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S/V Si Bon
Who: Steve Cook
Port: San Diego, California
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Civil War
07/25/2011, Antietam Battlefield

One of the many places that I wanted to visit while on my summer visit to the East Coast was a Civil War battlefield. I wasn't really paying much attention in school the day they taught us about the Civil War, (or several other days for that matter), so I wasn't really sure about many of the finer details of this horrible war. It turns out that my Uncle's house in Western Maryland is in the middle of what was a hotbed of the Civil War.
Today Ross and myself drove to a place called Antietam Battlefield. Antietam is the sight of the bloodiest single day battle in the history of the United States of America. The 12 hour battle between the Union solders and the Confederate Army began at dawn on September 17, 1862. The armies fought several battles throughout the day. They fought through a cornfield, through woods and at one time the Confederate solders took cover on a farm road that was later renamed "Bloody Lane". The battle ended about 6:00 PM. In all 23,000 men....YES 23,000, were killed, wounded or missing....IN ONE DAY.
The thought of so many men being killed in one place and happening less than 150 years ago, gave the place a very surreal feeling. As you know I usually try to keep some humor in my blog...but there is nothing humorous about this very dark period in the history of our country. The only good thing that came out of this bloody day was that within a week of visiting Antietam battlefield, President Lincoln began penning the Emancipation Proclamation which would preserve the Union and end slavery.

07/26/2011 | Phil Anderson
Hope you make it to Mt. Vernon.....Geo.Washington was the kind of public servant we need in DC! Even the "landblog" is good reading,Steve...keep up the good work!
Hancock Md, USA
07/23/2011, mmmm...Hancock, Md I am in Hancock, Md. visiting my Aunt and Uncle, Ross and Carol. Hancock is a small town in Western Maryland with a population of around 1,600. Hancock is struggling in the current economic climate as many towns and cities are. It didn't help Hancock that they lost 2 medium sized employers within the past 10 years. Ross and Carol live just outside the town limits on a beautiful estate with over 12 acres (more on that later). I always find Ross and Carol's home to be a relaxing place to be, it's pretty much like being on the farm without having to do a bunch of farm work. Their property sits just above the Potomac River, there is a really cool 22 mile long bike/walking trail that runs past their property (pic), and along the Potomac that I love taking my morning walks on. Ross and I are going to take a trip into Washington and hopefully visit a Civil War battle site while I'm here.
I've decided to continue to blog while I'm off of Si Bon. I know that the name of the website is "" and I'm hoping that non of my ever faithful blog followers will report me for blogging while not actually being on a sailboat....but you can bet that if they do, I'll be blogging about it.

07/23/2011 | Pat K'ski
Keep blogging! I love reading the posts. Even sailors make it to shore now and then, sometimes to find their best adventures.
07/23/2011 | Steve Cook
Thanks for the kind words Pat. You are right about the shore I enjoy writing my blog, it's become like a journal for me.
07/24/2011 | shaybie
hey, cool pic :)
Autobus vs airplane Part II
07/21/2011, Hancock, Md. USA

Well I finally arrived in Washington (pic). I was a little later than planned, but when Continental Airlines found out that I was the writer of this now very popular "travel" blog, they immediately upgraded me to a premium seat.
As you may know I have been traveling on the public transportation system quite a bit since being in Mexico. Before I went to Mexico I hadn't used the public transportation in the US since.....well come to think of it, I never used the public transportation system in the US.
I've decided there are some pluses to riding the Autobus down in Mexico....and some minuses. I paid 470 pasos (about 40 USD) to go from Guaymas to Tucson, a distance of about 300 miles. I figured that the same distance on an airplane would probable cost 2-3 times that, but wait....I could bring along my suitcase at NO EXTRA COST saving me another 25-35 dollars. The obvious disadvantage of the autobus is that it took me 9.5 hours in what would probably been a 1.5 hour airplane ride (providing the toilet flushed). Talking of the toilet not flushing...that would not have been much of an issue on the autobus, the driver would have shrugged his shoulders, said "no problema" and pulled over whenever someone had to go. There are some other cost advantages of traveling by bus, I was charged 15 pasos (1.25 USD) for a large bottle of auga at the bus terminal, $2.60 for a small bottle of water in the airline terminal. I paid 30 pasos (2.50 USD) for a burrito in another bus terminal, $10.50 for a salad in the airline terminal. The bus stops every once in awhile, so if you get hungry along the way you get off and grab a bite. If you get hungry on the plane they will sell you a kinda crappy sandwich for $8.00
On the autobus they don't make you listen to that safely talk that we've all heard a million times. I find that kind of ironic because if there is a mechanical failure or accident on the bus you may actually need to know an evacuation plan, whereas if there is one on the plane, I don't really think you're going to need to worry about using your seat as a floatation device. By the way did I mention that the bus seats were much larger and more comfortable that the floatation device ones on the planes?
All in all the speed of the plane does make up for a lot of the cost difference and other BS that we have to put up with from the airlines. One thing I have also come to realize is that when traveling, wether by bus, plane or need to practice patience.

07/24/2011 | shaybie
hey, cool pic :)
07/24/2011 | George Herman
About the need for the safety lecture given on airplanes and not given on the bus, well put. Your writing is getting funnier as you go along. Fantastic! Thanks and keep it up.
Autobus vs airplane Part I
07/20/2011, Houston, Tx.

