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 -- Potluck dinners are a staple of the cruising life, and as a side benefit (?????) of having the largest vessel among your friends, you get to play host.
But that also means (most of the time) that you don't really have to cook that much -- which Captain Don Tiffin and I certainly did not Thursday when we had a potluck dinner aboard Sabbatical. I bought a package of Spanish rice (you were expecting Italian rice?) at the mall grocery store and cooked it up as our contribution to a dinner that included fresh barbecued fish, steamed vegetables, mixed green salad, fresh baked bread (from the bread maker on one friend's boat), cut-up cold fruit, chocolate mints for dessert and, and, and...
We got off pretty easy, though I did provide some margaritas for the hardworking barbecue chef from the sailing vessel Serendipity, Captain Glen.
I previewed for the audience the director's first cut of Whales of Banderas Bay, a video I am working on. They loved most of it -- including some corny special effects that may or may not make it into the final version. It also includes a preview of boogie-board surfing movie that's still being shot every afternoon on the beaches in front of the Paradise Village Hotel.
('Lady! Lady! I'm shooting a movie about boogie boarding! Really! I'm not ogling your thong bathing suit! Really! Ouch!)
It was also a fun evening of 'let me tell you about MY cold.' Both Bob (captain of Promises which has the bread maker) and Glen have come down with the same symptoms I've been fighting since Admiral Fox left more than a week ago. And Captain Don arrived from Victoria with a hacking cough that keeps him awake some at night. Without putting too fine a point on it, everyone sounds like they have walking pneumonia, though no one I know is showing any signs of a fever. So we are assuming that this malady is a virus -- a nasty one -- and we will simply have to outlast it.
Still, waking up with the outside air temperature at 70 degrees (warming to 82 or so by 2 p.m.) makes having the cold a lot more tolerable. But it is still debilitating. I could barely lift my beer bottle or eat my French fries when I went to Desperado Marine for boat parts yesterday afternoon.
I'm somewhat concerned about my Tuesday departure back to the U.S., where the temperatures should be about 20-30 degrees colder and there are even more sick people -- sick people with a different strain of cold than I have been fighting.
But it will be nice to be back in the USSA, and back in the company of Admiral Fox who promises that the condo on the river is toasty from the heat pump and that spring is right around the corner.