Day 10…Cruise to South America…Part 3, Manta, Ecuador… Busy fishing port… See below for “Year ago photo” and link to our final expenses for last year’s the 33-night cruise ending on this date…

It was interesting to see these enormous nets of fish, mainly tuna, pulled from massive fishing vessels In Manta, Ecuador, arriving at the pier after a night at sea. Manta is one of the biggest producers of wild-caught tuna in the world.

“Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

Tom is getting to be quite the photographer. But, when I compliment him, he says, “Even a stopped watch is correct twice a day!” He’s too modest! Soon, we’ll purchase a second camera, so we both take photos simultaneously while in Antarctica and Africa.

Today, we’re still at the port in Callao, Peru, yet to leave the ship. After speaking with many passengers, those who’d done what we’d hoped to do, take the shuttle to town, were sorely disappointed in the experience. 

Many reported that the 45-minute shuttle bus ride turned into a 90-minute to two-hour ride (one way) due to outrageous traffic. With Tom’s impatience in traffic, it would not have been a pleasant experience for us. 

Also reported, once they arrived near the town, they had to take a taxi to get to the shopping district. We had no interest in such an outing. We’re glad we stayed behind, ending up having a wonderful day on the quiet ship.

The nets of fish kept cold on dry ice were moved from the ships to trucks heading to the local processing plants and canneries.

The group tours had better reviews, but here again, we had no interest in spending money on pricey group tours when photos from moving vehicles are difficult to take. 

When we return to South America in the next few years, we’ll be able to travel about Peru at our own pace rather than be subject to less-than-desirable circumstances. Crowds aren’t “our thing.”

As our long-time readers are aware, we mostly opt for the more laid-back and leisurely pace in seeing the sights that appeal to us. No doubt Machu Picchu and Galapagos are on our “to-do” list for the future.

Each time the nets were lowered into the ship’s hold, they brought up hundreds of fish. These workers look on to ensure everything goes smoothly from the ship to the awaiting trucks.

Busying ourselves on the ship yesterday was easy for us. We were never bored for a moment. By the time we finished the post around 12:30 pm, we had headed to the Celebrity Theatre for the 1:00 pm movie, 2016’s, The Promise. 

For those who haven’t seen this movie, a beautiful love story at the end of the Ottoman Empire, we’d highly recommend seeing it. We both thoroughly enjoyed it.

After the movie, we hung out in Cafe al Bacio, chatting with other guests who’d also remained behind, having chosen not to be standing in the one or two hour-long queues to get onto a shuttle bus, plus the hours-long rides through traffic. We felt at ease we’d done the right thing for us.

Net being lowered into a truck.

By 4:30 pm, we headed to our cabin to get ready for the evening happy hour in the Constellation Lounge for Captain’s Club members only. We sat with a lovely couple from Florida (originally from Massachusetts), engaging in exciting conversation until it was time to leave for dinner in the Trellis Restaurant.

There again, we had another fun dinner with other passengers at a shared table. After dinner, at 9:00 pm, we wandered to the Celebrity Theatre for the evening’s comedy show. We both dozed off during the not-so-comical show. 

I slept during the entire performance, waking myself periodically with a startling jolt. Tom said he’d done the same. We don’t get enough sleep many nights, inspiring us to return to our cabin by 10:00 or 10:30 pm.  Other nights, we can stay up much later to partake in dancing and lively activities.

The vapors from the dry ice are seen at the bottom of this net.

In any case, it’s all quite enjoyable, tired or not. As soon as I upload today’s post, I’m off to the fitness center on Deck 10 to work out. Since we embarked on the ship, I’ve been working out, doing my usual HIIT (high-intensity interval training). 

It’s been a long time since I’ve worked out.  It felt great to get back to it, especially when it felt as if I’d never missed a beat when I began my former routine. If only I could work out wherever we may live, it’s not possible in many locations. 

