The cruising adventures of Sid and Manuela

Saturday, June 11, 2022



Is it really almost summer again, yikes where does time go?!!! It’s been busy and crazy here and I just realized how long it’s been since I updated the blog, sorry.

We had a somewhat quiet Christmas and New Year’s with a few cruising friends and New Year’s was spent with the same crew with a wonderful Prime Rib dinner at Hammer Head. My gosh it’s been years since we had a Prime Rib, last one I remember we cooked in Maremares Marina in Puerto La Cruz Venezuela for Dock Queen’s Mock wedding. The prime rib looked delicious and it was juicy and the flavor so yummy, except our teeth pounced off it. Latin countries do not age beef. The funniest part of it was even the dog’s teeth bounced of it.

 After our yummy Hammer Head dinner we went to the Hair of the Dog, a favorite Ex-Pat Joint/Pub with pool table, dart board and the American Pub Atmosphere. The Asteriscos a really good band was playing and to my surprise the Bass player and lead singer, was  no other than Manuel from the Manuelito band at JJ’s, this guy plays in yet other bands, wow.

Sid and Harry ended up playing pool and kept winning one game after the other. Funny Sid hasn’t played in years and Harry does not get to play too often, the other competitors, very young kids, showed up with their own q-stick, they looked pretty disappointed that two grandpas beat them, LOL.  I danced up a storm on the great band tunes. Knowing what wonderful fireworks the Mexican’s shoot off into the New Year we did not want to miss so Sid and I left 30 minutes before midnight, not to miss the fireworks at Club Duo from our balcony. What a disappointment it was that they did not have one. They usually shower us with the most incredible displays every weekend. Even though a lot of cars were parked in the parking lot, they all were celebrating at the beach and they had small fireworks which we only could hear as it was hidden by our neighbor’s houses. There were a few in the far distance. I tell you Tapachula in Chiapas sure knows how to ring the New Year in with an explosion of fireworks for at least 1 ½ hours from every single household of the city. We will never forget it, it was the best ever. Rolf texted us that it was even more incredible this time.


First of January the San Carlos Harley Club held their 20th Pajama Rally. It was hilarious. But I let the photo and film tell you.


Yes, they even had a Police escort.


Here we were in the New Year with a roommate. Harry is the guy that kept an eye on our boat in Puerto Vallarta when we went to Florida for the election. His boat is also in the yard and so he asked if he could rent the guest room, since we like him we said yes, but the deal was, if we have friends come to visit he would have to stay on his boat. We never had a roommate and for us to be pretty much 24/7 for the last 25 years, we didn’t know how well it would work out. Poor Miss Kitty was not really happy about it, and after two weeks we felt it was an invasion of our privacy. Harry is a super nice guy, but it just didn’t work out on our part.


In January, Mother Nature showered us with spectacular sunrises and sunsets and one early morning just as soon as the sun peaked over the Guaymas hills the sunrise reflected in a few light clouds with a the brightest double rainbow, amazing.


Notice there is barely any clouds and definitely no rain, must be the angle of the sun

Have you ever heard of a Cow Plop Bingo? Neither have us and OMG soooo hilarious. It’s a fundraiser to get a school built for the boys, don’t ask me why only the boys? The parents of the children cooked a lot of food that was sold for more proceeds for the school. A field of not quite the size of a soccer field filled out with numbered squares and lots of them. We bought the ticket weeks in advance. The festivities started at 11 am with raffles, the cow plop and also chicken plop game. There were 4 cowboys, 3 cows, 3 hens. 1 cow was offloaded and the 4 cowboys, made sure she was walking all squares of the field. The one thing I didn’t like, the cow had a rope around the neck which was attached to one of the hind legs and sometimes the coordination of steps of the horse and cow was off and caused the cow to almost fall, poor cow. As soon as she plopped her pie her show was over. The square the cow pie landed on won 250 dollars. The chicken thing was pretty much the same, just no one herding them, they had the luxury of eating and pooping at the same time, rope less, in a cage LOL. The first pooped on square won some money as well. I asked the guy in charge what happens if the hen lay’s an egg, to which his wife said “see!!!” He looked at me and said “I should have listened to my wife” then he asked me if I knew: What’s a henway?  A henway, like in highway, no idea? He responded: about 6 pounds. Good one, so I asked him if he had seen an eggplant before, but of course he said, my responds to that was: you have been further up a chicken’s ass than I have! After he managed to stop laughing he responded with “Touché” and promised to use it with his  henway joke LOL. 


