Magic Carpet Adventures

Greg, Donna Lou and Boat Cat Ziwhot's Search for Adventure Captain Gregory (KI6IIU) and Admiral Donna Lou (KI6IIS) Norell E-mail: norell49@yahoo.com

08 June 2016 | El Cid Marina, Mazatlan
22 April 2016 | La Cruz de Haunacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico
22 April 2016
08 March 2016 | Marina La Cruz, La Cruz de Haunacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico
02 February 2016 | Cerro Pelion a Monarch Butterfly preserve
01 February 2016
01 February 2016
15 January 2016 | La Cruz de Haunacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico
09 January 2016 | El Verde Camacho Marine Turtle Sanctuary
05 January 2016 | El Cid Marina, Mazatlan, Sin
12 December 2015 | San Carlos, Sonora
12 December 2015 | Alamos, Sonora, Mexico
26 November 2015 | San Carlos, Sonora
27 May 2015 | San Carlos, Sonora
24 May 2015 | Mazatlan, Fonatur, Active Marine
24 May 2015 | Mazatlan
24 May 2015 | Mazatlan

Stow a ways aboard Magic Carpet!

08 June 2016 | El Cid Marina, Mazatlan
Amiral Donna Lou
Stow a ways aboard Magic Carpet!
Black Capped Gnatcatcher’s! Much to the Captains and Little Z dismay, these uninvited guest hide in the main sail lazy jack. Little Z who is Hungry for tweedy bird, has only herself to blame for missing this super Kitty delicacy. Because of her abuse of top side privileges while in harbor, she grounded. The Captain was upset by the usual tenant mess left behind. The Admiral was delighted with these cute little birds choosing Magic Carpet for their new home & sad as they flew away looking for a better place. Yes we finely sailed out of Banderas Bay just as tropical depressions are starting to form south. The Captain has carefully studied all available weather information for a safe comfortable weather window to sail Magic Carpet north to her home berth in San Carlos, Sonora Mexico. This has been a strange difficult cruising season to state it mildly! The highs & lows have been well described in past Magic Carpet Adventures. This most recent “adventure” was maybe the scariest of all “so far”. We were celebrating the completion of the Admiral physical therapy & complete recovery of range of motion of her arm. Waiting for a good weather window north, we attended the Village 9 day Feast Day fiesta. Fantastic food, street dancing, parades, crowing of local royalty, bands everywhere, fireworks, the blessing of dancing horses and the late night cock fights. Thousands had converged on the little fishing village of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. We had a ball enjoying the celebration to the max – until it hit us! We were both so sick we could barely take care of ourselves; Little Z was now in charge of Magic Carpet! We know we needed help but the thought of getting it was too much. Finely the Captain got better & the Admiral worse. He called Gustavo our local taxi driver and once again he rushed us to the hospital. The Doctor took one look at the Admiral & amended her for what turned out to be a 10 day hospital stay 9 on oxygen. Fighting a strain of pneumonia that was not covered by our preventive vaccines or even the” extra” vaccine we got November 2015 that covered 16 more strains of pneumonia. Finding the right antibiotics to clear the Admirals lungs from this so called super bug was difficult. Finely a harsh uncomfortable antibiotic was used to free the Admiral of the need of oxygen. The Captain was also treated for 10 days as an out patent living with the Admiral in the hospital. Little Z was so upset she started chewing on herself with worry. She would not stop kissing (licking) her crew mates when they returned to Magic Carpet. It took the Captain two weeks to find a good weather window north; it was perfect for our recovering crew. We are now waiting for our next good shot of southerly winds & smooth seas (4 days needed) to complete this sailing season. For now we are taking advantage of the R&R opportunities here at Marina El Cid Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico.
That’s 19 days in Mexican Hospitals, for the 2016 “Dreams into Reality” cruising season.
Standard question: is this an adventure or ordeal?
Answer: still an adventure!

