Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday 13: Oceans 13

13 photos... 13 quotes.

Actually 12 quotes and a YouTube song.

What an inspiration it is to see the ocean! It does something to you, if you let it. You can feel the power of the ocean and it can be life changing. We have just arrived home from having just done a 15-day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles, primarily to experience the Panama Canal, one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Truly amazing!

“How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.”Arthur C. Clarke
Contemplating life as the churning water rolled out from the cruise ship's propellers.

"Oh God thy sea is so great and my boat is so small."
The author is unknown, but this line is part of a traditional prayer called the Breton Fisherman’s Prayer. It originated among the fisherman of Brittany and has been widely used among the scouting and girl guide organizations. President J. F. Kennedy had a plaque on his desk inscribed with this prayer.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”Andre Gide
Self-portrait of Nick Jaffe, who left Holland September 17, 2007 for Australia all by himself in a 26-foot sailboat. 880 days later he reached his goal.

"The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channelled toward some great good." - Brian Tracey
photo by Nick Jaffe approaching Palmyra atoll, Pacific Ocean

“love builds up the broken wall

and straightens the crooked path.

love keeps the stars in the firmament

and imposes rhythm on the ocean tides

each of us is created of it

and i suspect

each of us was created for it”
Maya Angelou

"I dropped a tear in the ocean, and whenever they find it I'll stop loving you, only then."

“To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me.”Isaac Newton

"Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don't go to the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won't laugh at you."Jim Rohn

"The movie that's had the most effect on me is Jaws. To this day when I'm in the ocean, I'm hearing that music."Judd Nelson

“Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me.”Albert Schweitzer

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”Mother Teresa
Our last stop on the cruise was at Cabo San Lucis where we visited with a friend who is preparing to build an orphanage there.

“May your joys be as deep as the ocean, your sorrows as light as its foam.”

I have fond memories of singing this little "action song" as a little kid. We would do all the motions as we sang it... but I know for sure that we never sounded this good!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 15: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

It was exciting today to leave our cruise ship on the tender boat... hoping that we might get to see the rock with a hole in it. In one of those rocks there is a big hole... I know because I made a painting of El Arco Cabo San Lucas from a photo of it. It would be awesome to see this famous landmark in person.

On route to shore we were impressed by all of the condo developments along the waterfront.

As we were coming in to dock we saw these prime residences with an active water view... there is always something going on in the harbour.

As good luck would have it, we had a friend in Cabo today, and via email we made arrangements for him to meet us near the dock... hence this photo of Senor Greenbergs, where we spent our first hour with him catching up.

He showed us into one of the many golf course communities in San Jose del Cabo... the private Querencia golf community. The money that is being spent on the homes here could blow one away... as evidenced by the stone entrance details here.

Cabo has become the golf Mecca of Mexico, with 16 top rated golf courses. Some are private... some semi-private and some public. You can tell this is not one of my photos. It wasn't a "blue sky" day for us, however we enjoyed two weeks of no rain, except for a few minutes once in a rain forest we visited... and that was allowed! Above is the Palmilla Golf Club Arroyo Course #7.

On the way to where he had built his house we walked past an old fallen down rock wall, he said was built by some previous land owner to keep the cattle in... or out. But today it was doing neither.

He pointed out the part of the site he has given for a new home for deserted children here. In the foreground on the knoll will one day be a home for these needy kids.

Despite all that he did to protect his property, it is hard to make anything fool proof... fools are so ingenious! The devils not only broke in thru a concrete roof, but they striped the house of every door, fixture and interior block that was not poured solid with concrete.

On our way back to the car we encountered several cattle grazing on his land. No problemo. But once in the car heading back to the ship, in the most remote part of the country, the local police stopped him for not wearing his seatbelt. Go figure. Hundreds of Mexicans ride in the back of pick-up trucks without seatbelts every day and never get stopped. But they saw him as a chance to get some easy quick cash. Welcome to Mexico.

We made it back in time to catch our tender to take us back to the Coral Princess... and met this sailboat coming back from an excursion with more tourists to also catch a ride back to their ship. We all had a wonderful day exploring.

After we were all back on board, as our ship pulled out of the bay, we had a chance to get the right angle on "El Arco de Cabo San Lucas." Our day was now complete. What to do next? The "eating competition" was almost over... maybe we could go to the theatre to watch some mindless dribble... "The Time Travellers Wife."

Actually, Lorne and I walked out of the movie and went up top to play shuffleboard. After a game with each other, we invited another couple from Winnipeg, Manitoba to a match... Sarah and Art Martin. What a perfect way to end the day. Watching the dolphins jumping as we tried to knock our opponent’s puck out of counting and into the -10 box!

