Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday & Wednesday

Tuesday morning J, Jerr and I were up early and took the rental car into Cancun for some last minute supplies from Home Depot and the grocery store.  We got back about 9:30 and then I returned the rental car.  Beth was having a sleep in day and I actually took a nap after I got back.  Around 3 Beth started the laundry and I worked on cleaning and organizing the boat.  We had a nice burrito dinner and watched a couple of movies on DVD.  My cold was getting better, just a cough but it looks like Beth was coming down with it.

A storm on the horizon was due to hit in the evening and continue most of the day tomorrow.  I closed the hatches and checked the dock lines to make sure we wouldn't go anywhere we didn't want to. We got some good wind and rain but everything was tight so everything was as it should be.

Wednesday preparations were made to depart on Thursday.  J and I filed all the paperwork to exit Mexico and enter Belize.  I replaced the XM antenna and accidentally broke the external VHF speaker wire.  It seems fix one thing, break another.  I secured things on deck and the storm broke.  I would guess we had 30 mph winds and pretty hard rain but it didn't last too long.  It looks like this little system may turn into TD9 which might be a hurricane by the time it gets into the gulf.  Fortunately it shouldn't bother us while we head south and TD Katia which will soon be a hurricane is far enough east, and headed northerly that it shouldn't be an issue.  Valorie from David Lau's is heading to the states soon and we wanted to see her before we left so we went into town for dinner.  The food was great as always.  If you are ever in Puerto Morelos, you have to stop in here for a meal.

John, Beth, Valorie, Sally, Jerr and J at David Lau's Puerto Morelos Mexico
We hit the local grocery store for those last minute necessities as we will be "out to sea" for a few days before we get into port in Belize.  The trip, with stops, should take about 4~5 days so things may not get updated until we get into port.  The SPOT should show our current track.

There is a replica of one of the local ruins in the Square and Sally was able to climb to the top.

Afterwards we took a cab back to the marina and got ready to depart but the storms were not through yet and we got more wind and rain.

Monday - To Tulum

We had decided to make the decision to go or not at 9 am.  The word was go.  I wasn't feeling 100% but better and as we wanted to eventually leave Mexico, it was a good day to go.  The weather was clear and HOT.  While the temperature might not be reaching triple digits, it feels like it when you are in the sun.  The direct sun's radiant heat is much more intense at this latitude than we are used to.  The shade makes a huge difference but there isn't an abundance of that in Mexico. 

So, J and I went up and got the rental car. We didn't realize it was a two door until we got back.
We zipped back to the marina to pick up the girls and after waiting on Beth, we were off to Tulum which is about 60 km south.  We will pass it on the way to Belize but that isn't the same as visiting it.  We all enjoyed a traditional breakfast on the way.  Apparently the girls couldn't resist a picture with Ronald.

The prices went up since they published their website but admission was still a reasonable 51 pesos each.  Parking was 40 pesos and the train from parking to the actual site was 15 pesos.

Pictures from around Tulum.  ( There will be more in the August album in Photo Albums when I upload those, the internet here at El Cid Marina is just too slow )

After our trip to Tulum we decided to take a ride around the town and down the hotel zone strip.  This hotel zone isn't made up of mega resorts but eco spa's and cliche cabanas.  As near as we could tell nothing down the strip is on the main power grid.  There were tons of large windmills and several solar arrays.  At the end of the hotel zone is the entrance to the World Wildlife Nature Reserve, the Siam Kaan.  Admission was 100 pesos for all of us and Beth wanted to go, so off onto the unpaved road we ventured.  Unfortunately we didn't take any pictures along this route.  To call it a road is being very generous. It is a dirt road.  The maximum posted speed is 40 KPH.  The actual speed you are able to travel is closer to 4 KPH.  This was more of a washboard, potholed, washed out path than a road.  Fortunately we were in a rental car so we abused it accordingly.  We bounced from one hole to the other, going as fast as 20 kph on the less washed out sections.  We were passed by trucks, jeeps and four wheelers going from one side to the other, trying to miss the worse part of the road.  It was really hard to tell which side was worse but I did my best to keep us going.
We went about 7 kilometers and there was an exhibit so we stopped.  They did not have power but appeared wired for it.  I inquired if they ever maintained the road and my question was met with a laughing no.  We looked around this section of the nature preserve and decided we would not continue down this path to Punta Allen and return to Tulum.  I drove a bit wilder and quicker on the way back and what took us about an hour to get in, took us about 20 minutes to get out.  The highlight of the trip was seeing a cool animal cross the road.  I don't know what it was, and it was out of sight before we could even get a camera out.  I believe it was a Tayra but I couldn't swear to it.
After the kidney bouncing ride from hell, we headed back to Puerto Morelos and called it a day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Saturday & Sunday

