Atlantis in Mexico: Part One
'Ships at a distance have everyone's wish on board.'
While in Canada, I surf the Internet, looking for sites and information about Mexico. Sometimes a check at a favourite site reveals something new. Today I scored a BINGO!
Frequently I refer travellers to Tom Pennick's web-site called, 'The Pacific Coast at Oaxaca'. This site features the west coast of Mexico stretching from the Costa Alegre, (Happy Coast) Jalisco (just below Puerto Vallarta) as far as Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. For each described destination, you can submit a visitor's comment. Contributors generally share their delight and their passion for Mexico. Also Tom provides opportunity for local charitable organisations to describe their community projects along with a wealth of general information.
Today, a posting caught my eye. The man's European name and his comment that he worked as a shipping agent in the port of Manzanillo intrigued me. Valise Tudoran wrote a thoughtful travel description of the driving times and places where he stops overnight on his frequent business trips down the long west-Mexican coastline. Only yesterday, a personal e-mail arrived here requesting such information from a woman in my home province of British Columbia. She plans on taking this same drive next month. So, I copied Valise's information down to send it to her. Then on a whim, I wrote him a short e-mail, about my plan to visit Manzanillo next month with two of my teenage children. Also I asked Valise if he could provide some information via e-mail before we leave by plane on December 5th for Puerto Vallarta. Then I got on with my routine day.
At suppertime the phone ran. On the other end, the shipping agent stated, "This is Valise Tudoran. Is this the home of Wendy Devlin?
And did you receive my e-mail today?
I answered back, " Yes, this is Wendy. But I haven't checked my e-mail today yet."
Valise replied, "I phoned your home number because you said in your e-mail to me this morning that you are leaving Canada soon on November 5! You might miss my e-mail. I am leaving Los Angeles tomorrow by plane for a business trip to Manzanillo and fear that we might miss each other!"
I answered back, "But our departure date to Mexico is December 5!"
Once Valise got the dates straight in his mind, he further explained, "When you wrote that you are coming to Manzanillo with your teen-age children, I decided to invite you to tour the 'ATLANTIS', a scientific discovery ship. The ATLANTIS is chartered through the Wood Hole Oceanographic Institute in the United States. It is going to be in port while you are visiting Manzanillo and I am the shipping agent in charge of its ship to shore arrangements. The research submersible boat on the 'ATLANTIS' discovered the Titanic in l985 and participates in the educational Internet Jason Project. Please let me take you aboard the ship and tour you around during your visit to Manzanillo. Have you already booked your stay in a hotel? I have a corporate room rate for the scientists in the Hotel Sierra Manzanillo at Playa Audiencia. I could make reservations for you there, if you wish."
I replied, "This is a very interesting offer. Did you know that I write stories about Mexico on the Internet?"
Valise answered, "No! I did not. I wrote to you because I have taken my own children aboard the ship. I thought that your children might enjoy the same experience while they are visiting in Manzanillo. However if you like, maybe you could write a story for the Internet about Manzanillo. I will provide more written information about the ship and its projects when you arrive."
Valise gave me several office phone numbers and a fax number where he could be reached in Manzanillo. He added, "Here is the web-site URL for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the ship itself. http://www.WHOI.EDU
At first Valise talked very fast on the phone. I told him that I had plenty of time to discuss things with him. He slowed down and we chatted about this plan. After thanking him for calling, I stated that I looked forward to the visit in Manzanillo. After all, meeting with six sets of Internet "friends" over the past year had produced pleasant results. Although I still wondered, "Will this Internet connection happen? ¿Quién sabe? Since my plan is to visit Manzanillo at this time anyway, let us see if this next Internet adventure works out!"
ATLANTIS in Mexico: Part 2 - Next month!