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S/V Si Bon
Who: Steve Cook
Port: San Diego, California
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home sweet home
06/16/2011, Si Bon....currently Santa Rosalia

Well I made it back home to Si Bon safely. After a 15.5 hour uneventful bus ride down Baja, I arrived in Santa Rosalia at 4:30 yesterday morning. The only real hitch happened at the Greyhound station in San Diego, where my bus left empty because I wasn't standing at the gate (I was standing 20 feet away waiting for them to open the door). They put me on the next bus to Tijuana, and upon arriving in TJ, I found that there was only one bus going to SR and it left in dos horas (two hours). So missing the Greyhound didn't really mess me up a whole lot. Things were pretty much the way I had left them here in Santa Rosalia except there were a lot more boats in the marina and a lot more bird shit on Si Bon.
I wondered on the way down if I would still feel the same about living in a foreign country. Within hours of being back I had two things happen to me...two little things, that reinforced my feeling toward the mexican people. I also decided on the way down that I would limit my gringo bashing, but never the less I couldn't help but think, why can't us americans be a little nicer to each other, we live in such a beautiful country and yet we treat each other like the stuff the birds left on Si Bon's deck. Maybe someone will read this and do something nice for someone else, like help them when their arms are full, or hold a door open for them ...or something.
My current plan calls for me to leave SR sometime in the next week. I wasted no time yesterday and began provisioning right away. I'll also be servicing the iron sail and of course fixing the gimpy windless with the part I picked up in San Diego.
Well gotta run....there is a dirty deck which is in need of a good washing.

Things I'll miss.
06/13/2011, San Diego, Ca.

Things are wrapping up here in the good old US of A. I've pretty much taken care of all but about 2-3 things, and I'm getting ready to head out in the rental car to finish those up. Current plan calls for me to leave tomorrow morning and catch a Greyhound Bus to Tijuana Centro bus terminal and catch another bus down Baja to Santa Rosalia, which is where Si Bon is awaiting my return. I have not been able to find the schdual for the buses going down Baja, so I really don't know when I will be back in SR. I'm pretty sure they run several times per day....but not 100% sure. Let's hope for the best.
There's a few things I'll miss about the US...and a few things I won't. The things I'll miss are my friends and family (duh), I'll miss the cleanliness of the US (why can't the mexicans learn to throw away their trash?). As much as I love the challange of speaking spanish, it was nice to not have to deal with the language barrier for a couple of weeks. I won't miss the traffic (pic) of SoCal, although in all fairness this is in LA. I also won't miss the fact the my fellow americans for some reason don't look each other in the eye. They don't say hello to each other and when passing one another, they seem content to pretend that the other person isn't really there. I guess the bottom line is that every place has its pro's and con's.
Ohhh...and I'm sure my negitive comment won't go over well....but just try walking through the mall and making eye contact with someone you don't know, then try saying "Hola"..opps I mean "hello"........ just saying!

06/13/2011 | Phil Anderson
Yeah, Steve.....what is it about people not making eye contact.....I noticed that when we moved to the bay area from Tahoe 26 years ago.....looking forwaed to more Mexblogs.And congratulations to the college grad!! Phil
06/13/2011 | Brian Brown
It was good to see you last Sat. at Paul and Kim's. You've got alot to be proud of in your two girls. Have a safe trip south and keep us all up to date. Brian
06/13/2011 | Steve Cook
That's what I'm talking about Phil...I have to say it was better in New England...but still not up to Mexican standards.
College graduations
06/12/2011, SoCal

One of the hard parts of the cruising lifestyle is the important days that you miss with your family and friends. In early May Amber graduated from San Diego Christian College with a BA in Communications and Bible. I remember it as being a difficult day. I was super thrilled and also very sad for not being able to be there. I think I can handle missing a few July 4´s and Labor Days, but there are going to be other days that will be tough.
Yesterday Ashley graduated from UCLA with a BA degree in International Development Studies with a Minor in African Studies. Ashley graduated as part of the Honors program, and Magna Cum Laude. According to the text Ashley just sent, she "thinks" that puts her in the top 10% of her class.
Part of my decision to return to the US was that the timing would allow me to attend Ashley´s graduation, which as you can see I did.
Congratulations to both Amber and Ashley who have both always been great students and have both turned into wonderful women. As we all know there will be important dates that I will have to miss in the future, but I´m glad yesterday wasn´t one of them.
Love ya safe.