Saturday: ARRRG !!  Another sick day.  Woke up with a head cold.  Our plans to visit Tulum were not going to happen with the way I was feeling.  Took Tylenol cold and flu medicine all day, slept.  Beth and I just hung out on the boat. J, Jerr, and George went into town and brought us back food.  Nothing like David Lau's Wonton soup to make me feel better.

Sunday:  Still with the cold.  Hopefully we will not all pass this one around.  Beth and I hung on the boat watching movies.  I helped J with his lazy jacks in the afternoon but that was as far as I ventured.
Feeling a bit better by evening.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Beth and I got a few things done around the boat.  I was finishing up my list of things to do before we go and she gave the dogs a trim.  Yesterday she worked on fixing the netting while I was gone.  The day was very hot so we mostly stayed inside.  In the evening, J and Jerr were working on putting up lazy jacks on their boat so I lent a hand where I could.

I was actually fishing while this was going on and caught a nice fish, red snapper I think.
Catie just loves fish

I think we are heading to Tulum tomorrow to actually tour the ruins.  We will see it when we pass on the water side but it is on the must visit list.  We got the dogs import papers today so we shouldn't have any issue clearing into Belize. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wednesday ~ Thursday

Wednesday was a good day.  The knee feels a little better each day.  Still a bit swollen, stiff in the morning but overall better. 
I took J and Jerr to Xplor and headed back to the marina.  Beth and I were going to hit the buffet today and just relax.  I returned the rental car and Beth and I were off to conquer the buffet.  Along the way we chatted with one of the captains on the dock about the local schools and costs and the general way of life.  It is always good to get a local perspective of politics, weather and life in general.  We enjoyed the buffet at the pool restaurant and then headed back to the boat.  We enjoyed a movie and relaxed.  Actually Beth enjoyed the movie and I took a short nap but she rewound it when I woke up so I wouldn't miss any of it.  It is one of Beth's favorite movies, Labyrinth.  After that we headed back to the resort for dinner.  George was going to join us and just as we were heading up the dock, J and Jerr returned.  They said they would join us for dinner after they cleaned up from their trip to Xplor.  George, Beth and I proceeded to the "nice" restaurant to wait.  George was excited about having the steak but Beth and I were not too excited about anything on the menu.  We sat with George through the appetizer and then excused ourselves to hit the Viva Mexican Buffet in the main resort.  J and Jerr chatted with George and joined us.  The feast was quite good and there was a mexican show afterwards at the pool.  We headed back to the boat and chatted with Brenda and Leon via Skype and relaxed.

Thursday.  I decided today was a good day to actually get some work done on the boat.  I had the parts for the engine to install except I didn't realize that had shorted me one important spring.  I couldn't finish the job without the spring so I wanted to head to town to try and find a substitute.  J needed a few things so he joined me on a trip to Playa Del Carmen.  We took the bus and headed to Playa.  The local transportation here is really good.  The local bus which picks up at the resort is 6 pesos and takes you to the main part of town where you can catch the express bus either to Playa Del Carmen or Cancun for 20 pesos.  The busses run about every 15 minutes.  We hit AutoZone in Playa and were able to get everything we needed.  We hit one of the local joints for lunch and headed back.  We arrived back at the marina around 3:30 and I started working on the Honda.  I fabricated the spring needed and reassembled everything.  It started up perfectly, purred like a kitten.  I left it running to warm it up so I could change the oil.  Meanwhile, J brought over his dinghy outboard for the next project.  As J was getting the necessary tools and parts, I completed the oil change.  J's outboard needed a carb cleaning, adjusting and a general once over.  About an hour later we had it mounted back on the dinghy purring like it hasn't in a long time.  J putted around the marina testing it out while Jerr and I discussed the next project on their boat.  I cleaned up the tools, Beth made dinner and we stepped out for a few minutes to enjoy the sunset.  We watched Eat, Pray, Love and turned in early.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I was up early, the knee is doing pretty good considering the abuse I gave it yesterday.  Still a bit swollen and sore but not too bad.  I believe it is better than before the procedure as far as overall pain but the pain is also somewhat different.  I have not taken any anti-inflammatory drugs only Tylenol.  It seems to get a little better each day. 

