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:

22 May 2017 | El Cid Marina, Slip A22, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
06 May 2017 | El Cid Marina, Slip A22, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
13 April 2017 | South of San Carlos
07 April 2017 | Yaqui Valley, Sonora, Mexico
30 March 2017 | San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
25 June 2016 | San Carlos, Sonora
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

Dakota Quinn meets Abuela and Abuelo in Mazatlan

22 May 2017 | El Cid Marina, Slip A22, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
Admiral Donna Lou
Wow! Time really dose fly when you’re having an incredible time. It was a special treat to share our time in Mazatlan with family & friends. Magic Carpet once again flew all her flags doing her part welcoming Dakota Quinn to Mexico and the family boat. At age 23 months she carried the cutest past port we could ever imagine. With Magic Carpet dancing at the docks at El Cid Marina and Dakota Quinn & her parents comfortable in a little Casita just a the end of the docks. We shared a fun filled week swimming. Boating and playing at the beach. Including quite evening dinners and a special Mexican Fiesta Dinner Show. Our Granddaughter is a dancer; she right away picked up her skirt and joined the colorful Spanish dancers in spinning, swaying & clapping. She loved the food south of the boarder and ate like a champ! We guess that’s where she gets all her energy. At almost two she naps between one & three, good thing because her grandparents needed a rest time also. Siestas are good!
It’s amazing to realize again we have come full circle. Magic Carpet long ago was an important part in our kid’s young lives. Now she doing it again, Victoria, Aaron, Sean, Bobby & Ryan all sailed in their youth aboard Magic Carpet some in dippers. Now were back full circle with a dipper kid aboard M.C. We hope this next generation can all join” Magic Carpet Adventures South of the Boarder”. The Admiral remembers Pirate Day’s, Teddy Bear Picnics & special birthday sails of the past as we look forward to our “next generation adventures on Magic Carpet”.
Admiral, grandmother is in Spanish is Abuela, the Captain, grandfather is in Spanish Abuelo. We wonder if there is a special name for an old sailboat?

S/V Magic Carpet Arrives, Mazatlan, El Cid Marina

06 May 2017 | El Cid Marina, Slip A22, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
Admiral Donna Lou
Mazatlan we arrived in the early morning hours so we drifted outside tell sun up, high tide & slack water for an easy entrance into El Cid Marina. They welcomed us back like we were old friends. We were assigned our favorite slip given beach towels, shower keys & the internet code. We're relaxing after a great passage that was only handicapped by both the Admiral & Captain fighting the flu. One of our unforeseen rewards of our visit to the Yaqui Valley. So now the order of the next few days is relax & quite recreation as we wait for our family & friends to join us. Mazatlan is the perfect places to relax and contemplate ware to sail off to next! This season test sails is complete. All is well!
Days reach 85 degrees, nights cool to the 60, perfect for sleeping!
For this Californian the abundance of free plastic bags is amazing!
If one had to put Mexico into a few words, one would have to be food, it's fantastic the taste are amazing.
Once again we feel Mexico & the sea has cast its spell on us! And is holding us in her nets of wonder.
It's easy to forget the unrest at home. For a short time anyway!

Passage San Carlos to Mazatlan 76 hours non-stop

13 April 2017 | South of San Carlos
Admiral Donna Lou
Beautiful Sun rise South of San Carlos

Once again casting off our dock lines heading south! Magic Carpet shakes the wrinkles out of her sails – it’s like were one each knowing exactly what to do! Where to go yet always ready for the unexpected - keeping a sharp eye out for danger. Magic Carpet glides through surprisingly smooth water, making great time on our voyage south. Mother Nature was kind to us we were able to regain our sea legs easily even little Z (our boat cat) seamed to relax early on. The watches were delightful, three hours on duty and then three hours off! This was a seventy six hour nonstop sail south to Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. The skies were clear unbelievable blue and clear truly magnificent – no chem trails ! The full moon guided us surrounded with millions of twinkling stars – no light population in the Sea of Cortez! Venus greeted Magic Carpet early each evening just as she has all people of the sea forever! It’s like being with an old friend just knowing she’s there to guide Magic Carpet south! Dolphins, Turtles & a pod of Whales played around M.C. little Z was fascinated by all the sea life, and so was the Admiral & Captain, it made watches fly bye. Pelicans gilded past us in full formation, the Magnificent Frigate bird & the Booby doove all around us hunting for their dinner. Like “our birds” the Captain saw a few fish jumping so he too joined the fun and lunched a meat line to know avail! The birds out fished our Captain! We were all looking forward to fresh fish, little Z loves fresh fish and always watches the pole for a strike and keeps a close eye on the Captain when he cleans the fish as if he’s doing it just for her. Little Z (Ziwhot) is really part of the crew, she dose watches – but not alone we can’t trust her, sometimes she falls asleep, that’s not allowed on watch!


