Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I’ve Become a Dock Worker

As some of you know, before setting sail last September, I got engaged on a consulting assignment helping a company evaluate its strategic options.  The work did not take a lot of time for the first, nearly 12 months, but in September of this year things got really busy.  I flew back to California for a couple of weeks to help them work through a number of issues as they considered being sold to a potential strategic partner.  Of course, as you’ve read previously, I left Barb and our kids at Marina de La Paz while I was gone.

Upon my return, I continued to be very busy working with this client, on the phone with them (and their potential European headquartered acquirer) for hours at a time and sometimes, due to time zone issues, even at midnight.  Now, this amount of calls and dealing with time zones is par for the course in this business, but when you try doing it over the internet from Mexico it brings a whole new level of perspective and complexity. 

When I returned to La Paz, we decided to stay at the marina because it gave us more flexibility for internet options.  The marina has both cable modem and wifi hook ups (both of which work some of the time but not all of the time) and we also subscribe to Telcel’s 3G service.  We need internet not only for emails and the web, but also for making phone calls  either with Skype (which use Telcel has been actively trying to block in Mexico) and MagicJack (another very good voice over IP phone service particularly for calling the US).  You’d think that with three connection options (cable, wifi and 3G) there would be no problem connecting and making phone calls.  Oh, and don’t forget, for a week in this time period, we were also on the hard getting our bottom painted.

So, when the 3G would go down (which does not happen often but did on several occasions while on the hard), I’d run down the block back over to the marina to try their wifi service.  I’d plug my computer into a wall outlet outside the marina office and try to use the wifi.  But that service can be very unreliable, so while in the middle of a call, holding my computer in one hand, headset on my head, notepad, power cord, pen and Ethernet cable in the other hand, I’d walk down the ramp to the marina where I could plug into the cable modem service with the Ethernet cable and hopefully get a better internet connection and therefore a better phone connection. 

So, now I am sitting on the dock, plugged into the cable modem, connected by wifi and trying to see if the 3G will work, all in an effort to make my phone calls.  Uh, but then you need to realize that my computer battery is dying, and while there is plenty of power on the docks, the outlets use special marine grade power cords that are not compatible with a three pronged plug from my computer.  Fortunately, this scene usually happened at night, because if it happened during the day, I’d also need a blanket over my head and computer so I could see the screen without the sun’s interference.

So, now I am sitting on the dock, praying that my computer won’t die, my internet connection will hold and I will be able to continue to carry on conference calls with people from Europe, California and me, in Mexico.  And, all these cruisers are walking down the dock having a good chuckle at my expense.

So, I have taken to becoming a dock worker to help facilitate strategic business consulting services.  Who would have guessed it would come to this.  But that can be what it takes when you are in a client service business.

Michael -- in Mazatlan (and still a dock worker but hopefully for only a few more days.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Stuffing A Turkey

Making Thanksgiving dinner on a sailboat this past Thursday gave new meaning to the phrase "Stuffing a Turkey".
-Barb in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
Marina Singlar

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Warm and Wonderful Welcome in Mazatlan

We left La Paz after 3 wonderful months of making it our home.  This is one part of the cruising life that is difficult – becoming attached to places and people and then having to leave.  What also makes it difficult is that we don’t know when we’ll be back.  And if you ask the kids, they were quite angry that we had to leave when we did as the 2010 Baja Haha ‘kid’ boats started arriving only a couple of days before we left.  We hope to meet up with them again somewhere down the line, but that ‘somewhere down the line’ doesn’t compensate for not having had many other kid boats around since June.

After a great 35.5 hour and 240 mile crossing of the Sea of Cortez, much of which was full-on sailing without our motors on (!), we arrived in Mazatlan safe and sound, although a bit weary-eyed.  Passages are one of my favorite parts of sailing.  I love the tranquility and peacefulness of the night sea, particularly on a full moon.  I get into my book, drink loads of hot tea, and get busy with log entries and chart plotting.  Michael and I do our night watches between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. on three hour cycles, but I was feeling so good last night that I took watch from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. so that he could get a good straight five hour sleep.  Unfortunately I missed the sunrise, but still awoke this morning to nothing but sea and sun.  We caught a glimpse of land soon after.

