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BOATBUMMS LOG

The cruising adventures of Sid and Manuela

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

 


I know you all have been waiting for an update. This was just too devastating and it takes a lot of effort to sit down and relive it on paper. Our life has been upside down in many ways. Life sometimes throws a curve ball, this one was pretty rough on us.

 

I left you off with the sand storm distaster that knocked out neighbor’s boat into Paradise bringing her down.

https://youtu.be/TdtUsP6u8hU




These videos are from Lupita having a party at the Dorado Condos


And a video from Greg at his Dragon fruit farm


It was devastating to see Paradise laying on the concret and seeing the damage that was done to her. Amanda at the yard office was amazing and managed to get 3 big crane lifts to the yard to pull first Dan’s boat then Paradise off the ground. We had mixed feeling about that, but finding out they had pulled around 7 boats off the ground several years ago after a hurricane, we guessed that they knew what they were doing. Indeed they knew their stuff and carefully lifted firs Dan’s then
 our boat and by 4pm they both were secured on stands. Amanda has only worked at the yard for 2 months and never had to deal with this situation. Do you remember when you were a kid and something happened to you and grandma or mom’s hug felt so good and was so needed? Let me tell you Amanda did just that for us. A few months after she pulled this off, I surprised her with a present and lunch at La Manga (I had asked her boss that I wanted to do something for her but since I don’t know her she offered to help and asked her colleges at work, they all said a manicure. One of the college’s sister was Amanda’s manicurist). Amanda was so happy and said nobody ever has done something like that for her.







We are still licking our wounds and our life is sill upside down, but we are grateful that the boat is not a total loss for us.

The costly refit of the last 2 1/2 years all destroyed. then the frustrating ordeal to get quote was like pulling rotten teeth. after so many times being told: "you will have the quotes at the end fo this day" over and over while one months later we the marina finally produced part of the quotes. Questioning why it is taking so long the answer was: "Oh, well, the guy is working on a boat as soon as he is done he will get the quote." Well I had to push that one, but it still took more than a month, the rest took a further couple of weeks. 

Rafael the stainless steel guy, he was the only one who gave us a quote the following day. He literally had tears in his eyes when he saw his beautiful work destroyed. 













The marina suggested Jesus for the rigging so we called him to look at the damage. He showed up right away, looked up the mast and rigging and immediately said: the mast is bent, needs to come down and needs to be sent to San Diego to be fixed. All we saw was $$$$$ signs that was not what we wanted to hear besides to us the mast looked as straight as it always was. Yes of course the spreaders were ripped off the mast and the back stay was not there either, so you can’t judge the mast from that as it was not secured with all the stays and shrouds. 





He told us he will have a quote by the end of the week. Days came and went and no quote, no return on the phone calls or texts either, so Carlos was suggested by a surveyor friend. He was there right away as well but wanted 200 dollar to go up the mast to inspect and to give quote. He did that, wanted the money ASAP as he got down from the rigging, not to mention he demanded it in dollar, there went our last 2 100 dollar bills. 2 weeks later we received his survey of our rigging but no quote and thank God no mention of bent mast. But we did not need a survey we need that after it is fixed. We paid to go up the stick but to get a quote. We never got a quote from Carlos and after 3 ½ months Jesus finally produced one, but without mentioning having to send it to San Diego. We now finally (pissed as hell and patience worn off) could submit our quotes to the insurance who patiently waited. To this day Carlos has not produced a quote and he is the one that we need to work on the rigging.
 

 

To make things more complicated we had a little hick-up with the marina manager. Back in June they raised the rent from US$ 465 to 620 so we paid upfront for 3 more months at the old rate, the time we thought we would be done and back in the water, but the darn sandstorm prevented that. 

