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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We're Off!

February 5, 2014

    

It seems like we just returned from India and now we’re off on another adventure. Shutting down Chubby Chatterbox before a vacation is traumatic for me and I always wait until the last moment to do so. I admire bloggers who can write and publish posts while on vacation, but I’m not one of them. My initial reactions to sights and experiences are jumbled and often change with time. I like giving them an opportunity to percolate in my mind before writing them down. It’s only recently that I’ve been taking pictures. On our last trip I met a fellow who’d taken sixteen hundred photographs over the course of two weeks. I bet he won’t remember where he was in most of those pictures, although he might remember the chubby guy on a camel galloping past him in the Great Thar Desert.

    

Mrs. Chatterbox and I have been to many exotic places, but we’ve never been to Southeast Asia so this will be an incredible experience for us. The biggest disappointment we’ve experienced in our travels is the food. In many countries, dinner is eaten as late as ten p.m. and, as a diabetic, I need to eat earlier. But I’m told late night dining in Thailand isn’t the norm, and the food is said to be incredible.

  

Our first stop is Vancouver, Canada, and then it’s a twelve hour flight to Hong Kong. Three days later we will be in Thailand and then Cambodia.

    

We expect to return at the end of February, and I look forward to sharing our experiences with you. Until then:

 

Radio C-H-A-T-T-E-R-B-O-X is off the air…

 

 

 

 

 



Comments

37 Comments
Have fun on your trip. I'm sure the weather will be a lot better than it is here.
By: PT Dilloway on February 5, 2014
Travel safely Stephen. It certainly sounds like an adventure. I can't wait to read all about it.
By: Ken on February 5, 2014
Great fun and safe travels- looking forward to reading about it upon your return!
By: Shelly on February 5, 2014
That's going to be really amazing! I'm the same way about writing, by the way. I really do choose my words carefully, and I cannot do that while I'm on vacation or at work or doing any of those things that other people manage to multi-task with their blogging... Have a great time. Bring back stories.
By: Katy Anders on February 5, 2014
You will love Thailand!! At least I did. I used to think that taking a thousand or more photos interfered with being there, but not so. Digital is fast and gives you time to be in the moment as well. When I get back I find the memories are enhanced with the many photos, although I do delete about 60%!!
By: Tabor on February 5, 2014
Bon voyage mon ami!
By: Daniel LaFrance on February 5, 2014
safety wished to you both! and full enjoyment of the entire experience!
By: TexWisGirl on February 5, 2014
I am catching up with posts but wanted to make sure I wished you and your wife a wonderful vacation and I look forward with great anticipation to reading about it when you return. Safe Journey!
By: John on February 5, 2014
Have fun, and most important, stay safe.
By: Scott Cody Park on February 5, 2014
Bon voyage my blogger friend- we'll all miss you, but your travel stories to come will be well worth the wait! Have a great time!
By: Kathe W. on February 5, 2014
Bon Voyage! And i notice your mother and the percolator are still on your mind!
By: mimi on February 5, 2014
Have a wonderful trip. I am so eager to hear about all your adventures. I am in total agreement not to blog while you are traveling...but take lots of pictures and fill us in when you get back. Safe travels..have fun!
By: Cheryl P. on February 5, 2014
I would stay in Vancouver rather than continue. I love that city. I hope you have a great and safe time. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on February 5, 2014
Have a great trip; and when you get back, maybe you can explain the International Date Line for us. I could never figure that out.
By: tom sightings on February 5, 2014
Have a good time and a safe trip. It will be hard to top the foot-smelling earrings, but I look forward to your vacation tales.
By: Val on February 5, 2014
have a wonderful time as i know you will and i'll look forward to your posts when you return, and hopefully some pics too. happy landings
By: Fran on February 5, 2014
Have fun!!! Can't wait to hear of your travels! I am like that too - I really like to simmer, and savor the moments while I'm in them, ruminate and THEN maybe a writing will appear. Enjoy!!
By: Carrie on February 5, 2014
Have a wonderful trip! Regarding photos, I'd say the same thing that Tabor said.
By: Pixel Peeper on February 5, 2014
I hope your trip is even better than you're hoping. So happy for you and Mrs. C. Enjoy and safe travels.
By: Bouncin Barb on February 5, 2014
Have a great trip!
By: red on February 5, 2014
Happy travels to you and the Missus.
By: Snowbrush on February 5, 2014
Wishing you a great trip ... or maybe this is a warm welcome back. Can't wait for the stories!
By: Mitchell is Moving on February 6, 2014
Enjoy your globe-trotting
By: Bryan Jones on February 6, 2014
Have a great trip!! We'll miss you!
By: LL Cool Joe on February 6, 2014
Have a wonderful, safe trip. Looking forward to hearing all about it.
By: Hilary on February 6, 2014
Wishing you safe travels!
By: Michael Manning on February 7, 2014
Have a fabulous trip and come back with lots of pics and stories to tell us! :)
By: Lexa Cain on February 7, 2014
I can't wait to read about your adventures.
By: Michael Offutt on February 7, 2014
I hope not to see a photo of you or Mrs Chatterbox with your butt in the air as you get a drink in a river or stream. I know you will enjoy your trip and savor the experiences and in your own way you will share with us. Enjoy.
By: CiCi on February 8, 2014
Just found this. Can't wait for your travel report.
By: Franklin Bruce Taylor on February 8, 2014
Hope you have a wonderful time and you make many friends on your travels. I can't wait to hear all about it, and hope you add some photos too. I bet the food is going to be great because it will be authentic. Take care and looking forward to you coming back.
By: Rum Punch Drunk on February 9, 2014
Have fun storming the castle!
By: The Bug on February 10, 2014
Have a great time in the mysterious east, I know that's a cliche but couldn't help myself. I look forward to hearing about it, especially if you go the Laos.
By: Madeleine McLaughlin on February 12, 2014
Enjoy!
By: Cat on February 13, 2014
Hope you're having a fabulous trip and that you haven't ever found yourself in the same position as that elephant!
By: Fran on February 21, 2014
By the way, I just read your 'Zone' story and although I haven't a clue about baseball, I thought it was fabulous. Very funny. Reminded me of David Sedaris, who is often on our radio here now.
By: Fran on February 21, 2014
Hope you're having a wonderful time on your trip. It sounds amazing. I do try to keep some blog posts going while on vacation, but they're pre-scheduled posts. I just don't like to broadcast that I'm away. Safety issues, you know. Looking forward to hearing about your travels and adventures.
By: Linda at To Behold the Beauty on February 24, 2014

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