It was a fun day with Lorraine and Don

Lupita introduced me to Machaca, which is a dried shredded meat that does not have to be refrigerated and last forever I was told. Sautee some onions, bell pepper, tomatoes and potatoes then add the dried meat which will immediately soak up the juice, salt and pepper to taste, wow, very tasty. Most breakfast places here sell Egg and Machaca.  This is a great item to have on the boat, especially for the ones that have no refrigeration and imagine being on a 4 to 6 week crossing or in a remote anchorage for weeks and running out of meat in the freezer, here comes the Machaca.  It tastes really nice and the price is right, not to mention the expiration date. The state of Sonora we are in is famous for its wonderful beef and I don’t buy it anywhere else but at the local market in down town Guaymas. The Butcher knows me well by now and always has a little extra treat form me, like soup bones or chicharron.  The entire filet including ribs still attached and other meat parts cost me 20 US dollar for one. I though filet was reasonable in Panama, this size would have been 30 dollars. 

Recipe Lupita gave me calls for onion, bell pepper, potato cut in cubes, sauteed
and add Machaca to it, it will soak up the juice. I added garlic to mine plus a little broth.
It's very tasty and a fast meal. 

Guicha was supposed to come visit us at Thanksgiving but was canceled due to her boyfriend Patrick’s oxygen tank not being delivered yet. Bummer, but the good part about that was it was still bitter cold here and Guicha agreed that she rather wait for better weather, can’t blame her, we’d do the same. Begin of February they finally were able to come visit. We were so excited we even gave up our bedroom as Patrick is a very tall guy plus there was more room to hook up his suite case size oxygen.

It was so good to have Guicha with us for 8 days and were so busy entertaining the time dwindled way too fast. We didn’t miss out on any good meals, that’s for sure:


Shrimp Mignon, bacon wrapped (instead of filet) shrimp with a wonderful bacon cream sauce

Coconut Shrimp, depending of Restaurant served with a tangy Tamarind sauce (my favorite) or a Mango sauce

Fish Taco, the tortilla is with toasted cheese

This is the house salad at Colibri, how creative a bowl made with cucumber strips
filled with the salad

Look at the fun painting on the house. There is no window or door here

Chocolata clams, the best of clams. You order 1 dozen and get 2, same for Oysters

Grilled Octopus with garlic butter, soooo yummy and tender

Seems like Guicha enjoys eating invisible food LOL

Another one of my favorites raw Scallops

Great having Guicha and Patrick here. Miss you Guicha

Just a few days before Guicha came Marrian and Frank returned from Phoenix and we returned her car. It sure was nice to have had it and I did enjoy going to her house with the incredible view to feed her wild pets. I have to be honest, we can use some walking instead of the convenience of driving. She had the car for a few days and her first drive into Guaymas the radiator blew up. She called me to let me know how glad she was it didn’t happen to us, so are we. Her mechanic managed to find a brand new radiator for her 97 Mazda and the fixed car was delivered to our house, one day after Guicha had left, as Marrian and Frank went back to Phoenix for a couple of weeks. So I was feeding her cats again and the walking had to wait for a while LOL. Again after she returned and 1 ½ months into her driving her car again the transmission blew up. (Mid May she returned to Canada and was going to give us the car again, but we told her that it was not necessary since I didn’t have to take care of her pets anymore. She needs to save this car for herself, I would feel so horrible if something else would break. She agreed and so we finally get to walk LOL. What a wonderful friend, thank you Marrian.

Marrian invited a few of her friends, including us, to a wonderful turkey dinner:

The view from her house is spectacular

This photo reminds me of the Amalfi Coast in Italy

A couple of days later we all were invited on Roberto's new Leopard Catamaran

Proud Captain waving

Spoiled with a wonderful Seafood spread

The solar panels finally made it to the yard with the help of Eleazar our gardener/son in law of Lupita. Sid had to wait a few days for the heavy winds to stop and we finally had a good day to hoist them up. That was tough and took us 10 am until 5pm before they were up and secured, that was a tough and exhausting job. Sid still has to hook up the electrical wires and the brackets in the back are a bit too short, that he fixed. Before we pulled the panels up, Sid wanted to run the engine as the new glow plugs had arrived. This is what Sid added: The engine was taking too long to start which is a warning that the valves need  to be adjusted. We, well I did that as have many times,  but upon starting the engine hammered like crazy then seized. 