About 3 miles off the marina entrance, we were hailed over the VHF by another boat that did the crossing at the same time as we did to see how we were faring.  This got picked up by our friend Darlene of s/v Scrimshaw (and who also lives on land here in Mazatlan).  We were thrilled to hear her voice as we thought she and her husband would be in Puerto Vallarta this week. Darlene was our connection to anything we needed during our last stay in Mazatlan as she has made it her business to get to know local services and people.  It comes to her quite easily as she is a charming and beautiful woman. Plus, she will be teaching her yoga class tomorrow morning at 8:30.  What a great way to start our visit!

An even greater surprise came as we finished our chat with Darlene when we heard, “Whatcha Gonna Do, Whatcha Gonna Do, Whatcha Gonna Do.  Gypsy Wind.”  You may recall from a blog post last fall (Some Unlikely Friends) that we became close friends with the crew of Gypsy Wind (Captain and First Mate Harvey and Kim, and their kids Nikita (17), Kiya (15) and Noah (8)) early into our adventure last year, and buddy boated with them for several months.  Their plan was to cruise for nine months, so they returned to their home in British Columbia last May. They kept their boat in Mazatlan, but did not know when they were returning.  At the last minute, they decided to come down for a visit, and weren’t expecting to see us either.  We have not had any better welcome as theirs: After making our way through the treacherous entrance into the Mazatlan marina with wobbly knees from riding the surf and staying away from the rocks, the crew of Gypsy Wind were jumping up and down on the bow of their beautiful boat shouting with excitement as we rode past them heading into the marina.  We had dinner with them tonight, caught up on life, and the kids were so happy to be reunited with old friends.   We talked about how intimately one gets to know another while out cruising.  Kim pointed out that the act of going grocery shopping together is an intimate activity – back home, I don’t think I’ve ever done this with my friends.  The simple knowledge of a friend’s grocery buying habits, how quickly they get through the store, etc. may seem trivial, but indeed it is intimate. Our friendship with the Gypsy Wind crew is life-long. 

It had me thinking:  We go through life in our own little cocoon (in our case, it’s our family unit on a small boat) and then we connect with people who become precious to us.  Somehow, we matter to people out there, and they to us.  And that excites us.

We are heading to sleep a very happy bunch.

-Safe in Mazatlan,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hard on the Hard

Its Hard on the Hard.  Last week we hauled our boat to have the bottom painted.  Living on land on a boat is not all its cracked up to be: the dirt, climbing a 7 foot ladder to get aboard, needing to use ice to keep the fridge working (since it can’t  pump sea water into the cooling system), etc.
The boat yard uses a rail car to which the boat gets tied at its four corners and then propped up using sometimes nothing more than a pile of plywood to support the rest of the boat which is more or less resting on its keels. Divers are sent under the boat to make sure it's all secure.  A large cable operated by a massive motor is used to then pull the car from the water onto dry land, or “the Hard”.  As odd as this whole mechanism sounds, it was pretty painless, especially as compared to the other option which is to have your boat hoisted up onto a sling.  In that case, you worry about the sling breaking and the nightmares that can cause!  For us, it got even more exciting when the workers had to hoist the boat up a couple more inches using an hydraulic hoist to paint the bottom of the keels upon which the entire boat was sitting.
The toughest part about living on the hard is that you must get onto your boat via ladder, which sometimes feels like it’s going to topple over.  That, and the fact that everything gets filthy from the dirt in the boat yard or your sandy shoes as you get onto the boat from the wobbly ladder.  Perhaps it’s much like living through a renovation, although we wouldn’t know as this trip is our home renovation.

Also, you can’t run any water down our drains or it runs the risk that it will ruin the paint before it dries (remember that our drains run straight into the ocean).  So, dishes pile up all day long until evening when the paint has dried (5-6 hours ) before they can be washed.  Also, as mentioned above, because our refrigeration/freezer runs on a seawater cooling system and even though we have shore power, we have no outside water to cool the fridge.  As a result, we need to use ice and our 12 volt cooling plate and also limit the number of times we open it to keep everything cold.  By the end of our stay on the hard we were beginning to wonder if the fridge was starting to smell.  Fortunately everything stayed fresh.

