Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mexico 2 Photography by Bill Bell

Sunday, January 17, 2010

All about Los Cabos

All about Los Cabos, Mexico
Why vacation in Cabo?
Cabo is a slice of heaven - there's something here for everyone. This tropical desert paradise at the tip of Baja California is where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific. It offers unsurpassed recreational opportunities such as world-class fishing, golf, diving, gourmet dining, shopping and a bustling nightlife, not to mention the opportunity to choose from more than 100 gorgeous luxury villas for your next Mexico vacation. You just can't go wrong!
Cabo San Lucas vacations. Your way.
Our Mexico travel specialists will do all the work, so your villa or resort holiday is relaxing and exciting. We'll arrange fishing charters, golf tee times, tours, chef or spa services in the comfort of your private oceanfront villa or beachfront resort. Choose from a wide variety of food and beverage packages, and we'll make sure your kitchen is pre-stocked just the way you want it.
Experience the best Mexico villas!
Earth, Sea and Sky Vacations has been planning and delivering Cabo vacations for 20 years. We specialize in luxury villas and resort vacation packages to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and can arrange your next dream holiday or honeymoon with ease. Choose from our wide array of activity packages and services.
We're in Cabo year-round!
To ensure your vacation is smooth sailing, we employ a team of professionals in Mexico who provide personal concierge, wedding, private chef, deluxe spa and event services. Whether you need a mariachi band, babysitter or a good restaurant tip, our staff is there when you need them.
Getting to Cabo is easy.
A trip to Cabo San Lucas requires only a short flight from most U.S. international airports. Enjoy a luxury villa, resort or hotel vacation - feel the warmth of sunny and friendly Los Cabos, Mexico.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Los Cabo is calling me

I find myself researching Baja California Sur more often these days. After going there last month with Cheri for our 19th Luna de Miel (Honeymoon), we have both fallen in love with the area. In fact we are going back on Christmas day, ( a little more than a month since we first experienced the area, and less than a month since we left.)

Here is a snippet from a blog about buying lots to build on in Loreto or La Paz.

It is impossible to starve in Mexico.

I think food is more important to Mexicans that most anything else. There is food being sold everywhere in Loreto and La Paz, in the entirety of Baja, Mexico actually: on corners, in road side huts, on beaches, in front of houses, oh yea, then there are restaurants. Restaurants large and small are everywhere. I am going to guess, but I think that one out of five businesses in the Baja is a food establishment of some kind. Learn to eat tortillas with everything. Mix up the food on your plate. Use a tortilla frequently to scoop up different combinations of the food on your plate or in your bowl, including soups. Get used to letting the food on your plate "touch" each other. Take a "robust" attitude toward food. Be different than you are in the USA. Get in the moment. Wear sandals. Saunter when you walk. Wear old jeans. Open the buttons on the front of your shirt, show some belly. Smile at everyone. Say "hola" alot. There, that's the ticket. Now, you are ready for the Baja.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Defining what "The Plan" is.....

-Often in this blog you will find me referring to "The Plan", and today's topic will be defining and visualizing what that plan is and how it came to be. Let me start by telling you that "The Plan" is flexible and changes ever so slightly from time to time. Any major life change, or plan for change has to adapt to the current situation. The plan in its simplest terms is to enjoy a live aboard lifestyle while working a variety of new jobs in exciting locations.
-To be more specific, "The Plan" includes a circumnavigation of the Caribbean, a trip that would go clockwise from South Florida. This part of the journey could take anywhere from one to five years.

-After we have successfully accomplished this portion of "The Plan", I hope to use the experience gained from cruising in the Caribbean to allow us to make a successful circumnavigation. This portion could take an entire decade or more to accomplish. Remembering that "it is not the destination, but the journey that is important". I realize these are grand dreams for any person, but they are especially grand when you take into account the fact that I am just a regular guy. What I mean by regular guy is that I have little education and specialized training. And possibly as important as training and skills, or lack of, is the fact that I am not a wealthy American. Of course, I am not poor, but probably in the lower ranks of the American middle class, as far as income is concerned.

- But hopefully through determination, accented with a little old fashioned ignorance, these grand dreams can be accomplished. It is quite possibly true that some of the most profound human accomplishments have been achieved because the person attempting the feat was just plain ignorant to the fact that it couldn't be done. Don't get me wrong, many, many people have done circumnavigations before, even more have circumnavigated the Caribbean, and still more folks have simply gone cruising. It is just that it has been a relatively small percentage of the population to pull any of these feats off.

- If I had to guess, I would say that more people have climbed the Himalayas than have circumnavigated the pretty blue rock that we call Earth. (I will try to get some statistics on how rare this accomplishment is for a future post) Maybe I can create a cool chart showing how many have done it solo vs. as a couple, and sailing vs. power vessels. I have been inspired by many. It was Robert Beebe's Voyaging Under Power his definitive guide for those who yearn to expand their cruising horizons, and cross oceans with speed and comfort, that initially got me dreaming of a circumnavigation. And most recently, I have been inspired by the writer of a very similar blog written about a couple trying to create a new live aboard lifestyle for themselves. Her writing and photography are top-notch; and she has inspired me to do better.

