Saturday, January 13, 2018

Fishing good is living good....

Besides the usual joy of the chase, the adrenalin of the bite and the fact that I've made a ton of money selling fishing trips there's always this....that's some darn good food. I've been trying to stay off of the knee I hyper extended a bit so that we can hike as usual in Puerto Vallarta next week so my fishing this last week was mostly just dreaming. But the last few days I decided to test the knee and our reliable spot at Mar Rosa sponsored 5 of us to this dinner. All Alaskan's, us and Mike and Cathy Sheets from Admiralty Island a new friend Becky from Juneau...it was kinda nice to talk Alaska politics which although screwed up makes some other political arena's seem like a love in. The Sheets live right above our favorite restaurant so as I trucked down the beach I yelled at Mike and as we stood talking Becky took this shot, pretty cool huh ? Enlarge it and check out the sand on my feet etc,,,,a little into it wouldn't ya say ?
So last night we meet in the dining hall for snapper entero and let me tell you....the crunch of the skin combined with the sweetness of the Snapper with just a dip of garlic butter would make a Bulldog break his chain,
The day before with cabin fever setting in we road tripped to the shrimp ladies for the biggest head on cameron's we could find. I had this idea that they would have nice rich tamale like the lobster do between the head and tail. Well they do, but not much . We got 8 of them and marinated in olive oil and garlic with fresh basil...oh baby, it's 7 bucks worth of shrimp. So now all you guys in Slowdotna that see me every morning at the gym and then walking 5 miles in the afternoon to lose 10 pounds pre Mazatlan know why....it's just living good.
Even though Batman had Robin to help with  a pic I elected to use the timer on the camera instead. I had just asked Ernie to snap a few with my cell phone and he held the little virtual button down until it had taken 18 identical shots,,, and look...no finger over the lens.
So after laying off for 5 days I had a great morning and never twisted my knee. It's the curse of the King family, bad knee's. Both my brother and sister have had replacement surgery. My dad and grandpa could hardly walk as they got older so I have my work cut out for me to avoid the surgery...build muscle mass, keep active, body weight down....Oh, in one day I caught the two snapper, lost a snapper , caught a jug and used my knot making skills to put two little campions on one line with the drop line loup figureing heck, if there's little toro's that will only take little bait why not catch two at once.
So me and the launch lady are off to P.V. on Monday for a get away from our getaway . I scored reservations at the small highly popular Boutique Hotel Nadia. We'll have super with our old friend Roger Langford and hike as far as we can....I'll keep a keen eye ( how's that eh ?) out for interesting things for all of you that follows life here at Mile 14....Hope ya comeback now....😎🎸🎸

Friday, January 5, 2018

Not one , but two

flat tires on one trip....Yikes.
Riding the bikes in Mazatlan isn't as dangerous as it looks but I have to say it's pretty darn crazy. So, if I get snuffed on a bike in my 60's in Mexico please understand that I new better and went ahead and did it anyway, been that way my whole life. It took a while but we've decided the safest way to ride is just like the Mexicans do....act like it's a car and always stay to the right as far as you can. And when you hear the bus coming go steady helm amid ship. But it's great exercise and with MP's knee still about 75 % and mine about the same after a good twist in the surf this morning it's way gentler on the old bones than walking everywhere. Sunday mornings are quiet here and we just love to explore Mazatlan on the bikes.

These bikes we bought from Vallin bike shop are a little quirky ( ah,,,I hate the word cheap so I'll say affordable ) and we knew the inner tubes were weak as MP had already had a flat. So I got a pump and a repair kit and decided to go fishing the other morning out the dirt road past El Delphin to the old Betty Ford Clinic. Good rocks there and it's a place Team X has gotten many a Corvina. You've seen this view before. looking north you see nothing and looking south the skyline. The GPS told me I was 8.5 miles from home.

