11/02/2011, Tioman Island, East Coast Penninsular Malaysia
Tioman Island, East Coast Penninsular Malaysia
A snowy white little egret broke into the boat. I was over the side in the water swimming. As I boarded the boat to dry off I caught sight of something fluttering and white in the galley window. My view was through the open companionway into the galley. On closer attention the fluttering was the right wing of a bird flying at the galley window in a vain attempt to get free. I must have frightened it when I came up.
Costas, my grandson, was sitting at the dining table dosing and unaware of the commotion until I called his name. "What the heck? How did that bird get in here?". Costas tried to gently coax the bird back up the companionway. I had moved to the hatch over the main saloon to vacate an open path for the birds get-away. The bird instead walked aft into the stateroom cabin.
I was surprised at how calm out little visitor managed itself. After following it into the aft head I managed to exchange places and walk it back out to the galley where Costas and I working together could try to coax it up the companionway ladder. The bird wasn't going there. After hopping up to the navigation station desk and onto my computer keyboard I decided to take a hold of the little fearless feathery. I managed to get a hold with my two hands pining one wing down and the other wing up. I got one peck on the wrist for my efforts as I turned smoothly to the companionway. All in all the bird seemed unruffled while retreating through the cockpit to the port rail.
The stainless steel rail is ideal in size for the grip of our visitor and it was in no hurry to leave sitting on the rail preening its feathers. It eventually left around 2:00am when a squall came through. We guess that our friend is treated well by the local fishermen and it has learned to come to boats. How nice! My heart is made happy.
01/07/2006, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
I have been having a great time with Titima here. I managed to pick up a cold virus somewhere. Thank goodness for Titima's strong constitution she only had one down day fighting it off. I was still hacking and she was fancy free. Titima arrived on Christmas eve and I immediately whisked her off by bus to La Cruz on the north Banderas Bay. Philo's Bar was having a cruiser potluck where the highlight of the evening was Santa handing out gifts to some of the town children. Philo came down from the states five years ago. He stopped here, bought a bar and has been doing this each year except one year when he took off for the South Pacific only to get an offer he couldn't refuse to buy his boat by a French couple in Fiji. So he came back.
Great fun seeing the glee of the children.
Christmas day we met other cruisers and local gringos at the P.V. Walmart parking lot in the morning. Vera, a transplanted Washingtonian, has been here 50 years. She has dedicated here life to helping the poor here and is involved in the Children of the Dump organization. We came together to load deliver and handout 500 chickens, bags of rice and beans and clothing to the families that live in the local land fill. Poor dirty little kids living without much hope of better. No education, no medical care. I wanted to devote a day a week to help Vera while I am here but realize now that I won't be here that long to do much.
I brought Laule'a into Marina Vallarta on Dec 17 for 6 weeks to have an easy access place while Titima is here as well as a place to leave while I fly back to the states in Jan. Titima leaves on Jan 5 and I have a ticket to Oakland on Jan 10 returning Jan 24. I might return earlier because I have so much to do on the boat still.
I finally got boat insurance through a Dutch company. $2400 per year all the way to Thailand.
Titima and I have been exploring around to find some decent authentic local food. Hard to do in this tourist crazy scene. This week the numbers of international tourists have been matched by the Mexican tourists from Guadalajara and Mexico City. Today we were invited to a dinner at a small restaurant in the country by permanent resident cruiser gringos that I met through the VHF net. Delicious seafood cerviche and beers in a backyard setting. Horseback rides, donkeys, local kids and dogs wandering through. Concho, the owner, used to manage Marina Vallarta and his brother Eric is the port captain at Nuevo Vallarta where the Paradise Village Marina is located. Concho was too big hearted to want to continue putting up with the money grasping owners of the Marina and got out.
There are so many gringos down here interested in buying into the property scene. Some of the cruisers have sold their houses in the states and are impressed by the investment and living opportunities in the Mexican Riviera. Building is everywhere with beachfront property out of sight. The area is a natural hurricane hole with large mountains on the north and south protecting it. But the Mexican political and financial systems are primitive.
I am anxious to get going out of here but I am here until March. The sailing, hanging out and the seafood can't be beat. Not to go unmentioned, the whale watching is great.
I am recovering today from seeing Titima off back to Bangkok yesterday. I am still awestruck by her and it is a heart breaker to see her go. All the more impetuous to get this show rolling to the South Pacific.