While I was on my way up Mexico on the autobus Monday I decided I would do a blog post comparing travel by autobus vs travel by airplane. I was going to wait until I got to Washington DC to do the post, however since I missed my connecting flight and am now stuck in Houston....I figured I'd do the blog now. So...why did I miss my connecting flight? Well everything was going good until they got us all on the plane (funny how they do that). The Captain then came on the PA and said we would be delayed 10 minutes or so (why do they always say 10 minutes), he gave a two part reason for the delay. The first reason was that the First Officer had worked the night before and couldn't check-in for 10 more minutes (again 10 minutes). The second reason was that the only lavatory in the plane had a problem with a motor and there was a repairman on the way to fix it. So there we sat, the repairman came in and left, the Captain informed us that the lavatory was taken care of and the First Officer was at the airport and checking in and should be there in 10 minutes (again 10 minutes). So there we sat, the repairman came in again...and left again, I knew there was another problem with the head....oops..I mean lavatory. The Captain came on and told us the First Officer was there and they had to do some procedures and checks and we should be on our way in 10 minutes or so...(again). So there we sat...they closed the door and then after a few minutes they reopened it, in came the repairman and in my opinion... things were not looking good. The Captain came on again and told us that originally the lavatory wouldn't flush, and then it wouldn't stop flushing and now it wouldn't flush again. It was decided that they would completely shut down the lavatory motor and place some bottles of water in the lavatory (see pic), we were instructed to bring the empties to the flight attendants and they would replace them, we were also instructed to "please don't pour to much water into the bowl..only a little with each usage. I am now rebooked onto another plane and as of now should be in Washington about 2 hours later than originally here I sit.
Since this post is already longer than I like to keep them, I have now decided to do the comparison of autobus vs airplane tomorrow.

07/20/2011 | amber gilbert
this is hilarious! did you hear about the 2 flight attendants that almost got in a fist fight in columbus last week? what is this world coming to? glad your safe and sound with a good story to tag along with it it (as always :)))
Saying goodbye
07/19/2011, Tucson, Az. USA

Yesterday I left San Carlos and returned to the US on a Tufesa autobus. It was a VERY emotional day for me. To be leaving Si Bon in a foreign country for at least two months in order to escape the summertime heat of the Sea of Cortez was difficult. I am REALLY happy to be visiting both my Uncle Ross and his Wife Carol in Maryland and Shaybo and her family in Vermont and then going to San Diego to see the kids and my friends...but it was still difficult. Although it is unlikely that San Carlos would get hit by a major is possible and in fact did get hit pretty good in 2009. I have been busy the past two weeks preparing for a hurricane...just in case. I removed my roller furling jib, I cleaned, deflated, rolled up and stowed away the dinghy and I have removed most of the jerry jugs and other items from the deck of Si Bon. The last hurricane preparation was to tie Si Bon to the dock like she's never been tied before. I spent over an hour Sunday night doing a job that usually takes me 5 minutes to do. I have doubled up all of the dock lines, attached my 3/4 inch mooring line to port bow, attached spring lines bow and stern with special chafing protection and secured three dock fenders to each side of Si Bon. I've tugged, pushed and pulled on Si Bon trying to simulate what would happen in a tropical storm or....God forbid a hurricane and I feel comfortable that she will be fine.
I made a decision to hire a local guy by the name of Carlos (pic) to watch over and maintain Si Bon while I'm gone. Carlos in a REALLY hard core sailor and Scuba guy. Carlos is an ASA certified Sailing instructor and a Dive Master, he reminds me a lot of my friend in San Diego, Robert Svoboda. Carlos and I struck up a friendship pretty much as soon as I arrived in San Carlos when he told he I did a good job docking Si Bon singlehanded. Carlos takes care of several other boats full-time in the marina. Along with cleaning Si Bon's bottom and washing off her deck occasionally, he will also be checking dock lines and starting up the main engine and generator once or twice. Leaving Si Bon yesterday was not easy but having Carlos to keep an eye on things while I'm gone makes me feel better.

07/27/2011 | carlos pereda
sounds like a plan my amigo steve....hope we can do some diving...........jibe hoooo
07/15/2011, Los Angles, Ca.

No I'm not back in Los Angles...thank God. When I was driving up "The 405" to Ashley's graduation, and was approaching UCLA in very heavy traffic (see pic on 6-13-2011 post), I marveled at the fact that the freeway still had construction going on in the same place that it was going on when we moved Ashley into her dorm four years earlier. I remember thinking to myself...."WOW, my daughter completed her four year college degree and they are still working on this stinking freeway...four years later.
Well this morning Shaybo shared with me an article in USA today. The article was regarding the fact that they are closing that same stretch of freeway all weekend. They are calling it Carmageddon and saying that it is an almost apocalyptic event. Yes there is panic in So Cal, God forbid that people just relax at home with their families, no they're all busy trying to figure out what back canyon road they can take to get around Carmageddon. As the article points out, a million other people are going to be on the same back canyon good luck.
It's nice to be here in paradise, where the only jams I have, is occasionally the lime will get jammed in the neck of my Pacifico bottle.

07/15/2011 | Ashley Cook
ha, love it! You're the funniest pops :)
07/19/2011 | Amber
Hahahahahaha this made me laugh!

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