There's only one person around and it's a friend who is a legendary fisherman here named Bernardo so he and I catch up and talk story as Chris says. I caught a small Paleta which  looks just like a super petite Robalo.  Bernardo had to go so I stayed and fished into the mid morning and packed my rod into the back pack and broke camp....immediately I felt the front tire was low. I stopped at the El Delphin apartments where I know people and kinda sized up the situation and of course being a guy who doesn't ask for help I saw that the tube would hold air for about 10 minutes....So.... I'd pump really hard and then jump on and ride really hard and repeat. At one point while still on the gravel I looked down to see how it was doing and ran right off the road...my first bike wreck in years. I got a little road rash, you know the deal, all the hard points on the side of your body that you sacrifice, For me right now it;s my right hip, wrist, elbow and ankle. MP says she's see me way worse, like when I had motorcycles. But then as I get to about the 1/3 mark I notice the rear tire is low as well.....yikes....now I gotta pump twice and I cracked a genuine Fitness Place Cardio type sweat. At one point as I was pumping ( I did it 10 times ) a guy with a dog on a leash said ' man you sure are sweating ' well his dog was kinda looking for a place to do what dogs do and I told him ' if your dog pisses on this bike you're gonna be sweating to'.  So now we're looking into heavy duty inner tubes and my bike mechanic abilities are improving. Bernardo said there were very few 'big fish' out there but I'll get mobilized and get out there again this week....schamoozle free I hope .
I got that snapper on Ernie's birthday and gave it to him as a present...my friend Ernesto is technology dysfunctional so I was impressed this pic turned out at all. That black bar in the lower left of  course is his finger protector over the lens. Ern caught this gorgeous manta on the same trip and was kinda astonished to see that the old Pelican wrangler himself seemed to be a little scaredy chicken of it.
I reacquainted recently with an old friend from high school over Facebook. Allan recently retired and is right now touring Thailand and Viet Nam which sounds fabulous . He's a fun guy who knows the way....sent me this bit of wisdom that I know for sure....we just gotta notice. And  from right here in Mazatlan I got a pic of this scaffold I pass over daily, it's over the sewer right where I like to fish....it's kinda like this....winter's in Alaska are the same. If you let it keep you indoors then you'll never do nothing. This ol life ain't a dress rehearsal.




Saturday, December 30, 2017

Our Day

16,000 steps in 4 hours. We had a lot to do. Being the consummate planner that I am I was anxious to get the bus tickets for our trip to Puerto Vallarta in Mid January so when MP had a tube blow out on her bike and needed a replacement from the downtown bike store we decided to kill as many chores as we could. So it's on the Sabalo Centro bus down the Malecon to just the right avenue that is 7 or 8 blocks to the bus station, we get off at just the right place....getting good at this Mexico. Then it's down Mexicana Ave, another 10 to 15 blocks to get money from the ATM at our place, the Banamex. The machine is full and this is going perfect. Then another 7 to 10 blocks to the bike shop were we buy two tubes , a hand pump, a repair kit and a rack for the back of my bike....350 peso we give a guy with the fattest wallet you've ever seen, he was carrying his cash register just like Wes Synness did at the junk yard when were kids.

Then finally it's to the market . The other day Wal Mart had no lettuce or avocado's.  You know you're submerged in the culture when you just sit down at the side walk diner and order the lunch of the day and then walk over to the OXXO for a couple cerveza . Mine was Caldo pollo and MP had some really good pork with tasty enchilada type of sauce....she out ordered me.
So you know you're semi-local when the market shopping experience is just another day. This diner is clean, friendly, affordable and especially fun. I'd encourage all my friends here to give these local places a try, help em out, they're our hosts.
My old friend Robbie Carroll gave me this idea when he posed with a huge hanging halibut for his promotional material at Irish Lord Charters....I'd never do that with the absolutely largest snapper I've ever seen. I had no idea they got this big, at least 50 pounds....to quote Richard Dreyfus....' we need a bigger boat' .
I managed to catch a little cousin of that guy...you've seen it before, we took it to Loco Loco for fried entero and shared it with Bill and Sharon Radke from a fishing town called Soldotna Alaska.
So MP went into Farmacia Similare while me and Mr. Similare got to know each other. She's still having trouble with that knee after the surgery so she wanted to try the marijuana cream that everybody seems to rave about. We tried the peyote cream and maybe it helped maybe it didn't, you know that deal....but this stuff has got it all, arnica, naproxen , circema and ajo and..... about 10 other things that we have no idea what they are.
In the years I've been doing Mile 14 I've written over 500 posts. I just type along as if I'm talking to you and it usually takes about 1/2 hour to create a story around the photo's I've taken....well this one is painful, the internet is soooo slow I lose my writing rhythm if you had to call it something. So please come back and bare with me. I'll use my App next time and do it with AT+T 4 G service, I just have to remember to use the phone and not the camera....we'll do better and be more timely....in the meantime everybody have a safe, happy and healthy new year, from me, MP and Mr. Similare.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