A worker guides the net to the proper position for unloading into the trucks.

The hotel in Buenos Aires has a fitness center, but nothing is available in South Africa. Walking may not be as prevalent for us in Marloth Park as it was four years ago when we could easily walk the dirt roads in the bush, always on the alert for wild animals. 

Now, our friends are reporting that lions and leopards have been sighted in Marloth Park, and a leisurely walk may be out of the question. We shall see how it goes.

That’s it for today, folks. Enjoy the fishing photos from Manta, Ecuador. And, may you have an enjoyable day!

Photo from one year ago today, December 2, 2016:

The miniature representation of schooner located in the Schooner Bar in Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas. We disembarked the ship that day after a 33-night cruise. For the final expenses for this long cruise, please click here.

Ten days and countings…Fishing with the boys…

Tom is standing outside the Bait & Tackle store in Plymouth, near the red SUV

How the time has passed so quickly baffles us. Is it due to our rapidly advancing age, or is it since we’ve been so busy with spending quality time with family and friends? Perhaps it’s a mix of both.

A container of “waxworms,” aka maggots.

As July quickly approaches in a few days, with July 7th as our Minnesota departure date, we anticipate the three weeks we’ll spend in Las Vegas will pass soon as well. Each time we prepare the “photo from one year ago today” at the bottom of each post, we’re astounded by how the one-year period of time seems as if it’s only been months, not a year.

Vincent fishing on the dock on Lake Johanna in Arden Hills.

This is true with most of our travels, especially when we’re living in an area we find particularly interesting and meaningful, as has been the case over the past month we’ve been in Minnesota.

Yesterday, a bit of nostalgia entered the mix of experiences when we brought grandson Miles out to our former Lake Minnewashta in Chanhassen, a 20-minute drive from the hotel.

It was a fantastic, sunny day with a few bathers at the beach on Lake Johanna.

We’d planned to fish with the boys sooner, but somehow the time got away from us. In these past two weeks, we’ve had the opportunity to go fishing with both grandson Vincent (Tom’s daughter, Tammy) and grandson Miles (my son, Greg).

Vincent caught his first fish, tiny but gratifying. The hooks are carefully removed to avoid injuring the fish, and the fish are tossed back into the lake. The kids have no interest in eating the fish they catch, nor do any adults care to fillet small sunfish or crappies (pronounced croppies).

As shown in today’s photos, both fishing outings were relatively successful, at least to some degree. Vincent caught three sunfish on Lake Johanna in Arden Hills last week, and yesterday, Miles caught 13 or 14 sunfish on Lake Minnewashta in equal periods. The bait used and equipment were identical. 

Another catch for Vincent, equally small but enough to elicit a partial smile.

Since it made no sense for us to get fishing licenses or purchase equipment, we helped both grandsons with their fishing line issues and bait. Over two years older than Miles, Vincent needed little to no assistance, while Miles, only nine, needed a bit of help on a few occasions, to which we happily obliged.  

Miles is ready to “toss a line.”

Tom had stopped to purchase easy-to-use bait in both cases, the popular wax worms as shown in the photo.  These are now priced at $2.28 per container of 25 “maggots.” When we lived here almost five years ago, they were priced around $1.50 per container. Inflation, I guess. 

Yesterday’s cool (under 70 degrees) weather prevented any interest in swimming at the beach on Lake Minnewashta.

Where can one get hours of enjoyment for a paltry $2.28?  They each had a good time. Then again, so did we.  How could we not be reminded of living on the lake and fishing with the grandchildren? As we sat on that public dock yesterday afternoon, did we miss the lifestyle as we overlooked our former lake?

Miles and his well-stocked tackle box.

Yesterday, we freely spoke as to the answers to these questions while we watched Miles fish. We’ve missed the interactions with our kids, grandchildren, and other family members and friends, but not the limitations of a structured lifestyle. 

The line’s in the water.  Let’s see what happens.

