Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste

Prologue

Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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Puerto Vallarta Scrapbook II

November 27, 2015

 

 

 

 

I hope everyone had a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. I made merry yesterday and didn’t have an opportunity to write anything, but here are a few photographs from a trip we made to El Edén Eco Park near Puerto Vallarta. Our bus struggled up a dirt trail—it would be a stretch calling it a road—and the jungle was so thick it was easy imagining disheveled contestants from Naked and Afraid emerging from the jungle.

 

 

 

After leaving our bus, we climbed down a trail towards El Edén Restaurant and were confronted with Predator and a crashed helicopter. Evidently, this was where the movie was filmed. We weren’t allowed to pass without having our picture taken with a mannequin in a predator costume, which they later tried to sell to us in the restaurant for eleven US dollars. We passed on the photo.

 

 

 

Leftover props from the movie

 

 

 

 

 The inside of the massive palapa covering the restaurant

 

 

 

The restaurant was built like a Swiss Family Robinson tree house, with many decks overlooking a boulder-strewn river where patrons were encouraged to swim. It was exceptionally warm and we might have taken a plunge if we’d brought our swimsuits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I probably took more pictures of this young lady than I should have.

 

 

 

Mrs.Chatterbox enjoying a drink

 

The food was great and we enjoyed one of the best meals of our vacation. On our way out we passed the mannequin in the Predator costume, and I was startled when it reached out for me. This time there was a man in the costume.

 

 

 

Chubby Chatterbox and his new friend

 

 

Happy Shopping!

 

 

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Comments

23 Comments
That looks like a fabulous restaurant. You can tell by the fabulous people frequenting it!
By: The Broad on November 27, 2015
What a fabulous restaurant!!
By: fishducky on November 27, 2015
I bet Mrs Chatterbox wasn't pleased that you took so many photos of the young lady. I hope you took a lot of your wife too! The restaurant looks lovely.
By: LL Cool Joe on November 27, 2015
Looks like fun. Just remember if the predator comes after you to cover yourself in mud.
By: PT Dilloway on November 27, 2015
The restaurant looks fantastic!
By: Pixel Peeper on November 27, 2015
Now that's the kind of Mexican Jungle adventure to have!
By: Tom Cochrun on November 27, 2015
Pretty. Years and years ago, we went to a wax museum in L.A., where we were vacationing. It was raining, so we couldn't engage in outdoor activities. We were greeted at the entrance by a man who was supposed to look like Clint Eastwood. Someone took a photo of me with him. I don't remember how much it cost, but I certainly didn't buy it, and wouldn't have taken it for free. I think the look on my face said "appalled." The wax museum was probably the worst thing we ever did on a vacation. It was made worse by some people who seemed to turn up everywhere we went. They oo-ed and ah-ed constantly, took photos of the wax figures, and jabbered quite loudly about what a great place it was. It was crap. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on November 27, 2015
Looks like a fun place to have a restaurant!
By: messymimi on November 27, 2015
What? No skinnydipping for the Chatterboxes? Maybe you should have had a couple more drinks.
By: Val on November 27, 2015
Some of the tours can be fascinating as this one seemed to be. Why do they make us work so hard to get to the good food?
By: red on November 27, 2015
Welcome home! Glad to see you are back and thanks for sharing some pictures from your fantastic vacation.
By: Mr. Shife on November 27, 2015
Um... My dream vacation photo... With a mannequin in a Predator costume. I wonder how many people take them up on that offer. What a great spot for a restaurant, though. And I can't believe the meal was actually good.
By: Mitchell is Moving on November 28, 2015
I love that restaurant! I've never seen anything like it. I'm glad you broke down and took a photo with the Predator. Where else are you going to have a chance to do that? lol
By: Lexa Cain on November 28, 2015
I've been to PV many times but never took the jungle tour. I've heard it's fabulous though and your pictures seem to prove that.
By: Catalyst on November 28, 2015
That is an awesome movie.
By: Jerry E. Beuterbaugh on November 29, 2015
I hope the food was as good as the place looks. and I would have passed on buying the photo as well. besides, you got one for free.
By: ellen abbott on November 29, 2015
Looks like a great time! While it's not what I would call "cold" here yet, it's coming. Way before it's warm enough sit on a waterfall in my bathing suit. I wonder if anyone would take a picture of ME?
By: Al Penwasser on November 29, 2015
a great movie. you can keep the thick jungle, though. :)
By: TexWisGirl on November 29, 2015
This looks like an outstanding adventure!
By: Michael Manning on November 29, 2015
Sounds and looks like you both had a wonderful time. Happy Thanksgiving!
By: Daniel LaFrance on November 30, 2015
LOL that's interesting. It sounds like a great tourist trap. I probably would have paid for the photograph. The locals must think Americans are suckers.
By: Michael Offutt on November 30, 2015
Looks amazing. I've spotted similar folk to that 'predator' thing hanging around shopping centres. As for the young lady in the bikini - it is art...nice shirt.
By: Mike@A Bit About Britain on December 2, 2015
That looks like an amazing location for a restaurant. Lovely to see Mrs. C also.
By: Bouncin Barb on December 3, 2015

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