I installed the new shore water fitting that I broke when I removed the generator to fix the broken support for the arch.  Not a big job but it got quite warm by 9 am and that was it for outside work.  Beth and I got the dogs ready and headed to the vet about 10, Jorge was open and spoke about as much English as we do Spanish.  He was a bit confused on the vaccinations but finally got with the program.  He gave each dog a cursory exam and asked us to stop back by about 2 for the paperwork.  We thanked him and headed back to the marina.

We waited on J and Jerr to return from their presentation and then we were all headed to Cancun to grocery shop.  This would be our last major shopping trip before we leave for Belize.  I have charted our course and schedule and plan to leave this Saturday providing weather isn't an issue and everything is actually ready to go.
There are a few projects I want to get done before we head out. 
At about 1:45 J and Jerr were not back so we headed back to the vet to pick up the paperwork on the dogs. When we got back, they were back and after I made a brief phone call to Belize to try and figure out what to actually do with the paperwork, we headed out.  We went grocery shopping, to Carl Jr's for dinner and wandered around a mall type area for a bit.  I was very surprised to find an outdoor ice skating rink at the mall.

After we finished our shopping we headed back to the marina.  I checked my email and had gotten a reply from the very helpful person I had spoken to in Belize.  Jerlyn Tucker in Belize had provided me with the proper application and things were moving in the right direction.  Beth and I enjoyed a quiet night.


Beth and I caught a cab to take the dogs to the vet so we could get the paperwork necessary to enter Belize.  We had gotten directions from Valarie but couldn't find the place but the cab driver knew where another vet was so we went there only to find them closed.  While the sign on the building said they should be open, they were closed.  The cab driver took us back to the marina and hit us with a 220 peso fare.  Not a good way to start the day.
Catie in her new carrier after the ride to the vet.

We left the dogs on the boat and headed into Puerto Morelos to rent a car, they didn't have any cars available until tomorrow.  We asked where we might be able to rent a car, today and were told across the highway.  So, back on the bus and across the highway.  They had rental cars and were more reasonable then the guys in Puerto Morelos.  It isn't a flash car but has 4 doors and air conditioning.  We headed to Playa Del Carmen to meet J and Jerr.  We had arranged to meet them at 2 at the ADO station but it was closer to 2:30 by the time we parked.  The McDonalds is across from the ADO station so we went there for lunch and could watch for them.  They spotted us coming up the stairs as they had just finished eating, watching for us.

The four of us toured the tourist area and J signed him and Jerr up for a timeshare presentation for tomorrow, their reward was 2 tickets to Xplor and a bottle of tequila. Beth and I did Xplor in Feb and its a better park than Xcaret. We walked around for a while, Beth and I each had a cup of $8.00 USD ice cream.  Yeah, it was Haagan Dazs but that was an absurd price.  Next time we will definitely ask how much first.
Downtown Playa Del Carmen

Ferry Port at Playa Del Carmen

  After strolling for a while my knee was feeling the abuse so we headed back to the car and back to the marina. I did Beth's hair and once again, she is a blonde.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Sunday started out with rain.  It wasn't the remnants of TS Harvey just a passing thunderstorm.  By 10 everything was clear and it was getting hot again.  I ventured out without my cane to take Catie for a walk and that went well.  In the afternoon, we all went to the pool, again without cane, and had a good time.  The knee is still a little swollen but much better than it has been for over a week.  We left J and Jerr at the pool and headed back to the boat to have dinner.  Oscar, one of the bar tenders, recognized us from one of our previous trips to the pool and was now working the lobby bar.  I have a feeling that is where J and Jer wound up because they were not on their boat at 11 pm.   Just before dinner, about dusk I played with one of the new lures I had purchased in Miami.  I had it on a light rod and was just tossing it around the dock.  I had a few hits but was unable to actually hook anything.  I was just about to head back to the boat for dinner when Wham, fish on.
It was taking drag and running wild.  It broke the surface but I wasn't able to see it.  I fought/played that fish for over 10 minutes.  I was yelling for Beth but she had the TV on and couldn't hear me.  At one point the fish jumped well over 10 feet though the water and I was able to get a good look at it.  It was a barracuda and over 4 ft long.  It was after the jump that he headed under the dock and wrapped my line around one of the poles cutting the line.  I was sad that I hadn't landed the fish but happy that I didn't have to take that monster off my line.  My lure was a hot pink tube and was gone.  But fortunately the tube part separated from the leader and it floats so after looking for a few minutes I found it.   Beth made a great meal of chicken cordon blue, home made mashed potatoes and spinach.  An absolute fantastic meal !