07 April 2017 | Yaqui Valley, Sonora, Mexico
Admiral Donna Lou
A fantastic opportunity open up to us! We could be part of a small group of "outsiders" to witness & take part in the Yaquis Lenten celebration deep in the heart of the Yaqui Valley. To do so we had to agree not to bring cameras and dress traditionally for the Admiral that met covering her covering her head with a shawl & wearing a skirt or long pants, the Captain had to leave his shorts and tee's aboard Magic Carpet and wear long pants and a dress shirt. This unique experience started with the discovery of the cultural heritage and traditions of this indigenous group. They still maintain their cultural, political and social structure. Following an intense day with Yaqui elders using an English translator, we were given an incite to the past & present through museum tours, crafts, archaeology interest & village walks. As dusk neared the excitement of observing the gathering and preparations for the celebration was Magical! The Yaquis gathered in the Village Church square. Arriving on foot from all directions dressed in unique one of a kind traditional clothing. The pageant began lead by the "pilot" on a big Black Horse followed by hundreds including us. The Medicine Lady & the Chief & elders, children dressed as angles, some locals dressed representing evil others representing good (we were part of the good guys). Singles women with flowers in their hair, spoken for singles women covered their faces, some men wear mask and others were open faced. This Catholic Lenten Celebration walked the Stations of the Cross through the village. Women in one group Men in another, Men took turns carrying a cross & women taking turns carrying statues of Mary the Blessed Mother & I think the other was Mary Magdalene. At each station (14) we stopped and prayed, and the evil ones tried to distract us. We were told they believe in God Jesus Christ & keep their old gods the sun, moon & stars in there old traditional ways. The Church was lovely such a contrast from there simple village homes. We each had to ask permission in Yaqui before we could enter and were welcomed with a nod of the head. It was an honor to be part of this celebration a treasure we will cherish always. Our little glimpse into the old world traditions of these indigenous people.

The cycle goes on!

30 March 2017 | San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
Admiral Donna Lou
The cycle goes on! First we hurricane proof Magic Carpet, strip her decks as much as possible and securing everything below deck for the worst, ever year there are talks that this storm season will be the worst ever! Setting up a double duty dock line system accompanied by bumper power system, and then we wait & watch! Knowing we have done are best to insure M.C. safety and yes once again we succeeded. Magic Carpet danced safety in her berth at Marina San Carlos Sonora Mexico. We always wonder if the “BIG” one hits will we stay aboard or leave for high ground, the jury is still out on the answer to that question.
And then it’s time to reverse the cycle and re commission M.C. for sailing south out of her hidey hole. It always amazes us what the power of the sun & heat & high humidity can do! This season biggest surprise was the deterioration of our whisker pole holder fitting; it had looked like it would last a life time yet the sun destroyed it! Captain Gregory up graded M.C. link 20 to a Balmar smart gage (battery monitor) replaced stainless steel clamps, changed zincs & tested & fine-tuned all systems. Magic Carpet was ready to go, the Admiral provisioned & we waited for our weather window.

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

25 December 2016
Donna Lou
Always the big question for us is, are we on an "adventure or ordeal"?
Following a cruising season that was, not what we expected - not included in the Dreams into Reality adventure plan. We had to give a lot of through to the big question where we having a fun adventure or where we suffering an ordeal? The crew of Magic Carpet agreed "Adventure" we agreed, we love the cruising life. The fantastic Sea of Cortez & the Pacific Mexican Rivera the people we meet both cruisers and locals, we treasure our inland adventures as well as our time at sea. We feel that we have found the best of both worlds. The Admirals medical adventure which over shadowed our cruising season proved to us what several of our cruising friends have always said. The personal super medical care available in Mexico is great. Our Doctors studied in both the U.S.A. & Mexico where they feel they can best do what they studied so hard to do "What is best for the patient" and not for an insurance company bottom line. We are excited to bid Adios to 2016 & Buenos Dias to 2017 - FELIZ NAVIDAD - Donna, Greg & Little Z -
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.
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:
Magic Carpet's Photos - Cabo San lucas
Photos 1 to 6 of 6 | Main
Lovers Beach were the Sea of Cortez and Pacific meet.
Cabo San Lucas Famous Arch
Cabo San Lucas Famous Arch
Looking at arch from Madano Beach
Donna Lou at Cabo San Lucas
"Greg, Donna and Boat Cat ZiWhot's BIG Adventure"