Michael J. Fitzgerald has been a journalist for 40 years, working as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and web publications. In 2014 he published the novel, "The Fracking War." In 2015, he published his second novel, "Fracking Justice." He writes or contributes to five blogs. He and his wife Sylvia Fox are the owners and principal partners in *subject2change Media, a multi-media firm involved in print, video and broadcast. He writes a weekly column, "Write On" for the daily 'Finger Lakes Times' newspaper in Geneva, NY. He was a journalism professor at CSU Sacramento from 1986 to 2011 teaching Newswriting, Column Writing and Magazine Writing.
PARADISE VILLAGE MARINA, NAYARIT, MEXICO -- Admiral Fox has left the building, (er, boat), and is back in the frostbite land of Sacramento where she reports the weather is damned cold and the ground fog thick and damp.
Here the weather is anything but damned cold, with the temperatures still in the 80s (sorry all you folks in the U.S.) but if it's any consolation, the humidity is 100 percent and working in the direct sunlight is a little like exercising inside a sauna turned up full blast. The sauna-like weather is probably good for my cold, which seems to be slowly improving. Several of my neighbors came down with much more serious versions -- one woman believes she has pneumonia but refuses to go to the doctor. The first sign of my having a fever will get me moving to see Dr. Ortega downtown in a heartbeat.
This morningâ??s project was supposed to be to wash the boat, then take some pictures for the broker of the exterior. But, as always seems to be the case, I got sidetracked first in a search for the sextant that Captain Sanders Lamont donated to the vessel several years ago. A boat in the La Cruz anchorage, Mo-Mo, is looking for a practice sextant so the captain and first mate can learn celestial navigation before they do the 'puddle jump' to the South Pacific later this year. So where did I find the sextant? Well, I didn't just yet, though I have looked in every locker I could think of. For two years, it was in the same forward locker, which was cleaned out in anticipation of selling the boat. Then for a few days, it lived underneath the stairs into the main cabin.
For all I know, Roscoe the Rat offloaded it before his demise yesterday. I kept the trap for an extra day, just in case Roscoe brought a date on board Sabbatical, but today it will go back to the marina office to tell them 'mission accomplished.' (Hmmmm? ... might that be bad luck to declare?)
There were no animal sightings (or sounds) overnight, except perhaps for the crashing of my next door neighbor, longtime friend Bob Lyon from Oakland, who returned to his boat, 'Lyon Around' last night after going back to the Bay Area for the holidays. Bob and his wife Judy took the boat from Oakland, California, down the coast, through the Panama Canal and to Maine in the past five years. They are on their way home to the Sea of Cortez for the summer.
But just as I started to wash the boat (until being interrupted by the request for the sextant) I managed to get a bee sting. A very painful bee sting that has the pinky on my right hand swelled up as big as my thumb. I can't bend the finger at all anymore, and I suppose I should take some benadryl, but I don't want to sleep for the next 24 hours.
The bee, like Roscoe, was buried as sea, but sans a name that I can print here. I'm waiting for the full shock factor to kick in. I don't do well with bee stings, especially since last year's episode when we had bees in the mast of the boat.
The clock tells me it's time to make several phone calls to Sacramento for stories I'm working on. This is supposed to be a work morning.
The sextant and Mo-Mo will have to wait until this afternoon. But as you can see, I did get some exterior shots of the boat after sloshing some water around.