Because of all of these inconveniences we’ve ended up eating out more than we’d become accustomed to.  Also, the other benefit is that we now have a beautiful new paint job.  Understand that this is not just for aesthetics.  Bottom paint is important to fend off the growth of barnacles and other sea life, which can slow you down as you sail or motor through the water. Generally, you need a new bottom paint every couple of years.  Which means another couple of years until we need to go through this exercise again (hopefully)!

-Michael (at the time, in La Paz), now in Mazatlan where we are having more boat maintenance done!

Super Serpentarium

On November 18th, 2010, I went to the Serpentarium in La Paz with IMG_9238my sister, my mom, and our friends on Imagine, Holly, Shea and Shelly, instead of home schooling. A serpentarium is a zoo with mostly reptiles like snakes, lizards, and turtles. We saw a few birds, like a parrot and two owls  and many snakes like rattle snakes and Boa Constrictors. A few examples of lizards are the Green Iguana, who was really green, and the Rhino Iguana, that really took his name because he had a little horn on his nose.
One of my favorite parts (I liked it all) IMG_9250was strolling around viewing all the variety of animals. I was most  exited when we were feeding the turtles by tossing some food that looked similar to dog food into their pond. When you do this action, all the turtles race over to grab the food before all the other turtles trample him which looks like the leaning tower but in green; and a whole lot smaller.IMG_9264
I also learned that some lizards eat raw eggs. I know this because we were at the lizard pen when the zoo keeper came and beat the raw eggs because the yoke was too big to go into the lizards’ teensy mouth. When this was finished, the lizards ate the eggs sooo slowly I wonder if they’re done now.
Browse the internet for a local reptile zoo that you can visit. Then you can understand how amazing my trip was.
-Harrison under way from La Paz, BCS, Mexico to Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Michael Found

Michael is back in La Paz and we are a family of four once again.  Not that we’ve seen him much as he’s been on calls from morning to night (as I write this at 11:43 p.m. he’s on a call).  But it’s still great to have him home.  And I’m still taking care of some ‘blue’ jobs given that he’s holed up in our hull using MagicJack all day long.

Since he’s been home, however, he’s noticed several things.  First, he’s found that the kids have done really well with homeschooling.  We are now on Lesson 26 (out of 160).  Next, he found we have a new beautiful and larger wood table top that allows the kids to do their school work with much greater ease.  I had been talking about getting a new table for the entire first year, and am proud of the fact that I finally got it done. In addition, the kids have changed rooms for the second half of our cruise, each decorating and putting their own personal touches to make their new digs their own.

Michael has also found that we’ve managed to keep the boat in tip top shape – it’s clean, organized, and all the systems are working well, including our heads (marine toilets) and watermaker.  The anchor locker is still sparkly clean.  He’s also found that although we didn’t need assistance while he was gone, there were many other boaters who were looking out for us when they heard he was gone.  When he returned, he became known as the mystery man uncovered.

Most significantly, Michael found that we’ve become pretty tied to  La Paz.  I have become the Gringo community’s yoga instructor – by default, mind you – since I’m the one with the yoga DVD as well as the nerve to fill the void of yoga class organizer.  I have had to work with the board members of the highly organized La Paz cruisers club, Club Cruceros, to have use of the new *air conditioned* meeting room (we were the first!) without overlapping with any other Club activities like morning coffee hour. As a result, I announce the yoga class every morning on the VHF radio net. Michael was shocked to hear me being recognized by first name (as opposed to boat name) by the Net Operator during General Announcements – which is a sign we’ve been here a long time.  In other words, we’ve become deeply anchored in the La Paz Vortex.

What’s actually more fascinating than all of this is that it’s not surprising.  We have always been people who like to participate in the daily life and goings-on wherever we are – back home in our kids’ school, in our synagogue, in our professional organizations, in our clubs. It was only a matter of time.  That’s just who we are.  We are not sideliners, but rather prefer to play.  And we are happiest doing just that.  Are we narcissistic or simply have a need to connect and contribute?

