July and the expats in town are all making plans for their national holidays...July 1st is Canada Day and three days later those of us from the States celebrate the 4th of July ...lots of icy cold beer flowing, hot dogs, music and fireworks.

Our Mexican neighbors know how to celebrate in style. It always seemed to me that every day is a celebration of something in Puerto Vallarta. After all, every night at 9:00 we have a fireworks display on the water courtesy of the Marigalante, a replica of one of the ships Columbus sailed to the New World. Then there are all the Saints' Days for each section of town and every category of labor. The one I love is St. Cecilia's Day... she's the patron saint of the musicians, and they honor her with mariachi masses and concerts all day long. Any special moment in the life of a Mexican youngster is marked by a fiesta of some sort with clowns, piņatas, games, and treats......

Speaking of festivals, in September there's the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, WA. I'll be there making several presentations, along with many well-known names from the world of sailing. I'll bring you details over the next month or so, but you can also watch their website at www.woodenboat.org Director Kaci Cronkhite has an exciting list of special guests and events... even build-your-own-boat activities.....

And more on celebrations...

We celebrated something special this month, too. My granddaughter Kira graduated from 8th grade and was accepted into the Humanities Academy at Soquel High School. Congratulations, Kira!......

Mexican schools just closed for summer break which means PV will soon be full of national tourists from Mexico City and Guadalajara, off for a month at the beach with grandma and the kids in tow. I love watching the families setting up whole encampments with the women dishing up hot, spicy dishes while the kids bury each other in the sand and the men sit by with a cold beer in the shade.....

That shade is more important than ever this month... our temperatures climb higher everyday and the sun sizzles overhead while we wait for the rainy season to set in. Evening thunder rumbles and spectacular lightening shows dance across the sky, but the heavy, cooling rains of September are a long way off. On those evenings when the rain does come, you can hear the town sigh in relief for the cool air and fresh breezes. The kids (and even some parents) slip outside and romp in the cobblestone streets that run like rivers from the hills above.....

Z's our weather expert at Coming About, and her lectures on reading the clouds have me looking for clues in the spectacular sunsets off my balcony. Even in the "off-season" we are busy: Z has her fleet of Optimists running through maneuvers every Thursday; July 9th, our first course for the guys begins... Sailing 1, and the next weekend Sailing 2; and we continue our regular 1-day and 3-day programs in between.

If you are interested in becoming a supporter/partner in Coming About, drop me a line ... We have very exciting plans for the year ahead.....

Keep cool wherever you are...

and see you next month.


Alone 1...after I finished this painting, I saw the same sunset outside my balcony!

Pat talks about line handling on board Southern Cross

Kristen Jakobsen..."I can't believe it!!! I'm really sailing!"

"Z" and her Opti kids



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