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This IS retirement
Settling in
Gabriellas grandpa
01/21/2008, Zihuatanejo

Been here for almost a week and starting to get settled in. I've decided to try and fix my anchor windlass here, so I will probably have the parts flown in. I did this in '98 when I was here and my good friend Susan did all the stateside footwork and it worked like a charm. I'm going to post some pictures of the town. They are of shops, markets, and general shots. I've added another (cool) feature to my blog. It's called an XPLOT(map) feature that lets me put a location on the map of where I have been and am currently. Also, if you click on Google Earth icon, you get a real photo from a satellite to give you a better feel for where I'm at. If you don't have Google Earth...DOWNLOAD IT, you won't be sorry and it's free. The first time you click on the Google earth icon at the lower left side of the Position Map...click 'save' then click 'save' again. Then you can open it after the initial download connection to my blog has been made. Then you can click on different locations and get the blog from that location....I know this is confusing, I think I lost myself a way back. A large Carnival Cruise Line ship pulled in today and the town was flooded with gringos. If anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to email me or post a comment. Well, back to my struggle in Paradise.

01/22/2008 | William
Do you drink the local water or do you make your own?
01/22/2008 | Phil
I purchase local water for drinking. I use their tap water for showers, etc.
01/22/2008 | Susan
Nice pictures. Is there still a police station by the beach where you land your dinghy?After looking at the meat, you can understand why their beef is sliced thin and grilled:)
The kindergarteners should get a kick out of the chicken picture.
01/23/2008 | Judy
Hey, P.W. Nice shots. I still very much remember the outdoor market at Zihuatanejo -- the meat as you show it now, and also the very skinny dogs running around. So, I guess some things haven't changed. It was 15 or 18 degrees here this morning -- sure looks inviting where you are!
01/24/2008 | Pastor Standley
Hi Phil, Lois and I spent a few days in Tucson this past week, her brother who had been dealing with Lymphoma was in the VA hospital there. I was looking forward to some warm weather and good mexican food, got the food but not the heat, I had forgotten how cold it can get in the evenings there. Ash Wednesday is February 6th so not much of a break between seasons for me. I do hope you have a fishing rod with you. Too much water not have a line or two in it. Blessings, Pastor
02/01/2008 | The Little Princess Gabriella
Dear Grandpa -- I love you and you are missing a lot of fun, like having ice cream cones at night and the breeze in the trees. How is your back, Grandpa? I love you. And for my classmates -- I hope you bring home a surprise for us. You can make it seashells, rocks, sand or anything you want. I'll ask what my classmates like from beaches. All of my friends like all of your adventures. Love you, Grandpa! Bye, bye. -Gabriella
Getting warm
Gabriellas grandpa
01/17/2008, Zihuatanejo

I thoroughly enjoyed Santiago. It is such a peaceful anchorage, even with the occasional jet ski and banana boat rides buzzing around the boat. I had one jet ski with 2 young ladies on it come to within 5 feet of the boat doing about 25mph. These ski rental people just don't know the danger of some of their actions. The jet skiers buzz all the sailboats at anchor as if we were the attraction in a side show...I don't know what the interest is in us gringos sitting at anchor in their watery playground. After watching my Chargers win an exciting playoff game on Sunday, I thought it was time to move south. Monday morning I manually pulled up my anchor and headed south for Zihua. I wanted to day hop to anchorages along the way but without an electric anchor windlass I decided to skip the dayhopping and do an overnighter to Zihua. It was a motorsail down the coast because the wind never got over 6 or 7 knots and my boat speed against a north moving current was a low 4 to 5 knots. Getting close to Zihua I realized it would be late at night when I would make landfall, so I diverted to Lazaro Cardenas, which is a commercial port with silos, wharehouses. and large smoke billowing stacks everywhere. I pulled into a nice little cove right off the main channel and anchored for the night. I called the port captain on the vhf radio and told him my dinghy was deflated and there were no docks for me to tie up to, so could I please check in over the radio. He asked my location and told to me stay put. A few minutes later an official looking rescue boat with the port captain aboard came alongside and asked for my papers. He wanted to knkow how long I was going to stay and what time I was leaving. I told him I wanted to pull out at 8am in the morning. So he took off with my paperwork and passport to do some copying and their official stamping. I wanted to jump in the shower and freshen up after an overnighter but did'nt want to be interrupted by the port captain coming back with the paperwork. He was a no-show and I was thinking he would keep my paperwork and I would have to motor towards town and try to retrieve it in the morning. Exactly at 8am as I was finishing my delicious strawberry flavored miniwheats the official looking rescue boat with blue and red lights flashing came alongside with my papers right on time....what service! So off I went to Zihuatanejo, a mere 25 miles across a long bay. Boy has this place grown in size and PRICES. I almost had a heart attack as I strolled down the malecon and look at the menus that were displayed with there astronomical prices. I have some serious exploring to do today. I will be settled in here for a week or two and then possibly move on down to Acapulco. I just want to say again how thrilled I was to get all those questions from Gabriellas kindergarten class. Just their comment post alone has made this blog worth it. Still having fun...........