Everybody but us received a friendly email from the marina San Carlos that as of August 1st the rent will go up again to now US$ 920 a months, the reason was added in the letter stating: due to the dollar loosing value.  So we tried to extend our 465 rent but the friendly Marina manager told us that if we get some repairs done by Star Marine which is part owner of the marina they will only charge us the dry storage fee which has gone up from 149 to 179. So we left Paradise in the marina waiting for the quotes, not knowing it would take over 3 months. When rent was due after our 3 months pay up front I wanted to pay rent of 179, but we got hammered with the 920 dollars rate, which of course I took up with the manager. She said since we haven’t started work with Star Marine we have to pay the regular rate, whaaaa, besides at that time we were still waiting for quotes?!!!! But she gave us a deal to only pay the June rate, great thanks a lot, could have told us then instead of leaving us to believe we get the dry storage fee. She then suggested that we place Paradise back into the dry storage, again she could have told us this then, after all it took Star Marine over one month to produce quotes. I was pissed and so disappointed but didn’t make a scene as we are stuck in this marina, but she just showed us they don’t care for us as she let us believe, they only care to get money from us, my trust in them is gone.   

The only good thing about this devastating tragedy was the insurance they were very good to us and compassionate, not to mention very patient waiting all this time for the quotes. Angela the agent also assured us not to worry they will not take our home away from us. We have been with them for 18 years. So we finally submitted all the quotes. Angela was overwhelmed and apologized that it may take her a couple of weeks to assess the damage looking at the photos. The damage was over 14 000 above the value of the boat minus our 4000 deductible, so 18 000. 2 ½ weeks later she contacted us that they will total the boat but will waive salvage rights which means the boat will stay in Sid’s name, but as soon as we receive the insurance money the insurance will be canceled. She then added that when the boat is ready to splash again and has a survey done to get in touch with Rachel and she will find us a new policy. The end of November we were paid the value of the boat minus deductible and the policy was canceled.


In the meantime Sid’s osteoarthritis riddled hands were so painful the only option left was surgery, which he had two weeks before the insurance settled, but this I will address later on. Since it was the time all the snowbirds to return and get their boat ready to cruise for the winter, the marina yard was overwhelmed with boats getting ready, so we decided to let Sid heal and tackle the repairs in January when they are all gone and we don’t have to fight over the workers. Bad enough they took their time with quotes.

 

The worst damage was to the keel that split open but luckily as stout as the boat is built the hull did not have any cracks, thank you Bruce King!!! 





And so lucky the mast did not break. The rest is all cosmetics. All the work we had done to the boat in the last 2 ½ years was destroyed. 

Dan’s boat that hit us, his mast broke into 3 pieces and did the destruction, if it wasn’t for his mast we’d be in much better shape.




All the stainless steel tubes that replaced the cable, destroyed. Except on the forward starboard side was untouched until the crane pulled us off, so all needs to be replaced except the bow pulpit that was untouched. 






The new teak cap rail we had refabricated in Florida at a fortune including the expense of shipping it to Arizona, not to mention renting a big expensive car, hotel expenses etc., destroyed (we just ordered them again and can pick them up again in Tucson come January but the price of teak has gone up over 30% as there is a ban to import teak into the US) with shipping it will be a good 6000 bucks. 







The beautiful dodger Sid built in Panama, totally destroyed.  







The backstay ripped out as well as the spreaders. Teak rail and rub strips crushed. Davits bent, luckily the solar panels survived. Radar punctured, GPS gone and the box around the motor damage to the point we need to build a new one. Who knows what else we will find once we get back in the water.










Engine box cover

I have to add the little sport fisher you see next to us, was untouched by our boat.

The summer was so hot and every time Sid climbed up or down the ladder and was holding on to the stanchion it burned his hands, so he wrapped a lot of towel around it. This part hit the sport fisher but it did not damage it thanks to Sid's idea and the towels. It was a little iffy and adrenaline was flowing when they pulled Paradise off enough to move that boat out, luckily it was on a trailer and easy to move.












Two weeks before this tragedy Sid finally undertook the engine installation but with not having a good grip on things with his poor wrists and hands, he dropped 2 bolts into the bilge. Our bilge is so deep there is no way to retrieve them and they were gone for good (Actually he found them in the split open keel after the fall). We ordered a few extra bolts which were sent to Tucson to Debbie who was bringing them down. Unfortunately she had so much stuff to bring down our order stayed behind and finally arrived one day after the crash. Guess there is such a thing as good luck in bad luck, as the motor was placed on the cabin sole next to the galley, the side she hit the ground, so the motor stayed in place. There is little damage to the cabinet the motor rested and the external fuel pump broke off which is easy to replace.  Were it on the other side the galley would have been destroyed, plus the motor damaged.