As a rule, I think we all tend to gravitate toward the things we enjoy and do well.  We participate in life as the people we are.  When it comes down to it, we can’t fake it, or at least not for very long.  Often, these natural ‘gifts’ are so obvious to us that we don’t even know we have them, and instead think that everyone can do what we do with as much ease as we do them.  I’ve often told my clients not to resist who they are:  For example, if you are loud and a busybody, put it to work for you.  If you are a natural leader, put it to work for you.  In other words, stop making excuses or apologizing for that trait that comes so naturally to you, and instead embrace it in a positive way.   This yoga experience has given me even greater insight into this.  I have always loved to teach and being an 'expert'.  I do love being at the front of a room (even as I write this, I feel a bit embarrassed about saying that, but I'll stop apologizing...). And ask anyone who knows me well:  I love giving advice.  Life coaching, has, of course, been a great outlet for me.  I just need to find a positive outlet for all of this as I cruise. My issue with the yoga class, however, is that I am only comfortable teaching or advising on subject matters in which I can be considered an ‘expert’ and in yoga I am no expert. 

To compensate, therefore, I’ve spent unending hours reviewing a few yoga books I’ve borrowed and a DVD I have (and highly recommend: Yoga Shakti with Shiva Rea – it uses a matrix for the yoga poses so that you can choose a different routine everyday and not get bored of the same routine with beginner and more advanced options). Interestingly, today, a real live yoga instructor showed up and offered to teach the class – and it was a great class – but - at the risk of exposing my true colors - I actually missed teaching it myself.

You may note that I never said I searched the internet for yoga instruction information.  That’s also who I am:  I do not like research, I'm a very linear thinker, and I just want the right answer quickly.  I find the internet gives me information overload. I also find the whole ‘web’ of information too confusing and overwhelming for me. And how do I know which page from my search is the best one?  This research challenge completely frustrates Michael, a techie who can spend ridiculous amounts of time researching on the World Wide Web.

To sum it up, upon Michael’s return, he found that as things changed, they have, in many ways, also stayed the same.

-Barb, signing off from La Paz

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Building a Burrito

I recently saw the world’s largest burrito being built and now I know how to make a smaller one-serving burrito.  First, you need to make the dough.  I don’t know exactly how to make the dough but I do know it contains water and flour.  Next, roll out the dough into a circle and cook it on the stove. When that is done, spread the beans down the center first and put the fish on top.  After that, roll the tortilla up with all the filling inside it. Finally, EAT IT!! Bon Provecho (Bon Apetit)!

-Harrison in La Paz

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day of the Dead

july4'10tonov3'10 387 july4'10tonov3'10 384 july4'10tonov3'10 385
These are real people dressed in real costumes!

The Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is an interesting celebration in Mexico, with its roots in both Pre-Hispanic Indigenous and colonial traditions.  Although it falls right after Halloween, it has many differences from our familiar kids-centric candy-gorging spook-filled costume-donning celebrations (not that I myself don't love the costumes and candy and spooking.  The Day of the Dead honors family members who have died, inviting them back for a visit.  On july4'10tonov3'10 379this day, families erect altars to their deceased loved ones which include items that characterized who that person was (favorite foods, familiar articles, and so on) to entice them and make them feel welcome in this world.

july4'10tonov3'10 364
To learn about these traditions, the kids and I took a field trip to the city’s Panteon Cemetery with a group from a Spanish language school.  The feeling at the cemetery was both playful and joyous, as well as sad and contemplative.  Bands played throughout, carts july4'10tonov3'10 372with food for sale were aplenty, and the colors were incredible.  We saw several tombs being painted by the family members themselves.  It was fascinating to see the variation in burial sites from huge walk-in buildings to tiny wooden tombstones, given what I am accustomed to in Jewish cemeteries where all the tombstones are the same size ('we are all the same in death').

That evening we attended the city’s crowded festivities with altar competitions, skeleton costume competitions, traditional dance performances and skits (for the latter, it must have been good because the audience was in stitches but we couldn’t understand a word!).