No matter what Sid tried he could not turn anything even manually. Verdict: New Engine!!!


Looking for the right parts

A loooong ways to pull them up all in one piece

Sid hooked up the whisker pool to pull the heavy panels up

and attached to the boom

Some help from our neighbor

3 210 Watts, 65 x  26 1/2 inches, basically same foot print as the 4 100 Watts we had.
They where 10 years old and they were double the price than the new ones

The new Motor was definitely not what we needed right now and more so not in our budget but we had no choice. Thinking about all our breakdowns we had on our trip from Panama to here, we did say that we need to save money for a new motor, but well that came sooner than we wished for. After all the engine was 34 years old.

There aren’t many options for an engine to fit in the old engine’s compartment. Our engine is under the steps so restricted to the size of the box. The other thing is with certain engines like Volvo, Yanmar, you will have to buy their products. In other words if you break down you need to order these parts and import them, not a good idea if it results in being stuck somewhere for weeks. Beta was the choice as we can get parts at any auto part stores.

It was a sticker shock to find out how much the 30 HP Beta engine costs, a bit over $ 13 000, ouch, not to mention CA sales tax plus 18% or more import tax to Mexico. First we were told the engine had to be assembled in the UK then shipped which would take 12 weeks, we didn’t want to wait 12 weeks, which would delay getting back in the water further. Later we found out that they had an engine in CA, but needed to change the transmission (which they added an extra 150 for an 1 hour job the most). That motor has all the bells and whistles but price was almost $ 16 000.00 double ouch. But considering that we would pay extra months on house and yard rental, waiting for the engine from the UK we decided that was the better deal. Not so fast, Sid realized that the only CC we can use that has the price limit was expired and the new card was sitting in our mail box in FL. A quick call we were told the CC including our mail is shipped with 1 day delivery and did indeed arrive on Tuesday in Tucson. Saturday picking up our mail with Debbie, there was no mail. On Monday we found out that someone, but UPS is not telling who, authorized to holding it at the distributing office to personally be picked up. None of us told them to do this. So couldn’t order the engine for another week. At least the Beta Company put our name on it so nobody else could buy it. Unfortunately Beta does not ship outside the country, so we had to figure out how to get it from Tucson across the border to San Carlos, preferably with no import tax and what paperwork we needed to  import the around 300 pound motor. We heard horror stories of how much they want for taxes. One boat here they wanted 40 000 in taxes, I am sure they were much bigger engines, as they were 2. 18% of 16 000 is a big number. 

There was a boat named Pono (the funny thing on name, everybody wants to add an R to the name), they also had ordered a Beta but a 60. They were told 13 weeks but waited 6 months for the delivery from the UK. When we met they were still waiting. We were told they know how to export it without import taxes. But do you think we could find the boat, as the person who told us about it said boat name was Palo. One Thursday at Tortugas where the yard cruisers meet weekly, I met this nice lady and we laughed so hard when I discovered she is the Pono lady. Through Debbie who brings our stuff down here every Saturday she told me that we can import it without taxes with our TIP, which is the Temporary Import Paper that lets the boat stay in Mexico for 10 years.  Same for cars they need a tip if you want to drive your car further south than Guaymas, (Sonora is a free zone for the tip and visas). So I stopped my research and we gave it a shot.

Before we headed to Tucson we had to get the old engine out and had to hire a tractor with a lift. With that came to move the dodger out of the way. Way too heavy for just 2 people, it took a long time but with a cradle Sid built plus using the halyard we managed to lift it to the back of the cockpit

The engine is in that box. 
Not much of an engine room

For future cruisers having to import an engine this is how it work:

When driving up to Tucson, you get off at mile marker 21, you will have to cross the Autopista to the customs office, you show them the TIP and boat documentation, and then they asked question about the boat and fill out a form. We were told they needed to see the part with the serial number of the old motor on it and needed the serial number of the new one. They were not interested in seeing the part but did add the new serial number on the form. They gave the form to Sid and told them when coming back with the engine to stop here again and return the form. After all the horror stories we thought this was too easy to be true. But when Sid returned with the motor, at the border they did want to see all the paper work and at mile 21 they just took the paper and sent them on their way. Jim a neighbor in the marina insisted to drive Sid.