Sixty Day Update on Admirals Condition

22 April 2016 | La Cruz de Haunacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico
Admiral Donna Lou
Picture of Greg, Donna and Physical Therapist, Sandeli

The self-imposed deadline arrived 60 days after the surgery the Admiral declared she would be ready to resume her responsibilities to this life style. Well 60 have come and gone and the Admiral is trying to keep her personal commitment, with the help of long Physical Therapist sessions with Sandeli 3X per week. The Admiral has progressed amazing but painfully well. Her range of motion surprises everyone her strength has not returned yet, but she is working on that also. Talking about progress we must include this! First she traveled to therapy by taxi $700.00 pesos round trip; than car pooled $300.00 pesos finely she could stand the rock & roll of a Mexican Bus $76 pesos round trip. The Captain & the Admiral are now continuing there adventure on public transportation. It's certainly an experience not to be missed. On just one bus ride (about one hour) to Puerto Vallarta, nice bus full of locals, and bus venders who ride free but do not get a seat. First: A man selling chips & a squirt of salsa out of a basket passes through getting off a few stops latter. Second : A blind man sings for us with his hand out, than gets off the bus after collecting a few pesos. Third: A very good musician played his guitar & sang for us, and then he too passed through the bus looking for rewards before he got off. Forth: A man passed a card in Spanish out to everyone (who would take one) only to return and collect his cards & pesos. Fifth: A rapp man boarded and did his thing; the Captain offered him pesos to stop. Everyone laughed and soon too he moved on to his next captured audience. Out the window we saw road entertainers, Jugglers, sword swallowers, gymnast & dancers. Then there was the man selling cold Gator Aid through the windows, we felt sorry for the buyer waiting for change when the bus drove off. All working their way to make ends meet, Mexico does not have a welfare program. The trip goes fast, we even found a Haagen Dazs Ice Cream vender along the way! So the adventure goes on the road for the time being.

22 April 2016
Picture of our Dear friends Ric and Lynn on S/V LaVita Thank You Dinner

Each day the Admiral has more range of motion less pain & more boat responsibilities. The Captain is getting ready for a shakedown cruise to Yelapa, just across Banderas Bay. Testing the Admiral ability to sail again, hard to believe this is needed! Aging is not fun, falling is not fun, and physical therapy is not fun, Sailing is fun & the Admiral insists she can do it! The overnight trip to the isolated fishing village with the afternoon strong winds, much like San Francisco Bay. This will be the "test" before we can start looking for a weather window north.
Little Z is being a "pill" she liked being a therapy cat, and is now feeling rejected. Even though it's warm and little Z is thirsty, she will not drink unless her water bowl is held for her an only eats if she is hand feed. The Admiral spoiled her but now neither the Captain nor Admiral has the heart to ignore her meows. We know we should just let her starve until she eats & drinks on her Own. But she just too cutie to do that to, so now the cat has trained us!

Update on the Admirals Condition

08 March 2016 | Marina La Cruz, La Cruz de Haunacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico
Admiral Donna Lou
The good ship Magic Carpet.
She’s versatile! Now an assisted living vessel snugly nestled in Marina La Cruz, where each afternoon the cool Pacific breeze’s sweeps through her cabins offering a daily reminder of what waits the Admirals recovery. After a total reverse titanium shoulder replacement & an eight day Hospital stay the crew of Magic Carpet is again complete. Long ago our boat was set up for single handed sailing, all lines lead aft & there are handhelds & safety lines everywhere insuring the Admirals doesn’t fall again. The dock master & crew built a step up to Magic Carpet insuring easy on & off. The Captain stepped right up and took over as director of this assisted living vessel covering all bases as needed. The nurses & care personal of San Javier Hospital instructed the Captain on her care to prevent infection and insure fast recovery. The physical therapist team showed him helpful exercises to help insure compete movement, the dietitian discussed proper nutrition to encourage fast healing. So after a little over a week we returned to our boat, yes I say we because the Captain was with the Admiral 24/7 during her Hospital stay a local custom. Gustavo our driver guaranties safe comfortable transpiration to Doctor Appointments & physical therapy sections. Sonja picks up laundry and returns it the next day clean and nicely folded when called. The Captain draws the line at hair care he’s all for cutting it off. To avoid the Captain sheers. Nallely shampoos and washes away the stress gray that suddenly started to appear as needed. The Captain dose a great breakfast an easy lunch and he’s a genius at dinner he calls out! Several favorite local restaurants prepare meals under the Captains watchful eye even offering suggestions as to what they could do especially for the Admiral.
When we first arrived back in La Cruz at what now seems like ages ago with a broken auto pilot, we were amazed at how comfortable & welcomed we felt. Locals greeted us and told what was happening in there little cobbled stoned village, cruising friends were everywhere. Banderas Bay racing season was in full swing, there are puddle jump seminars for the 2016 Pacific crossing, circles of knowledge discussions on Panama, Ecuador, El Salvador this is a busy Bay. Now once again returning after surgery we are touched by the warmth & caring this community shows. Locals ask the Captain if they could visit, if we need anything just ask. As the Admiral struggles on her daily walks the greetings always cheer us. Sometimes a local comes out and sits with the Admiral sharing a story or two and even brings out a cold bottle water that makes the walk a little easier. We can’t help thinking how different it would be at “home”. We were right in choosing to convalesce here surrounded by friends & fellow cruisers.