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Up early again on Saturday so I took the opportunity to update the website and blog.  Our SPOT messenger seems to be working correctly so as we move it should update our position.  While I want to put the new boat parts on the boat, I still have some pain in my knee and still don't feel 100%.  Another day of rest may do the trick and the parts for the boat are not critical at the moment.  Living on the boat is not that different from living in a house.  Maintenance still has to be done, things break and need replacing.  Its just that things on a boat tend to be more expensive than things for a house.
Tropical storm Harvey is brewing to our south, headed for Belize.  I guess its a good thing that we stayed here to get my procedure done or we would have been right in the middle of it.  We are about 175 miles north of the center of the storm but are catching some of the outermost bands of clouds, wind and rain.  I am glad we are in a protected harbor instead of sailing in it.

It rained off and on all day so Beth and I watched movies and relaxed.  Beth finished getting the boat organized and cleaned up from our return.  We heard from our friends, Geff and Rose, that we met at El Milagro that they weathered the storm ok.  They are aboard SV My Peace and are currently located in Belize much closer to where the storm actually hit.  Apparently some of the villages got hit pretty hard and they may stay in the area longer than anticipated to help rebuild.  We still plan on heading that way in about a week and if help is still needed, we will pitch in.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday - Back on the boat - 8/19/2011

A restful night on the boat.  I was up around 7 and took a short walk. J was nice enough to take the dogs up to shore so I didn't have to walk the entire way.  Beth got up about 8:30 as she and Jerr were going to town to do some grocery shopping.  Armondo, the harbor master, was taking his boat out of the water today so that should provide some entertainment.  Beth, J, and Jerr headed off to Cancun since they still had the rental car to do some shopping around 10.  I watched them take Armondo's boat out of the water around 11 but wasn't feeling great.

Armondo's boat lift went off smoothly from my vantage point and didn't provide the entertainment I had hoped for.  I stayed on the boat, burning DVD's and napping until Beth returned around 1:30.  They had found a new store with great selection and good prices so she stocked up on everything.  The remainder of the afternoon was spent watching TV and relaxing.  The knee is still pretty swollen and moderate pain.  For some reason I just felt really blah so rest was the plan for the day.  Beth made cheese burgers for dinner and we both turned in early.

Thursday - Returning to Mexico

Wednesday night was spent organizing and packing to leave.  To make the plane on time, we needed to leave at 4:30 am for a 7 am flight.  I got about 3 hours of sleep and Beth didn't sleep.  We left the motel at 4:30 and headed for the Miami airport.  Beth was driving and dropped me and the luggage off and I proceeded to check in while she returned the car. Surprisingly enough, I didn't get hit with extra baggage charges for the bags. They both had to weigh over 70 pounds each.  Even if they had charged us for overweight bags, it would have been cheaper than shipping the stuff to Mexico.  Beth made it to the counter at 6 and we proceeded to the gate.

An uneventful flight to Mexico City on which we both napped off and on.

Approaching Mexico City we noticed the air had a brown tint and appeared quite stagnant.  There was also an odor associated with it.  The country side appears brown and crowded with development.  We landed and taxied to the gate.
The Mexico City airport had very good signage and there were staff around to direct you where you were supposed to be going.  I was using the cane and carrying the computer bag while Beth was lugging the backpack and the two dog carriers.  The cane helped us get through the lines a little quicker and people tended to move out of my way.  We breezed through immigration but there was a hold up at customs.  While most of the people we had encounterd up to this point spoke very good english, the lady at customs had missed a few classes.  She was very concerned about the dog treats Beth had brought back.  The dog carriers are part mesh so you can see into them and while a dozen people had asked us if the pets were inside, no one had really questioned the contents other than are there any liquids in them.  The customs agent decided to go through them and called over a couple of other people to help. Meanwhile, an AeroMexico agent instructed me to put our two checked bags on the connecting flight conveyor belt.  This was good news as we didn't really want customs checking those bags as they were full of the booty we bought in Miami.  I placed the bags on the conveyor and returned to the dog treat discussion.  Apparently there is some ban on bringing beef, even processed into dog treats, into Mexico at the moment. Something about E-coli or such.  We explained that the dogs were already in the country, blah blah but were making no progress.  They had about 8 bags of dog treats they didn't want into the country.  After the discussion, they settled on keeping one bag and letting us proceed.  We were officially back in Mexico.  We strolled around the airport as we had an hour to kill before boarding the flight to Cancun.  The temperature in Mexico City was 75F and we were both chilly.  This was the lowest temp we had experienced since we left in May.  We were chilly in Miami, I guess we are both getting acclimated to the hot weather.  We are really gonna freeze when we return to Ellijay for the holidays.