We’re totally convinced this nomadic lifestyle we live was meant for both of us.  How odd that sounds. Neither of us ever dreamed of or ever mentioned the prospect of “living in the world,” let alone being “homeless” and traveling with no end in sight, health providing.

Family and friends have asked, “Aren’t you happy to be home?” We’ve smiled and answered, “We’ve loved spending time with the family and friends. Nothing compares to that.”

Miles’ first catch of the day with another 12 fish following as we carefully kept count.

Where is “home” to us these days?  Often people refer to where they grew up as their “home.”  To us, these adages seem to apply:

“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”–   Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.  

Also, for us, the following applies:

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”–   Maya Angelou.

And also, the following:

“A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.”–   Author Unknown.  

The dock to the public fishing area on Lake Minnewashta.

And, when we leave Minnesota in a mere ten days, and then Nevada, a mere three weeks later, we carry all the love and warmth we’ve experienced in these nine weeks in the USA, well into the future as mentioned above, “Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.

We continue on…

Photo from one year ago today, June 27, 2016:

The swimming pool at the Hilton Garden Inn located in Denpasar Bali is much larger than most hotel pools. We stayed one night while awaiting the next day’s flight to Singapore. For more details, please click here

Ten days and counting…More photos from Tom’s boating trip on the Huon River and d’Entrecasteaux Channel out to sea…

Although overcast, Tom had a great day fishing and taking photos while boating with Anne and Rob.

Sure, it would have been great for me to go boating and fishing with Tom. But, I’m on a fast track to feeling better with only 10 days remaining until we depart Tasmania for Sydney to board another cruise on March 1st.

Huon Yacht Club along the shoreline of Huon River.

Speaking of feeling better, a special thank you to so many of our readers who wrote me offering kind and thoughtful wishes for my health. It means so much to both of us that our readers care for our well-being and health, knowing how relevant it is for our continuing travels.

Port Huon facility where farmed salmon are brought in for processing and shipping.

In presenting today’s photos, we decided to embark upon a little research regarding two facilities we’re posting today, Huon River Yacht Club and Huon Aquaculture Group, as shown below:


For many years, the main form of transport in HuonValley was by boat. Small sailing ships would transport local produce and residents to the main markets in Hobart. Sailing skills were highly developed, which led to competition between the boats.

In 1852, the first Huon Regatta was held at Shipwrights Point. The undoubted success of this regatta is well recorded, and over the years, this regatta developed as the social event of the year. Up to 10,000 locals and visitors would enjoy the day’s activities on and off the water at the Shipwrights Point Regatta Ground.

The high diving tower has gone, and the rowing has moved to Franklin, but sailing and cruising are still very much part of the club’s weekly activities. Several yacht clubs have existed at various times on the banks of the HuonRiver, but the present club was formed on 29th October 1947. A resident offered a pickup boat, and racing started within a fortnight.  Since then, club members have enjoyed many successes sailing both at home and internationally.

The clubhouse was built by club members and was officially opened on 12th October 1957. The starter’s box, located on the top of the clubhouse, is a unique feature of the building, providing a perfect view for the officials on race day. The club has a strong future and looks forward to continuing its tradition of sailing vessels on the HuonRiver, D’Entrecasteaux Channel, and as far afield as the wind will take them.”

Salmon farming on the Huon River.
Huon Aquaculture Group

“Peter and Frances Bender commenced salmon farming in 1986 in the beautiful waters surrounding their farming property at Hideaway Bay. What began as a diversification to the family cattle and sheep farming enterprises soon grew into a highly successful business that would dominate their commercial lives and the Huon region.

Our area of southern Tasmania is renowned for its remote ruggedness. This is where water from the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area flows into the Huon River and meets the Southern Ocean in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.

