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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Magical Evening

February 24, 2014

Today was all about making reservations for our inland trip to Oaxaca this week.  Saltydog has decided to go with us - which means we need a pet friendly hotel.  A new challenge for "cruise director" Melissa as Saltydog has now nicknamed her.  She reserves a rental car and sends Dave and Steve to pick it up at the airport.  Dave discovers the tires are completely bald on the SUV Melissa rented, and insists on another car.  Which means (Whoo hoo!) an upgrade to a mini van.  This will be perfect for the 6 hour drive to Oaxaca with Vivi (the full size poodle on Saltydog) along for the ride.

Meanwhile, the guys decide to fuel up the boats so they will be ready to roll when we get back from Oaxaca - if the winds across the Tehuantepec are calm and the weather window lines up.  Ok, so fueling up turns out to be non-trivial.  While there are gas pumps here at the marina - apparently they've never actually been put into service.  So while it looks like you can buy fuel here - alas that is not exactly the case.  What you have to do rather than pumping gas into the boat - is to have one of the locals bring you Jerry cans full of fuel.  You pay $3 pesos ($0.25 US dollars) per liter to have the locals fill up cans in town and bring them out to the marina.  But there is a catch.  The marina won't allow the gas cans to be hauled down the dock.  So we have to move the boats to the fuel dock - where the inoperative pumps are located - to have the Jerry cans full of fuel then dumped into the tank.  Ok, all this seems a bit absurd, but then, hey, its Mexico.  And you gotta go with the flow.  Melissa is trying really hard not to let this drive her berserk.  I swear.

This move to the "fuel dock" (such as it is) was also tricky as the wind was blowing like heck.  Dave devised a plan where in when he returned to the slip and had to back in... yeah, ok, he didn't HAVE to BACK in... but well, apparently that was the challenge of the day...  anyway, he rigged a line from the boat in the slip next to us, such that Steve could pull the bow of Apsaras into the wind allowing Dave to back the boat into the slip.  And (yeah shocking I know) Dave managed the tricky maneuver - making it look easy.  <Ok everyone, roll your eyes here.>

Meanwhile, Melissa was teaching Joan how to create her own website for Saltydog.  This was a TON of fun because Joan was like a kid in a candy shop as she realized she could keep up her own website and blog.

Cut to evening time... we have fallen in love with the marina we are in here in Huatulco.  We wanted to anchor out, but due to lack of good spots we were "forced" into the marina two days ago when we arrived.  And boy are we happy about that.  There are two restaurants here that are FABULOUS.  Tonight though was magical.  We wandered down the walkway at the marina to La Font Del Gat.  We debated whether to stop because the place was dead empty.  And generally our rule is that we only stop at places that are filled with people - and hence a "safe bet".  Tonight we rolled the dice and won.  It was like having our own personal chef.  We ordered Margaritas.  The chef went into the kitchen and much banging and clanking later - out came two FABULOUS Margaritas.  Melissa then decided to attempt to order in Spanish despite the English menu.  The proprietor was the only person in the place.  He seemed quite happy with Melissa's broken Spanish.  We ordered the shrimp and a hamburger.

The food arrived and OMG.  It was AMAZING.  Dave's eyes rolled back.  He was sure it was the best hamburger yet in Mexico.  And the fries.  Oh the fries. Best fries ever.  Melissa had the shrimp with cheese and bacon - which was cooked perfectly.  And the salad dressing on the salad was to die for. By then we had ordered some red wine ("vino tinto").  Which was excellent.  We had planned a quick dinner and then were going to head back to the boat as we have chores to do tonight to get ready to head inland tomorrow.  But no, clearly the evening called for more wine and romance.  So we stayed and chatted with the owner.  He explained that his Mother was from Spain - Castilian, and his Father was Mexican.  The name of the restaurant "La Font" meaning water fountain (gesturing was involved in getting to this realization), and "Del Gat" meaning "Cat".  Not clear what "fountain of cat" means exactly - but we so enjoyed testing out our Spanish and his English, and was clear we got the gist of the meaning if not the complete context.  We managed to ask - in Spanish no less - how long the restaurant had been open.  16 months.

When we went to pay the bill - we made sure to tip him much larger than typical for Mexico - because, well, he had totally made the perfect ending to a great day.  So we get up to leave and he yells at us and signals for us to sit back down.  Well, ok, we sit as instructed.  And he brings two glasses of lemoncello.  Which of course we go crazy for.

When we finally leave he comes and shakes Dave's hand, and gives Melissa a hug and kisses on both cheeks.  We are clearly family now.   And oh how we hope to come back!  We get back to the boat and Melissa figures she just has to go back with a box of Melissa's Chocolates from the freezer.  This is why we have hauled those dang chocolates 6000 miles.  For occasions just such as this.  So she grabs a 6-pack from the freezer, along with the camera and heads back to the restaurant.  She arrives and says, "por tu" pointing to the box of chocolates.  Surprised he says, "for me?!"  Si si!  Then Melissa points at our boat card - and specifically the web address and says "mañana" and points to the camera.  He gets it right away and poses for the picture below.  Melissa shows him the picture on the camera and he is quite happy.

Then he runs to the back of the restaurant near the bathrooms and gestures for Melissa to come over.  She is a bit puzzled but complies with his request.  When she gets to the back he points at a carving on the wall and chatters about it.  The carving is gorgeous.  Note the two children holding American flags.  He insists Melissa take a picture - which she does, and then shows him.  He is clearly delighted with the photo.

 

Next stop - Trip Advisor - where Melissa finds the restaurant is not yet listed.  So she submits the new listing along with a review in the hopes that other people find the place and bring him more business in the future.  What fun.  This is exactly the type of experience we left in Seattle in hopes of finding.

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