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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Arizona Photos

The Lake Havasu weather has been spectacular - cool in the morning and dry heat in the afternoon. Beats the heck out of Mazatlan in the summertime.
The neighborhood cat-eating coyote turned and ran as soon as I took the camera out.

Here I am surrounded by Hams

Reiner Schick - fellow Ham and sailor

Dad at The London Bridge - this one didn't fall down, but was moved here stone by stone.

A break from the cruising life is wonderful to me. I am really enjoying my time with Dad. He's spoiled us rotten - taken us to lunch on numerous occasions. And for my birthday yesterday he took us all to Laughlin, NV to play slot machines and eat. Shopping, too.
Our friend, Gwen. She took me to The Refuge for a girl's night out.

Dick helping us check out our refurbished Icom 710 Marine and Ham radio.

Me sitting in front of London Bridge in my new $3 hat I bought at JC Penney's SALE! 
Run for it is right! This Stinkster was making haste on the beach.
Lake Havasu is really beautiful this time of year. Dad and I take walks every morning at the lake.
A kayaking paradise

Mexican Bird of Paradise

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How To Sail Your Boat Under That Low Bridge

My father-in-law forwarded this video to me and my mouth is still hanging open in disbelief.

Monday, September 19, 2011


As a cruiser, life is fairly spontaneous - only some things can be planned. Weather is the biggest factor. You have no control over the weather. But another factor is planning a trip to visit relatives in the USA and placing orders for ALL the stuff you think you need to bring back with you. In our case: schoolbooks, SSB/HAM radio, antennas, outboard motor parts, cables, wires, boat doodads and this/that/&theother. This makes it hard on family and friends that want to see you when you are in the states, but have to schedule or plan their visits around your schedule - which is loosely knitted at best.

We haven't seen Jeff in a few years. He is my family by marriage-and-divorce in a strange and most dysfunctional way, but he could be my son. He fits in like he belongs with us. I just love this kid. (You know you're old when you refer to a 27 year old as a kid.)

Jeff is Tim's much older 1/2 brother. Carolyne's, too, since they claim each other. It's a long story and very confusing, but it has a happy ending. He works and lives in Montana and at very short notice he flew to Las Vegas and drove down to Havasu in a rental car. Dad set Tim and Jeff up in his motorhome next to the house so they would have late nights to catch up and goof off.

Now that there's Facebook, I don't have to be the go-between anymore with the 2 boys. They have their own relationship established together and can carry on without me. But being a part of Jeff's life is so rewarding. He is a fantastic human being and I just love him dearly. I know that his visit meant the world to both my kids. Jeff, if you read this you don't have any idea how much it means that you made such an effort to come be with us.

In a few days the kids and I will head to Colorado and visit Kendra, Tim's 1/2 sister... and Carolyne's, too, since they claim each other.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Arizona Bound

The kids and I kissed Jim goodbye and headed off last Wednesday in the car bound north towards Arizona. We didn't get off as early as I would have liked because first Carolyne had to run back to the boat to fetch shoes. Then Tim. I couldn't be mad at them because it is so comical to me to think that my children are more comfortable either barefoot or in flip flops. Shoes are considered "dress up clothes".

The air in Mazatlan was like a warm armpit at 7 in the morning. I was eager to get the car running and turn on the AC. 9 hours later I had Tim drive for a bit so that I could take a power nap. We pulled into a nice motel in Santa Ana, just north of Hermosillo past dark... not my intention to drive at night but I couldn't coax the sun to stay up any longer.  $35US for 2 queen beds and fresh accommodations.

We crossed the border the next morning painlessly and our first indication of being back in the USA was my wish come true - IHOP. Do you know how long it's been since I stepped into an IHOP?? It was a magical breakfast with oily sausage links and puffy buttermilk pancakes covered in thick blueberry syrup and whipped cream. And I knew that it really must be the International House of Pancakes because everyone in the restaurant was speaking Spanish. Our waitress eventually resorted to Spanish with us, too, when she realized we were not monolinguals.

The IHOP was a warm welcome back home. And the weather in Arizona? Not as hot and sweaty as Mazatlan. Sunny, breezy and very dry. And the kids? A smooth transition back to the land of plenty.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mazatlan Sneaky Street and Stills

My first pocket camera
I have never taken a photography class. And though I bought my first Kodak Instamatic 101 camera when I was 10 years old with my $25 bingo winnings, I really have never known what I was doing when it came to composition, symmetry and aesthetics.

