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July 2009

4th World Love Pilates/Surfing/Volunteering Retreat - Baja 2010

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So, we've opened the books on our very next 4WL Pilates Retreat and this time, we're on the Pacific coast, at the off-grid, solar-powered Prana del Mar.  Our good friend Kathleen Conklin is running the Pilates sessions, and we're running the rest of it (surfing, volunteering, whale watching, fitness bootcamp, Todos Santos day trips).  All organic/healthy meals are included, and so is a killer surfing session..plus you can help out some endangered sea turtles!

This one is 7 days/6 nights and is $1850 single and $1450 shared.  Lots of amazing things going on for this one and the awesome news is that every single penny for you is a write-off cause it's all 4th World Love fundraising.  Super cool...

Check out the site here and hope I see ya there!

Some features of Prana del Mar:  solar-heated pool, chill-out bar, spacious club house, zen meditation room, indonesian teak and rattan furnishings, organic cotton sheets, bamboo-laid pilates studio

What the retreat includes:

2 pilates lessons per day, all mats
roundtrip airport transport
day trip to funky todos santos
all healthy meals (3x per day)
whale watching from beach
AWESOME surfing lesson
VOLUNTEERING with endangered sea turtles
bootcamp fitness sessions

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Misty Made the 30-Day Mark!

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Remember how I said I was gonna stay put in one place for 30-days?  Well I did do it, thank you very much.  Down to the exact 30-day moment.  Then I went to Baja and now I'm taking off on a bigger excursion - sailing in the Carib.

Basically, I'm gonna spend the next few weeks on another couples 75' schooner island hopping down in the Caribbean.  They have their own diving gear and compressor, which is incredible + since I will be crewing, it will make for a massive learning experience.  Which I always need.  I forget things the moment I learn them and I'm hoping that a 2-week immersion into full boat life will sear some things into my forgetful skull.

Plus, I just need a break.  This summer has been hectic - hard to believe, but it really has.  And, when I take on projects, I get madly obsessed, so I just need to release my brain a moment and let it flow and then I can start to really define what I want to do with the next 50 years of my life.  It's just that simple.

Meanwhile, 50 years?  Try, what's for dinner?  Escapades like this really are balm for the soul, though.  You gotta challenge yourself or ya ain't moving up/down/sideways.  And as we all know, stability isn't a word that eases my mind.  Mobility on the other hand is nice.  Constantly searching for a way to mish-mash the two is golden...


The Pacific vs The Sea of Cortez

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I don't think people realize just how different the Sea of Cortez is from the Pacific.  Above is the SoC taken from the plane as it was about to land in Cabo.  Below is the Pacific, on a small beach near Todos Santos.  So close and clearly so far. 

Those who have done the Baja will steer toward the Sea of Cortez cause it's so much wilder than the Pacific.  In it's sheer breathtaking beauty, for one.  The Pac can see untouchable, frothing, seething and brave.  The SoC is more remote, kind, spellbinding, and magnetic.  They both bring ya back for more, once you've tried 'em.  Both can be incredibly deadly.  As all good things are.

The poor Atlantic.  All plain and shallow.  Dusty and boring.  Before anyone goes flipping out, please do prove me wrong.  I beg of you.

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Where Does Your Dirt Road Lead?

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I was in Baja last week for a few reasons:  a/ figure out if we want to hold the next pilates retreat somewhere down near Todos Santos (yes);  b/  figure out if I want to move my little solar trailer currently in San Miguel de Allende over to the coast (still debating);  c/ snorkel;  d/scout around a bit for the next 4th World Love location (so many amazing options).  I pretty much sorted everything out in about 48 hours.  

Saw 4 possible retreat locations, found what could be the coolest village in Baja, snorkeled near a live coral reef, located a possible trailer location and stayed at this amazing hotel in the Eastern Cape called Punta Pescadero (you can see it perched way out on the cliff).  You don't need much time for a scout - when you are on a mad, mad mission.

I was the only person staying there, which was nuts.  That's off-season for ya, I guess.  I had the ultimate service and views that shook me to the core.  I only found it cause I was cruising down this dirt road, looking for food.  It all goes back to food.  I didn't find the grub at that moment, but I did find a secluded little spot to swim and escape the sweltering heat.  

Then, I happened upon Punta Pescadero and had a lovely evening reading a terrifying horror book after getting a deep tissue massage.  The nightmares were intense and I kept thinking, OMG, it's just me here...tonight is the night I'm gonna die.  An, but never fail, I woke up alive the next morning and vowed to chill on the scary stuff for a minute.   I also let the Mexican massage lady take the giant hotel shears to my head of curls and give it all a good whacking.  I just couldn't stand them a second longer -- still a little in shock over the drastic measure I took in the moment of hair weakness, but it'll grow, it'll grow.