I have to add, we looked and looked for the serial number but could not find it, even I had pointed at an area where I thought it could be but nothing. Sid asked Omar the marina diesel mechanic and sure enough it was where I pointed to, then Sid realized that with the several times painting over the engine, he painted over the serial number, and finally with a little paint remover it was visible. Remember the gasket story?!!! I bet the motor will never be painted again LOL.


Nicely painted over LOL

With all the engine deal we extended the house a further 2 months, now the hopeful day to splash and continue our life in and on Paradise is at the end of July. As I always say: Cruising plans are written in sand at low tide.

The new Heart of Paradise

The exhaust elbow is too high

And the next wave put that plan on hold again. The steps down the companion way were not secured and when Sid stepped on it they slid down with him. He got banged up pretty good, had a lot of skin chafed off both his shins, hit his lower back between the aft cabin door and engine compartment and at same time managed to knock the sink drain off with his feet, but luckily with this nasty fall no broken bones, but a lot of pain and 4 weeks of rest. Even 2 months later, begin of June, he is having a problem and narrowed it down to his hip. Thinking about getting an XR done. Poor guy is taking a beating. 

While he recuperated we ordered 4 Oasis Firefly batteries. They re the pinnacle of AGM battery technology, backed with a 2 year warranty and additional 4 year warranty on prorated basis. They are a carbon foam batteries and built to provide years of worry-free and maintenance-free operation. They are also non-hazardous and safe to dispose not like the lithium batteries.  Nigel Caldera a guy that likes to test marine products, for 3 months he tried to beat up this battery and could not do it, no matter what he did. They are pretty pricy at 599 per battery but about ½ the price of lithium batts.  The company we ordered them from does not ship to Mexico either, so again we to rent a car and drive to Tucson.

It is a 5 ½ hour trip to get up there and it was a whirlwind of a trip. We arrived a 3pm and managed to get a lot of shopping in before checking into the Sonesta Select hotel at the airport. Most hotels with refrigerators were booked, plus I felt it would be more secure at the airport, but wrong. After receiving the card to our room we were advised only to park in view of the lobby entrance and nowhere else. After checking into our room we continued our shopping. I had a great idea to go to TJ’s and wanted to surprise Sid with a Rack of Lamb and Prime Rib dinner at the Outback Restaurant that was right across TJ’s. Not being familiar with Tucson at all, especially where TJ’s is I went N on the 10 instead of E and ended up back on the 19 and went instead we shopped at Safeway and Walliworld, oh well. It was now 7 so we decided not to have dinner out as we needed to park in front of the lobby and the hotel was booked. One block before the hotel we saw a Burger King, not our choice, but not knowing if the hotel had a restaurant we decided to get some burgers. As I did a U-turn, 4 up to no good guys with blue masks under their chins were definitely checking us out and I agreed when Sid said Burger King is not a good option so we headed straight to the hotel. So much for my thinking airports are safer. No restaurant in the hotel but they had a mini bar and with a few options of hamburgers and sandwiches. We were pleasantly surprised how wonderful the burger was. By the way we would stay here again, unless the hotel I saw with full size fridge/freezer is available. This room was like an apartment, king size bed was separated with a glass wall from an adjacent area with a couch, kitchenette and desk and a huge TV, that could be swiveled to both areas, bed and couch. The bed was super comfortable.

After complimentary breakfast we drove to pick up our batteries and did some more shopping before heading south again. We were afraid we had to pay import tax for the batts, which would have been almost 300 bucks, so we placed them behind the seats and they kinda where well-hidden with all the stuff we bought. In Nogales Sid bought a table saw at Harbor Freight. Oh man that box was so huge and I put it behind my seat so that I could see out the back and it was a cluttered car that’s for sure. At the border we had to pull out at the declaration station, so I rolled down all 4 windows so the officer could see all we had and nothing to hide. First thing he asked where are you heading, “back to our boat in San Carlos”. He pointed at the big box and asked what it was. I told him an item we can’t buy in Mexico, a table saw. He nodded and waved us by and wished us a good drive. Wow that went too well.

In Santa Ana (1 hour before US border)
we found these unique blooming trees

The batteries are about 70 lbs. a piece so we decided when the motor gets lifted into the boat we would lift into the boat at the same time. Well again, Sid was staying home doing some research on how to install the engine and two days later on a Saturday, when he returned to Paradise, he found the fan was not working inside the boat. Then he realized there was no power and that the battery left on the boat to run the freezer was completely empty, not just that battery charger was not working either, weird. Then he noticed that our pig tale, the yellow plug boaters use to plug in on the dock, was missing. 

