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Colimilla and Rancho Cordova Kids
Gabriellas grandapa
02/26/2009, Barra de Navidad

What a wonderful day and change from the mundane life of cruising the Gold Coast of Mexico. I finally got the elementary school from Colimilla(which is a small community on the peninsula across from Barra de Navidad) hooked up with my Princess' school in Rancho Cordova for a video conference. I had to go up the day before and hook up the computer to make sure I could get Skype working properly. Then I had Grandma Pat in Sacto run through the process using her Skype connection. Then the day came and just like clockwork it was off and running. I think the kids here were a little intimidated by the large class at St. John Vianny and did'nt know what to ask. But after a little hesitation, they were getting into it. In fact, towards the end I had to keep telling them to quiet down so we could here the questons and answers. Here in Colimilla, we were fortunate to have Joanna, who is a fourth grader and has lived in Modesto for a few years, interpret for us. She did a fantastic job and was very excited about the whole event. I know Mrs. Reali(Gabriellas first grade teacher) did a lot of footwork to help pull this off......A big THANK YOU to you Gloria. The school here is a lot like a one room school in the country. There is one teacher and she has all the students from 1st grade to 6th grade. There is a total of 30 students and they are broken down to 1, 2, 3, and 4th grades in one room and the 5th and 6th grades in another. Then they have a computer room, thanks to a gringo couple from California who live here in a very nice house in Colimilla for about 7 or 8 months of the year. They invested in wireless internet hardware so they can transmit to the anchorage. We cruisers then pay them a fee to use the wireless from the ease of our boats. That money goes to the kids at the school and cruisers donate old computers and other school items. If it wasn't for the generosity of John and Vicky, these kids would have little or nothing to help them with their education. Next year we get to paint the complete school the right way so it will last at least 5 years. I could say more about the lack of government support for these outpost schools, but I don't think it would be to anyones benefit. Again, THANK YOU St John Vianny first grade class for participating in this cultural exchange expedition. The blog photo is of some of the students here and the pose was influenced by Gabriella.

02/26/2009 | Susan
Well, this posting just made my day! Congratulations to everyone involved.
03/01/2009 | Princess Gabriella
Presenting... Gabriella! (She even typed most of this message with her own little fingers.:
"Dear Grandpa,
I'm glad that you got to say hello to my first grade class. It was very fun when we got to hear all the kids ask their questions. And I liked the poses of the kids that you took a picture of on your blog. I appreciate you doing video conferences every year. You're very nice all the time and I love you!!!!!!!!! See you later alligator!"
A new(to me) anchorage
Gabriellas grandapa
02/16/2009, Las Hadas/Manzanillo

I left Zihuatanejo on what I thought was going to be a good weather window for trying to sail most of the way. It started out OK, but quickly turned south. First of all, my oil cooler problem has reared it's ugly head and I soon lost use of the engine. The plugs I put on kept on leaking badly, so I could only use the engine to get to set the anchor. That meant sailing in directions that I didn't want to go. I would sail about 12 miles off the coast then tack back toward land so I could make some north progress...in other words, I would travel about 24 miles east and west just so I could make 5 miles north in the direction I want to go. On top of all that excessive travel I was in winds that topped 20 knots, which was not at all comfortable. I stopped at Caleta de Campos for an overnite break then headed up to Muruata for another break. Then left Muruata at 10 pm for an overniter to Manzanillo. The trip to Manzanillo was great until the last 3 hours with the wind gusting up to 22 knots and heavy seas, then a container ship wanted to run me down. I finally dropped the hook at Las Hadas next to new cruising friends that I met in Caleto de Campos. This place is on the luxurious side and I'm enjoying all the decadence it has to offer. The resorts are built on hillsides and the open air restaurants are sitting up high so the view is great. The food is pretty decent with dorado filet going for 90 pesos($7.50US). So I'm hanging out here for a few more days getting all the water out of the boat and cleaning the bottom tomorrow in freezing 75 degree water...don't you feel sorry for me? The first grade kids video conference will be a little late because I'm having so much fun that I don't want to keep that rigid of a schedule. I am actuallly getting attached to the MANANA ATTITUDE. Look for some new pics of this piece of Paradise.

02/17/2009 | Heather
Don't forget to go visit Ruben the Port Captain. That place was a nice stop, but too class for cruisers of our kind ;) Good luck with the motor.
02/21/2009 | Boomerang
When we visited Ruben on the way south, he charged us 150 Pesos a day for dinghy fees. On the way north we sorta forgot to visit him. (Cheap cruisers) Good restaurant up on the hill outside the resort.
Chuck
Departing Zihuatanejo
Gabriellas grandapa
02/07/2009, Zihua Bay

I think I've worn out my welcome here and am starting to get restless readers of this blog, so I better start punching some keys or I will lose my followers. I actually did volunteer to help with the Zihua Sailfest for one day. I did the same thing I did last year which was to shuttle paying passengers to the boats in the parade to Xtapa and back. There were 27 boats taking 162 passengers which adds up to a few pesos for the kids schools. A few days ago I was fortunate enough to meet some wonderful cruisers on a beautiful 51 foot cataraman. They had just gotten back from the Revillegedos islands which are about 230 miles south of Cabo San Lucas. They were in company of Jacaranda which has Chuck and Linda aboard. Chuck was my neighbor at Shelter Island in San Diego many years ago. Anyway, they went diving at the several islands in the group for about 3 weeks and they had the good fortune to ride the giant Manta Rays. I watch a couple hours of video that had them diving with the Mantas and some hammerhead sharks. If you want to check it out go to: www.svbeachhouse.com. I've had both my outboards worked on here by a nice and competent outboard mechanic. And, of course I've been doing my own mechanical work on my diesel on a daily basis. If I wasn't in Paradise I think I would be a little upset constantly tweaking this and that on the boat. I've been eating some delicious dorado(mahi-mahi) almost every other day. There is this cataraman(38foot Lagoon) with three young girls..7, 9, and 12 I think. They have been the radio net controllers each morning and it is the best net I've heard anywhere. These young girls are so professional, yet so entertaining. I think it is the highlight of being in Zihuatanejo this year. I went over to Playa Linda, which is next to Club Med and Isla Grande just to take some photos of Gabriellas favorite animal....the Cocodrillos....Crocodiles in english. So I will post those and maybe some others. I will leave here and sail up to Santiago(maybe stop at the anchorage that has the health spa for women) for a few days before going over to Barra de Navidad so I can hook up the 1st grade class in Collimilla with Gabriellas 1st grade class in Rancho Cordova. That should be a hoot........... I'll try to be a little more frequent with the blog posts and maybe go into my day by day doings in the land of fish tacos. The opening photo is the way my Princess wants me to pose for photos...she taught me that on a ferry ride from Sausalito to S.F.

02/08/2009 | Susan
Enjoyed all the pictures of the crocodiles in Zihua. Is their population increasing? Are they a tourist attraction like the #*%! seals who have taken over the Children's Pool in La Jolla?
02/12/2009 | Heather
Hey Phil,

When are you going to make it to our neck of the woods? We are in La Cruz. I have brownies and cookies!

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