Written November 8, 2023, in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Baja Peninsula, Mexico.

Today and tomorrow are at sea days. We are scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on Friday, November 10th. We will transport from the ship to Los Angeles International Airport and board a non-stop flight to Kansas City. I am ready to be home, as is Christine.

It seems that no matter if the trip has been 2 weeks or two months, at about 3 days before the end I grow restless and perhaps even difficult to be around. Having known me for over 49 years, Christine (thankfully) tolerates my moods.

We spent yesterday in the port of Cabo San Lucas, located at the southernmost tip of the 775 mile long Baja Peninsula.

First light as we approached Cabo.
Cabo’s iconic land’s end.
The harbor Pilot escorting us to our anchorage.
Cabo beachfront resorts.
The 300 foot 150 million dollar yacht, Attessa IV.

Our 3 hour land excursion took us away from the busy tourist port to the smaller and less hectic San Jose del Cabo.

Our ship’s tenders transported us ashore.

Rather than taking time away from Christine these final two days to write an extensive explanation of the day, I hope that the pictures with an occasional caption will suffice.

Our guide
The Mission Church at San Jose del Cabo.
The Mission Square.
…and more shops.
Back onboard.
Land’s end nearing sunset.
Also at anchor, the 4,000 passenger Norwegian Bliss.

This will be my final post during this trip. I intend to follow-up in Kansas City with some closing thoughts, the result of ruminations fermenting in my mind during the journey.

In the meantime, enjoy the pictures and…

…Peace Everyone. Pete

PS. Another delightful crew member that it has been our pleasure to meet is Lucia from Peru.

There are 465 crew members aboard, representing 43 countries and 7 different faith traditions. The head of guest services spoke with pride of the camaraderie of the ship’s crew, and in the next breath reflected, “Why in this world of ours can not everyone follow this example and live in peace with one another.”

Night departure from Cabo.

Written November 4, 2023, in the Pacific Ocean @150 miles west of southern Mexico.

The weather has gradually deteriorated since we left Panama on October 31st. Today winds are near gale force and seas are approaching 20 feet.

A passenger leans out from his stateroom. Bigger waves chased him inside.

The Captain has indicated conditions may continue to worsen. Barf bags have been deployed.

The waves are crashing into the ship at a height greater than our state room.

Fortunately, conditions still favored us as we made port in the protected waters of Puentarenas, Costa Rica on November 2nd.

The long narrow cruise dock looked quite fragile compared to other ports that we have visited.

Our outing for the day was titled “A Walk in the Clouds, Costa Rica’s Cloud Forest.” We were transported by luxury coach 90 minutes into the mountains. At an elevation of nearly 4,000 feet the temperatures were moderate but the humidity contributed to periods of dense fog. We were literally driving in the clouds.

Our guide, Exon, provided us with an information and humor filled lecture en route.

The drive time passed quickly, punctuated by a bathroom break at a large crafts shop where souvenirs could be purchased and coffee sampled. There was a beautiful garden and best of all, an enclosed butterfly habitat.


There were dozens of butterflies fluttering about. Christine visited with a caretaker who was busily harvesting butterfly eggs.

At our destination there was another bathroom opportunity before we descended into the “Cloud Forest”, lead by Exon. Here are some images:

This is a “walking palm tree”. It is believed by many to move in the forest by putting down roots on the sunlit side while those roots on the shady side wither. It is a myth.
This large pine cone shaped plant holds water in its upturned cavities. The water takes on antiseptic properties and smells like shampoo.
Look closely! This snake, hidden next to the trail, is a pit viper. It is one of the many varieties of poisonous snakes in Costa Rica.

Afterward we enjoyed lunch consisting of beans, rice, and roast pork richly seasoned with garlic.


As Exon explained, if one prefers an alternate dish, just ask for rice and beans instead of beans and rice.

We departed port shortly after dark with 4 at sea days ahead. The original itinerary included a day in Nicaragua, however the government has currently closed the ports to cruise traffic.

Like the weather, and sunsets, some things are beyond the control of our our Captain and crew.


Peace Everyone. Pete

PS. What is within the control of the crew is the remarkable service provided by personnel. In just a few days many members have worked their way into our hearts. These are hard working people who are dedicated to the comfort of the passengers. To me they are more like friends.

Christine and Hiep from Vietnam.
Myra from the Philippines, Christine, Princess from Zimbabwe, and Ika from Bali, Indonesia.
Ika from Bali, Christine, Nanci from Mexico, and Princess from Zimbabwe.
Christine and Princess from Zimbabwe.
Christine and Sasa from South Africa…
…and Guna from the Bali, Indonesia with Unray from Bermuda.


Written October 6, 2023, At Kansas City, Missouri.

Most of us are creatures of habit. We like routine and when our routines are disrupted, we are often annoyed.

Example: An employee parking lot without assigned spaces, yet repeated use of a particular spot brings with it a sense of ownership. (annoyed and spoken under one’s breath) “Who the f*** parked in my spot today!”

Another example: Earlier this week I was invited to sit in on a community college history class. It was an excellent experience, but a bit sobering. I was significantly older than the professor, and shocked to see how young college students had become in the last 50 years! Prior to class I had been cautioned to sit in a particular seat so as not to “take a student’s seat”. This is despite the class having open seating.

Those are relatively benign examples yet when change is imposed by another person or agency and we feel powerless in its face, that person/organization may become the target of more extreme anger, vilification, and even conspiracy theories.