The end of the day. The end of the week. Almost the end of the cruise. One more day at sea and the next morning we disembark in LA. and fly back to Tucson.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 13: Acapulco, Mexico

Shirley is walking on the Promenade Deck 7 again this morning as our ship was coming into dock at Acapulco. Most mornings we would try to get in 14 laps... which is how many laps it takes to equal 5 miles. (2.8 laps is one mile.)

We have observed that the larger the city, the larger the pier... and this is the biggest we have come upon so far on this side of the Panama Canal. Acapulco has more than 700,000 people.

From the top deck of our ship we could get an excellent photo of this huge fort.

At the time we did not know that it was converted into the Historic Museum of Acapulco... but we did expect we would be stopping to see the old fort.

The displays inside the museum were exceptional... but I will not bore you with all my I-phone pictures taken inside each room. I was surprised how well my phone/camera worked with existing light in rooms with marginal light. This was an ancient canoe, paddle, spear and shield.

This pottery display was recessed into the floor, covered with glass and lit from beneath.

Looking down on the moat from the roof top, the draw bridge looked like a good idea for security.

We had a bigger taxi today... a full-size Mercury with A/C and sofa-like seats. Our driver's name was Reuben. As we were on the way to the church on the hill, this motorcycle was beside us... so I rolled down the window and captured their smile and wave. The next second the lady lost her helmet and it went bouncing along behind as we went on our way. Ooops! So that's why helmets have chin straps.

Acapulco is famous for these large resort hotels along one of the nicest beaches in the world. That large hotel with the angled side which you often see on travel posters of Acapulco is the Crowne Plaza.

We were here early in the day, but people were already starting to come to sit under the umbrellas and suntan.

Without a doubt my favourite site we visited today was this church. It is an interdenominational church, privately built and opened around 1974.

This cross towers 138 feet and can be seen from most places in Acapulco. It is totally awesome!

Next to the cross was this sculpture of two hands. The quality of everything here was a notch above most anything.

The inside of the church was contemporary, without paintings on the walls or ceiling... very beautiful, simple and clean.

The view from the church of the bay below with the hotels was spectacular... we could see forever in all directions.

This is a mosaic on the wall outside the home of the famous Spanish mural artist Diego Rivera (1886-1957). His house was not available for a tour, but because of the mural mosaic on the wall outside, the taxi drivers keep taking us tourists past for a look.

This mosaic has some serious thickness... check out the dog.

You may remember the artist DeGrazia I did a couple of blog posts on when we were in Tucson. DeGrazia was a student of Rivera for a few years. If you like art, check out my blog posts "DeGrazia Adobe" in the February 2010 Archive. These guys do interesting stuff.

This is the view from the Los Flamingo Hotel, which was a hot spot for Hollywood movie stars in the 50's and 60's... but not so today.

It's kind of a tired hotel now, living in the memories of past glories. There are lists of names of all the stars who used to enjoy coming here... like Johnny Weismiller (Tarzan).

Acapulco has become famous for the La Quebrada Cliff Divers. The divers started in the 1930’s just to see who could dive from the highest point into the narrow, shallow inlet. We watched two guys climb up this rock face in bare feet to the top, where they later dove off into the water below. To see them climb up was almost as impressive as their jump.

We saw each of these guys jump... plus one more. It was hard to capture a good photo of them actually diving with our inadequate cameras and the angle we were viewing from. You can see the top of two shrines where they pray before they dive.

I must confess this is not a photo that we took... but it gives you a better idea of the dive these guys did. We saw several single dives and one double... but no triple!

This shot of the diver's splash gives you a better idea of how small a target they had to dive into. It was a pretty narrow channel of water. We paid $3.50 USD per person to see this from up close. Pretty cool!

Time for a Smile
Rueben, our taxi driver, had a pretty good sense of humour. As we were driving back to the ship he told us there were lots of good Catholic restaurants in Acapulco. I took the bait and asked how we could tell a Catholic restaurant from the others. He told us that you would know when you see the waiter bring a customer the bill. The customer does the sign of the cross and exclaims, “O my God!”

Q. What do you call two Mexicans playing soccer?
A. Juan on Juan

Q. Why doesn't Mexico have an Olympic team?
A. Because any Mexican who can run, jump or swim is already in the United States.


"I figure you have the same chance of winning lottery whether you play or not."
-Fran Lebowitz

"It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it."-Sam Levenson