No matter how we see it, it’s devastating especially since we were so close to finally get her back in the water. A big consolation is that we still have the house we rent to as long as we need it. We found great friends in Lupita and her family, including her sister in law who is the owner. I still believe things happen for a reason and also that good things happen in bad situation, we are very grateful for that.

We realized being stuck here for much longer we do need a car. Hector who was varnishing the boat next to us before the crash, gave us a quote for the varnish jobs once we get the new teak cap rail. His son was selling his 1999 Ford explorer V8. It did have some dents and the AC was not working and he also told us that the 4x4 was not hooked up. We took it for a test drive and were surprise how smooth the engine ran, we considered buying it but he wanted way too much for the car, it also needed one new tire so we offered him the blue book value. So here we are owning a Mexican car as with our Permanent Residence status we would have to import a US car which costs a fortune. 


First thing I took it to the, what we were told, best AC place. Don’t trust the “it’s the best” the one day repair took over one week and when we finally got the car back, but was told that the fuses were a total mess, the mechanic was not a happy camper. I was surprised that the cost was only 150 dollars. Yeah the AC was working but as soon as I started driving I notice the engine ran very rough and since it was getting late I decided to head straight home and leaving the last store for another day, which was a good thing. I had a friend with me and we already had done most of our shopping. I dropped her off at the marina yard, turned the engine off to help unload, got back in the car but no charge, the batts were dead. Dan, jumped it, I made it home and Sid cleaned the connectors and the following morning we drove to Auto Zone to get new connectors. On our way back we decided we would go to La Manga and celebrate the car with a nice seafood lunch. I remembered that I needed to get some money out of the ATM so we stopped for that just around the corner from our house. Passing the street that goes up to the house I heard this pfffsssssss. Sid was driving and could not hear what I heard, so told him drive straight to the house, which we did and luckily made it into the carport as the steering was gone. Sid opened the hood and what we found was a cable that supposed to be on the outside of the battery was instead hanging down the motor, the AC guy forgot to put it back where it belonged, it hit the fan belt that then exploded and hit the radiator and busted that. I called Ricardo who had changed our neighbor’s radiator a while back and he showed up the next day and repaired the car. Great guy and a very good mechanic. Car was still running rough and there was definitely an electrical problem. Also by taking fixing the AC they destroyed the dashboard and the radio kept falling out while driving. BTW the radio is not working either so I have to sing in the car if I want music. I brought it to Daniel’s shop, his son supposedly (again that word) the best with checking the electronics and his father the best mechanic. True enough they both fixed the car, even the radio does not fall out anymore yeah. Another funny thing was the key, I had to be careful not to lock the steering wheel, it was very tricky to get it undone and start the car. Hector finally brought us the second key, but all it did was undo the lock but starting the car sounded like we had a dead battery so for a while I juggled the keys, which Daniel then fixed. The car definitely kept us entertained. The car has bigger tires than stock and the kid who sold us the car, mainly because the gas was getting to expensive for him, when one of his tires busted he could not afford to by the same tires and so he bought a smaller size, so we replaced it. Yikes $220 but it included balancing them all. We put that smaller tire on the spare tire as that one was disintegrating. The car was running nice again, we finally had a good trustworthy (?) running car. Almost forgot the shift indicator Park was not in the Park position but showed in Drive, Daniel fixed it.We finally did go for our seafood lunch at La Manga. I was driving, the handle bar above the passenger door fell off, the following the day our friends in the back seat, hers fell off. Every time we get into the car there is another surprise, but no matter what it gives us a good chuckle. Sid washed the car and tried to open the back window and that almost fell out, he was able to fix that as well. I drove to Walmart, came back, drove into the carport, turned the motor off, removed the key and…. The motor kept running, weird ????!!!! Put the key back into the whole wiggled it pulled it out but nope it did no shut off. Guess I better go inside the house and get Sid. I opened the door and would you know that darn motor shut off. So I started it again, turned it off and yep it shut off by opening the door. I did this 4 times just to make sure I was not crazy. So when Sid came out he could barely stop laughing, but then we started the car again and check if the passenger door would shut it off as well, sure enough, the back doors did not. We laughed our asses off. To this day I ask fellow passenger to do the honor of turning the engine off LOL. Yep the car is possessed I named it “La Bruja” the witch. But it runs great, gets me anyway I want to go and is fun to drive, yes it is a gas guzzler. Best of all NO MORE Bus rides in to town or walking to the distance store in the desert heat.