What’s most fascinating to me is the Mexican people’s perspective on death.  It’s somewhat playful and funny while still respectful.  There is not nearly the same fear of dying and death as in our culture – pehaps that’s why parents carry their kids in their laps in the front seat of their cars? – and they seem to live life with a much more carefree attitude.   I, for one, feel there is much more freedom in approaching death in a more playful way, and living life without having that ‘pink elephant’ syndrome.  That’s not to say I don’t still wear seatbelts in cars and helmets on bikes.
  july4'10tonov3'10 365
-Barb in La Paz

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Big Burrito

july4'10tonov3'10 408Mexico is celebrating both its Centennial and its Bicentennial this year: It’s been 100 years since the Revolution that ended with the creation of modern Mexico, and 200 years since its independence from Spain was declared.  There are festivities all year long throughout the country.  In La Paz’s attempt at getting creative in its contribution to the festivities, last night it attempted to break the Guinness Book of World Record for the largest burrito.  The logistical planning began over a year ago and culminated in a 3 km (nearly 2 mile) continuous, unbroken, LOOOOOOOONG fish burrito, also known as Machaca de Pescado.  The statistics read as follows:

Sixty restaurants participating, 3,000 people assembling and cooking, 1.75 tons of green peppers, 1.75 tons of white onions, 500 kilos of prepared beans, 3 tons of tuna and a tortilla 3 km long running the length of the malecon (or boardwalk) from Marina de la Paz to Marina Palmira. july4'10tonov3'10 400 All this under the supervision of Guiness Book’s Latin American Rep Ralph Hannah, originally from the UK but now living in AsunciĆ³n, Paraguay.  Apparently, there are over 50,000 applications a year submitted to Guiness, and only 800 are chosen.  Those lucky few must foot the 6000 British pounds it costs to cover the judge’s salary, airfare and expenses (thank you to Baja California Sur, the state government, for picking this part up).  Talk about a cool job.

july4'10tonov3'10 389july4'10tonov3'10 402When Maseca, a major corn flour producer in Mexico, heard about the event, they donated all the flour needed and built a special machine to make the single piece tortilla.  We watched it being rolled out, millimeter by millimeter, beginning at 6 a.m. on the day of the july4'10tonov3'10 394event.  It was quite a site:  The procession was led by a pick up truck with a huge generator being doused regularly with loads of water to keep it cool – if it conked out, the tortilla would no longer be in a continuous piece, and *poof*… the world record would be lost.  Next came july4'10tonov3'10 401the truck bearing the tortilla machine which cooked and rolled the dough simultaneously; a crew filling the machine with a constant supply of tortilla dough; a guy checking to make sure the roll of tin foil kept coming underneath, and the plastic wrap on top of, the rolled dough;  a crew of eight (four on either side) catching the tortilla as it came out; another large crew placing the tables to follow the truck so that the tortilla had something to sit on; and a guy wearing an oven mitt guiding the truck as to when it  should stop and when it should go.  The truck was surrounded by crowds, including the media crew and of course the young Mr. Hannah, smiling occasionally for photo ops.  I wish I knew how many tables were used, but I do know that several of the participating restaurants had to close down for the day.

july4'10tonov3'10 420We were told that the burrito would be assembled sometime between 5 and 7 p.m. after the tortilla was rolled and the ingredients cooked.  In true Mexican style, at 7:15 p.m., the assembling began.  The 3000 or so restaurant workers stood arms length apart, and began first with a layer of beans, and july4'10tonov3'10 427then the Machaca de Pescado.  Ready, set, roll.  And then each restaurant, armed with only one ‘dull’ knife, began cutting the 27,000 pieces of burrito to be offered to the crowd.  This was excruciating to watch.  In any case, the crowd, which was at least eight people deep, cheered. It was amazing to see how orderly everything proceeded.   

july4'10tonov3'10 428This all changed when it became clear that after all that waiting, the time to eat was upon us.  The crowd pushed closer and closer to the table, and at the sign, within a split second (I kid you not), it was all gone.  Even the unopened bottles of hot sauce and the anti-bacterial gel bottles were gone.  Not a thing remained on the table.  For five of us there, we were lucky, as we got 3 pieces to share.   Not bad for a mass produced meal and a chance to participate in the making of history.

Danielle, Harrison and Leo Brodeur, our friend from Chat de Mer
Danielle, Harrison & our friend Leo (s/v Chat de Mer) enjoying the long-awaited taste.