Our farms are located in this pristine marine environment and on the west coast in Macquarie Harbour – ensuring they stay clean and healthy – a key to the high quality of the Huon product. The strict control of feeding regimes, regular cages, and strategic fallowing of cage sites are among the many world’s best environmental management practices Huon follows to preserve and protect the aquatic marine environment while rearing superior quality salmon.

To this day, Huon attributes the quality of its salmon to the philosophy of ‘getting the basics right and attention to detail.’ Focused solely on the goal of growing the best quality in the world, Huon set a high standard from the very beginning to ensure everything else would fall into place.

The majority privately owned, the Huon Aquaculture Group produces over 17,000 tons of fresh salmon per year and is recognized globally as the premium producer of fresh and smoked salmon products. Huon currently employs over 550 multi-skilled staff in most states of Australia, and both Peter and Frances remain involved in all areas of the business daily.

From biologists to welders, the entire Huon team, divers to factory hands, accountants to truck drivers, and industry-leading sales and marketers all play their part and take pride in producing the Huon product. As a result, Huon prides itself on producing the world’s most love salmon. Our commitment is always to strive to do our best, produce the best, in the best place in the world.”

Another view of Arch Island.
  • Having the opportunity to learn about businesses in an area where we live adds an element to our experiences that enriches every aspect of our travels while exploring culture, way of life, economic conditions, and the diversity of people we meet throughout the world.
The Flathead fish were larger than they appeared in yesterday’s photos.

We remain in awe by our vast experiences as we move from state to state and country to country, as has been the case of our interest and exploration of many areas in this amazing continent of Australia and the South Pacific. 

Decorative “knot” display plaque on the wall in the boat.

We’ve barely touched the surface of this massive continent where one could easily spend a lifetime discovering its endless assets. Tasmania has also been a vital area in fulfilling our curiosity and interest in the continent over almost three months on the island.

Flathead in the bucket ready for cleaning. The diagonal of this bucket was used to determine if fish were large enough to keep.

In 10 days, we’ll be on the move again, back to the main continent, and once again returning to Sydney for the sixth time (with two more to go before leaving this part of the world) in these past almost two years. Thank you, Australia!

Barbecue attached to boat for easy cooking.

Have a fabulous day!

Photo from one year ago today, February 19, 2016:

This was our favorite cow to visit when on a walk in New Plymouth, New Zealand. She always stuck out her tongue and did a little dance when she saw us. For more photos, please click here.

Tom went fishing in the d’Entrecasteaux Channel!…What a haul!…More river photos tomorrow!

Tom was proud of their big catch, all flatheads.
When Anne and Rob offered we join them for a fishing day in ocean waters, near the mouth of the Huon River in the d’Entrecasteaux Channel, Tom jumped at the suggestion. However, with the long day planned, I decided to stay behind for a quiet day.
Arch Island.
As it turned out, the day proved to be the longest Tom and I had been apart in so long we couldn’t remember. But, by no means did I find the “alone time” without him a necessary element to me. I’ve never been one to say I needed time to myself. Plus, we easily slide into quiet times engaged in our own activities in our day to day lives.
According to Anne and Rob, this was a typical catch that is quite adept at cleaning fish.

By 2:00 pm, I started looking out the window to see if they had returned.  We chuckled over how unusual it is for us to be apart for more than a few hours such as when we were living in an areas where I’ll shop on my own. That hasn’t occurred since we lived in Hawaii in 2015.  Not a good driver, I don’t trust myself to drive on the opposite side of the road.

Rob, an expert at filleting, cleaned all the fish while Tom bagged them.

Using a fishing line with three leaders, Tom caught two fish at a time on multiple occasions. So I can only imagine how excited Tom must have been when he pulled up his line to find two fish on two of the leaders. That was a first for him!

Anne drove the boat while Rob worked on the fish.

Flatheads are described as follows from this site:

“A flathead is one of several small to medium fish species with notably flat heads, distributed in membership across various genera of the family Platycephalidae. Many species are found in the Indo-Pacific, especially most pAustralia’spopular sport and table fish. They inhabit estuaries and the open ocean.