stick-to-it-a-tism

One thing they'll never say about me is " that guy was a quitter". One thing I know about life is this....if you know you're doing the right thing and if you just keep pushing, just keep trying good things will happen. My old creative writing Professor Dick Hugo used to say rewrite, rewrite and when you're tired of it rewrite 10 more times, that's success. So in that vain I pushed hard this week and had a couple fantastic mornings on the that big salty river. I walked up on the beach in the dark of course and was throwing my usual Mirrolure to find fish. Well as it got light I began to see many ultra small sardines laying on the beach from where they'd been chased by a predator. and then I see the obvious tell tale sign of fish....sardines making the water look like what I call nervous. Obviously my Mirrolure comes nowhere near to duplicating the look of these mini sardine so I put on a 'campion' that I tied up fifty of in Alaska and immediately had a Toro on the beach. That guy right there is 3/8 ounce jig head that I got at Sportsman's Warehouse and tied white with a little blue Mylar and walla. The beauty of the campion is that it is the right look AND it's light enough to just kinda float and swirl around the rocks without it getting stuck....and mind you the best fish are right on shore so casting long is not always the best.
I literally caught 20 to 30 small Toro, many of them chasing right onto the beach where I could see the bite. a couple felt a bit different so I took my time with them and got these two beautiful snappers, one in the Amarillo variety and the other the more common Cocanako (sp)....
And then....I got something powerful and I see a bit of a jump and as it hit so close I'm thinking Robalo. Yikes, the handmade campion I had on had already caught at least 25 fish and the thin wire hook I'd been closing back up with pliers....and....I'm alone. There's nobody to stand by with the gaff and maybe safe a spit hook like I did for Ernesto last year. So I go real easy, Once I know he's my Robalo I let him ride up and back down the beach waiting for just the right wave to pull him farther. I finally get one I like and give nice pull and he's entirely dry but I'm having trouble handling him....well the next wave must have been that huge 7th one we used to wait on back commercial set netting and it washed him way up the beach and left him waiting for this photo op. I got an oyster diver to snap the pics. The best Robalo yet for me, 7 to 8 Kilo.
The next day I got another nice snapper and it was fun for me to return the favor's and take plenty of fresh fish into town for my friend Slah to enjoy with his wife Maria. What a day. we brought home our favorite take out Chinese and I got a pic with a gorgeous girl at the Mercado. Remember last week I talked about the eyes being the window into your soul.....how's that for a couple windows eh ?
The other morning I was fishing close to the house and as Tony walked the dog he gave me the old Marine ' get your ass over here in a hurry' signal. So I sprint up the beach....well as fast as a 64 year old guy with a bad knee can sprint because I think something is wrong...and .....more @%&** turtles.
They're everywhere.  In Alaska they'd de-list these guys so they could harvest them for turtle soup or some darn thing, Turtle egg omelet's or something that is culturally important. Now this cadre, class of Dec 19 , 2017 was a bit different. The nest was way up on the flat part of the beach and unlike the others I've come across they had way to far to go and as the sun hit them they were losing gas....only one thing to do, help em along the way.  Connie said the salad bowl we had at that night's Pizza party used to be a turtle rescuer.

Last night found us once again at our favorite taco stand, can't stay away from that place. I bought this beer at the OXXO next door and wow.....Netherlands beer brewed in Mexico, it says ' Global beer partner" on it. So I seen the President today on CNN with his Tax plan celebrations and our Alaska people front and center and ya know it really didn't look to me like maybe those two Senators and the new StromThurmond, Don Young were really doing much....So I'm here to help in Mexico....really... I want to be and will be a ' global partner' for love, for fishing, for courtesy, for understanding, for music, for us....all of us....isn't that what Christmas is really about. Global Partners....I like it. Merry Christmas everybody.