-Barb in La Paz

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What’s Been Occupying our Thoughts Lately

The reports out of Central America, but particularly that paradise known as Costa Rica, recently are not pretty for cruisers.  Thefts are on the rise, and the saying goes that in Costa Rica it is no longer a crime, but rather it’s an art form.  The police are said to be corrupt and in on many of the thefts.  Dinghies have been stolen right off of the davits (those are the arms that stick out at the back of your boat that hold up your 300 lb. dinghy out of the water with rope). Just a couple of weeks ago, there was a piracy reported as follows:

“Last night was both exciting and costly for us here in Costa Rica. We were anchored off the beach at a resort town of Quepos. About 7:30pm while it was dark and we were below watching a movie, we were silently boarded by 6 or more heavily armed bandits carrying shotguns and pistols. They had been observing us for two days it appears. We were duck taped and because they were worried about me I received extra tape plus electrical ties and had two armed guys watching me. They took our 3 computers, cash, and all the boat electronics including radar, chart plotter, 2 ham radios, boat vhf radio, 2 handheld vhf radios, a Pactor modem, inverter, 3 cell phones, 2 handheld lights, and our copy machine. One of the bandits was crazy and probably on drugs, waiving a knife and pistol and constantly making threats. They also took our large dingy but I was able to recover it on the rocks by the beach later. They tried to steal the engine but it was too heavy. We have filed the police reports but have little hope of seeing the items again. The most important thing is that Clark, myself and a guest are still alive especially since I gave them a hard time. Our plan is to initially get a handheld vhf and gps. With those and our paper charts we can continue. We will gradually replace the stolen items as we progress along. We will also now move at least every two days in case we are surveiled again. To say we are disappointed in Costa Rica is to put it mildly. Until I get a new notebook computer we will be limited to Internet cafes- Until we replace the Ham radio we will be off the net.
Just another exciting day!
Crazy Bruce and Clark
Two Amigos - a lighter boat now.”

The report was made with a bizarre tone, and there is speculation about why this particular boat was targeted, but nonetheless, it is a frightening prospect.  The cruising forums for Central America have been discussing deterrents, such as alarm systems being used a boat, weapons being kept at various locations on the boat, and not leaving your boat after darkness.  Hmph. That is not the way we had hoped to spend our cruising time.

We have begun to seriously reconsider our plans.  We could just stay in Mexico, which has been ironically safe and friendly to cruisers (in direct contrast to what the American/Canadian media report), and take our time making our way back up the Baja peninsula to bring the boat back to northern CA.  Or, we could continue heading south into Guatemala and El Salvador, and then turn around and head north, making our way back up the Baja peninsula to bring the boat back to northern CA.  Or, we could continue heading south into Central America, dash through Costa Rica and end up in Panama, which is supposed to be beautiful and safe and interesting and fun.  With this option, we’d have to figure out what to do with the boat at the end of August 2011 as we wouldn’t have time to bring it back to northern CA by sailing it.  And finally, there is the option of heading to the South Pacific.

This last option is our favorite.  The problem is, as with so many things in life, the lack of time.  It would take us 3 weeks to get there (yes, that’s right, 3 weeks at sea without seeing land).  Plus, we couldn’t leave until mid-March at the earliest due to weather and seasons, and that would leave us only 4 months to travel about 7500 miles total.  Likely 25% of that time would be making passages to the next destination.  Do we rush through what may in fact be the most beautiful part of the world, a part we may never again have an opportunity to visit, or do we go south and hope that we get to the South Pacific at another point in our lives? We have put out ‘feelers’ into the ‘Pacific Puddle Jump’ cruising forums to hear what people have to say about this plan.  So far, it’s run the spectrum from ‘absolutely – take what you can get’ to ‘no way – you’ll be wasting your time if you rush through this part of the world’.  If we do decide to go, it will take a bit of preparation time to get all the right charts, cruising guides and spare parts.  It’s not nearly as neat and tidy as preparing for cruising in Mexico where there’s one guide.  We’d hope to end up in Australia with no time left to explore it. This is where we would put the boat up for sale and fly home.

In the meantime, as we consider all this, we are trying to sort out the mumbo-jumboed names of these various islands and island groups: The Marquesas, Hiva Oa, Nuka Hiva, the Tuamotus, Fakarava, French Polynesia, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Huahine, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Suwarrow, Society Islands, Fiji, Tonga, New Caledonia, and the list goes on.  

The adventure continues.

-Barb in comfy, familiar, easy La Paz