I did stumble upon a great bowl of tortilla soup at a place called La Curva and figured out which ferry to haul my trailer over on from the mainland.  A good adventure across the board.  More soon from the Pacific side of Baja.  The two coasts are sooooo different.  Funny what a small jaunt across the peninsula can look like.

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New 4th World Love Contest - Win a Free Baja Trip!

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Details below on the new contest that 4th World Love is having, effective immediately...donating is easy, it's a write-off and you really do the the world around you!  Check out

Baja - Spring 2010

*Donate $100 for the chance to win an 8-day, all-expenses-paid-trip to the outlaw land that is Baja, mexico*


Join forces with the feisty, fun-loving team of 4th World Love as they meander up and down majestic Highway 1 on the hunt for the next remote village to hang the 4th World Flag.  4th World Love is a grassroots NGO focused on promoting community development in distant lands and with a super successful CDC (Community Development Center) already bustling in magical Indonesia, we're looking to move into Phase 1 of the next location, brave-and-beautiful Baja.  The 4WL process begins with what we like to call an "Extreme Scouting Expedition."  

Imagine slurping down margaritas while gazing out over the Sea of Cortez, cruising dusty back roads full of adventure, late-night star-gazing in the middle of nowhere, and lots of lend-a-hand escapades. The goal is zeroing in on the perfect village to house the next CDC, and a mere $100 donation not only helps fund life-changing 4th World projects, it gets you that much closer to winning the opportunity to join us in the fun.  Donate $200 and your name goes in the pot 2x.  $300 bones and you get 3 chances. $1k--well, you do the math!  And, the best thing is that every cent you donate is a complete write-off, as 4WL is a 501 (c) 3.

And, of course you can donate less than $100--every single penny counts.  but, remember it takes  $100 to get you into the contest!

Details of the amazing trip are as follows:
Accommodations:  Part seaside camping in palapas on the beach, part charming inn's
Food:  mouthwatering tamales, icy-cold cervezas, and all the crispy fish tacos you can eat
Transport:  Comfy Land Rover (we depart from Los Angeles; winner gets flown in from their hometown and spends the night on Misty's pirate-style ketch-rigged sailboat before hitting the road)
Timeframe:  Early Spring 2010
Baja Comfort Level:  You've got Baja masters as guides, so just enjoy the ride and make that change...

For more insider intel about Baja, read the piece Misty wrote for matador, the best online travel website in the world:  The Ultimate Baja Escape

4WL never, ever uses the money we raise to fund anything BUT our projects in distant lands.  We use our own hard-earned cash to get us there, keep us fed & housed - and same goes for when we scout future locales.   

Donate here:   4th World Love

A Full Boat Flip Out



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You can see that I had quite a project on my hands when I unleashed my coffee-fueled fury onto sweet, unassuming Enola.  I plowed through every single hatch/locker/cabinet and ripped it all out.  I had to get the bottom of EXACTLY what all was on my boat. 

It's funny, a month ago, I wouldn't have recognized half this stuff.  But, now I can call it off, no problem and was able to mad organize into certain categories:  electrical, plumbing, engine, galley, paperwork, cleaning supplies, tools,WTF is this drawer, etc...words can't even describe how thrilling that is.  Now, I'm out to create a nice little booklet with photos so I know precisely where to locate a zip tie when I need one (seeing as how my memory tends to fail me on a daily basis). 

You gotta do stuff like this, with extreme TLC, if you really want to understand your vessel.  I started tracing out all the wired to the battery, then flipped out when I met some dead ends...so, that is to be attacked on another day. 

The one good thing is that just like my dad said, 'Enola is apparently, the gift that keeps giving.'  Cause, you know what? EVERYTHING I have bought in the past month, repair-wise, was already on the boat, tucked deep into her bowels. Friggin' amazing.  Let's just say I have lotsa spare parts now...

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The Kid is Back - Zac Sunderland Returns Home!

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This youngin' went from a kid to a man in 13+ months.  How?  Well, he joined the  small army of intrepid folks who've blasted around the world via sailboat -- and he made history doing it!  Fewer than 250 people have done that hair-raising task and Zac is now the youngest person in history to have traveled the 28k alone.