We headed back through security where they proceeded to recheck the carry on bags but didn't take anything away from us.  We headed to the gate, which of course was the furthest one down the concourse.
When our flight was called to board, We headed toward the plane with the "pre board" people which was kind of nice. The ramp to the plane had to be 200 yards of inclined pathway which really took its toll on my walking abilities.  Upon boarding the plane, I requested a wheelchair meet us in Cancun and the uniformed flight crew assured me that it would as long as I was able to make it down the steps as this flight didn't go to the terminal but parked on the tarmac.  I assured them I could make the steps.

Departing Mexico City

Flying out of Mexico City we were both amazed at the mountainous terrain around the city.  They still had snow on the mountain tops.

We arrived in Cancun about 2pm and after making it down the steps and taking a bus ride, there was a wheelchair waiting for me.  Beth loaded me and all but one bag on the wheel chair and pushed me through the crowd of people to baggage claim.  We got a porter to get the big bags and take us to our reunion point with J and Jerr.
J and Jerr picked us up and we headed back toward Puerto Morelos, the boat and the babies.  We were very happy to see our friends and be back in Mexico.  We stopped at Sam's Club on the way back so J and Jerr could pick up a new TV and a few items.  We went to David Lau's Chinese and Pizza place in Puerto Morelos for dinner and were greeted warmly by the staff.  Valerie was surprised to see me walking, albeit with a cane but was glad to see all of us.  Tippy greeted us with a smile and promptly took our orders.  The food was excellent as always as was the company.

Back at the boat, the babies were very happy to see us and yipped for quite awhile.  Beth started unpacking the booty only to find that the grits we had picked up for Jerr had opened and were on everything.  After de-gritting everything, things were put away and the boat rinsed off.  We settled in for a restful evening and watched the latest episode of True Blood.

BTW, I was able to upload the July pictures in the Photo Album off the main page of  Thank you Wyndham for great broadband internet service.  Back at the marina at El Cid, we have internet but it is a slow wireless connection.  Beth also posted a bunch of pictures on her Facebook album.  New links added to the main page !

Thursday, August 18, 2011

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Let me start off with OUCH !  Sleep was restless as every time I moved, it hurt and woke me up.  I got up about 2am and took another pain pill.  Between the pain in my knee and butt, I just couldn't get comfortable.  I should have asked the doc to do the extraction on my left side as I generally sleep on my right and that area is quite tender right now.  I got up about 7:30 and the knee is quite swollen and very tender to walk on.
Just a little swollen

The range of motion is restricted by the swelling.  I assume that things are working and am hoping for the best.  I took a stroll downstairs for my morning diet coke and I am indeed moving slowly.

Beth went shopping and picked up the final stuff we need to take back and got a cane for me.

A wheelchair isn't necessary nor desired.  A cane keeps me mobile which exercises the joint as well as gives me a tool/weapon. The knee loosened up some this afternoon but remains quite swollen.  The package from home arrived this afternoon as well as the engine parts from I have a feeling we will get hit with excess baggage but it will still be less expensive than paying international shipping and duties.  We decided on dinner at Outback and an early night to be ready to leave the motel at 4:30 am to make our flight out of Miami. Unfortunately that plan didn't happen because I took my afternoon pain killer on an empty stomach and when we went to dinner, I was really feeling ill.  Beth grabbed some take out and we went back to the motel to organize and try to catch some sleep.