Sid immediately walked through the yard to see if there was a boat using it. Sure enough! Unfortunately the marina office is closed on weekends so he could not report it, and since there are numerous cameras in the yard, he did not just want to claim it back, just in case it was not ours, even though he was pretty sure as it only had one black ring around the plug. Come Monday that boat was gone and so was our pig tail. We have another pig tail that is slightly different and Sid had to haphazardly make it fit for the time being. When he told Omar the marina manager, his hand disappeared under the desk top and out comes our pig tale, he said someone returned it to the office. Well that was nice, it would have been nicer not to have taken it. It ruined our battery and now we had to install one of the new batts we did not want to do yet, not till the engine was in. I lucked out too as I had a lot of goodies in the freezer, that all was till frozen. To this day we don’t know who it was who took it but that boat was moved back to the long term storage.

Getting that 70 lbs. Oasis battery up into the boat took a lot of sweat but with the help of the boom it was easy to pull it up. Luckily the battery charger was OK, it tripped the breaker and busted the fuse.  So all working again.

After doing some more research Sid realized we needed some more parts for the motor, which are underway and the exhaust system is too high for the engine room, so that part is also underway. To make this one work he would have to cut out a whole where my pillow is and instead of the pillow my head would be on this part, I don't think so LOL.  Hopefully next week we will get it.

In my last report I wrote about the new bow pulpit and that we may get the lifelines replaced with solid stainless steel tubing. We did that and wow does it look good and is definitely more solid than the cable. Paradise will be better equipped than ever. Hmm, hmm I wonder if we can upgrade the Sailing Vessel Title to a Yacht? After all we have a Captain, First Mate, Chief Engineer, Chef, Purser, Bosun, Chief Stewardess, Deckhand, Navigator, Meteorologist, Communications officer, Cocktail Mixologist, Diver, Musician. I think it qualifies, what do you think?


Eleazar our gardener and friend, we went fishing with from the beach, when my brother was here, told us that the triggerfish are running. On Sunday at 6 am, Eleazar, Silvino and Sid lifted the dinghy onto Eleazar’s truck and off they went to do some fishing. They didn’t come back until mid-afternoon with a crate full of triggerfish, some cabrilla and another type of bass we don’t know the name as we have never seen it. They had a good time, even though the engine gave out. It would run for 3 minutes at a time then shot off so Sid did a lot of rowing. By the apartment buildings the owner of this house owns that’s where they caught the most fish, but there was no way to go back to where they lunched the dinghy. Silvino and Eleazar carried the dinghy through the apartment complex, which luckily is not very big. Eleazar called his wife to get him and drive him to his Truck. So they eventually got back to our house.

The following Wednesday late afternoon we had a fish fry at Eleazar’s, but I let the pictures tell.


Kewl homemade fryer

We had lots of left overs so 2 days later I had an unexpected call from Lupita to ask if we were at home. 5 minutes later Silvino and his granddaughter delivered his home make seafood soup with the left over fish. It was delicious.


Here a few Miss Kitty stories:

We had lunch on the patio and for the first time ever Miss Kitty hopped on the table, sniffed every single item in Sid’s plate, then mine. We were surprised, as she’d never done this. So Sid gave her a little piece of chicken, she just looked at it and stayed on the table giving us looks, hmmm, weird, right?!!! When I brought the dishes back to the kitchen she was sitting where her food dish is and starred at me then to the dish, then back at me and so on. I finally realized when I swept the kitchen floor I had moved her food dish onto the counter and had forgotten to put it back. I got a good chuckle out of it. She is a very funny and oh so smart Kitty.

She also kept pestering me whenever I went to bed and took a few sips out of the water bottle on my night stand, so one day I filled the big blue cap up with water and she drank from it. Ever since then she is insisting that she gets a cap full. Over the months she even insist to get her sip of water when we are watching TV, sitting on the salon table starring us directly into our eyes. I think she is testing us if we are still loyal to her. Yep, no doubt about that! I hope everybody knows by now that cats don’t have owners, they have staff. In this case very well trained staff.


