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This IS retirement
Colomilla Elementary School
Gabriellas grandpa
02/06/2010, Barra de Navidad/Colomilla

It has been slow going on getting the school painted. The Maestra(teacher) wants me to work weekends only so as not to disturb the kids while school is in session. I originally had planned to paint the school at Christmas break, but installing a new engine in my boat took a little too long. Weekends it is......... Today we (Fran and Jean-Guy on Gossling) started to actually apply paint and it sure feels good to see some color and improvement in the looks of the school. A week ago Tuesday we had a very nice video conference(via Skype) between the school here and my granddaughters 2nd grade class in Rancho Cordova. I had to bring the school down to Fortinos restaurant because they were the only good internet set up on the peninsula. Of course the kids loved coming on down to the restaurant because I bought them all a soda and gave them some Jelly-Bellys....Can we say WIRED. I planted a question with Gabriella and had her ask the kids here if they like the gringo cruisers who come into the lagoon and invade their community. When Joanna (a sixth grader here who did the translation...she lived in Modesto for a few years) asked the kids here, they all immediately shouted out Si! Si! Si!. So I know my effort to paint the school will be appreciated by the locals and of course the kids. This country sure does lack the tools and materials that I'm so used to in the states for gettiing a job done the right way. When I do the interior next year I will bring all the supplies with me.

02/19/2010 | Gabriella Perkins
Dear G-Pa
I'm staying with Grandma Pat tonight because mom and dad are on a "date night". I have a basketball game tomorrow in Roseville, so I have to get to bed early. I hope that when you come home you'll enjoy your Girl Scout cookies that we have in the freezer for you.
Please post more on your blog. I love you G-Pa - stay safe.
Love, Gabriella
02/23/2010 | Gabriella's Mommy
Looking forward to seeing the "before" and "after" pictures of la escuela, G-Pa! Gabriella is now officially counting the months until she can tug on your neck once again. She's doing great in school and is, of course, a model 7-year-old (if I do say so myself)...! She's singing her favorite Taylor Swift song, "You Belong With Me" in her school's Leprechaun Follies, which is a talent show for the SJV kids. Grandma Pat says she's impressed that Gabriella has the guts to perform in front of the whole school. I think it's great! I've blocked off my calendar so I can be there to videotape it. No worries, though: we'll have a full reprise when you get back here. Take care!
03/06/2010 | Steve & Kathy
You have accomplished so much this season - the gifts to the children, the engine installation and now painting the school! Love your blog. Enjoyed hearing about all of your, adventures. Hope to see you in the Sea in the Spring.
How do I survive?
Gabriellas grandpa
01/16/2010, Barra de Navidad

I'm finally in Barra, one of my all time favorite places to hang out. While in Mazatlan during Christmas I was going to bake cookies. I started with mixing the iingredients and discovered I had no eggs. The local tiendas didn't have them either and I had to go beggiing at restaurants. My next door neighbor said I could use his bike and off I went down the docks. I was almost at the ramp when the air pump that attaches to the frame came lose and somehow dropped into the spokes of the front wheel. The wheel stopped instantly and over the front wheel I came flying. One of the berthers saw me do the flip and was sure I was injured. I jumped on the bike and kept going....I had to get the eggs. The girls in the office really liked my cookies. Sailed down to San Blas and decided to haul out of the water to take off my folding prop and put on a three bladed prop. The folding prop vibrated too much to make it the rest of the season. Had a successful prop change and went on to Chacala for some good food in the palapas on the beach. Going ashore, I beached the dinghy in the little cove where there isn't too much surf running. I walked over to some rocks to wash my feet off and put on my sandals. I stepped up on the rock(that was slime covered) and went sailing up in the air and down hard on the rock. I hit my hip real hard and my wrist also. I thought for sure I broke my hip(age and all), but it was my wrist that was the problem. To this day it is still a little painful and it is hard sailing a boat with one hand. I think I better start using the wonderful birthday present Gabriella got me this last year. It's an inflatable harness from West Marine. Left Chacala after only one night and sailed up around Punta de Mita into Banderas Bay. It was one of those glorious days of pure beauty and accomplishment. I was thanking my Lord out loud for letting me do what I do in retirement. Stayed in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle for about four days. Took the bus to PV and the Costco store to get a few needed items(JellyBellies). Pulled out of La Cruz and sailed to Ipala for a nights anchorage, then on to Chamela for another night of anchoring. Next morning pulled out of Chamela and headed down to Barra. As I was puliing close to Barra, I noticed dark rain clouds in all different directions. As I had all my sails out a squall passed over me and the wind accelerated to 20+ knots for only a minute or two. It was the first squall I have experienced.....I know there are stronger squalls. I pulled into the lagoon and it sure felt good to be in flat water and a place I feel really comfortable in. Now I have to make all the arrangements for painting the local school and get set up to have video conferences between this school and Gabriellas school in Rancho Cordova. Please feel free to comment or ask questions......

