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 III

November 30, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our last evening in Puerto Vallarta we enjoyed a sunset cruise. We arrived at the marina as the sun started its descent.

 

 

 

Our boat in the marina

           

This was to be a three hour tour. What could go wrong, right? It was probably my imagination but I swear I heard the skipper refer to me as his “Little Buddy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 Our intrepid skipper

 

 

 

Leaving the marina

           

Drinks were served once we left the marina and liquor flowed freely for the remainder of our cruise. We were told appetizers would be served and I expected stale chips and salsa, but the food was incredible and we enjoyed one of the best meals of our vacation: sushi, grilled shrimp, Mexican appetizers and several items I might have remembered had the drinks not been flowing so freely.

 

 

 Sunset

           

This photograph reminds me of one of my favorite commercials from the nineties. A father and his little girl are sitting under a tree watching as the sun set. When it sinks beneath the horizon the child looks up and says, “Do it again, Daddy!” Do you remember a time when your child thought you were Superman with the power to do anything? Those moments were special, but they didn’t last. The commercial was for cherry flavored Life Savers with the slogan: Isn’t Life Delicious?

 

 

 

The Malecon in Puerto Vallarta at night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

29 Comments
I think that commercial is due a comeback! As I look out the window of my study at the grim dark windy weather it occurs to me that the cruise you have just mentioned would really hit the spot!
By: The Broad on November 30, 2015
That must have been spectacular! That's MY kind of cruise. :)
By: Scott Park on November 30, 2015
Sounds like an awesome cruise, especially for you and the missus.
By: PT Dilloway on November 30, 2015
Surprised you remember any of it if the drinks were plenty! Great shots. And yes, I do remember that commercial.
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on November 30, 2015
and here I thought those sunset cruises were too touristy !!! We will have to indulge ourselves next time we are there! Cheers!
By: Kathe W. on November 30, 2015
Ima lovin' your vacation pictures. That is a beautiful view of the city coming in the evening. And, I do remember that commercial. It's interesting what all you can find on the web.
By: Rick Watson on November 30, 2015
I don't remember that commercial. I would have said "maybe tomorrow, I'm tired "
By: on November 30, 2015
Sails, sunset and booze, perfect combination.
By: cranky on November 30, 2015
Why wasn't I invited to join you two? Oh, yeah--I wasn't there!!
By: fishducky on November 30, 2015
this cruise sounds like a blast , but you've got me set up for part two!
By: red on November 30, 2015
I was on one of those "liquid" cruises once. Our companions became very drunk and very obnoxious. Good food, though.
By: Catalyst on November 30, 2015
We all think of you as our Little Buddy. :)
By: Daniel LaFrance on November 30, 2015
You certainly experienced some "delicious life" moments around that Mexican sunset.
By: Tom Cochrun on November 30, 2015
A lovely end to a fabulous vacation, i'm so glad you shared the pictures with us!
By: messymimi on November 30, 2015
that sounds wonderful. and thanks for the memory of that commercial.
By: TexWisGirl on November 30, 2015
Ohhhh, that sun. It looks as if it is about to literally drop into the sea and fizzle out, somehow.
By: Jenny Woolf on November 30, 2015
Do you think Mrs. C. would mind if I joined you on your journeys? I don't have money and can't lift anything, but some people seem to think I'm entertaining and pleasant. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on November 30, 2015
Looks like it was a great time. Thanks for bringing us along, Gilligan.
By: Hilary on November 30, 2015
Sure...go make us all jealous!
By: Pixel Peeper on November 30, 2015
Impressive sunset!
By: Val on November 30, 2015
I like the Gilligan reference. I'm gonna check your other posts about your trip.
By: Michael Offutt on November 30, 2015
Awesome sunset shot!
By: Jerry E. Beuterbaugh on November 30, 2015
Sounds as if you had a wonderful time and great food on a boat, wow!
By: John on December 1, 2015
Ah, sweet! So glad your Skipper was intrepid. Just remember what happened when he was brave and sure.
By: Mitchell is Moving on December 1, 2015
Gorgeous skies and sounds like a pleasant evening. I'm glad you arrived back at the marina safe & sound :)
By: jenny_o on December 1, 2015
These are fantastic! Much better than my photos of Camden, New Jersey. I'd show you, but someone stole my camera.
By: Al Penwasser on December 1, 2015
What a sweet commercial. These are amazing photos - especially that first one. Did you take it?
By: Robyn Engel on December 1, 2015
Memories that will surely stay a lifetime. We didn't have that advert over here - I don't even know what the product is - but the line 'Do it again, daddy', made me laugh out loud.
By: Mike@A Bit About Britain on December 2, 2015
I remembered that commercial without the video. It was priceless. I seriously love sunset cruises. I've been on a few on the east coast and they are so cool but I will say none ever served food to the likes of your cruise!! Great photos and so glad you enjoyed.
By: Bouncin Barb on December 3, 2015

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