                                           She loves to watch National Geographic

Miss Kitty also insists for our daily walk. At 5.30 she stand in front of me and meows then walks to the door to tell me it’s time. Then she follows me into the kitchen and watches how I prepare myself a cocktail and then we go for our walk. We used to walk on the dirt road around a grass patch that divided the road and back to the house. The last 1/3 of the path she would disappear into the tall grass, letting me guess where she was. So after a while acting like I was looking for her, I would say “Oh well, guess I come home” and started walking towards the house, she would sneak up on me then take off like rocket and ran back to the house waiting for me to catch up.

One day we were just leaving the house when a big seagull flew over house, approaching to fly over her, the cat got all bushy and big eyed and ran back to the door, we did not do walks out there since then. Too funny was, well not for her, when I told Sid about the seagull, Miss Kitty was looking at me as I was telling him, so I mimicked the flying wings by moving my arms up and down, saying “right Miss Kitty it was a big scary bird”, poor cat doubled in size and took off, then it dawned on me, I was wearing my poncho as it was cold. I must have looked like a giant monster bird to her, LOL.

 After 2 day we resumed our 5.30 cocktail hour but she just stays inside the yard now. I started to pour her a little water in a plastic dish, then we sit on the floor in the back yard her sipping her cocktail while I sip on mine. One time I asked her if she wanted water or H2O, of course no answer but I put the H2O in front of her and she would not touch it. I laughed and said ok I get it you don’t like H20, guess it’ll be water again.

The bougainvillea is blooming just beautifully with an intense fuchsia color, I had to laugh so hard when she stood on her back legs, stretched up to the flowers sniffing for what seemed at least 30 seconds then turned her head towards me with this big O shaped open mouth, the only thing missing was her eyes rolling, then returned to sniff again and same O shaped mouth, wished I had a photo of it.


The owner brought a wall unite and Miss Kitty found many uses

While in Tucson, Miss Kitty survived her night outside while we were gone, and was of course happy we were back. The following day she was bombarded with an intruder, her little sister Cuqii, spoken like Cooky with a long o and y, Coookyy. I thought it was a bad timing to bring her home already but we had no choice, this little critter needed a home. Amazingly there was no fussing or hissing at all, they just inspected each other with caution and some distance. Later in the evening we were sitting out on the patio and I noticed that Cooky was playing with something by the screen, so I investigated. It was a gecko that had his tail missing, so I moved the cat away so that this little critter could escape. Second day early in the morning both cats started playing on the patio, so I watched then I realized they were playing with the tail less gecko which obviously didn’t survive but succumbed his injuries from last night and was found by the cats this morning. The amazing thing was they both shared the gecko, Cooky was playing then tossed it over to Miss Kitty, she played for a while then she passed it back. Sid and I both were in disbelieve this can’t be on their second day, wow. Since day 4 they are inseparable buddies and sleep together. Cuqy is so cute and with her 8 months already bigger than our tiny not anymore growing, forever staying small Miss Kitty. She is a Tornado of a Hurricane and can run laps around and over Kitty, lots of fun to watch. The big box the table saw was in, 28x26x14 turned into a kitty condo with several openings and lots of little holes and turned into their favorite playground and for us lots of laughter.


The name Cuqii just didn’t do it so I went through the internet to find a better name for this mischievous up to no good little kitten. Imagine this she jumps into the toilet bowl and sips water, at least no barking yet, so we have to keep the lids closed. She found the toilet paper roll on the TV table, we used for blowing our noses, and shredded it, we found evidence on the floor which lead us to the kitty condo. One of the names I found was Mustang, so thought Mustang Sally and there were many more names, but then I found the perfect name and Sid agreed it was too perfect: Miss Ninja Kitty, she attacks Miss Kitty from all side and she can jump about 5 feet up into the air. She also loves to chase flies, must be a delicacy for her as she loves to eat them.

Miss Ninja came from my friend Lorena Robles. I started singing lessons with her about 6 weeks ago and there was this beautiful, funny kitty, jumping right away on my chair, checking out all my stuff, I fell in love with her.

Isn't she adorable?

Lorena told me then that she was looking for a home for her. I was all for it, she has the same color as Miss Kitty and I had the feeling it would be a good match. But then I found out Lorena wanted a new home for 2 of her 3 cats, that was no option, oh well, I thought. 3 weeks ago I sent her this video:


Lorena wrote and said she changed her mind, Cucii would be perfect for Miss Kitty.