Flathead is notable for their unusual body shape, upon which their hunting strategy is based. Flathead is dorsally compressed, meaning their body is wide but flattened and very low in height.

Both eyes are on the top of the flattened head, giving excellent binocular vision to attack overhead prey. The effect is somewhat similar to flounders. In contrast to flounder, however, flathead are much more elongated, the tail remains vertical, and the mouth is large, wide and symmetrical. Flathead uses this body structure to hide in the sand (their body color changes to match their background), with only their eyes visible, and explode upwards and outwards to engulf small fish and prawns as they drift over, using a combination of ram and suction feeding thereby improving their chances to catch prey.

Flathead has two short spikes on either side of their heads and on top of their heads that contain venom. The venom, while not fatal, can cause pain and infection for no more than about 2 days. Some anglers believe the pain of the sting of the flathead fish can be reduced by rubbing the slime of the belly of the same fish that caused the sting on the inflicted wound, due to a particular gland in its belly.”

It was a hazy day, but it didn’t rain during their fishing trip.

Rob explained that flatheads have a toxin along the gills which he carefully avoids when fileting. Tom was careful to avoid cutting himself with the gills, doing so without incident.

Lighthouse along the Huon River.

Anne and Rob had brought along food for breakfast and lunch. They’d informed Tom not to bring along anything to eat as they had plenty for him as well. But, in an attempt maintain our usual low carb, interval fasting way of eating, he graciously declined, especially knowing I was preparing dinner back at the house.

Anne and Rob are a delightful couple, and Tom had a great day. They were out from 8 am to 3 pm.

Had I known he’d catch so many fish, I wouldn’t have made dinner and we’d have eaten fish. But, with fishing, one never knows. I often fished from our boat or at the dock at our former home. In our old lives, Many days, we ended up empty-handed, never planning fish for dinner. This is obviously not the case fishing with Anne and Rob.

Anne drove while Tom and Rob were fishing, although once they stopped, they anchored.

We’ll have fish tonight, freezing the balance to enjoy over the remaining 11 days until we depart for Sydney on March 1st.  Recently I’d purchased a batch of flash-frozen barramundi, an Australian favorite, leaving us with many upcoming fish dinners. 

“Sleeping Beauty” can only be seen in this area of the Huon Valley.

That’s no problem for me since I especially enjoy fish and Tom, only slightly less interested in fish dinners, will hopefully join me in the pursuit to use everything we have on hand.

Closer view of “Sleeping Beauty’s” brow, nose and lips from right to left.

Of course, Tom enjoyed the lively conversation. When I asked him if he enjoyed time away from me, he replied, “I missed eating sunflower seeds and smoking cigarettes while fishing. You? No so much!”  We laughed. That’s my guy!

We’ll see you tomorrow with more of Tom’s photos from his fishing expedition. Thanks to Anne and Rob for Tom’s enjoyable day and our supply of flathead!

Enjoy the day!

Photo from one year ago today, February 18, 2016:

The botanical garden we visited in New Zealand was creatively designed with colorful groupings such as this. For more details, please click here.

Fishing near the shore…A team effort…Another cultural experience…

There were at least eight fishermen on that boat upon their arrival on the shore.    A few arrived on foot and on motorbikes shortly after the start of the process. Before coming to shore, they threw the nets from the boat into the ocean, spreading them out as much as they could.    Once ashore, they grabbed the ropes attached to the net to extend the nets as long as possible. The white items shown in the above photo. are floats. attached to the nets.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

As we watched the fisherman manning their nets, we noticed this thing in the background. It turned out to be a part of a tree with trash hanging.  We called it a “trash tree.”

It continues to amaze us how we can spend the better part of each day watching for activity on the beach. It’s almost an endless stream of sightings we’ve rarely, if ever, seen in other parts of the world.

