange though is how much it's all changed in 16 short years. Once isolated this fresh water lagoon is still linked to the ocean but development surrounds.....progress ya know. I hadn't really thought of doing a deju vue trip but as I rode my bike out to Cerritos point to get a chocolate chip monster cookie I glanced through the jungle and Flamingos, and many of them. So I rode home and told the resident bird watcher we gotta go. Well, by the time we went the Flamingos were gone and it's a good thing because MPeasy was trying to convince that the were really Spoon Bills which are pink as well. But I seen em and she didn't so we'll stick with the less common Flamingos.
It was a nice cool morning and we were walking through the natural foliage holding hands and saying things like "  man if I was one of those Conquistadors I'd have a little trouble with all those sharp objects"....and of course...." wonder if you can eat that " when we came across the highlight of the trip....the viewing tower. All welded metal sitting on concrete pilasters and an easy 50 feet high with 4 levels of semi platform where you and a skinny person could view all the .....well, you'll see.
The tower is on a levy kinda deal that separates the salt water lagoon from the fresh water lagoon. As you can see it looks just  a little top heavy, ya know not enough base for it's height....but you know me I gotta get right up and although Mpeasy was a little hesitant I got her half way up and then did what any idiot married man would do....I rocked the tower back and forth a bit with my weight and oh baby that thing had some deflection as we used to say as construction hounds. We didn't panic, really but it did seem to move more than it should so we climbed down and noticed what we should have noticed to begin with....after all, it's Mexico.
Yup, totally rusted out. A three legged 50 footer...and the other three didn't really look all that that good. But...the views were worth it in the Jeff King book of life. Here's the view towards the ocean with Mazatlan's biggest building and then inland to where all of us will be living someday. All around this oasis is building. A water Park, hotels, Emerald bay the most exclusive resort and then
And of course from the tower you could see birds everywhere just no Pink ones to keep our Spoon Bill / Flamingo argu....ahh...discussion alive.
The day was mostly a ' hand holder' but birds were of course the vehicle to get us there's my best bird pic of the day. I took it with no filter , camera set on ' intelligent automatic ' ( I love that )...all I really did was point shoot and make sure the battery was charged....amazing huh ?
So that brings me to Pro Guide Tip # 003 ,,,, To do a good job ya gotta be happy. Happiness tips : dishes, hand holders, don't forget the steak sauce , shut up ( only when you should )....easy peasy.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Hard Lessons

Well I've learned a few. I found out the hard way that the big ol ocean we all love can kill you dead real just can't treat it casually.  So having learned it the hard way when I know you need to have faith and be totally familiar with your equipment and have the right stuff for what you're doing.  You also need to be deliberate in nature, no guess knowing these things I was dismayed this morning to come across a  mishap that could have ended in the worst way.
Regular Mile 14 readers know that we live right next to the rock jetty that separates us from the El Cid Marina entrance that it protects. As I watched the sun come up and walked as I cast I see one of those really cool Hobie kyaks made for fishing come around the point, it was one of those ones that you paddle like a bike and I thought how someday I gotta get that deal. As I fished I watched the guy troll along and then realized the guy was in the water, he had rolled it over and was trying to reboard his boat. I watched him splash and splash  unsuccessfully to get back in the boat. Unlike Alaska he was still safe in the warm so I didn't think to much of it at first but finally he was just hanging onto it floating towards the rocks and had quit trying. Several boats left the harbor and didn't notice anything unusual. So after he'd been in the water for a good 1/2 hour I knew I had to do something. There was nothing to be gained by getting in the water to help, the first rule of rescue is don't compound the problem by endangering yourself....and...I kinda know those rocks with the ocean swells that we had were virtually impossible to climb up onto and that's how he would drown. So as fast as a 65 year old fishing guide in bare feet could go I headed for the tip of the jetty to encourage him to make for the beach and not the rocks that are closer. As I got to the light house I looked up the other side of the jetty into the harbor and see a panga boat coming way off. I wait and wait and run to him so he won't miss seeing me and knowing he can't hear from that far I wave and give him the emergency jumping jack like wave. He see's me and I point to other side and give him the ' go fast sign' that Tony has used and he gets to the guy. As luck would have it is my friend the legend Chalio and he helps the guy back into the kyak and then follows him around the point and back into the harbor,

If not for Chalio this could have been the 3rd drowning I have  been around here in Mazatlan. About ten years a go two guys in a Panga got onto those same rocks trying to rescue a swimmer in trouble. The swimmer got back to the beach but each of the boaters tried the rocks and they're just so slippery and the waves you knock you back , one made it , one didn't.

Chalio ends his fishing charters at 1:00 so I rode my bike over to thank him. I find out the man was huge, way to big for the boat. Chalio said he was about done up, no energy. He had an inflatable life jacket on that did not inflate. It was his first time in the boat and obviously didn't know the trick for reboarding a capsized kyak that I think every kyak boater practices....he treated the ocean casually, But, one of my Maxims in life is don't worry about what didn't happen,,,he just learned it the hard way, the lucky way, the way to be avoided.