I added a few fun decals to La Bruja to cover up some dents and to personalize it including an Ahooga horn. I am having fun and never used a car horn more than this one LOL.

 





Look at the shitty grin

Daniel ordered the shaft for the 4 wheel drive and I ordered the chain at Rock Auto (btw great deals) and the day after it was installed we were on our way to see the doctor for Sid’s first appointment in Hermosillo a 1 ½ hour drive. We drove out of town but didn’t get far when I felt and heard a clank, clank under my foot, hmmm, then the clank, clank turned into a clank, clank, clank, I did a fast U-turn and drove straight to Daniels, he heard the now non stopping clank clanks and took the shaft out and sent us on our way to Hermosillo on time for our appointment. Arriving there I noticed the front left tire was almost flat and we had it repaired in one of the many tire repair shops.


What happened with the shaft was that Daniel ordered it too short but told me he would get it right. A few days later I checked with him as I suspected he can’t find it, sure enough, Sid and I already had decided that we really don’t need it besides it will use more gas as well, so it’s a 2 wheel drive, it’s running great as it is. 

 

If that sand storm wasn’t enough here comes Hurricane Hillary, same track as Kay did a year ago. Luckily she stayed along the Baja Pacific side and only brought us quite a bit more wind, more rain but none of the breaking waves that Kay brought last year. But it did create another grand canyon in front of our house, there was so much water coming down the short hill. Only one boat ended up on shore the others faired rough but well.

 


I love to watch the weather and I have been following all the hurricanes whether on the Atlantic side or Pacific side, and let me tell you I found a lot of anomalies, like Maui, Cabo, Puerto Vallarta and especially Acapulco, it leave it at this.........

 


We also were very lucky with the sand storm at the house, as our neighbor below us replaced her aluminum awning with a tarp and the old pieces were piled up on her roof and sat there for months. 2 days before the storm hit they took it down, my gosh that would have busted every window in our living room.

 

The day after Hillary Eleazar brought us a big bucket full of clams that Hillary pushed ashore.

Septemter 8th we celebrated our 33rd Anniversay. Unbelievable how the time goes by. After I got up, I hugged Sid and wished him a Happy Anniversary. His mouth was very close to my ear and he wished me the same. I had to laugh and then told him very tenderly: We’ve been married for 33 happy years, then you whispered in my ear, now you are screaming in my ear.

Sid didn’t stop laughing for a long while. His hearing has gotten so bad poor guy, so that his whispering doesn’t work anymore.

 







Since the car was still at Daniel’s shop and Tortuga our favorite restaurant down the street was closed for one month we decided to postpone our Anniversary dinner. Instead I cooked up the clams Eleazar brought. 


Man they were sandy and tasted awful. Now what?

 


 I always have emergency food ready, including Tortuga’s wonderful baguettes in the freezer. 

A week later Eleazar called me that his friend went hunting again and if I wanted a Javelina which are common in Arizona and here in Northern Mexico. Javelina are not pigs despite looking similar to a pig, javelinas are classified as Peccaries which is a member of the Tayassuidae, which pigs are part of the Suidae family. Below is a link about them:

https://www.tucsontopia.com/javelina/

 


The guy also killed a dear which Eleazar was interested so he brought me the entire javelina. It was definitely different to cut apart and not as easy as the venison was.

 

Two week later he brought me 2 wild rabbit, definitely my choice between deer and javelina. They are small but one is perfect for two. I like them BBQ best.

 

About Sid’s wrist, which we were told was carpal tunnel and to take a rest to heal but that didn’t help. The pain got worse and worse and Sid was unable to work on the boat to install the motor, so more rest. Then another attempted was just before the sand storm. His doctor was going to set him up with the specialist he knows in Hermosillo but he seemed to have forgotten and the many times I went to the office to ask, 2 months later I finally got his name and address and took it up on myself to get an appointment. Here in Mexico it seems everything is a waiting period, hence MaƱana Land. I was surprised we had an appointment the following week, so I organized an x-ray at our doctor’s office here.

While Dr. Dimitri inspected the x-ray and his wrists pushing here and there, he told Sid that it is not carpal tunnel that he has such bad arthritis the only thing to help him is carpectomy, the removal of two carpal bones in the wrist. 