The Admiral has become a VHF radio junkie, never far from her I Com hand held. We have been greatly saddened and fascinated by the loss of Rage a 45 foot cold molded sloop here on the La Cruz entrance reef. The struggle between the owner/Captain, environmentalist, Port Captain, Insurance Rep’s, Surveyors’ is truly a sailors nightmare. The small silver lining in this giant black cloud tragic loss is the support & helping hands of fellow cruisers & Marina La Cruz. Magic Carpets Captain was asked to photograph this recovery/salvage ordeal; some of the photos will be posted in our gallery.

Magic Carpets “Honey do list” is shorting items the Captain has given low proity to but the Admiral rated much higher are now getting attention. Even little Z has Findlay learned it’s not wise to bit the hand that feeds you! She two is now completely dependent on the Captain for her needs & wants. It currently looks like we will be at the docks for 60 days or more depending on the Admiral’s therapy progress. The peace and tranquility of being at Sea & secluded anchorages that sooth our souls is on hold.


Butterfly Trip Bright Side

02 February 2016 | Cerro Pelion a Monarch Butterfly preserve
Admiral Donna Lou
The Bright Side!
After ordering the replacement parts needed for Magic Carpets Raymarine Auto Pilot, and arranging delivery to us here in La Cruz . We decided to head inland to the state of Michoacan, Mexico to the little Village of Macheros. Where we would travel high into the Serra Madres Mountains 11,000 feet above Sea Level.
To the World Heritage preserve site of Cerro Pelion a Monarch Butterfly preserve. Where each winter 1 billion Monarchs arrive here after flying 3000 miles from Canada & the Atlantic North East of the U.S. They reportedly fly at a speed of 3 miles per hour, to their winter breeding grounds. This is the same area as. their ancestors have returned to each year. No one knows for how long or why they have returned to the same area as their ancestors, but in 1975 the first tagged Monarch Butterfly was recorded in both the North & South Mountains.