It is comforting to know that there are others out there trying to pull off what at times can seem almost impossible.

I borrowed the following quote from her blog.

"if a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most". — E. B. White

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Today's topic is "Energy"

Energy can be defined in many ways, like the fuel we put in our cars (or boats), the electricity that we use to turn on the tele and lights, but the most precious energy type of all is the energy that is within us. The fact is that we all lose some drive, stamina and motivation for things as we age. For those of you that have already passed the 40 year mark in life, I am sure you will relate to this.
Yesterday, I was watching Oprah and her co-host Dr. Oz on the tele, and the whole show was dedicated to showing us how to live healthier and longer lives. Well, I am not sure that I want to live to be 125, but I certainly want, in fact I need the energy that I had just a decade ago.
So today, Cheri and I took our first baby steps to regain some of the energy that we have lost. Perhaps I should say, we are trying to get it back. Waking at 05:30 as usual, but starting off with a nice walk was literally and figuratively our first steps. Then we went to Gloria's Good Health and loaded up on some new vitamin supplements. We have set some achievable goals for some manual labor projects to get the townhouse ready to sell. All of these baby steps are significant because they are the beginning of a real big journey, a life's journey of self realization that I will do my best to document on these very pages. My commitment is to myself, to write about what I learn as I forge into the unknown and follow my heart towards living my dreams.
The commitment to making this blog a real blog is significant for several reasons:
1) By writing my thoughts down daily I can remain focused
2) By focusing in on the obstacles that lie in the way of my life goal, I can find ways to surmount or circumvent them
3) By chronologically keeping a record of the challenges we face, how we face them, and the reward of following your dreams- This will allow others to benefit from our efforts, both in successes and failures.

As Aristotle said " Wise men profit from the mistakes of others, Fools scarcely from their own"

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Realizing that I have been missing the mark.

As anyone that looks over this blog can easily see, I have missed the mark on actually blogging. This has been a location for me to post photos of trips and items of personal interest. That was not why I started this thing, and today I am going to take the first steps to rectify the situation.
Mission Statement: I hope and plan to use this blog as a way to focus in on my efforts to realize a dream. My dream is to be free of most of the "traditional lifestyle" elements that are preventing Cheri and I from cruising and living aboard full time.
Anyone that knows me would be likely to tell you how much Cheri and I talk about getting back to our boating lifestyle. Now is the time to actually implement "The Plan". A little history will help you understand the positions we find ourselves in today. We were married in '91, started extended vacations in '96 and began cruising in '01. That lasted for a couple years and then reality struck, and we got sucked back in.

Our excuse for returning to "home" was to attend my parents 50th wedding anniversary, but in all honesty, we were running out of funds. Although Cheri worked as a nurse at the Lower Keys Medical Center and I worked at Sunset Marina, it just wasn't enough. We had too many financial alligators left feeding in North Alabama.
Now we are in the position to try it again, but we both realize that we will have to slay those alligators before we can leave this time. I will try to list (in order of priority) the items we must take care of before we can make a second stab at an escape to an alternative lifestyle.

#1 - Sell our house, which we love and are conflicted when it comes to this.
#2 - Sell or Lease out our Townhouse. Selling is clearly the best option, but the market is so depressed that leasing it may actually give us a component of fixed income, as well as a place to eventually return to. (yes, I know this is conflicted too.)
#3 - Sell our Commercial Building, although it is 3/4's empty now and I would be lucky to get 60% of what it was worth two years ago when it was full and bringing in a great annual r.o.i., add to that - there is some major downtown revitalization going on close by that should dramatically increase the value in a few years. Again, conflicted about what to do.
#4 - Restore/refit our good old boat or sell her off and buy another one.
#5 - Then there is the reallocation of investments, where does one put money to be safe today and still hedge against the hyper inflation that may be just around the corner.

All of these obstacles are HUGE, but I have to keep reminding myself and my wife, Cheri, that we are fortunate to have such issues to deal with. Part of me says just "chuck it, fire sale everything, put money in several banks from Australia, to Brazil to Panama (not that we have that much). Get debit cards, online access and just shove off with good old W/D and figure it all out as we go. You know, the old "fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants" routine.

or we could take Sterling's advice:

“To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea - "cruising," it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.”

Sterling Hayden

Sunday, February 22, 2009

1000 Days at Sea without reprovisioning or making landfall

The last time Cheri and I were in Guatemala, in Flores near Tikal to be exact, we met an interesting couple. Actually we met several interesting couples, but one couple, Ken and Sarah, had told us about the Rio Dulce area of Guatemala. Ken manages a small marina there. And Sarah told us about this absolutely amazing adventure that her brother was planning on embarking upon.
The following Youtube video is about her brother Reid Stowe, and how he has set out to do something that has never been done before. This is a short but fascinating video clip, but as with most Youtube content, if you want more related video, just wait until the end, and you will be presented with numerous additional features.
I believe, as Reid approaches his goal of 1000 continuous days and nights at sea, more and more of the standard media will start to cover this amazing human achievement. Check out their site at this link