Thursday, December 14, 2017

Snow day

Well at least we have the Mazatlan version of a snow day. Since we've been here it's gotten progressively cooler but really every day is quite the same....until now. It's raining and that makes for a stay at home day as the town floods a bit and you don't want to get stuck anywhere.....so whataya do on the snow day ? Well, you go fishing until you're just to wet and bored. It's been a fish less week., we talked about going to a new place but one of my friends put it this way...." there's just as many no fish here as there are over there "......We had a surf casters tourney on Sunday. 70 people , not a single slimey.... Yikes.....I got an idea. Let's have a couple beers and horse around with my new waterproof camera in the rain and the hot tub , great idea.
They say that your eyes are the window into your soul. Well, look into these eyes and you'll see a deliberate man with 64 years of experiences that he draws on to always be serious and direct, business like all the time of course. One thing I've learned about this ol life is that it ain't no dress rehearsal so you darn sure better take it serious...I mean, do you really  want to be remembered just as a joker ? Not me.....look into those eye's ....
I remember seeing Jimmy Buffet on TV onetime with Oprah . she asked him how he could write such sensitive love songs and then turn around and right such weird / trash like ' Why don't we get dru....' well all you Jimmy fans know what that song is. His answer was no surprise to me because he said " well Oprah sometimes I feel real sensitive and sometimes I feel real trashy".  Exact-a-mundo Jimmy, I know exactly how that deal works.  Sometimes people get the real 'smiley Jeff ' and sometimes they get the real '  frownie Jeff ' .
I don't know how it happened to me but you'd be surprised how many times in my professional life I've had to tell people that ' this is my serious face ' when giving them bad news like when Dick Hahn showed up on the wrong day. I don't get it.....all I was doing was telling Ollie and Annette the joys of walking around in the rain with just a swim suit on and....they just start laughing. C'mon you guys I was serious about that good for your skin part.
I see there was yet another weird blue guys vers the red guys election N.O.B. ( north of the border ) . Well around here this is as close to a red / blue deal as we get ....as you can see they seem to sell the same. 
I know everyone appreciates that things are waaaaay cheaper in Mexico and Mazatlan in particular. But the weird part is that the best values are where you find them and not always at the Freddies or Wal Mart store like back home. In fact I buy my cerveza at the Kiosko up the road where I get to on my bike. It's a junk food emporium like the Holiday Store in Slowdotna. The other day they had the life blood of Mazatlan ( Pacifico ) on sale 8 for 85 peso. Well the next day they had 8 for 84 peso. So I got 8 and refilled 4 Ballena's for exactly 170 peso, $ 9.50 worth of great beer.
I got a busy week coming up. Playing music on Saturday night, then our early a.m. hike and tour de buffet's Sunday morning and then a Pizza party and a Pro Baseball game. Do do some Christmas shopping and who knows, maybe even catch a fish,,,,,and I'm serious now, I hope you come back.














Thursday, December 7, 2017

Fishing team Zzzzzzzzzz's

That's what Team X seems to be morphing into. Once the proud leaders in fair chase and the ethic of mucho trabajo to produce fish is getting a bit sleepy. Fishing is sloooooow. Ernie's been here for 10 days now and is yet to catch a fish, any fish. Yikes, this morning me being the safety/ morale officer went to rally the troops and came across this scene.
Alejandro is a special assistant working as counselor to the Team....a very important position and holy moly.....He's ASLEEP.  Snoring like he's been watching a Mariner game. And then ....what in the world are we doing. Now we're in the coffee shop talkin fish. I'm not sure but I don't think anybody's ever caught a fish in the coffee shop. But me and Ernesto did benefit as a morale booster from a nice breakfast at Slah's restaurant Ara-Mex.
So.....there's only one thing to do, True leaders know to lead by example. So I get up earlier and walk farther and throw longer every morning and I'm even trying hard to talk less, that's a tough one. But you combine some work with some luck and walla, up jumps the holy grail for surf fisherman. This guy took a topwater way at the end of my cast. It was oh dark thirty and I just barely saw the splash but there was no doubt who he was. At first I thought a huge snapper as I was fishing the rocks and having lost one last week when he went right back down into the rocks I horsed this guy hard up and over the rocks and then in close to shore. But with my first good luck I saw silver and not red and new...my first Rooster in 3 years.😎 and yes, of course I released. The way things are going this year I sure can't chance effecting my moe-joe by killing a Roosterfish.
With the full moon last week we had one day with just the right surf at just the right time and just the right height in the morning. I caught this nice Robalo and as I held him for this pic I could see two more chasing sardines in the foamy white water on shore. So I'm optimistic that the fish are coming. The water is cooling which both the Robalo and Corvina like according to Alejandro....when he's not sleeping.
The fishing might be slow but the reptile bite is awesome. The other morning I fished right in front of this perfect nest and as the morning wore on and the people got to walking not a single person noticed it. Weird....I mean I ain't no Marlin Perkins but I am semi aware of mother nature. Finally I had a couple approach me to ask about the fishing and I pointed down and asked if the saw anything unusual....the gal said yup, it looked like somebody had been exercising there.
It's time to bore you with another sunrise photo. This a.m. it was spectacular. The light refracted off the water and sand, it reminded me a bit of the night  Chris and I got onto a hot Northern Lights bite while riding snowmachines near Mt. McKinley.
On Sunday I gave up the morning's fishing to to do Pacifico's Marathon of the Pacific. A world class event they close the 4 laner so me and MPeasy like to walk against the race so we get the runners meeting us and then after the turn at Cerritos point they then pass us again down the road a couple miles. We listen to the Banda's and mooch a few gatorade drinks and get our 10,000 steps in and then have breakfast at a real Mexican diner.... I had divorced eggs and MP loves the machaca.
Last year by this stage of the race the lead pack was about 7. This year it was just three guys, two of whom I assume were  Kenyan's and the other a smaller guy....they are all doing 5 minute miles, they are so light on their feet that you barely hear their feet hit the ground. They seem to float.
Mazatlan goes all out for this event....so the least I could do is wear my best clothes, yup, that thing around my neck is a collar.
Man oh man did we find a new favorite place to eat. The first night we discovered Tacquira Los
Chiles I had chicken taco's and one tripe. The Tripe as outstanding. It's deep fried like chicaroons so the texture is crunchy and the closest I could get to the taste would be like bacon. So MP ordered a Tripe Pa Pa Loco's ( crazy tater ) and it was soooo good. So we went back last night, picked up a couple cerveza at the OXXO store and ordered Pa pa Loco's. Mine was shrimp and just chuck loaded, Does that look good or what....about 12 bucks for our entire night out.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