Can you FREAKIN' imagine?  He left when he was 16 and just yesterday, he returned to his home port via his 36' Islander, Intrepid (at the tender age of 17).  What a beautific feat...me and my pal Chez rode our bikes over to Fisherman's Village and witnessed the whole thing.  Talk about tingling in the soul.  He came flyin' in with sails raised and all these boats had gone out to meet him; which meant they were plowin' in right beside him...just escorting him home. 

The media we're everywhere and I just am so delighted to have see that historical moment.  A true hero.  A kid.  Now a man.  What?

You know what I mean.  Check out his site:  zacsunderland.com
All kinds of blog entries/video/etc...on there.  I can't wait to see what he does next.  He's talking Everest or Arctic Circle. What a gem.  His parents must be quaking in their boots...I know mine woulda been~

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Baja Bound

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Photo ops such as these are part of what make Baja such a super magnetic  place.  A wild stallion just chillin' on the side of Highway 1 as you cruise toward the Sea of Cortez.  That's exactly what Baja is all about and guess what? I'm doing a wee scouting expedition there next week for the 2010 Pilates Retreat (think photography/pilates/volunteering/cooking).  Cannot wait.  All details for this retreat will be released by August 1st, so stay tuned.  Def. think we're going to sell out, again.

Also as I mentioned before, I'm looking into moving my vintage solar trailer down there to the Sea of Cortez and would need to find the perfect safe spot for it.  And, check this out...4th World Love's next contest will take the winner on an all-expenses-paid 10-day escapade through the wilds of Baja to help find the next 4th World Love location and raise funds for the Indo CDC (community development center)!  What a fun trip that one will end up being (details coming soon)--plus, we're going to be sending out our first newsletter for 4WL soon, so if you want to be on the email list, hit me up.

To top it off, I'm thinking of moving my truck old truck (Explorer) down near the trailer spot so peeps can rent the solar trailer and have use of wheels at the same time.  It will all be set up and perched on a perfecto spot on the sunny blue Sea of Cortez.  Stone brill, if you ask me.

Baja

Sailboats in cove

Bahia sailboats

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Still the boat projects loom.  That said, lots is getting done including taking her out today--which has to be one of the best SoCal days in history.  It's all very epic, if not exhausting stuff.

Fixed the AC (filter just needed to be cleaned) and dove in with my snorkel in hand to make sure the sea strainer I'd had put on in the yard was working good...it was working perfecto, which meant a crank up of the AC and a bit of a nap.  I never nap, so just goes to show how comfy I am on the boat. 

Literally broke down my to do list like I'd break down a movie and now it all feels much more doable.  When it floats in my head and on scraps of paper, forget it.  It's all I can to do keep it straight.  The to do list is imperative broken down into categories/people/mechanics/me/etc...

Also am in the progress of fixing the wee little leaks in some of the ports; got my boom fixed (my dockmaster is literally a champ of all champs); getting it full finished rigging soon; fixed the ignition switch; cleaned under the cockpit grates (which required a full movement of the helm); and about a trillion other things.  People have no idea how hard boats are.  Everything, each and every tiny project, is epic in the fact that it even gets done.  Especially on old boats.

Also, got new dock lines; took a drive out to Minney's (think boat thrift store); and today--just jacked around on it getting all jazzed up.  That's the important thing cause I'll tell ya this--this vessel is WAY different than my last boat, the C & C 30'.  Hugely different, in all the best ways.  I can actually see myself making way on this mama.

Meanwhile, that kid (17) Zac Sunderland gets home to MDR this week.  He's the youngest cat to sail around the world and I just found out that he bought the boat he did it in for $1500.  Ya better believe I'm gonna see this one roll in. So exciting.  What the hell do you do after that feat?  Probably crank up the AC and go to sleep!!


The MST Ojo Rojo--Best Summer Drink Ever

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Bottom line, this concoction is the best summer drink ever.  Loosely based on a perfect ojo rojo whipped up at by the talented bartenders at The Soggy Peso on Isla Mujeres, here's what you do.

Fill a cup with ice.  Pour in half a bottle of beer.  Throw on some Bloody Mary mix and a splash of clamado juice.  Top with more beer.  I like Dos Equis or Pacifico.  Stir the monkey up and blast with a little cracked pepper, celery salt, tabasco and Worcestershire sauce.  Garnish with a crispy stalk of celery and a blue cheese/or feta stuffed olive.  Drink copious amounts.  Three do the trick for me.

Watch out.  4 o'clock will never be the same again. Happy hour heaven.  Brunch bliss.  Breakfast joy.  It all works, no matter what the time.