Anglers break 20-year record
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Pair breaks 20-year-old record
landing 11 Wahoo of a morning
Any person can catch a cold, but it took two local sports fishermen to catch a record-busting 11 Wahoo on Jan. 27 off Puerto Aventuras shores, besting a haul of 7.5 fish hooked by resident John Roberts in 1994 on the “Sportsman” captained by Rick Ogle, co-founder of Fodors-recommended Capt. Rick’s Sports Fishing. One of Ogle’s fish had been half devoured by a shark.
The new record is co-owned by resident anglers Don Belt and Charlie Eiser. They were aboard the vessel “Flyin’ Fish” captained by longtime PA resident Andy Beltran, who was co-founder with Ogle of Capt. Ricks. Also on board was mate Gilberto Motul at the ready to handle the details.
“By noon we had broken the Puerto Aventuras Wahoo record and headed back home,” Beltran told the Pelican Free Press. “We caught 11 fish including one over 55 pounds. It was non-stop action including three double-headers”… (two fish on the same line simultaneously).
What do you do with 11 big fish? One legacy of Capt. Rick’s is to make sure nothing goes to waste: In the company’s own words, “Anything that can be eaten belongs to the person who caught it. You can take the fish to one of the local restaurants for lunch or dinner or ask in advance at your hotel if they will cook it for you. What you do not want stays on the boat and is eaten by local families.”
This record could also be posted in Las Vegas: First a 7, then 11. Meanwhile, the head of the Tourism Cooperative of the Caribbean Sea said that easterly winds causing high surf over the weekend may have discouraged snorkelers but was a boon for sports fishing that jumped up to 80 percent.
Capt. Rick’s also reported the marina landed the first blue and white marlins of the approaching season, the estimated 300-pound blue hauled up on the vessel “Reel Stripper.”
Imagine a comfy 2-hour train ride
to bustling Merida, Chichen Itza
Just the idea of it is absolutely titillating
Imagine this kind of no-fuss weekend: Go a few miles north on Highway 307 to Calica at Punta Venado. There, hop a train and relax for a brief ride to Valladolid, a city of about 50,000 population. Stroll around, visit the colonial cathedral Iglesia de San Servacio and the charming city park. Munch a lunch. Get on the train again and visit Chichen Itza, the historically enchanting architectural gift of the ancient Maya civilization built in pre-Colombian times and still standing.
Then on to bustling Merida, the capital city of Yucatan state sharing a border with the state of Quintana Roo, the nation’s youngest state and parent of Puerto Aventuras. The train ride is estimated to be a two-hour adventure from Calica , or about 200 miles. All this scene needs now is the train. And that is expected to become a reality in 2018, according to the latest official reports.
You’ll note on the accompanying map, that the train will follow a slightly northwesterly path from Calica (Playa del Carmen) to Merida, passing through Valladolid and Tinum, where Chichen Itza is located. The rapid growth – and continuing expansion – of the Riviera Maya is prompting all levels of government to get this project done. All it takes is commitment, and money, both of which are being pledged by government leaders.
The train is expected to service the states of Yucatan and Q. Roo’s roughly 2.2 million people (and rapidly growing) while also being able to cart 17,540 tons of daily cargo, much of it Pemex petroleum products, said one official. That same official said the train should lower the overall costs of transport in the corridor. It could also reduce truck transportation on the roadways and thus increase road safety and provide a more direct and faster line of delivery.
One hitch is the absence of existing right-of-way from Valladolid to Punta Venado. There is right of way from Valladolid to Merida, however, where negotiations for passage will not be necessary. Administrators are already working on right-of-way agreements.
The extended railroad would link Quintana Roo with the national rail system, thus facilitating the transport of goods and passengers to and from the rest of the country. Surely the availability of train travel so close to home will inspire more visits to more places across the Yucatan and bring more visitors to taste the caress of the Caribbean coast.
But first, the tracks. Then the train. Onward to 2018.