War of the appliances

and we're losing. Remember when we just got here how pleasantly surprised I was when we got into the house and everything worked... Well, It's like that guy you bump into in Vegas that tells you he hit a Full House for  $1300.00 and the next part of the story starts with the ' but then ' as he tells you how the money disappeared. It's the ' but then ' that'll get ya. So the first war casualty was our wonderful water cooler that leaked 6 gallons into the house one evening and now it's our high tech washer / dryer combo deal that is gonna take some lettuce to replace. Basically things here on the salty warm just rust away, sometimes quickly. This deal is gonna cost 4 figures and do you know how much Pacifico beer that is.....mucho that's how much. And oh....it has to fit into that closet space where the plumbing is that's exactly 2.12 cubit's deep. Finding this thing here at Mile 5014 is gonna take magic.
So Ernie shows up and I go to his place that first morning to fish. We did our usual cast-retrieve-complain-cast-retrieve-yawn routine for several hours . Ern put's his Lamiglass away and I see a bit of a boil so I cast long and I have to say with outstanding accuracy and walla, hooked up. Now Ern tells me it's most likely just a Toro and low and behold that ' justa Toro ' turned into a nice snapper, my second consumable. Thanks for bringing me the luck Ernesto. and the second pic is ' justa' Toro....tricked that guy on a baby blue Line Stretcher lure, man I love the name of that lure.
For me the joy is in the chase...it never used to be that way but now I know the way. I cherish ALL parts of the chase so it was ultra cool the other day when these porpoises / dolphins came by and one chased fish right onto shore in front of me. I wish my pic were  that good but getting the shot is soooo difficult, you gotta be ready for the totally unexpected and who does that ? It was impressive. Now I've seen Spinner Dolphins and grew up on Flipper which I think was a Bottlenose variety  but this guy was HUGE, easily a 1000 pounder. At first I thought Killer Whale but I clearly saw the face so if any of you know whats the biggest Dolphin in the sea please let ol number 003 know, O.K. ?
MPeasy and I made our way up the beach 3 miles for Sunday breakfast and came across this sight. It's obvious that a Sea Turtle had waddled ashore last night and left eggs and then returned , the tracks were clear and just us noticed. It's amazing how durable mother nature is that people walk over the nest unbeknownst and I'll bet the occasional 4-wheeler or pick truck goes over and it doesn't hurt a thing. As we talked about just that the Tortuga watch man came along and noticed it and did nothing more than put a Vulture feather on it so he could find it again and monitor when they hatch.
The week before I saw the fruits of the turtle effort. I think these guys are supposed to hit the h2o at night just like their moms so these little guys were a little late . But as you can see, they were perfectly healthy and their were no birds picking them off like I've seen before...so if you haven't seen it before let me introduce you to the next generation.
Friday I made room in my schedule to play music for an Art sale so wish me luck...if ya don't put yourself out there you'll never know eh ?