01 February 2016
We traveled to the Butterfly's with our English speaking guide and host Joel Moreno aboard horses from the town stable horse coop. Where they work on a rotating schedule so that each village horse owner gets an equal chance to make a living! The Admiral road off on a white horse named Grease the Captain road a sorrel and Joel road his father horse Colorado. Up & up we road on a narrow rough mountain trail. It was beautiful lined with pine trees fern and lots of green vegetation everywhere. A fantastic journey to the Monarch's. Early on we spotted Mystical flashes of orange & black fluttering in and out of the trees. It is said you can hear the hum of wings in flight, but our old ears are not in tune with such soft sounds. The Captain described it as Magical like being caught in the middle of Disneyland fairy tale movie, just watching the butterflies soaring in and out of the tree branches was nature at its best! They gather & hang in clumps to keep warm looking like a vineyard full of orange grapes. When the sun shines they fly and the forest is orange. It is said over 1 billion Monarch butterflies are in residence this season. In mid-march the females will fly north the males will dye in peace covering the Serra Madera Mountain in an orange blanket knowing they have completed their life cycle. It was an amazing experience
Our host Joel & Ellen's B&B was a perfect home base for our long dreamed adventure of chasing butterflies. The small quite Mexican Village of Macheros where everyone is related with 3 & 4 generations working the land fascinated us. Each year they are invaded by Butterfly Chasers from all over the world between January & March hoping to fell the magic, wonder and delight of these winged creatures. We hiked around the Village getting accustomed to the altitude always joined by local dogs that were as interest in us as we were in them. We were fascinated by the abundance of wild flowers & birds. Each evening we were visited by beautiful Vermilion Flycatchers the prettiest we had ever seen, Humming Birds were very busy sucking up all the nectar their little bodies demanded. Meals were served at Joel's Mother Dona Rosa's restaurant where her five daughters took turns preparing meals on a wood cook stove. Supplies were mostly home grown, the corn for the tortillas was grown & ground all in sight of the B&B they were formed, cooked & served as needed, the best we had ever tasted. Each of Joel's brother's (5) have avocado orchards so of course we had lots of avocados. Joel's Father has a trout farm/pond where they hand pick your fish after you order a Trout dinner in 1 of the 5 way's they offer to cook it for you. Now that is a fresh fish dinner! Water is piped from natural Mountain springs to each home in the village. The villagers laugh when telling us how the leaves sometimes clog the little feeder pipes & how they have to hike high into the Mountains to free the clogged pipes. Green houses were everywhere growing flowers that are sold in Mexico City. They have a very active reforesting nursery where they grow the natural to their area plants to keep the butterflies forest healthy. Joel's godfather tends this nursery and over see's the planting! No GMO seedlings here! We were fascinated by the sap gathering from the local pine trees by the local's. Once when we were out on the trails we spotted a man on a donkey with two five galleon buckets on the side of his donkey filled with pine sap. He told us he sold the sap in Guadalajara where they made plastic, varnish & used it as a filler product for joint medicine? It's organic - We wonder if this is possible? Everyone in the village was warm, friendly and very cheerful and helpful. It was like taking a step back in time to a simpler easier life. We are sure no one has high blood pressure in Macheros Mexico! We try to live by the rule that we treat others as we wish to be treated! Joel & his family & the villagers treated us great; they made us feel like family. The oldest person in the village is 107 and credits her long life to beans, greens & God!
Vessel Name: Magic Carpet
Vessel Make/Model: Lancer 36
Hailing Port: Richmond Yacht Club, Pt Richmond, SF Bay, CA, USA
Crew: Greg, Donna Lou and Boat Cat ZiWhot Norell
About: Greg a Retired E/M Design Engineer from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Vice President and CFO of DLM Marketing, Donna Lou is President and CEO of DLM Marketing, also Greg and Donna own and operate an Olive orchard Deja vu Orchards in Northern California.
Extra:
Looking for Adventure, We have a Lancer 36 "Magic Carpet" berthed at Richmond Yacht Club in SF Bay we both love to sail, fish and dive, Greg spent the last five years getting the boat ready. Ready or not were cutting the dock lines this spring (2009) and going South to Pacific Coast of California [...]
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/magiccarpetadventures/
Magic Carpet's Photos - Main
The Bright side and the Dark side
19 Photos
Created 5 February 2016
Donna and Greg Release Baby Turtles Dakota Quinn, Logan and Kayden
23 Photos
Created 8 January 2016
Alamos the Magical City, Honeymoon trip
48 Photos
Created 8 January 2016
Active Marine, Fonatur
11 Photos
Created 24 May 2015
Fish, Birds, Mammals and Donna Lou
24 Photos
Created 13 May 2015
City of the Gods Outlaying Palaces
17 Photos
Created 2 May 2015