Taking people pics is hard. People move too much. Just as you get the camera into focus, a pedestrian walks in front of the lens. You re-focus, zoom in and your subject reaches up and picks his nose, or turns his body away or gives you the stink eye while wagging his finger - international sign for, "Hey Sneaky - I will curse your children and your grandchildren and their children if you don't stop taking pictures of me."

Of course, you could always ask. "Permiso, por favor, a tomar su foto?" or "Puedo tomar su foto?" I don't know that this is a perfect translation, but it gets the message across well enough. Half the time the answer is yes. Then the subject turns away, hides her face, or stands stiff and smiles ever so fakey-like. The coveted natural shot is ruined.

Here are a few shots taken downtown yesterday. The historical cathedral in Mazatlan draws locals and tourists alike. The Mercado is only a hop, skip & a jump away. It was hot as Hades. Hardly any of my 'people' shots turned out. I really need a super zoomy lens or more cooperative subjects.
Common plaza scene. (I had Carolyne stand to the side and  I pretended I was taking a photo of her.)

Street art.

The pigeon was more cooperative than most people.


Someone's beautiful house just a block or two from the cathedral.

Preparing for Independence Day (Sept. 15-16)

Street vendor. (See how sneaky I am? )


Shoe shine guy. (I tried to be discreet, but my angle was all wrong and that pole was in the way ans some lady was shouting either at her kid or at me. I had to hurry and the shoe shine guy looked up at the yelling lady just as I snapped the photo.)

Tourist attraction - Sr. Frog's. (Ladies gave me a wide berth when they saw the camera.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kathy Parsons Online Spanish for Cruisers

For anyone who is interested in learning Spanish or expanding what you already know, Kathy Parsons is giving an online Spanish for Cruisers class September 26-October 17 through Seven Seas U. She gave this class in June-July and the feedback she received prompted her to do it again.

Kathy  wrote the book Spanish for Cruisers. If you haven't seen it, it is a Spanish-English phrase book designed for cruisers - covering all the vocabulary we cruisers use - from boat repairs and parts to food to clearing in and out, to emergencies to chatting up the locals. Jim and I bought it and have used it religiously. 

 If you are interested in checking out Kathy's class, go to: (they host the webinars), or to Women and Cruising (Kathy has an announcement on the blog).

Here are direct links:


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

You Can't Get It Any Fresher

Vegetarians Beware!

Many cruisers prefer to buy their meat frozen in Mexico. The best meat at the best prices, however, we have found at the butchers. Fresh! Above, our butcher slices an order of arrachara for us. He'll marinate it in garlic salt and fresh orange juice. It's tender beef and can be used in tacos, stir fry and stroganoff. The cost? $4 per lb. We also got beef tenderloin. Cost? $6 per lb.

Walking down the stalls of beef shanks, pigs heads and quartered cows is an adventure for any Westerner who is used to the tidy, clean, over-sanitized, shrink wrapped packages in the groceries back home where the butchers are hidden in the back and dressed like doctors - masks and all. I have come to adore the trip to the bacon man and the steak boys in Mazatlan. I don't even blink anymore when I pass a head displayed on a counter top. Maybe I've just learned how to overlook it. Not Carolyne. All of the photos on this page are hers. Again, these photos are not for pansies.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Morning in Mazatlan

Finally got the gumption to head downtown for the morning and early afternoon. Mazatlan is so full of life from every angle. Vibrant colors and music everywhere. Here's a snippet of the day.
Getting "licuados" - an icy fruit drink

Soup Girl

"Nanchis" - a fruit none of us like. Beautiful to look at; taste like dirty socks.

20 peso soup ($1.50US).  Serve with a plate of rice and homemade corn tortillas.
"They know how to make chicken soup in Mexico , Mom. They leave the skin on." Words from an 11 year old with no hips.

Fruit stands - everywhere.

Classic Mexican shade.

The people

I know - it's a pigeon. And thank you - the light is on the wrong side of the bird. But, Husband, it is still a cool pic.

Shopping at the Mercado is so much more fun than the grocery stores.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Resisting the Urge to Talk About Food

"Why is it that every blog post you do is about food?" Jim asks me.
"It's not all about food," I insist.
"Pretty much. Don't you have anything else to talk about other than recipes?"
"No, I do not."

How in the world can I be in paradise and not have anything else to talk about other than food? It's because for me, people make the world go round. People. And let's just say that my social life isn't very... social. 

I have managed to get my lazy rear in gear and go to yoga 6 days a week. It beats taking a walk in the morning, which turns into a mad run for it as the famished hoard of Dengue carrying mosquitoes begin a feeding frenzy. I am not exaggerating . The rest of the day, however, most of us here in the marinas remain in the bowels of our boats trying to stay cool.

The kids are another story. And thank goodness for that!