I recall when national legislation mandated the demise of most incandescent light bulbs, instead requiring the use of the more efficient compact fluorescent and led lights. Incandescent lights typically last 1,500 hours and convert only 10% of electricity into light, the other 90% is converted to heat. Who remembers the Hasbro “Easy-Bake Oven” which used a lightbulb as the heat source with which children could bake small cakes, “just like mom”.

Conversely, compact fluorescent and led lights last upward to 25,000 hours and use 75% less energy to create the same amount of light. A 60-watt equivalent led light uses only 7 watts of energy, about the same as an old incandescent “night-light”.

It seemed a no-brainer; less electricity used in a longer life bulb meant significant money saved and it was good for the environment… Yet certain (dare I say conservative?) elements of society saw this as a grand conspiracy. They decried this as an attack on our personal freedoms, much as they did with the introduction of and later mandated use of seatbelts, motorcycle helmets, smoke-free flights, childhood vaccinations, etc. (COVID masks anyone?)

My dear mother (may she rest in peace) railed against the Obama Administration, blaming the President for taking her lightbulbs from her. Educated with a master’s degree, logic could not eclipse her anger. I learned the hard way to avoid this and many other topics during our frequent telephone chats, “Peter Michael, I don’t know why YOU think the way you do. NO ONE ELSE IN THIS FAMILY DOES!”, and with that there would be a loud “click” the line going dead.

Our electric utility in this part of Missouri, Evergy, recently implemented a timed rate structure. During the weekday peak use hours of 4 pm to 8 pm rates become significantly higher and from midnight to 6 am they are significantly lower. This provides a financial incentive to moderate use during the periods of high demand, thus reducing the need to construct greater generation capacity… good for the company, good for the environment, and good for the customer, win, win, win, right? Not with everyone.

Social media has been lit up with some folks calling it communism, the heavy hand of government, corporate greed, etc. My efforts to explain the system and the rationale behind it have merely made me a target of vilification and conspiracy, “I bet you work for Evergy!”. Even producing the proof that my electric bill has been reduced 30% by timing the use of appliances and changing the thermostat during peak hours has fallen in those circles upon deaf ears.

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Sometimes we act contrary to our own best interests… just to make the point that we can. And sometimes those who reach out to lend a hand find that the hand gets bitten. It is a wonder that our species has flourished. Give us more time and Nature will eventually have the last word.

Peace Everyone. Pete


Written September 28, 2023, At Kansas City, Missouri.

I learned today of the murder of a friend in Northumberland, England. The coward took her life late last night, a senseless act of premeditated violence that has left the region, the country, and those of us over the world who knew her, in shock.

I met her earlier this year on March 31st as I was hiking the trail along Hadrian’s Wall. It was the day before my birthday.

It was also a difficult day. Long, and punctuated by steep climbs and treacherous descents on rain slicked rocks and muddy cutback paths. My spirits had been brought low by the bone chilling drizzle and dense fog which frequently denied me the full vistas that my eyes yearned to see.

She stood waiting for me at the bottom of a steep vale. I was breathing hard, and my legs trembled from the fight against gravity that had threatened to bring me crashing down the cliff face.

She was famous; indeed, a star having appeared in countless photographs, paintings and even with Kevin Costner in the movie, “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves”. Yet she was humbly a servant dedicated to all of us, rich and poor, young and old, every day of the year.

Upon sight of her my emotions were immediately lifted. I beheld a family gazing upon her in awe. I approached, and after a moment’s hesitation I embraced her. Strong, tall, almost eternal, she was unyielding to my arms yet soft to my soul. My spirits soared! She was glorious in the pictures that I took of her, but I knew that the images would not convey to Christine her majesty.

Last night she died, murdered. What I know is that a 16-year-old male has been arrested, allegedly having cut her down in her prime. His weapon, a chain saw.

Image from The Independent.

Along Hadrian’s Wall, her home has long been known as “Sycamore Gap”. It is where she put down roots. It is where she now lies in death.

Birds once sang in her arms. No more.

Lovers once laughed at her feet. No more.

Children once danced around her. No more.

… and aging hikers found encouragement to continue, no matter how difficult. No more.

Today the Earth cried a tear and so did I.

Peace Everyone. Pete

PS. There was another tree. I caught a glimpse of her in February of 2017 as I drove past. It was near Carpinteria, California. She was so stunningly beautiful that I risked an accident to stop and take her picture. She died later that year in the Thomas wildfire that tore through the region.

Written August 13, 2023. At Kansas City, Missouri.

I was recently engaged in a deep conversation with a good friend. The conversation wandered to a discussion of their loved one who had passed a few years ago. I was aware that theirs had been a close relationship yet tinged with some minor regrets. I asked, “Do you still feel any regrets over what you might have done differently for them?”

“Yes, I suppose that I still do.” To which I responded, “When do you think you will grant yourself resolution?” (Or is it absolution?)

“Maybe never” came the too quick response. Clearly, my friend had grown comfortable with the small regret still held.

I found myself wondering if there is anything positive in holding a regret and not granting oneself resolution.

It occurs to me that with resolution comes closure, an end to the unfinished business, time to move on. Holding on to a regret may be one away of not letting go and holding the departed close in one’s thoughts and feelings.

Just a thought.

Peace Everyone. Pete