Certainly, it helps that we’re so close to the shore. At high tide, we only need to walk about 21 feet, 7 meters, to dip our toes into the water. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the camera at our side as we move from spot to spot outdoors to get out of the sun as the day wears on.

They commenced the process of pulling the huge net ashore.

In the mornings, after our walk, we lounge on the chaises on the veranda which is shaded in the mornings. Once the sun hits that area, we swim and exercise in the pool. In order to dry off and get our daily dose of Vitamin D, we each spend about 20 minutes in the sun. With my recent injury I haven’t been able to flip over so easily, so I’m tan only on the front. Oh well, who cares?

Between 2:00 and 3:00 pm, we wander over to the covered cabana where I usually read aloud a few chapters in a book we’re sharing at the time. Reading aloud has always been enjoyable and we share many articles, newsletters, and news stories by reading aloud to one another several times each day.

Each man had to hold tight to haul the net into the shore.

As we lounge in the cabana, we usually have the camera with us. In the early mornings and during this period under the cabana we’re able to spot the most exciting of activities on the beach.

A few days ago we captured today’s photos of local fisherman dealing with the nets and subsequent catch. It further reminded us of how much fishing in Bali and, in other parts of the world, is conducted from the shore where certain types of fish are found in somewhat toxic waters. 

The boat with one outriggers stayed in shallow enough water, preventing it from drifting out to sea.

We must avoid these types of fish, for the potential of causing bacterial infections our immune systems may not be able to fend off. For this reason we now avoid consuming any fish other than large tuna.

Lately, with rough seas, the usual barrage of fishing boats we previously had seen lit up at night haven’t been out. Also, the recent holidays in Bali may have kept some of the fisherman heading out overnight to fish halfway between Sumbersari and Java.

In this photo we counted 10 fishermen.

Today’s photos of this group of fishermen appeared determined to leave with a decent shore catch. Seeing how committed they are to the process and how much work they do, reminds us of the work ethic of the Balinese people.

Catching fish for their families is, also a part of daily life for many fishermen as well as for earning a living. Gede explained that many collectives of local fisherman’s ship considerable amounts of their catches overseas. 

Our photos were taken in succession of the activities. At this point, it appeared they were managing the last edge of the net where the fish would be located.

In certain countries imported fish are often frozen and periodically inspected for bacteria and it;s safety for consumption. Before purchasing imported, frozen fish, it may be wise to investigate its source, the type of fish, where and when its been caught and the packing and freezing dates. We can’t ever be too cautious.

We’ve discovered by the larger fish while fresh (not frozen), smelling it for freshness and cooking it promptly has prevented us from any fish related health issues. For us, we’ve chosen not to consume any farmed fish.

We spotted a few young boys attempting to help. Most likely, this is how they learn this vital means of food and income as they mature.

Worldwide, the most important fish species used in fish farming are carp, tilapia, salmon and catfish. It;s easy to read the label identifying if fish is farmed in many countries, but we’ve found that many markets don’t include the identity of the source of the fish. 

There are literally millions of web pages with information of fish farming that may apply to your purchasing options. Many don’t find it matters to them whether fish is farmed or fresh caught fish. That’s entirely a personal choice. 

We couldn’t zoom in close enough to see that they’d caught, but with the green cool box nearby it appeared they’d caught something.

For us, far removed from good medical care in many locations, and working hard to maintain our health to the best of our ability, we lean toward a more cautious scenario.  Only you can make the appropriate choice for you and your family when purchasing imported and farmed fish.

As for these fisherman, they are doing the very best they can, to provide food and income for their families. We commend them and appreciate their diligence and commitment. The Balinese people continue to amaze us in their hard work and self sufficiency as we often observe while peering out at the beach, day after day.

The large basket, shown near the center of this photo, is used to carry their equipment.

May you have a productive day!

Photo from one year ago today, September 17, 2015:

Pineapple growing in the yard in Fiji, one year ago.  Click here for details.