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This IS retirement
Suffering through the danger!
Gabriellas Grandpa
02/25/2011, Santiago/Manzanillo

The title and picture of this blog is misleading, just like the media is misleading all you folks up north about the dangers of travelling to Mexico. I feel so much more safer here in mananaland than I do back home. I scraped my foot on the top of a scaly rock as I was launching my dinghy into the surf. I'm spending my last visit to Santiago in the splendor of good weather, good food, and good friends. I will be here for another few days and shove off for Barra De Navidad for the last time this season. I have one more video chat to do with the schools and then try to time my northward travels to meet my brother Jeff and his bride Sharon in Puerto Vallarta. With this final video chat I plan on outdoing myself for the treat part of the get together. I'm thinking of a Norte Americano picnic type theme....Hot dogs (the good ones from either Costco or Oscar Meyer instead of the stuff they sell at most places down here) and BANANA SPLITS complete with whipped cream, chocolate topping and maraschino cherrys on top. This will also give the ladies who normally provide lunch for the kids a day off.
I don't know where to start on the new crop of cruisers this year. They are definetly different in more ways than I care to express. Cruisers are all about helping each other in every way possible. The newbies this year don't seem to take the intiative to get out and find a few things on their own. They get on the radio nets and ask every imaginable question they can about the most minute items. Radio etiquette is out the window and drives me nuts. Out here in the cruising world, the radio is the most important item you have and you have to know how to use it to make life run smoothly. There is a lot more I could say on the subject but it would not ingratiate me with some of the cruisers who would look over my blog. So now you all have an idea of what I go through struggling with my retirement down here....waa waa waa as my daughter-in-law would say. I'll let you know the results of last video chat.

02/27/2011 | Susan
If you're planning to offer hot dogs and banana splits to your kids in Mexico, what is Karen going to offer in Rancho Cordova?:)
03/01/2011 | Gabriella's Mommy
Sure, Susan -- put the pressure on me why don't you?! My mom actually had a good idea that I could pick up some Mexican cookies from a local panderia here. Phil and I bought some the other day and they were deliciosas! I'll let Mrs. Balantac know you're "on" for one more teleconference with the school children on Thursday, March 10 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific time. And please don't post any more grisly photos of your injuries. It provided an interesting contrast to the formerly appetizing photo of your previous Mahi Mahi dinner... Hugs, -KP
Life of a retired Gringo
Gabriellas Grandpa
02/15/2011, Barra De Navidad

Since I last posted I flipped my dinghy leaving the beach at Santiago and had to have the outboard worked on here in Barra because of it. Now my outboard runs better than ever. There is a fourteen year old hearing impaired student here in Colomilla. I met him when I had to go get permission from the teacher for Yoanne to join me for a video chat. The hearing impaired student only knew rudimentary sign and I could tell he did not interact much with the hearing students. He is from the larger town of Cituatlan and I surmised he was getting harrassed quite a bit there because of his deafness and so he and his brother commute daily to this outpost of a community. He had a sign language book that has been lost and I told Yoanne that I wanted her classmates to learn some sign language so they can communicate with him. They desparately needed a book, so I looked around Manzanillo and came across one that I thought was amazing but was being sold to another person. So I put an order in for the same book and had to wait ten days for delivery from Guadalajara. I took a bus from Barra to Manzanillo and picked up the book and delivered it to the school with instructions for all his classmates to get involved and learn some sign. I also gave them $100 pesos to get copies of the ABCs and the often used words and phrases so all the students could practise. I went back to the school today and asked the hearing impaired student if he likes the book. The look on his face and the thumbs up sign he gave me made it all worthwhile. Yoanna also said they have been practising and things are looking up for the students.
I sailed over to Cuastecomate which is half way to Tenacatita so I could clean the bottom of the boat and change oil in the diesel. When I was finishing up on the bottom cleaning I decided to dive on my stern anchor. I'm glad I did as it was wedged in an old metal fishing boat wreck on the bottom. I didn't have air in my tanks so I had to free dive in fourteen feet of water. After about 5 dives holding my breath, I finally got it loose and move it over to sand bottom. The next day I sailed over to Tenacatita so I could do the mangrove river tour and get online with my Banda Ancha. The second rate company I went with this year wouldn't come up, so I sailed back to Barra.....got to have that internet connection, eh. Besides, there was a red tide with jellyfish everywhere, so coming back was a good choice.
There are still quite a few repeat cruisers this year, but a whole lot more newbies down here. It seems the new class is not like the old cruisers in there attitude toward being here in Mexico.....or maybe it's me! The blog photo is me having to suffer through another Mahi-Mahi dinner on the beach so I don't have to cook and get dishes dirty. I might leave here in about a week and mosy on down to Santiago for my last visit of the season to that beautiful area.

02/15/2011 | Jeff
Good for you & let you know Jeff Jr now signing too . He has done it for a long time LOL Jeff
02/16/2011 | Susan
What a nice thing to do, to get the book for the boy. But even better to encourage his classmates to learn to sign.
What is different with the this year's crop of cruisers?
Lovely Santiago
Gabriellas Grandpa
01/26/2011, Santiago/Manzanillo

As I start writing this blog the radio comes to life with the report of whales braching iin the anchorage. I run topside and sure enough a bunch of juvenile humpbacks are playing(flying out of the water) right in the anchorage area. This is a tough life and I'm glad that I can sacrafice my time and retirement so you all up north don't have to. The blog photo is of the group of people trying to get a sick dolphin off the beach and back into deeper water. It was a success by the way. I came back to Santiago after the school chat to start my cruising experiences in earnest. There is a little bit of pressure when your doing things that have schedules and that involve hi-tech items and the availability of same down here in manana-land. Almost on a daily basis while in Santiago, I walk about a mile and a half down this lovely beach with rental homes and condos on it. I catch the local bus to either old town Manzanillo, Santiago, or the shopping area of Walmart-Sorianas-Commercial. I either people watch or do shopping. When shopping in Mexico you have to go to several stores to get everything you want....it might seem like a chore, but it is all part of the experience of cruising and is quite fun sometimes. Today I went to old town Manzanillo and there was a huge cruiseship at the dock. It was the Osterdamm out of San Diego. It's fun to walk among them in the waterfront area and watch them throw their money away and see them try to bargain with the locals. Remember in the last post I told you about the young couple that swam out to the boat...I ran into them again and tomorrow we will day sail around the area. It's so much fun taking people out sailing because they appreciate it so much and it's a no-brainer for me. I will try to get picture of the breaching humpbacks tomorrow if they are still in the area.

01/26/2011 | Gabriella's Mommy
I appreciate cruising, too, G-Pa. That is... when we can find our destination. (Where's Yelapa?)
Gabriella had her first piano lesson yesterday. She said she really liked it and is already trying to teach me how to play. (Now I know which key is the middle C, when to use my right and left hands, and for how long to hold a note.) No doubt sbe'll be playing all the Baby Einstein ensembles by the time you get home in May...! I'm just grateful that I hear Yankee Doodle only intermittently these days. Hope you get some good pics of the humpbacks!
01/27/2011 | Susan
This year's Mexico cruise is fast becoming your whale cruise! Lucky, lucky you. Haven't heard much about the other cruisers from years past. Many of the same boats back this year? Are you all set to paint the insides of the school?

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