He offered to do the surgery the same evening at 8pm and Sid would have to spend the night and be released in the morning. No thank you we need a little more time for that. So Sid was scheduled a week later also at 8pm plus spending the night. He gave us a choice of 3 hospitals to which he said that San Benito was just as good as the other two, in either one he is doing the surgery, the cost  28 000 pesos which San Jose was 48 000 and Cima 68 000 (roughly 1400/2400/ 3400, wow, what a difference. He also suggested to do both hands at the same time, no big deal to do both at same time, except, having to pay the fee again verses an extra $ 500 if he waits for the second hand. He also said that within 3 weeks he’d be working on the boat again. Didn’t sound too bad so Sid chose to do both at the same time. We took his suggestion of San Benito Hospital. I organized a hotel near the hospital and on due date we had to be at the hospital at 6pm for prep then we waited for the doctor to arrive at 8pm. 



Checking into the hospital we both had to sign a lot of paperwork. I wondered why I had to as well, kinda strange. Then they moved him into his room and the male nurse pointed at the couch to me where I will be sleeping. Told him no thank you I booked a room, to which he looked at me angry and said: no you sleep there. That went on for a while. We both told him that I will got to the hotel. A nurse showed up to shuff the IV into Sid’s arm. I have never seen such brutality she tried at least 6 times to stick it into his vain, while Sid was holding back screams of pain. She finally left the room very frustrated only to come back with another nurse, comes out she was an intern, poor Sid. Guess they have to learn some time but definitely think they should be supervised. Now this nurse told me as well I had to spend the night here. Later the male nurse brought it up again about sleeping on the couch for vigilancia which means surveillance, to me it sounded like a neiborhood watch hmm? So I asked him if there were thieves in this hospital. You can't imagine how he looked at me this time, in any case he made me feel like I am the worst wife in the world. He just added you need to talk to the doctor. At 9pm we headed down the surgery ward and were greeted by the doctor. I immediately asked him why they are insisting me sleeping on the couch in the room. He looked at me puzzled and said don’t know but did ask the nurse, her answer was: There are no nurses in the hospital at night! Whaaaatttt?!! My jaw dropped and the seconds it took me to realize what she just said the doctor gave me a hug and said no worries I get a nurse for tonight go to your hotel and I will contact you how he is doing after surgery.

Had they told me no nurses of course I would have picked up my stuff at the hotel and come back. I later learned that it is not rare that hospitals request a relative to spend the night with the patience, how can they do this, a none trained relative taking care of a just operated patient. Later Lupita told me that ever since Covid, nurses are lazy and refuse to work at night. Unreal.

At midnight the doctor texted that all went well and to get a good night’s rest and he will see us at 1pm at the hospital. I was at the hospital already a 8am and who was the nurse that spent the night with Sid, the guy that told me where I had to sleep and amazingly he spoke very good English and both Sid and him had a great time. Would have been nice he would have explained to me in English what was going on. Anyway, here was poor Sid with both his wrapped in what looked like white boxing cloves. 



He was still hooked on the IV with morphine for the pain. The doctor showed up at 2pm and after he checked out Sid he was going to leave. We asked him if he was not releasing him from the hospital, he asked if he didn’t want to spend another night? Does he need to, we asked. No was his responds, so Sid said: get me out of here. We had to wait a few minutes for them to prep the bill and when I finally paid I was asked if I wanted to pay the doctor here which would be cash or at his office? Excuse me? How could Dr. Dimitri miss telling us how much his fee is? Another 51 000 pesos which is over 2500 dollars. Not just that the new credit card I have from the newly opened MX bank account had a 10 000 peso limit and so I had to juggle money between that account my US account and cash.  With the doctor I arranged to go by his office before we drove home and het a routing number for his account. This was a total disaster don’t need this kind of stress that’s for sure.