01/17/2008 | Susan
Phil: would it be possible for you to add the current position map, like the one that Adventure has, to your blog?
I, for one, am interested to hear about provisioning in Zihua:) That was one place where we could find good, fresh coffee beans and good produce.
01/17/2008 | Phil
Susan, your wish is my command...even though I had to dip into the cruising kitty.
01/18/2008 | Susan
Oh, dear, I didn't mean for the map to be a problem; but I do appreciate it. And nice shot of the dolphins on the bow.
01/19/2008 | Gabriella's Mommy
Glad to hear you're still having fun, G-pa. And I'm also pleased you're back to eating Mini Wheats for breakfast instead of your previously steady diet of almond croissants. I'll have to tell Mrs. Balantac that you posted an awesome shot of dolphins. I'm sure that will spark a whole new set of questions from those little curious minds!
What a pleasant surprise!
Gabriellas grandpa
01/16/2008, Zihuatanejo

You cannot believe how wonderful it was to recieve the comments from Mrs. Balantac and her Kindergarten class which my Princess is a pupil. I will commit this blog to answering all your questions...so be patient with me. I will print the name of the person with the question but will not type in the question..just the response. GABRIELLA= I miss you too. My back is much better. I'm going to keep the generator until this summer.
Desi= I am driving..my boat. Because I like the ocean and sailing and I get to live on my boat.
Julian= I never get bored.I will be visiting Mexico, Guatamala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador(Galapagos Islands), San Blas Islands(which belong to Columbia), and Belize.
Phillip= I have'nt stopped at any islands yet but passed by Isla Isabella, which is a bird sanctuary.
Ashlynn= Because it's more adventuress and I enjoy other cultures and of course the weather is fantastic.
Blair= From Tiendas and supermarkets and of course I enjoy eating out at restaurants and taco stands.
Austin=Not this year, but there were 3 boats in the anchorage that had lights hung up the masts and it sure was pretty.
Jack= The anchor weighs 33 pounds and the chain that is attached to it weighs about 50 pounds.
Jennifer=I buy food at the stores and eat at these wonderful palapas on the beach.
Dominic-I lay down in my bed and close my eyes and let the gentle rocking of the boat put me to sleep. Gabriellas bed is on the starboard side of the boat and mine is on the port side.
Lucas=I have a regular shower with hot and cold running water. There is a 12 volt water pump that gives me water pressure.
Jacob=7 or 8 years. As long as I'm having fun.
Rafa= Boat equipment I get from marine stores. Fuel and water from the fuel dock and other everyday supplies form the market squares.
Jillian= It's very rare that I get bored. I have to keep all my systems working and have to take laundry ashore, get water for the boat, keep my dinghy running properly, and general maintenance.
Phillip#2= I have a TV and a complete bathroom with an electric toilet, and a cell phone that I don't use because it costs too much. I use phone service through my laptop computer and do video conference with Gabriella.
Mrs. B=Not yet, but it's very doable. I just don't want the smelly cut up fish on the boat. It's easier trading Mexican fishermen for lobsters.
I am sooo very pleased to know that all you childen are interested in my voyaging. Until next time, Gabriellas grandpa Phil.

01/17/2008 | Susan
Sweet posting.
02/09/2008 | elizabeth
I love the responses to the kids!

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