Evidence we have 2 cats

This relaxed on her first day already

Already drinking out of the cup

Miss Ninja, got fixed and both received their first yearly shots and Miss Kitty that only eats dry cat food surprised us later after they were at the vet, making us wonder what was in the shots. Looks like Miss Kitty has gone nuts.

Also does he like to watch TV:

Aren't they gorgeous?!

There is still quite a few things we need to do on the boat. As soon as the motor is installed, I will sand down the cabin sole Sid then will varnish. After a big cleaning up walls, cabinets etc. we then can start moving the doors and drawers and cabinet doors back plus all the stuff we took off the boat. Sid is currently also working on the water maker and is rebuilding the pump. We just received a new membrane. The compass globe had to be sent in for repair the globe was cracked and it had a bubble in the globe. We will have it back next Saturday.

Watermaker before

I did a couple sewing jobs for Sid’s buddy Kenny, who needed slip covers for his settee and V-Berth cushions, and Mayra my neighbor below our balcony kept telling me how beautiful our cushions I had made looked so told her to buy fabric and I will sew them for her. Well I made a little money that has since paid my singing lessons with Lorena, so I don’t feel guilty taking the classes with the big motor expense.

I still have a few more things to sew on the boat, but can’t do this until the motor is in, dodger and bimini back up and boat cleaned up.

Thursday before Easter we noticed a lot of smoke down by the beach towards our favorite Restaurant La Palapa Griego, within just seconds flames shot into the air as the very dry palm leave roof burst into flames. It took no time to completely destroy the restaurant, plus even the palapas on the beach. Very sad deal. We watched it from our neighbor’s roof top.

What a great place this was, sitting under the palapa digging our toes i

nto the sand, enjoying the best margarita and mojito in town and munching on the only fried calamari anywhere served in this region.

2 weeks later on a Sunday Heidi and Mark, one of the bands playing at the Palapa, organized a fundraiser concert. Every band that ever played there got together and each entertained for 1 hour. There were at least 300 spectators and they raised way over 10 000 dollars for the employees.  All the bands playing there to collect money for the employees who had lost their jobs. It was an incredible. Wished they had these concerts more often without the palapa burning. In the meantime the palapa is almost finished and the restaurant will reopen begin of June, yeah.


Dick and Karen made it back just on time for this great party


Lead guitarist Manuel

OMG Easter!!! I don’t know what these people are thinking. San Carlos was packed with people, no vacant hotel room, the beaches turned into tent cities and at 5pm everybody hopped into their car and clogged up the only road in or out of town all the way to the other bays to Sunset Beach on the other side of Tetakawi. Its 2 lanes each side plus the pull out area, which was kept open for the locals. It was gridlock traffic until 5 am. We didn’t know why these people would do this to themselves instead of relaxing at their hotels along the beach. I saw photos later, that Easter here is a giant party along the street in the main part of San Carlos. This gridlock repeated for the entire Easter Weekend. It was fun to watch the blinking lights, police sirens and light, it was busy.

The following are photos from What's up San Carlos.
This one is the next bay (4miles) over to Sunset Beach, Following the road
to the right, takes you around the bay with entrance to 
San Carlos Marina, then over a hill and down to where our
house is. From there the gridlock continued for another 3 miles

Beach begin of San Carlos

Sunset Beach

We were quite happy to stay home.

It didn’t make sense either to go to an Easter Brunch with this crowed so I invited my neighbors for Eggs Benedict they had never had.


Our great neighbors Roger and Barbara

Weather finally is getting warmer, actually too warm too fast, in the upper 90’s during the day and low 80s at night, and summer hasn't really started yet. AC will come on any day now and my pool is up again on the patio.  

So here we are still doing the CLOD life, longing for our life in and on Paradise but a happy family with 2 fun kitties.

 Hope this finds you all well

Hugs and Kisses

Sid and Manuela

A little update what's been happening the last 10 days, since I started updating this Blog:

Sid's hip started bothering him so much, with so much pain that he barely could walk. When Sid asks to see a doctor, which rarely ever happens , I know it's not good. I told him then that he should take a break from the yard work for him to recuperate. Yesterday he had a pelvic X-Rey done as we feared he cracked a bone in his hip when he fell inside the boat. Luckily nothing was broken, but Doctor Michaels told him that where the tended is attached to the bone is inflamed and a pocket with fluids formed. He injected it with some cortisone and told him to lay low for a while. It is already helping, but his osteoarthritis riddled wrists are  also still a mess and causing him a lot of pain not to mention, resulting him stressing and getting depressed, because he can't get things done, a feeling of helplessness. We decided to have him rest for a few months and then get the continue to get the boat ready to splash once he feels better. He admits that he needs the rest. Although we still do have to get the motor into the boat which we hope we can do next week. Also we will have to put the dodger back to where it belongs, and hopefully I can get some yard neighbors to help us with that. Then get Paradise ready for Hurricane season and move her to the dry storage until Sid has recuperated. The rent there is 1/3 of what we are paying in the work yard, which is almost the rent of the house.