Sid finally was released and we left the hospital around 4pm. Sid not feeling any pain still under the influence of morphine was testing his new wrists out, he would not stop moving in the car, I finally had to tell him to stop that he needed to rest his hands and not aggravate them. He was given 2 antibiotics and what we thought was a pain killer, but which was anti-inflammatory. Poor Sid later on the evening when the morphine gave up, he was in so much pain and we had no pain killers in the house, as he had used them all up, without my knowledge. There are no 24 hour pharmacies here so I stood in front of the pharmacy door at 8am and bought him some drugs. We knew it was not going to be easy to have both hands done at the same time, but hey in three weeks we would be working on the boat again, can’t be all that bad, right. Well, the surgery has been over 2 months now and Sid is still recuperating. His right hand is doing much better than the left. His little finger on the left is still very numb and cold he can’t control it, the ring finger is a bit numb and hurts to the touch. This hand is still swollen and painful. After one months Dr. Dimitri saw him and suggested that he needed to start therapy. To the numb finger he said that was normal and will come back. To having one scar above the carpal bones and the other scar 1 inch before the wrist (left hand), he said that was not a problem. So Sid has been in therapy every other day for 6 times then the therapist went on vacation for the holidays, great. He is doing his own therapy now at home but he sees little improvement in the left hand. I did order a tens unite which hopefully will arrive this Saturday with Debbie.

Luckily we had some straws in the house for his coffee

Poor Baby


Miss Ninja loves to help Sid while doing therapy



Last week I went for another plasma shot into my ankle and told our doctor all about Sid’s ordeal. He also thinks that the nerve will come back in time but was shocked to hear about no nurses and Dimitri forgetting to tell us how much his bill was.

Bev and Paula our new neighbors are wonderful. Bev bakes bread every Friday and brings one to us and sometimes some muffins or banana bread or whatever else she bakes. My favorite Cranberry muffins with fresh cranberries. Nice ladies and good neighbors.

 

This year the summer was brutally hot, just glad we have a good running AC but the electrical bill was through the roof. Main thing we were cool. All the boaters in the yard were complaining, they got up in the wee hours and stopped work around 10ish.


We still play pool ever Monday with Lupita and Silvino, which of course is on hold for now until Sid is better.




 Lupita and I enjoyed our noodeling aerobics every morning at 8 in the dorado pool. Kit came back to stay there for the summer and joined us. We had a fun time.





Last year when we celebrated Sid and Silvino’s BD at the Dorado apartments, we BBQ shrimp on rock salt. Lupita has been craving them so we finally went to where she buys the shrimp in Empalme passed Guaymas. I whished I had known about this place since we got here.





So the BBq was held on October 19th with the renters Kit and Greg and Martha, omg did we have fun.

 





Hubaldo and Silvino the chefs



Martha

Kit, Sid and Graig

Lupita and Lupita

Hubaldo and Silvino

Since Kit knew Sid’s surgery was coming up, she told me she had a surprise for Sid, this is really funny. Sid always wanted a pressure washer ever since we arrived here and he finally bought one in August. I had been teasing him that since he has both hands done at the same time and needed help for the bathroom runs I will have fun testing the presser washer on him: “bend over Sid”. So Kit had a present for him, but I will let you watch the video:

 


 I think Lupita does not want us to leave ever, she pointed at the beautiful lantern lights at the Dorado property and mentioned that she had an extra one she does not know where to put and if I wanted it for our house, she thinks it would look really good there. I agreed, so now the 2 dessert roses have been removed and are replanted at the side of house while the patio is now all open and we have room to sit out there. The light looks awesome. Thank you Lupita

 



Halloween approached and as every year Eleazar brings his kids over to trick’r treat. This time I asked Rocio what time she would come, she said 6pm. Plan was for Sid and I to dress up and await them outside on the patio and scare them. At 5 I was just ready when Rocio pulled up with the kids. Oh, well so much for surprising them. Sid didn’t have his costume on yet. So practically I put his make up on for a just 1 minute visit. When Kit saw me with the painted face, she talked me into going with her and her granddaughter who was visiting to join them at the Hair of the Dog Pub. Sid didn’t want to go and stayed home.





I had no idea that entire San Carlos was celebrating Halloween, the streets were packed with kids and family and all in outfits. Every other business had a crowed entertained with games, music and fun. Wow it was fun walking through this fun atmosphere. I had absolutely no idea or I would have joined every Halloween here. What a great evening that was. I don’t even think you see this in the US.



 The following day her and her granddaughter went on a sunset cruise and when she returned she stopped at our house and dropped off an anchor the captain gave her. She said she knows the perfect place for it and placed in our garden, too cool, thanks Kit.





