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This IS retirement
Northerly Slog
Gabriellas G-Pa
02/11/2012, Santiago/Manzanillo

After a few days in Zihuatanejo and the day after the Super Bowl I weighed anchor and set out for points north. I did a 35 mile run over to Lazaro Cardenas, which is a stinky commercial port but has a nice flat anchorage in a cul de sac right off the ocean. After a very flat and calm night I pulled out of there for the next anchorage (Caleta De Campos) about 40 miles up the coast. I pulled into the anchorage that afternoon and was not happy with the huge ocean swells making their way into the anchorage. So, instead of rockin'n'rolling all night, I decided to keep on trucking up the coast and do an overnighter into Santiago. About 6 in the morning, the wind picked up offshore and I had a glorious sailing trip the rest of the way into Santiago. Dropped the hook in a nice peaceful spot and did my bus trip into Salagua, which is a suburb of Manzanillo. Did some banking , shopping, and of course the obligatory Burger King stop. The next day my friends on Hooligan, Barbara and Tom made it into the anchorage from Barra. THEN THE RAIN STARTED. It has rained for the last 2 days and will continue today and end tomorrow night. I got the soap out and scrubbed down the decks so now I have very clean decks for the first time since I left Guaymas. This afternoon I will dive on Hooligan to clean the bottom in the rain.....I hope I don't get wet. Tomorrow in the rain I think I will sail to Barra. I'm running low on gasoline and water. It's wierd being stuck on the boat at anchor. Still enjoying this fabulous retirement....Thank You God! The photo is Mannasea getting fuel in Acapulco.

02/12/2012 | Susan
How much fuel and water do you carry?What have you been whipping up in your galley this season, other than chocolate chip cookies and pies? Does Costco stock pretty much everything you need?
02/17/2012 | Sharon Donat
Hello Phil! I hadn't looked at your website in a while but was pleased to see you are enjoying retirement. I certainly envy you, wish I could sail away from Rancho Cordova some day. Jeff will be finishing his classes for his masters degree in electrical/electronic engineering by May and Tyler is certainly improving. He will be 9 in April, I would love to take him on a sailboat. Take care of yourself and enjoy your freedom.
Awww Acapulco
Gabriellas G-Pa
01/31/2012, Acapulco Bay

My friends on Hooligan...Tom and Barbara joined me on the car trip to Guadalajara. The roads to and from Guadalajara were very nice and quite scenic. Once in the big city it all changed. The traffic was horrendous and was at a complete standstill. So we just stayed on the outskirts of the city because that is where Costco is located....thank God. That is one trip I don't think I will be taking again. I left Barra/Colimilla for Santiago where I spent a few nights. Then off to Zihuatanejo where I spent about a week enjoying all my old haunts. They (the city of Zihua) really spruced up the town where all the tourists visit. I decided to run down the coast to Acapulco for a few days so I can visit Costco to restock my Jelly-Bellys. I pulled into the bay at night and dropped anchor by the Mexican Navy Tallship Cuatamoc at 10:30pm. About an hour later as I was getting ready to crash a mexican Navy patrol boat came along side and wanted my papers. After awhile they gave me back my papers and told me I was anchored in a restricted area and that I would have to leave immediately. So I raised the anchor and motored over to hotel row and put my anchor down in front of tourist central. It turns out that right past the beach about two blocks up to the main thoroughfare there is a Starbucks, KFC, Burger King, Office Depot, and a Walmart. Just took the bus over to Costco today and that was a bust...NO JELLY BELLYS! I'll motor around the bay tomorrow and get diesel over by the cruiseship terminal then come back to my fine real estate and spend one last peaceful night in Acapulco.This is as far south as I will go this year and now the hard part starts.....heading uphill/north for the rest of the cruising season.

02/01/2012 | Susan
What has Zihua done to spruce up the town? Ixtapa already seemed pretty nice. Are you seeing lots of tourists? Because our friends who are cruising in the Bahamas this winter report many, many fewer cruisers this year.
02/11/2012 | Gabriellas G-Pa
Susan, Zihua put up nice and attractive overhangs on half the city blocks. Acapulco was 'sin touriats'. these 20 to 30 story high hotels had 3..1..4..lighted rooms at night. Taking the bus down the main drag and was lucky to spot 5 gringo tourists.
Ahhh..to be a cruiser again.
Gabriellas G-Pa
01/04/2012, Colimilla/Barra de Navidad

The above photo is of me not getting the car in reverse when it is really important to do so. A Samurai-built Mexican lifted up on the car as I was gunning it in reverse and it plopped back over the curb. Nothing damaged but my pride. Had a nice Christmas dinner at the Sands hotel. Susan, I baked a traditional double crust apple pie using granny smith apples and it turned out to be fabulous. All the food was great...it always amazes me that the cruisers can put together such an array of tastes on their boats. It was a nice relaxing day off right in the middle of my school paint work. Speaking of which also turned out just right. It was so nice to greet the kids in the morning and wait for the Maestra to show up from her commute from Manzanillo. The kids were peering through the windows because I refused to let them in until the Maestra showed. We tricked out the school completely, including the tile floors and G I'ing the banos. We washed all the windows, fans and cleaned everything that wasn't painted. When I say 'we', it was with the great help of Jim on Murray Grey, Tom and Barbara on Hooligan, Rob and Stephanie on Red Witch, Steve on Magic, and a cruiser on L'Ange. It was nice to get all that help. I posted a lot of pictures in the gallery of the school and of the Christmas potluck. Tomorrow, Tom and Barbara and I will drive to Guadalajara to see the city and stop at Costco...I'm out of Jelly-Bellys. Then Saturday I will cruise on over to Tenacatita for a couple of days to clean the bottom of my boat and maybe Toms boat. Then later in the week I will head south to Zihuatanejo and maybe further south. I think this will end my era of volunteerism as it just costs too much in dinero and time. I'm getting too old and would like to be a full time cruiser for the few healthy years that I have left.

01/05/2012 | Susan
What striking before and after pictures! Y'all did an incredible job on the school. And the fan certainly looked like an OSHA warning. Thanks for the food update, too:)
01/07/2012 | capricorn cat
time to pass the torch to the next volunteer...mannasea needs to stretch her hulls...have some new adventures...and no more cars for the next few months...lol

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