This will be the first time Paradise will be abandoned in a yard, a very sad thought but necessary to do. Well, we will be able to go check on her.

Luckily we were able to extend the house rental once more, as there is a lady that was going to rent it in August for 2 to 3 years. We extended it until the end of January, to make sure he can recuperate enough and have enough time to install the motor and get all the other stuff done to get back in the water. It is not a happy time at the moment but we will make the best out of the situation, after all life does throw some curve balls and it's up to us to make the best out of it. I think that we have a lot of experience with that already and will survive this as well, we always do LOL. Another "after all" is that I always believed things do happen for a reason and they do. 



Here a few cheer up photos:

This is the time the desert is blooming. Lorena lives in the cutest little community, it's like a little village. Most houses are small but have a carport with sun roof big enough to keep a big camper shaded, perfect place for Snowbirds. The houses have not much of gardens but pretty much everybody has the most unique cactus and interesting desert plants planted. I had no idea how beautiful these cactus flowers are, but look for yourself:

This is one of the few I know by name Saguaro Cactus

I think this is nopales, but not sure, there are so many 
same looking cacti

Prickly pear?

Venta de Bisnaga

The yellow pineapple looking fruit is eatable and they make a yummy jam with it. I got some recipes and definitely will try to make my own

Look at the colors of each leaf if I can call it a leaf

Not a cactus but still beautiful

I met these nice ladies at the grocery store, we had much in common so I invited them for dinner. Wendy and Jacky breed parakeets and this little baby was just about 24 hours old so she brought it for dinner so she could feed it. Unfortunately this little critter didn't make it. 
We met Sergio and Gemma on ZOE, from Italy, at Xmas in Chiapas. They finally were able to return to Zoe in Penasco after a long Covid lockdown. We still had the key to they forgot at the Chiapas Marina. We had a fun dinner at our house. I had asked her when they had the last Cheese Fondue, she responded at Xmas in Chiapas and she couldn't say yes fast enough, when I asked if she wanted another one. The following day we went to La Manga for a seafood feast (photo)before they headed south on their boat to return in June. They retuned middle of June and hauled out Zoe for the summer as they returned to Italy. The haulout took for ever and finally at 7pm they joined us for dinner even though they had to still drive to Hermosillo, an almost 2 hour drive. Gemma and Sergio thank you so much for taking the time to see us, you made us feel very special. We will see you when you return next December. Maybe another Fondue?!!!

Sheila and Wayne on Way She goes, stopped on their way from Mazatlan to head home to Canada and spent the night in their kewl van in our carport. Always nice seeing them, unfortunately they do have their boat on the market, so most likely we will not se them sailing again. It was really good to seem them. Sheila and Wayne were the other couple for the Xmas Cheese Fondue in Chiapas. 
Inka Rose stopped by as well, in their van. We also went to Dona Rosa for seafood. They are also boatless now.
Dick and Karen ex Irie, stopped again on their way south to spend the winter near Puerto Vallarta and on their trip north, I am pretty sure we will see them again next November.  

Full Moon rising

In the week Guicha was here we watched this incredible Mural of Maria Felix, a famous actress from the 40's, painted on the side wall of the new Hotel in San Carlos Turistica. It was very impressive to see the development

The flowers are from a tree and not on the mural

The Woodpecker hasn't left us yet, actually there is two of them, plus a few Orios

The sun catching our neighbor's beautiful shell wind chime

My fun pool

These Frangipani started blooming on my Birthday. Happy BD how kewl is that


My BD lunch, Chocolata clams

Roger and Barbara joining us

Crab tostada with avocado and shrimp, sooo tasty

Hibiscus Margarita

Sweet Miss Kitty

Not to forget the most incredible sunrises and sunsets

Lorena and Manuela

                                         Lorena singing La Llorona, my next song