01/17/2010 | Susan
More info, please, about the haulout? Alignment all straight? All you bought at Costco were jellybellies?:)
How many boats in this year's Mexico "class?"
01/18/2010 | Gabriella's Mommy
Speaking of Jelly Bellies... Gabriella, Grandma Pat and I took a road trip in the pouring rain today down to -- where else on this dreary Monday MLK State Holiday? -- the Jelly Belly Factory! Gabriella chose some Pineapple-Pear beans (her new favorite) and Strawberry Banana beans. They were incredibly fruity and delicious!! As I was gazing around the Jelly Belly store, I noticed a number of items that looked familiar -- as they keep popping up throughout our house: a JB bouncy ball, a JB football, a JB magnet, a JB bracelet, a JB shoulder bag, a JB hat (or three).... You get the picture. Yes, your Little Princess is definitely spoiled (by you).
The sunset photo is breathtaking!! Grandma Pat said it was either a sunrise or a sunset. I knew it couldn't possibly be the former because there is no way you would get up that early in the morning.
Glad you made it to Barra safe and sound. Sounds like you are an accident waiting to happen these days. What's up with that? Stay safe! Your grand
01/18/2010 | Gabriella's Mommy
Aww, man! That's the first time I got cut off leaving a comment!
Your granddaughter is already talking about when you come home for the summer. She is busy playing basketball and selling Girl Scout cookies. Don't worry. I'm taking pictures and saving you some Thin Mints!
We love and miss you!!
01/31/2010 | Lisa on Blue Aweigh
We are anchored at Punta de Mita and hope to catch up with you this season. Will be in La Cruz until we leave for the PPJ.
Be careful out there and most of all, have fun!
Another Haulout???
Gabriellas grandpa
01/02/2010, San Blas, Nayarit

Talked to my darling nieta yesterday and she again said do another post to my blog. I don't know how Susan from San Diego can influence my granddaughter, or maybe it's grandma Pat again. Anyway Gabriella my dear, here is another you have your hankerchief ready. My one and only problem with changing my whole drive system has been the alignment, prop, or shaft. I had it professionally aligned in Mazatlan and was told my prop might be out of balance. I did a quick dive on the boat in murky bay water and discovered my 2 part strut was on it's way to becoming a one part strut. So I tightened up the 2 bolts and ran the boat in gear and thought that would solve the problem. Needless to say it didn't but it did help. It still vibrates a little too much for my satisfaction, plus I detect water ingress at the strut bolts. So tomorrow morning I will haul out here at the Singlar in San Blas (headquarters for all bitiing insects) and try to fix the problem so I can use my sweet, lovely new Yanmar engine. It's an unexpected expense (20+dinners) but I will suffer through it with class. I am currently sitting on the boat while it is raining lightly outside and the current is running at four knots with the blue moon and astronomically high and low tides. Yesterday, I hiked up to the old fort on a hilltop overlooking San Blas. They say it is the first Spanish fort built on the west coast of Mexico. I'll add pictures of it in the gallery. I hope to be out of the water for just a few hours and then on my way to Puerto Vallarta for a Costco run.

01/02/2010 | Susan
I suffered my worst jejene bites ever when we were in San Blas!
You're a one-man advertising agency for Singlar facilities, Phil:)
What do you stock up on at Costco?
Good luck on the alignment!
01/06/2010 | Gabriella's Mommy
I'm glad you were able to view and listen to Gabriella's Taylor Swift mini-concert on Skype tonight, G-Pa. By the look on your face, I think you can fully appreciate that your granddaughter is the consummate performer. To my dismay, I don't think she's inherited Phil's and my athletic genes; however, she is a star in her own right and that's really all that matters.
Our best wishes for a safe, uneventful trip to Barra. Give us a call when you get Internet service. Love you!!

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