Akumal Publisher makes it official
The editor/publisher and staff of the “Akumalian” in our nearby sister community have emerged from relative anonymity to announce the publication’s pending finale. Here it is in their own words:
“If you have not heard yet, Steve and Ingrid Clouther have sold Casa Colibri to Steve and Kathleen Cole, and they, Steve & Ingrid, are moving to Harwich, Massachusetts (Cape Cod) at the end of February. With that move comes the end of The Akumalian as you know it today, and The Staff is looking for replacement staff who might continue the effort in some way, shape or form. The Staff knows that no one would want to continue The Akumalian in its present form, because it is based on old, outdated, and unsupported software, Microsoft FrontPage.
“While The Akumalian can be published from the remote office in Harwich, it loses its local flavor without eyes, ears, and legs here on the ground in Akumal. There are three essential pieces to this, and they are “Comings and Goings”, “What’s New Around Town,” and the various events, especially “Robin’s Best Shirt Award” on the first Friday of every month.
“The Staff will maintain the domain, and The Akumalian will continue to be present and available on-line at www.theakumalian.com . This means all the background information, like past issues of The Akumalian, the photo galleries, the Akumal Telephone Book, and birthdays and anniversaries will still be accessible, and available for updates. Robin’s Best Shirt Award photos could continue to be published each month if the appropriate photos were taken and forwarded to The Staff in the Harwich office for publishing.No decision has been made yet, but The Staff may publish the March issue. After that …………….”
The staff and its fine product will assuredly be missed by Akumalians who were kept abreast of community events promptly the first of each month for so many years. The Pelican Free Press staff extends its best wishes to the Clouthers for a refreshing, if sometimes chillier, new life on the Cape Cod peninsula.
MAYAKOBA resort and environs will reportedly get 540 hotel rooms in a new construction phase for the Riviera Maya that includes an estimated 5,000 native living units inside the Arco Vial loop and in Playa del Carmen’s ejido lands west of Route 307…UNHOLEY PLACE – The huge pothole at the exit of Chedraui has been filled in. Alleluia! But the cheese cooler still lacks cheddar bricks to line the gringo tortillas…SPEAKING OF GRINGOS, Gringo Dave, a longtime former restaurant owner by the same name, was seen strolling in town earlier this week…WHAT BIG SURPRISE IS COMING? – Moving the little airport in Playa del Carmen to western Puerto Aventuras will leave a large, prime plot of land available ostensibly for public or private development. Town officials are hinting at a happy surprise, leaving us to our guesswork. Could it be COSTCO? An efficient U.S. bank? What’s your guess?…MEXICO SAYS it welcomed 11.8 million visitors to its shores in 2013. That’s 10 million more than Rhode Island’s 1 million population and about even with the entire state of Ohio’s 11.5 million population. The figure is just roughly a million short of Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, with a count of 12.8 million inhabitants…THE PRICE OF PROPANE gas is up in this area, reportedly exceeding price limits imposed by the government. But unless consumers complain, the feral government agency responsible for consumer protection (Profeco) can’t act, it is reported…
The Mail Bag…
–Let’s hear it for the wait staffs
The laid-back community of Puerto Aventuras has more than a dozen restaurants offering a variety of foods to satisfy almost every taste in a quick bite or upscale dining. But the quality of service appears to be a topic of conversation from some customers who are getting more demanding for professional wait staff.
Rapid growth in Puerto Aventuras and the Riviera Maya corridor has required more labor in the service industry. This in turn has attracted inland workers from places without much formal education, small towns where earning a living is near impossible. They arrive here in search of a better living.
It is amazing to see how most of them have put so much determination into building a better future for themselves and their families. They have pretty much taught themselves to speak other languages, mainly English, when some of them can barely read and write in their own language.
They have learned, day by day, how to wait on tables, cook in commercial kitchens, bartend, keep the books and generally manage a restaurant without benefit of schooling or professional training. The result is quite amazing. Most can communicate with foreign visitors in their native language.
That is why it is controversial to judge good vs. bad service in PA’s restaurants when, in my opinion it would be more a case of easy customers vs. difficult customers. While service can always improve, the reality is that this is a casual and friendly community where, as long as you are being waited on with a polite smile and are being taken care of in a pampering and respectful way, we are on the good side of things.