Cat Story Time:

The hot summer weather brought a lot of locust for several months, which drove the cats nuts. It was so much fun watching them chasing after them. Ninja would get them between her teeth then wander inside to play catch and release and share her toy with Miss Kitty. They are so fun to watch and are such buddies.


 

One day I just had bought some fresh yummy cherries which were sitting on the counter. I was busy storing all  I bought when one cherry then another rolled against my foot. There was Ninja batting one around the entire living room until the stem fell off, hopped back on the counter, pulled another one out of the bag and on and on.



By the pool we exercised was a squirle that loved to watch us, so I bought a bag of peanuts and Kit named it Peanuts. It didn’t miss a session.

So Miss Ninja discovered the peanut bag and that they rattle when she kicks them around, she has a ball with them and even has Miss Kitty infected scooting them around the house. I find the peanuts all over the place, especially at night in the dark, crunch LOL. Our vacuum cleaner is running overtime.














She loves the heating pad



No it's not a futuristic motorcycle


Can you imagine this in OUR front porch !!!

The hummingbirds have been awesome this year, it's mostly the same 6 but eventually a new one showed up:
 



This hummer is amazing every since I got the little flower rings, whenever he sees me sitting on the balcony he buzzes right in front of my nose, so that I have to go get the ring, while it patiently waits




This one is the cutest and has purple color on his neck, he site in the same spot for up to an hour




Back in June Daniela and Rolf on Yelow finally arrived here. Daniela and I met in Balboa Panama waiting for the bus to take us into town. As bubbly as she is we started talking and, wait a minute we have the same accent. Daniela is from Basel Switzerland about 40 minutes away from where I lived. We had some fun shopping trips together while I showed her where and what in Panama City. We are so alike and have so much in common. Her hubby Rolf is also 14 years older than her, and they had been cruising 20 years as well. She goes home about every 4 to 6 years, like me and we both are adventurous as heck. We kept in touch, Yelow got stuck in Gambier island in French Polinesia for the Covid time. Their visa was renewed so many time, as they could not leave as the world had shut down. So after Covid was lifted they were told they could stay but would have to import their boat even though they are Europeans, well Switzerland never joined the EU and they changed the visa rules. It would have cost them a fortune to import the boat, not to mention should they go back to Europe they would have to import it there again. After many email exchanges with me about coming to Mexico, as pretty much all harbors in the South Pacific including Australia and New Zealand were still shut down they decided to do the long 3 week trip to Vancouver island and a year later, last June they finally arrived here.

It was so good to see her again. They both need a new visa to head back to the Gambier and in order to do that she had to go to Switzerland to apply at the French Consulate. While there for 6 weeks she met my brother who had presents for me from my Mom and Daniela did some shopping gourmet shopping for me. Daniela again thank you sooooo much.

Both Jackets, crochet angel, long zipper we can't buy here and undies

Anyway, having been in French Poli for so many years she volunteered in 5 different pearl farms that cultivate the beautiful black Tahitian Pears and as pay she was given pearls. Beautiful pearls, I bought some from her. Since this is her only income, I got all my girlfriend together and they all bought pearls from her. Daniela did really well.

 
My Baroc pearl with maching earings





 

I invited them to their first Thanksgiving along with two other boats, Terry and Dave from Canada and Jeff and Dona from Alaska. It was a wonderful dinner

 




Of course the house is all decorated again and Lorena let me borrow her Xmas tree like last year. Since Sid’s hands were still not good we opted to put the star up in the front of the house and with Silvino’s help and ladder we decorated the front of the house this year. I actually like it much better like this. Eleazar had trimmed the frangipany tree a bit too much but the good thing about this is I could decorate it for everyone to see. Xmas decoration here is so expensive, more than in the States so I collected Topo Chico bottles, which is a club soda and glued them with Xmas color glitter.





And frosty came visiting again but this time he promised not to melt and sure enough. I just love Xmas.

 


Do you know how snow flakes really are created:



And look what hit my car!





 Sure is nice to finally have a car. I have been to Hermosillo 4 times now and I am the proud owner of a CostCo card, yep, best shopping in entire Sonora that’s for sure. Lupita, Daniela and Terry loved a shopping trip to Hermosillo to provision their boats for their soon to come trip south.