06/12/2011 | Amber Gilbert
Bummer I missed ashleys grad... We celebrate in spirit when we miss such awesome things :)
Brattleboro, Vt.
06/09/2011, Brattleboro, Vt.

OK... so I know that you´re probably saying Vermont? What is Vermont doing in a sailblog? Since I was already in the US and I was really missing Sharon (Shaybo), coming to Vermont was a great opportunity to see Shaybo, meet her family and friends and see the supposedly small town of Brattleboro, Vt. where Sharon grew up. There is a HUGE difference between the harsh, dry landscape of baja that I had just left and the lush green landscape of New England. Brattleboro is not what I was expecting, I would say it is more like a large town maybe even a small city (Megan). There is just about everything that you need right here in the very cool town of Brattleboro. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, stores, hotels, bed and breakfasts, a neat downtown area and of course Shaybo. We´ve been super busy since arriving. We went on a very long hike through the forest, we visited the local cheese factory, Sharon´s Mom treated us to a barbque with her world famous teriyaki chicken, we´ve been canoeing on the river and last night we meet Sharon´s brother Ryan and his girlfriend Megan and Sharon´s very good friends Courtney and Chris for happy hour and 35 cent wings. Although Brattleboro is quite larger than I expected it is a very quaint, cute and friendly small town.
I´ll be leaving Vt. tomorrow and flying back to San Diego. Part of the reason for this blog is to give people ideas of cool places to visit. If ever desiring a New England vacation, I HIGHLY recommend the beautiful town of Brattleboro Vt.

30000 feet above sea level
06/05/2011, somewhere over Nabraska

I am currently on an airplane on my way to Vermont. I decided a few weeks ago that while I was the States I would take a little side trip to Vermont. I figured that if I busted my butt I could take care of all of the little things which prompted my return to the states and before Ashley´s graduation I could fly to Shaybo´s hometown in Vermont. Not only did I miss her, but I also wanted to meet her family and friends.
It´s going to be an exciting week for me as I will not only meet her Mom Kathy and her Brother Ryan, but I will also get to see the small town where she grew up. As most of you know Shaybo and I are getting pretty serious and I felt that it would be a good idea at this time for me to meet her family. Let´s face it if one of my daughters met some dude (a little older dude) who was living on his sailboat in Mexico and wanted one of them to sail off into the sunset with him....well I can tell you I wouldn´t be to excited about it. So I´m off to Vermont to meet the family, and have no worries I will continue my blog posts.

06/05/2011 | amber gilbert
HAVE FUN!!!! love you :)
06/05/2011 | Sharon Brooks
well i hope you packed your goulashes and a raincoat, cuz it looks like New England's in for some soggy weather :(
Steve cold
06/02/2011, San Diego

The reason this pic is so blurry is that one of the many things I have on my shopping list while in San Diego, is to buy a new camera. Normally I wouldn´t use this pic on this very high class blog....but since I had just spent 15 hours coming up Baja on a bus from Santa Rosalia, and was feeling a little blurry myself, I felt the pic was appropriate. Baja California has always had the reputation of being a VERY desolate place and it is in some places. People are often warned when thinking about driving down Baja....not to do it. It has a history of washed out, poorly maintained roads. It has a reputation of having few if any services for hundreds of miles. It also has a reputation...and history, of banditos who set up road blocks, often posing as police and robbing unsuspecting travelers. I read a warning that told people that if they break down, not to leave their car unattended, or it would be stripped within in the middle of nowhere, some bad guys who want to strip you car won´t do it because some middle aged gringo and his wife are standing guard.
So now let me clear up some of these misconceptions. First of all the road, Mexico 1, although narrow and with many curves, is a very well maintained road. There were a couple of places that the road turned to dirt for a few hundred feet, but even these areas were keep up. As we learned while in Bahia Concepcion, Mexico 1 has A LOT of traffic, and especially truck traffic, on it. Meaning that if you did have a problem there would be someone along within minutes. I was VERY surprised to see so many towns and even small cities along the way, it seemed that there was some sort of civilization every 50 miles or so...and guess what, they all had services that you could buy gas, have a needed repair done or a taco, WOW. Lastly, we didn´t run into any bandidos, we did go through half a dozen checkpoints where there were ligitiment Marina´s, heavy armed, who went through our bags at one, and came on the bus several times during the night to have a look see.
The bandidos are probably in a cantina somewhere, playing pool with the pirates I keep hearing about.

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