If you are in a big city and go to expensive elegant restaurants, you expect service by the book. But in a place like PA where we come to relax, to enjoy simpler, friendlier and more casual lifestyle , I believe that as long as we are served with a smile, good manners and best intentions, this is more than good enough. And most of the wait staff teams in the restaurants in PA certainly fulfill this mission.
Let´s change our attitude about this. Let´s dine relaxed and enjoy not being in the rush of the big cities. Let´s not forget that you go a longer way with honey than with vinegar, and, let´s not forget that tipping (15 percent suggested) is the foundation of a waiter´s means of making a decent living. Bon appetit!
Signed/ Maria Andres
A full time resident of PA since 1989
–Embrace the night noise
We are renting in Puerto Aventuras next door to the Hard Rock Hotel for five weeks Our unit at Punta Roca is just down from the Hard Rock’s outdoor stage. I am describing this so you know that we are about as close to the events as you can get without being there. We have enjoyed, most of the time, the activity and music that has come from the HR at night. We will go to bed and it does not bother us. Yes, we can hear it slightly, but nothing like you are describing and especially if you close your doors which we would do anyway.
I think a better suggestion than trying to get the HR to shut down the outdoor operation is to embrace it and ask for some complimentary passes for the residents affected by noise.
We are hoping for more concerts, higher-end entertainers and more vibrancy for the community overall. I am sure there are others who are not being properly represented by your commentary so that is why I decided to send you this note.
(Ed.Note: About 100 affected people who own, spend money and much of the year here have complained to the Colonos so far and suggest another idea for you to consider: Continue to implore Hard Rock to contain its night noise within its boundaries by moving concerts indoors. Then next year, you and those of your ilk can rent a Hard Rock room for five weeks directly above the indoor concert hall and hear the concerts all night long as part of your package deal without groveling for free passes. Meanwhile, the aggrieved people of Puerto Aventuras can sleep peacefully with their windows open in the knowledge they’ve made a good investment and you and yours can rock all night. Everybody’s happy!)
Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
A SWELL TIME, picture at left, was had by some 180 boats and about 400 crew in this season’s first national regatta held in iffy waters just off Puerto Aventuras beaches. The local municipal team took honors in several races. The sailors overcame weather worries as the photo taken by Lynn Stevenson from the front row catamaran “Fat Cat” shows…MEXICO contains 5 percent of the world’s mangroves, reports Natural Resources Secretary Juan Jose Guerra, surpassed only by Indonesia, Brazil and Australia. The nation also has wetlands, lakes, estuaries and coral reefs, placing it fourth on a list of 125 countries with this type of ecosystem…CENTRO HOA held its meeting in Spanish on Jan. 25 despite calls for an English translator. Of about 15 people present, only three were English, reported one attendee…CAMERAS ON BUSES? – There’s a proposal on the table of transportation officials to use cameras on public buses and vans locally to regulate speed, then adapt the practice to inter-municipal public transportation…BELIEVE IT! PARKING TICKETS are handed out in Puerto Aventuras, as one driver found out for parking on a curve on Bahia Chemuyil and creating a tenuos situation for moving traffic…TWO CASES of Type A influenza have been confirmed in Solidarity. Symptoms are persistent cough, fever and difficulty breathing…NINE INJURED when a speeding passenger van doing an estimated 140K per hour flipped over on highway 307 near Puerto Morelos on Tuesday. Some of the injured had to be pulled from the twisted wreckage by rescue and police personnel . The van was believed owned by a taxi service…
Phrase a Week… with Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
“Where can I find a bicycle to rent?” In Spanish, you could say “Dónde puedo encontrar una bicicleta de alquiler?l”
Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email at email@example.com or Cel: 984-108-3517 .
Church Services… Please click Colonos icon on right top of page.
AA and Alanon meetings…
AA and ALANON meetings are held at the public library at the Colegio as follows:
AA Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m; Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at noon. ALANON meeting is held Mondays at 5:30 p.m., also at the library. Meetings are “open” and non-members are welcomed to attend.