Tuesday - Procedure

The day started early as we needed to be at the docs office at 9.  When we got there, they were prepared and ready for me. Jim Bosch, the consultant, Dr. Purita and Jeremy were all there.  Jim explained things as we went along and was comforting to have there.  He also entertained me while we waited on the next step with stories of odd patients, his time in the Navy and his passion for stem cell therapy and its future.  The procedure is a three part procedure with time in-between procedures.  The first procedure was to extract fat cells to harvest stem cells. A local anesthetic was to be used and several shots were administered.  The needles hurt but about 15 min later, I was numb. Just before we were about to get started, Jeremy, the lab tech, came in and said that CNN was filming a piece for a documentary they were running and asked if I would allow them to film the extraction.  Due to privacy laws there would be no faces nor ID so I agreed. Dr. Purita was very nice, explaining things as he went and answering any questions.  CNN was there filming my butt as Dr. Purita had chosen my right "love handle" area for the extraction.  The extraction process took about 15 ~ 20 min and was painless for the most part.  According to the doc and tech, what they extracted was very good.  To me, it just looked pretty nasty.  They dressed and bandaged the hole they had made and kept an eye on me for a bit to make sure I was Ok.  They said I could leave if I wanted to, grab some breakfast or whatever and be back at 1pm for the next procedure.  Beth and I left and headed for West Marine to pick up a few more things to take back and then hit Wendys for lunch. I opted for a proper bacon cheeseburger in an attempt to replace what they had just taken out.  The burger was good but McDonalds still has better tea and fries.  We headed back to the doc's office and arrived just before 1.  CNN had finished filming and were packing up.  Supposedly the piece will air in November 2011.
The next procedure was the bone marrow extraction from my hip.  Beth left me at the office to run some errands and promised she would return.  Dr. Purita used a local anesthetic and gave it time to work while an x-ray tech got the equipment set up as they would be using xrays to guide the probe into my hip.  After some poking and prodding and confirming with the x-ray, Dr. Pruita inserted the device, which resembles a large nail/spike with a handle on it into my lower back and found the bone.  He then proceeded to tap, tap, tap the device until it penetrated bone.  Oddly enough, this didn't hurt but the tapping on the hip bone reverberated through every bone in my body as he was actually tapping with a medium size hammer.  It didn't hurt but was a very weird sensation.  Once he got the device well into bone, he extracted the bone marrow which did sting, kind of like an ant bite, and poof, he was done.  Again the wound was dressed and bandaged and they told me I had some time to relax before the next procedure.  A pharmaceutical rep was there and had brought lunch for the crew from Moe's Southwest Grill and Jeremy, keeping an eye on me, escorted me to the break room and even prepared a plate for me.  Everyone in Dr. Purita's office was very nice, professional and made me feel very welcome.  There is something to be said when a Dr. has a good bedside manner but it is very impressive when the entire office is so warm and welcoming.  Jeremy had to get back to work and I was nibbling and chatting with the rep.  Jim came down and said he was heading out as he had to pick up his son but he would check in on me later.  I wandered around the facility for a while then headed back up to the lab.
Jeremy was processing all the collected material and further explained the process, showed me the stem cells they had collected and what the next step would be.  Beth returned from her errands and was apparently successful in her shopping.  We took a stroll as they readied things for the last procedure.  Beth really hates needles and blood so she wasn't in the room for any of the procedures but for this one, she was in the next room.  Dr. Purita explained what he was doing as he went as well as the purpose for each injection.  I believe it was a total of 6  injections into the knee starting with an anesthetic.  Even numbed, each needle hurt and was progressively larger.  The actual injections didn't hurt but the increased volume of liquid within the knee caused some discomfort and I probably shouldn't have watched.  Dr. Purita said all done, and he was.  Jeremy cleaned up the area, bandaged my knee and we all chatted for a bit. Beth and I departed and headed back to the motel, this was about 5 pm. 
During her errands, she had gotten my prescriptions filled which consisted of an antibiotic, just in case, pain medication, oxycodone with acetaminophen, and a nasal spray for bone help.  Once back at the motel she was insistent I start taking the pain meds because once the anesthetic started wearing off, I was going to be in pain.   I took the meds but the only pain I was feeling was in my side where they had done the fat extraction.
She left me at the motel to go get dinner and some DVD's.  She thought I would be asleep but I started writing the blog, downloaded her soap opera, checked email, and relaxed.  I received an email from which is the company I had ordered the engine parts from.  After my email yesterday, they said they would be shipping the parts, via next day air, to me in Florida at no extra cost.  This is great news as they can go back with us instead of having to be shipped.  By the time Beth got back, I was in  a little pain, the knee was swollen and I was moving slow. Jeremy had called to check in on me but since the phone was on silent, it had gone to voice mail.  She brought Subway sandwiches for dinner and we relaxed in front of the TV.  Beth opted to take advantage of having an actual bath tub and I laid back on the bed watching the game show network and then I was asleep.