Wanna hear fishing I'll bet....Well it's surely the year of the pargo. As you know the only slimeys in the really big dept I haven't caught from the beach was a two digit snapper. Well I  got him weeks ago so I got a personel best twice. And the other day although not the biggest I caught my 3rd biggest and the most beautiful. You see how red he his. He was in 2 ft of water at low tide next to the jetty and this fish didn't want was a noble fight . It was Christmas eve sunset so I cleaned him up real good and kept him ' entero' then gifted him to our friends Martin and Mercedes who were tickled to have fresh fish, his daughter told me in an excited voice, " it's big enough for all of us ". It made me feel real good.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Everything except snow

The ornaments at Galarias Mall. We went ans saw Aquaman at the Platino Cinemex.  Platino movie tip: eating super cheese nacho's in a dark theatre will make a mess of you.
Plaza Machado tree. It's perfect.
Revolution Plaza and City Hall.
A virtual forest of Christmas Tree's with the Cathedral in the background.
Plaza Machado near sunset,,,,lots of people and a band stand of course.
The most popular ornament in the Plaza. I never really figured out what it is but maybe like those snow scene water filled deals we shook as kids but this one you get inside and throw the snow in the air.
A Christmas Princess. She didn't mind me snapping a pic and had a troop of admiring boys following her.
Olas Altas...we sit on the sea wall and bid the day good night.
Candelabra at Revolution Plaza.
MP had to have Churro's at the Feast of the Lady of Guadalupe.
The Cathedral is a maze of Photo Booths staged different ways for the kids after the blessing.
Traditional skirts and a proud Papa.
Awful cute.....
This was our favorite setting, the kids making Tortillas....
Of course the boys were dressed as Juan Diego. This guy had the good stuff.
Back at the Mercado waiting for the Sabalo Centro bus we ran into an old friend. Merry Christmas Hilda Lisa and all of you that take time to read Mile 14 and be part of our lives....Me and MPeasy love you all.
Things are just a little different than North of the border.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


I've been in a slump. Yup ol pro guide #003 hasn't been getting the customary tug on the line and figure I could use this situation to help all the up and comers on how to handle these situations. When you're slumping people will forever ask you why and whats going on so you need an extreme amount of excus....ahhhh...reasons for it. You need an inventory of reasons so you don't get stuck in the middle of a dead dog slow fishing day with the old " that's the same reason you gave me last time".  So here's Pro Guide Tip # 5.5 with a few ways I've handled those through the years. You could even use this as a cheat sheet, keep it with you and fill in the closes option, feel free.

The waters to : 1. warm 2. cold 3.wet

The water to :  1. clear 2. muddy 3. polluted

The dot tide book had a skunk instead of a fish symbol

The barometer is :  1. rising 2. falling 3, broken

The fish are : 1. not hungry 2. over fed 3. smarter than you

Your bait is : 1. freezer burned 2. to soft 3. Chris pissed on it

The tide is : 1. to small 2. to big  3. I was asleep during it

Well you get the idea, glad to help....the biggest thing about a slump is ya just gotta keep fishing until finally pitch your way out of it and start a new one like I did yesterday with this fish that surprised me during a standing nap.
So last mid week I did something I never do just to remind me why I never do it....I went fishing in a boat, in Mexico, on the ocean. Of course it was the usual ' you shoulda been here yesterday ' deal with the weather. It was a typical Jeff off shore day, sea's to 4 feet etc. I was 6' tall when we left and a few hours later at the dock I was 5'10"...I traded my buddy Kiko a river trip for a Mazatlan panga ride, the weather ol Kiko can't control so I'll give you Pro Guide Tip # it a bonus tip here at Mile 14....The first thing they teach you in guide school is take the money. SO TAKE THE MONEY, no barter and if you must barter remember to be the guy that gets the service first.  We actually had a good day all things considered. we caught easily 100 whakachanga's and some Flamingos. I kinda got the feeling we were fishing in the nursery and you know how I go on about that so it's a good thing I took a week off the Homer winter King rant.... and oh, that's a big one.
That last pic took exactly 42 minutes to load here on Telmex ultra slow no G but cheaper than hell service. So I'm going to try one last one to show you where I was and what I was looking at that would be the where I'd rather go deal....Then I'm gonna find a shrink my pics program and then in the next few days I hope to post many pics of the over the top Christmas displays here in Mexico....wish me luck and please come back soon, ya'all hear now ?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Fish Envy