Birthday Ballon trip over Pyramids
40 Photos
Created 2 May 2015
The City of the Gods Teotihuacan
13 Photos
Created 1 May 2015
Teotihuacan City of the Gods
11 Photos
Created 1 May 2015
San Sebastian
26 Photos
Created 1 May 2015
Artifacts from 3000 BC to 1000 AD
21 Photos
Created 30 April 2015
Over looking Mexico City
37 Photos
Created 30 April 2015
Churches Cathedrals
16 Photos
Created 29 April 2015
Cholula
8 Photos
Created 29 April 2015
Zocalo District
14 Photos
Created 29 April 2015
Xochimilco Floating Gardens
13 Photos
Created 29 April 2015
Pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe!
12 Photos
Created 28 April 2015
El Cid Marina
17 Photos
Created 29 May 2014
Old Churches and craftsmen
40 Photos
Created 14 May 2014
Cathetral old town
40 Photos
Created 14 May 2014
"Galapagos of Mexico"
34 Photos
Created 12 May 2014
Floats costumes and Gifts a San Blas annual event
20 Photos
Created 8 May 2014
Setting atop of Cerro de San Basilio over looking San Blas
21 Photos
Created 8 May 2014
Built 1769-1872
20 Photos
Created 8 May 2014
Jungle tour Tovara Springs
37 Photos
Created 8 May 2014
American Crocodiles
20 Photos
Created 8 May 2014
Iguanas
23 Photos
Created 31 March 2014
Old Mining town near Puerto Vallarta
20 Photos
Created 31 March 2014
Old Town Puerto Vallarta with Aaron and Liz
18 Photos
Created 31 March 2014
Banderas Bay Whales
12 Photos
Created 30 March 2014
Loreto Victoria's Visit
25 Photos
Created 17 July 2012
Exploring North side of Isla San Marcos, so much to see...
21 Photos
Created 17 July 2012
Pa Pa Kilo Hotel forth of July Party
38 Photos
Created 17 July 2012
Bahia La Mona
20 Photos
Created 3 January 2012
Puerto Refugio
19 Photos
Created 3 January 2012
33 Photos
Created 22 June 2011
97 Photos
Created 22 June 2011
49 Photos
Created 22 June 2011
103 Photos
Created 22 June 2011
33 Photos
Created 22 June 2011
Zorro's Hotel, City Plaza, Fort
48 Photos
Created 22 June 2011
Petchocho, The Lonely Dolphin
26 Photos
Created 20 June 2011
29 Photos
Created 5 June 2011
Traditional Mayo Indian Dancers
8 Photos
Created 2 May 2011
Greg and Donna Lou Visit Pearl Farm
7 Photos
Created 27 April 2011
Fund Raiser for Bano's
18 Photos
Created 27 April 2011
Under Water Paradise
24 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 September 2010
Santa Rosalia to San Francisquito
26 Photos
Created 13 August 2010
Puta Willard
6 Photos
Created 13 August 2010
Gold in them ther Hills
10 Photos
Created 13 August 2010
One of the top Achorages on the Baja
27 Photos
Created 13 August 2010
Cruisers Shrine
6 Photos
Created 14 July 2010
Fourth of July and Shell Beach
25 Photos
Created 14 July 2010
Swimming at Mission Hotel
5 Photos
Created 28 June 2010
Cave dwelling at V-cove
28 Photos
Created 28 June 2010
Hiking the Volcano at Isla Coronado
12 Photos
Created 28 June 2010
Over 200 boats gather for Loreto Fest
12 Photos
Created 6 May 2010
Raft up and Snorkeling at San Marte
12 Photos
Created 5 May 2010
Children of Nopolo
22 Photos
Created 5 May 2010
Fishing Village Isla Coyote
8 Photos
Created 5 May 2010
Hiking trials on Isla San Francisco
13 Photos
Created 5 May 2010
100 days and nights in La Paz
20 Photos
Created 10 April 2010
Donna Lou Swims with Whale Sharks El Magote La Paz BCS
31 Photos
Created 9 March 2010
La Paz Carnaval 2010, 5 days of of Festivities
29 Photos
Created 17 February 2010
Greg and Donna Lou visit to Trinidad Cave painting site out of Mulege
54 Photos
Created 12 February 2010
Whale watching with friendly Whales of San Ignacio Lagoon
27 Photos
Created 12 February 2010
Parties San Carlos and La Paz
34 Photos
Created 2 January 2010
Tori and team Magic Carpet visit Isla Islotes and Swannie dive sites
98 Photos
Created 29 December 2009
Donna And VIctoria Distribute food to the poor at La Paz Colony
39 Photos
Created 28 December 2009
Donna Lou Plays with Dolphins
11 Photos
Created 14 December 2009
Hurricane Hole at San Carlos
6 Photos
Created 25 August 2009
Donna Lou Fights off Woman Eating Moray Eel
16 Photos
Created 25 August 2009
Festival at San Ignacio
40 Photos
Created 4 August 2009
Isla Danzante
29 Photos
Created 13 July 2009
Mission's, Loreto and McLuLu's
24 Photos
Created 7 July 2009
Rural Aqua Verde
18 Photos
Created 6 July 2009
Life in San Evaristo
21 Photos
Created 6 July 2009
Marine life at Espritu Santo and Roca Lobos
26 Photos
Created 12 June 2009
Diving at Espritu Santo Island
13 Photos
Created 10 June 2009
We made it to lands end
6 Photos
Created 7 June 2009
Adventures at Bahia De La Muertos
7 Photos
Created 7 June 2009
Greg and Donna Lou Hammer the Dorado
9 Photos
Created 6 June 2009
Tourist stuff in La Paz
18 Photos
Created 29 May 2009
Man O War Cove Magdalena Bay
10 Photos
Created 18 May 2009
Turtle Bay after Wild Ride
6 Photos
Created 10 May 2009
Ensenada BC
5 Photos
Created 2 May 2009
San Diego Yacht Club
5 Photos
Created 30 April 2009
Santa Barbara Yacth Club
12 Photos
Created 24 April 2009
HMB Morro Bay Pictures
9 Photos
Created 21 April 2009
Magic Capet Leaving SF bay
5 Photos
Created 21 April 2009
Tori's visit SF Bay
11 Photos
Created 11 November 2008
SAD DAY IN BETHEL ISLAND
9 Photos
Created 26 July 2008
21 Photos
Created 21 July 2008
Specifications
7 Photos
Created 15 July 2008
Donna and Greg Leave BI
6 Photos
Created 14 July 2008
Allison and Jason's visit
7 Photos
Created 14 July 2008
Aaron's visit
7 Photos
Created 14 July 2008
"Greg, Donna and Boat Cat ZiWhot's BIG Adventure"