I will be creating a link off the main website regarding my treatment and following the healing progress.  We have all day Wednesday in the motel with no plans and I hope to get the July pictures uploaded to the Photo Album as well as get all of the blog caught up and finish some of the unfinished pages.  This will depend on how I feel and how the pain meds affect me.

Monday 8/15

The appointment to meet the doctor was at noon.  As in usual fashion, the evaluation began at 12:30.  Dr. Purita was very nice, answering all the questions we had and Jim Bosch was there to further address issues.  The procedure is experimental and results are not guaranteed.  I have done my homework and we are betting with the odds of an 85+% success rate that this procedure will work for me.  The down time will be minimal and while there may be some immediate relief, the actual benefits may not be obvious for a month or two with the final result not visible for 6 months to a year.
The procedure will extract stem cells from my body's fat as well as bone marrow.  The cells will be treated and then injected into my knee joint.  All sounds pretty simple.  The goal is that the stem cells will "take root" and regrow the cartilage in my knee.  As with any procedure there are risks but they are minor compared to the alternative of knee replacement surgery.  The procedure was explained and we were given some literature to read so we wouldn't have any questions. The science behind the procedure is excellent and well documented. Several countries has approved the procedure and many doctors around the world have had very good success.  The USA, in its backward thinking, has not approved any stem cell procedures even after being shown that it does work.  I am sure that stem cell procedures will be eventually approved in this country and these type of procedures could revolutionize medicine.  At this point, I guess we make the leap and see what happens.

After the meeting with the doc, we went by the lab to get blood drawn for the usual tests then on to shopping.  I weighed in a full 25 pounds less than when we left Savannah.  Blood pressure was good and pulse was excellent.  Blood test results won't be available until late tomorrow. We made quite a haul at Wal Mart but are not sure how we will be getting the booty back to the boat in Mexico.  The engine parts that were ordered so long ago have yet to show up.  The companies excuse is that the order wasn't complete and they were waiting to ship everything together.  Fortunately, the parts are not absolutely needed but wanted.  I guess we will figure out how to get them to Mexico once they actually ship.
We came across a Red Lobster and had dinner, then back to the motel and a good nights sleep.

A visit to Bass Pro Shops had an outdoor exhibition.

Beth was astounded at the bathroom and the tiny toilet at WalMart

Saturday & Sunday

Saturday morning I finished cleaning up the boat from the previous days excursion while Beth worked inside.  We packed for the trip, discussed the boat and the dogs care with J and Jer and overall, had a lazy day.  Armondo, the dockmaster, had offered to take us to the airport in Cancun at 6 pm.  All of us, including Catie and Cocoa walked up to the office at 5:45.  We all said our goodbyes when Armondo arrived at 6:05.  The ride into Cancun was quick and we were delivered right to the AeroMexico door.  Upon checking in, we were advised the flight was delayed until 8:30.  We had allowed plenty of time to be at the airport and now we had even more.  We went to one of the restaurants for dinner.  Where we were sitting we could see the flight arrival and departure screens and we watched our flight become more and more delayed.  Apparently there were some huge storms over Florida that were causing delays everywhere.  Around 9 we made our way through security and wandered through the shops on the way to our gate.  Around 10, the flight finally boarded and by 10:30 CST we were airborne and on the way to the states.  We landed just before midnight, EST in Miami, Florida.
After going through customs which took about an hour, then getting the rental car which took about an hour, then driving to Boca Raton which took about an hour, we arrived at the motel and crashed quickly.

Sunday - noonish
We went out and did a little shopping for those things you need but can't find in Mexico.  There will be several of these trips while we are here.  We dined on Quarter Pounders and Big Macs with Tea.  About 5, I was feeling exhausted from lack of sleep so we headed back to the motel.  I was asleep quite quickly while Beth looked up the locations of other stores on the computer.  She left me sleeping and went out shopping.  Beth returned about 7:30 with a couple of bags and PIZZA HUT pizza.  We ate like pigs and watched TV.
After dinner, Beth enjoyed relaxing in the bathtub and I went back to sleep.