That second word there is one that I really don't associate with. I just don't have that envy / jealous gene in me, I'm quite comfortable in my own skin, just who I am is all.....BUT... people like us have that wow factor respect deal going with some of those fish that come along only so often in a lifetime, so right now I got about as close as a case of fish envy I've ever had.  37 years of  guiding people onto their own fish of a life time has put fish envy in perspective for me so without further ado I'll tell ya the story....Ol Daniel there hit the fish equivalent of PowerBall. After sunset he was fishing like any good Team Xer would and he felt a large that his popper way out at the end of his cast. These Robalo will take topwater but generally not and usually they are in close to the beach and are usually 3 to 10 pounds, for us a 15 pounder is huge.  He was right in front of his house so he yelled at his wife Becky to get the camera and she snapped two pictures. So, not only does he have the perfect fish he also has the perfect picture and thats all he has because he RELEASED it to live on. Wow, impressive job Daniel, you have earned a one ballot vote into the Team X hall of fame. Everyone who see's this pic agree's that it is all on 25 pounds, maybe more. Absolutely gorgeous .
The water is still unseasonably warn so we have Roosterfish  everywhere. Jesus caught 5 the other morning and  I caught about a 20 pounder this morning with nobody around to snap a pic for me. There are a lot of small ones that are about as cute as the fish you had in the aquarium as a kid. Here's a pic of one Mario caught the other morning, they fight like their parents, they take the same bait as their parent, they jump but hey are just about as big as your hand.
We were out at Oceanica the other day and the birds were everywhere. The Egrets and the Oyster Catchers have a lot of faith in Team X, you can't hardly chase them off as they seem to hang out waiting for you to catch a fish they might steal. This group of Catchers just walked along with me for the longest's why we go fishing I'd say, every morning is fresh and new and every morning I see something I've never seen before...
Speaking of things you've never seen, hows about the happiest wife in Mazatlan, at least she oughta be. This is the kind of husband that really makes Christmas difficult for normal guys like me...can't do a car for ya MPeasy but I can love the you 100% and of course you'll be receiving your customary bottle of Heinz 57 Steak Sauce, I promise, And oh, not just a car but a BMW .
So me and Mpeasy hope everybody is warming up to Christmas like we are. Here it's so different that it can turn even a calloused heart....It's still commercial like we know but not the same, commercial in a fun way and of course so family orientated. The sales are different, give you more instead of charging less, that kind of mom would be proud. I really enjoy the religious part of Christmas here. Tomorrow is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe so we're going downtown like we did last year to see the blessing of the children and eat some wonderful street food. Not to many gringos around and just wonderful family feelings....Love.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Personal bests...

Sometimes they take forever, sometimes they just plain and simple won't happen...kinda like that list of goals I post in my gear shed every season. It took me 15 years in Mexico to get that 15 pound Snook I wanted and now  guess what, another record Snapper. I caught the biggest of my surf career a couple weeks back and the other day I upgraded that to an 8 kilo monster...You that know me or have fished with me know that I'm a true believer in momentum. When things are going well they tend to keep going well and when things are screwed up they....well, lets forget about that part. Dick Hahn says it simple physics, ' things in motion tend to stay in motion', it's on of the maxim's of my life.
I got him on that same Mirrolure. I bull dogged him away from the rocks and then let him tire in the surf....all the time trying to get Ernie's attention so he could be ready with the gaff just in case. Well, ol Ern is kinda focused and it took forever so just as I was getting ready to ride him in when  Ern came running and grabbed the hook and got ready....well ol slimey did what slimey will do, he got almost high and dry and then muscled himself down the beach right into Ern with the hooks that weren't in him going into Ernie's pant was actually pretty comical and just the usual schamoozle for Team X the most misunderstood fish team in Mazatlan. But it was well hooked and as hard as we tried we didn't lose it. I knew that there were a lot Pargo around, we've caught many, in fact the most ever and then I ran into this guy, nice work amigo.
And Ern got on the board with this guy, There's a fish here called a pala--- something or other and it looks like a snook but is smaller and more numerous. I guess I ain't learned it all yet because this guy is either a really large one of those or an extremely small snook....sorry Ern. I know, I know....a feeder snook for all you Homer Alaska fish assassins.
As I came home from fishing the other day I spotted this and knew exactly what it meant. Big boat-small garage-unique solution. I've been looking at boats as now that I'm not tripping I'll be in the market for a boat with a top, seats for me and MPeasy, an electric anchor puller and one of those folding trailer tongues so I don't do what this guy's a little over the top...
Believe it or not but I give up fishing once a year to be on the malecon for the Marathon of the Pacific, It starts at sun up so we have to ready and usually walk against it so we see them coming north and then they u turn and we see them again. Here's a pic of ole guide #003 in my Sunday go to meetings, about as cleaned up as I get.
This is the first pac of the women...there were only a few men ahead of them and they were all pro's I'd guess. I was feeling bad for them as the air quality in our part of Mazatlan is horrible. There is so much development going on that they are continually burning slash and whats worse, burning garbage, just the way it's done here I guess. But the runners were moving along smartly as they say. A great event.
This guy was my favorite....he was sweeping the trail as say in snowmachine riding. He must have had 30 stuffed animals on his running suit and all he could say was ' hola amigo's'....he got as bigger applause than anybody.
I saw this the other day at the Marina. I've seen many a 57 Chevy 2 door but this one was exceptional. I had just snapped this pic and couldn't resist so I was standing real close looking at the interior when a large Mexican man came through the door with his eyes locked on me and walking at flank speed right up to me......ooooo......he got right in my space and said....." ya wanna see the engine" ? ..... I love this place.