 




We filled up the car

I brought some fabric back for Xmas presents and to make a new cover fot the sofas:



and if you look on the patio the old cover fits perfectely over the BBQ LOL


Knowing Daniela was leaving in two days and Terry in probably a week, I sewed them their present the very next day. It was so good to have Daniela here and who knows and if we ever will see each other again. That’s the sad part about cruising, you meet so many wonderful people and then it’s “see you later” over and over again. We never say goodbye that’s a no no. Before she left she gave me the most unique pearl, a barroc pearl that has a natural pearl growing on, called Keshi, not just that rarity but the pearl has an unusual and rare golden color. Just beautiful. 





Welllll… Just a few days ago I was going to put it around my neck but sat it down on the table and when I returned a minute later Ninja ran passed me bushy tailed as she does when she plays and my pearl is gone. Sid and I looked everywhere but could not find it. I just hope she remembers what she did with it and will eventually retrieve it to play. She is something else and still haven't found it.

 

Lupita’s daughter Yessika is back for the entire month of December. We 3 girls had a wonderful shopping trip mid December to Hermosillo. 


Having lived in Hermosillo for 8 years Yessika knew the best from the best. 
This restaurant has amazing breakfast, can only imagine lunch and dinners








On the 19th I had both Lupitas and Lydia at my house to bake Swiss Xmas Cookies, oh what fun that was. Sid had a great time watching and listening to us. We were going to do this last year again but we all had colds. Since it took so long the first time I decided we only make 3 cookies instead of the 5 and since the cookies turn out so much better when they dry over night I spend 2 days making all the cookies in advance, then had them ready in the casserole bags I sewed for them as well and the cookies we made that day, I dried over night and cooked them the following day, that was a lot of work for me but it worked out great for the girls, besides I enjoyed it all. Yes I am exhausted but a good exhausted.

















For dinner that day we went to Colibri and enjoyed a wonderful dinner with our husbands as well.

Christmas is right around the corner and I hoped to get this posted before Xmas, well it got a little busy but here it is. 

Xmas Eve we are invited at Lupita’s and was told I can’t say no and I am in charge of the dessert. Comes out the entire family invited us, how wonderful is that, 30 people included kids and grand critters. 

Ready for the party




Zuger Kirsch Torte my favorite and probably the most famouse of all cakes

Venezuelan Wedding cake, rich with almond flavor







We are so lucky, we befriended a wonderful family here.

For Christmas day we had some lonely sailors over and a lonely neighbor. It was a very nice relaxed Christmas dinner.


I sure cooked up a storm

 

Dave, Terry, Allan, Manuela "Max", Charles, Sid and Susan, only 3 knew each other.
It was a wonderful evening.

My philosophy in life was always, that everything Negative has a positive and if you can see that positive it’s not that negative anymore. Even with our curve ball there are a lot of positives. So Life is good and we are still as happy as popcorn farts in a winds storm.

 


We wish you all a Merry Christmas and may the New Year bring us a positive change in our world situation, let us all pray and fight together to keep our freedom and achieve Peace on this planet.

Hugs and kisses to all

Sid, Manuela and the furry critters


Photo time:

We lost a very dear friend on August 18th. We met Nell and Bill in 2004 in New Bern and became great friends. They visited us in Bonair and in Panama, we always had such a good time. Nell was a wonderul happy person and so much fun to be with, she will continue living in our hearts and fond memories. 








Weird thunderclouds






Beautiful Moonrise






Beautiful wild flower across from our house

View from our newly found restaurant in the Bay next to us a 2 minute drive.
It took us almost 3 years to discover it


Chicharon de Pescado and Sarandeado shripm

Our water pump was running day and night every minute now we think the high electrical bill was also culprit. The valve that delivers the city water to the house needed to be replaced. While doing so Pancho had to remove a lot of pebbles down to the broken valve and he disturbed a beautiful tiny constrictor snake. I catpured it and let it go in a safer place.

 






Just a tiny baby, but wonder where mama and siblings are?





Can you see the elephant?


Which changed to a puppy and a dolphin

a pile of crocs

Biggest walking stick I ever saw.


Lupita's cactus flowers, amazingly beautiful



My crab cakes, yum

My new creation, frozen watermelon juice with club soda
soooo refreshing












Sunrise


Can you see the little angel or fairy?