Today we are in Parry Sound, Ontario, in the heart of the “sixth” Great Lake, Georgian Bay, home of Canada’s 30,000 islands. Even although it’s July, it’s a little crisp and I wish I would have brought along a light jacket. I’m spending a month on PEARL MIST, a beautiful, little ship with only 200 passengers operated by Pearl Seas Cruises a sister company to American Cruise Line. It’s fun working on a small ship since I get to know the passengers. On a small ship, there are never any lines. It is always open seating and you can eat with different folks every meal, and I do. This is an all-inclusive cruise so they aren’t always nickel-and-diming you for everything. Bottles of water are everywhere and no one is selling water for $2.50 a bottle plus 15% gratuity. Wine flows freely at meals, and at cocktail hour you just enjoy whatever you like.
The itinerary this cruise was a little reversed for celebrating the holidays. We were in the US on July 1st, Canada’s 150-year celebration, and in Canada for July 4th. Oh well.
It’s interesting the folks you meet on a small ship. One of the Engineering Officers lives next door to Boquete in the even smaller town of Volcan. The Chief Officer and Safety Officer are both from Panama City. And I met a wonderful couple, Gonzalo and Yrma Palenzuela who live in Boquete and have a coffee farm, and their coffee just took top honors in two categories in the recent coffee competition in Panama!
We’re fortunate that a friend, Todd Crow, is looking after our house and farm and taking care of our two remaining pups*, Baru and Bobbi. Todd has found time to fly his drone around and take some fantastic pictures of our house, which by the way is for sale as we face the need to downsize and “retire” once again from “retirement.”
Before leaving for this contract I was able to completely rewrite both of my books, updating ESCAPE TO PARADISE so it gives the most current story of why and how we chose to Panama and the things you must know if you ever consider making such a move. PANAMA CANAL DAY has been updated to include the information on the new, larger locks, since next January-March I will be back on CORAL PRINCESS doing the Canal. Both books are available either in trade paper if you like fondling and caressing your book as you read, or Kindle if you prefer reading and communicating and/or texting electronically. [no judgement, just an observation.]
[*Sadly, we recently lost both Monkey and Spot. Spot had as stroke and then heart attack, who knew, but the stress of always trying to be “top dog” and “number one” eventually gets even dogs. Monkey died of cancer. Both great dogs. Baru, the male of the pack, never got involved in the contest to be “top dog.” He just chilled, walked away, and let the bitches fight.]