Friday - Hosts

Friends from Canada that we had met during our previous Sunday free pass day joined us in the morning for a snorkel and fishing tour.  J, Jer, Kevin, Carley, Beth and I all took Second Chance out for a snorkel tour.  We stayed on the inside of the reef and tied up to the mooring ball that Paco had instructed us to.  We then took the dinghys out to a mooring ball about 100 yards off the reef.  Supposedly the outer mooring balls wouldn't hold the larger boats and after looking at them, I wasn't that sure they would hold the dinghy if a good wind came up.  We all put our gear on and snorkeled around the reef.  Lots of coral and several fish.  Beth and I found a net that was entangled in some coral so we removed it and presented it to J as a gift.  We headed back to Second Chance and then back to the marina for a pit stop and to drop the dinghys.  J and I had coordinated with one of the local charter captains to get the proper bait and where to troll as well as bottom fish.  The six of us were ready to catch some fish.We headed out from the marina to the area we were told to troll in and had both lines out baited with ballyhoo.  It wasn't too long before a fish took the bait.  Kevin was first up and grabbed the pole but as soon as he did, the fish was gone.  We continued trolling for about an hour, varying our speed and direction but that was the only fish we saw.  We tried bottom fishing with the same luck, no fish.  The sky was clear and it was hot.  By early afternoon, we were all ready to call it a day so we headed back to the marina.
It wasn't a successful fishing day but a day fishing is still better than a day working.  J and Jer headed into town and Beth and I cleaned up the boat preparing for our departure on Saturday.


With everything in place for Miami and a good nights sleep, I was feeling much better.  I started off the day in the cool hours of the morning working outside the boat.  J helped me take the dinghy off the boat and we turned it upside down on the dock.  I put 5200 on all the bottom seams and will let it sit and cure for the day.  I raised the motor and checked the rudders.  The bottom of the boat has grown a bit of a slime beard and I was able to get the stern done but the rest of the boat will have to wait for another day.  I had planned on actually washing the boat but the dock water was turned off for maintenance until noon and by that time, its too hot to be doing much outside.

We went into town to get the passes so we could snorkel the reef and take care of a few things.  We wandered around a few shops and pictured below is J getting way to familiar with the local topiary.

Tuesday - Wednesday

I woke up with the cold/flu that had been coming on so I took some drugs, napped, watched tv and relaxed most of the day.  As you all know, relaxing when you are sick isn't relaxing.  I might have ventured out of the boat twice but nothing exciting.  Beth went to town to get me some Wonton soup from David Lau's and do some other shopping.  For the most part, this was a quiet day.  I did hear from the doc in Florida about my knee procedure and if things can be arranged we will be traveling next Monday to get it done.  The procedure takes about 4 hours followed by a day of rest then return to normal routine.  A brief search wasn't productive as the airlines are conspiring against me.  Its hard to concentrate when you are sick. 

Feeling a little better but still not good.  Beth worked on the laundry most of the day while I napped and searched for flights, accommodations and a car for our upcoming Miami trip. After numerous hours of working on it, everything was set.  We are heading to Miami on Saturday and will return Thursday.  J and Jer are going to take care of the babies and the boat while we are away.  We have quite a shopping list of things we want to get while in the states.  I feel sure we will be paying extra baggage fees on the way back but it would still be less expensive than trying to ship it here. 

Monday - Xcaret

Up early to catch the bus to Xcaret.  Pronounced ish car et, is supposed to be the biggest park in the area.  We got free tickets by attending one of the time share presentations.  It is supposed to be great snorkeling, archeological places, animals and more.  While it has everything it says it does, its just not that great.  The caves, underground rivers and apparently ruins are all man made.  While some of the attractions were interesting, it wasn't anywhere near the level any of us expected.  The snorkeling was bad, the underground river walk was underground but that pretty much sums up the excitement. The boat ride was pitiful but the included meal was quite good.  They do put out a really good spread.  Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling too well.  After Beth was sick, then J was sick, I guess it was my turn.  I was sneezing most of the day and could feel it coming on.  By the evening, I was sick.  We stayed to watch the Xcaret Spectacular which is a very good show but the area they have it in has very little open area for a breeze so everyone was hot.  Feeling ill already, being overheated just made it worse and by the end of the show I was ready to die.  The show contains a glossy version of how the Spaniards conquered the Mayans, a great exhibition match of an old Mayan ball game and an excellent fire ball game.  There are performances by numerous people, playing music, lots of dancing and great festivities.  The show may well be worth the price of admission but I would suggest coming to the park about 1pm and staying for the show.  Hint if you ever come, In the main auditorium, sit near the middle entry level. You. get a better view and if there is any breeze you will feel it.  We left during the goodbye song and after about 20 minutes of searching we located our bus home and returned to the marina about 11pm.  Fortunately no disco tonight.

Pictures from around the park and the show.