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So Newton passed by with minimal effects to Sonrisa — electricity was out for a few hours with some 50 knots being recorded in the marina.
A normal thunderstorm shuts down La Paz due to the poor drainage so it was a couple of days until the boys returned to school. Plenty of trees down but otherwise La Paz came off lightly.
It really is incredible that it was 10 years ago he crossed the Atlantic as a toddler, one really needs to enjoy these times, gone far too soon.
We now have a week in Puerto Vallarta sin ninos for our 14 th wedding anniversary, another milestone I find hard to appreciate, again seems like last week Mel and I were working on Wild B in Italy.
Just before we head to Tasmania in November our dear friends from Seattle Rennie and Denny are coming to stay on Sonrisa — a great opportunity for us to repay their incredible hospitality.
Tasmania will be an interesting time as we sort out our lives, Mexican permanent residency and whether to sell the farm in Tasmania.
Vancouver really is one of the most picturesque cities around, with all the bicycling and walking paths we never had to resort to a car.
The Canadian dollar being on par with the ozzie dollar made life that much more bearable and enjoyable. So a big thanks to Gary and Jeanine for allowing us to stay for several days — a fantastic location.
Finally a night in Denver at the Crawford hotel and a sumptuous meal with our ever generous host Chad McWinney — the meal at Stoic and Genuine, as last time, unforgettable — thanks Chad!!
Back in La Paz, with a pretty warm September — as I am writing this Hurricane Newton is some 24 hours away so the decks on Sonrisa looking very clean.
Hopefully the 20 odd lines holding Sonrisa tight will be enough. We managed to get out to Espiritu Santo Island most weekends for cooler times and the busy school days.
A few days to prepare Sonrisa for cyclone season — a very bare yacht with all sails, halyards, covers off.
We found a good home for Peluchie our family cat for the last 18 months, with 2 months away now and then the 5 month trip to Tasmania in November it was just too complicated to keep him on Sonrisa — a very sad day when he left.
Our first stop in Seattle was to Denny and Rennies, our cruising friends from Columbia several years ago — such a warm welcome. His first unaccompanied flight, we were so proud of him as he set off.
An interesting time for Huon also as this was the first instance when they have been separated — in the end the parents stressing more than the boys!
As we did last year, a magic several days down at Stretch Island in Southern Puget Sound, July 4 th fireworks, kayaking, crabbing etc with Huon happily being a shadow to 3 older boys — now one of a pack taking on all the fashions and actions of the older boys.
Plenty of activities in Seattle over the next 6 weeks along with a pleasant offer to stay in their house in Vancouver from other cruising friends we met in Costa Rica in , Gary and Jeanine from High 5 — they are taking their yacht down to La Paz, and Costa Baja Marina over the summer.
Just the odd other yacht floating around. Two weeks just getting back into the cruising mode as we are now tied to the marina most of the time.
The highlight was the diving with seals at Isla Los Islotes, where the seals where very happy to perform for the camera with an apple as a toy.
A really wonderful trip with excellent weather. Last weekend we visited La Duna for an evening with several of our local Mexican families.
This rustic and very environmentally friendly resort provides a magic location just to chill and chat for the children and adults that went very late into the evening.
February was rather quite, school runs, Mel studying all rather domestic. I popped down to Barra Navidad, south of Puerto Vallarta to bring Princess 1 back to La Paz, as expected on the nose most of the way so, double the time taken to get down there, some 3 days for some miles much of the time at around 7 knots.
A few days later to Cabo San Lucas so she could be hauled out for her yearly maintenance. We had a magnificent week with our dear friends from Monaco, Poala, Antoine and Daniel their 6 year old son.
Our new old two car family made arrangements easy. Mel was also busy for a few days helping arrange provisions for a couple of large yachts, something we might consider more of later on.
Finally we actually had some of that thing called work. Princess Two in the Caribbean was within days without a crew — Mel biting the bullet, agreed to come along for 4 weeks to cook.
Leaving the boys for such a time was a very big decision, but with our delightful La Paz friends and children Igor and Daniella we could feel they were in very safe hands.
Princess Two was in St Thomas the US Virgin Islands, the first demonstration trip was cancelled and the second charter with guest from Mexico city is best not talked about we did our best in trying conditions with untrained crew — the fact that the two Mexican crew were left tips and the 3 Anglo Saxons were not says it all — funny to experience a little discrimination on our side, makes one respect what other non-white Anglo Saxon cultures have to deal with.
Our taxi driver, Sobers, providing me with several hours of laughs as we went shopping for parts and food. With 4 crew for the mile trip from St Thomas to the Bahamas a couple of long nights, made longer by the 10 minute departure in the Turks and Caicos of the rather useless South African stewardess.
Now in Hurricane Hole Marina for the last day of a very quick two day hand over to the 4 new crew. Cipriano, our hard working and delightful Mexican mariner will stay until the boat heads to Florida in April.
Looking forward to being back on Sonrisa with the boys and Peluchie for the normal Easter cruise. As with last year we headed out to Playa Bonanza for a family week over Christmas.
Clear sunny, blue skies, a magic empty beach and just a few other yachts around made for a delightful and relaxing time. Trips to see the de commissioned aircraft carrier Midway and a trip to the expansive San Diego Zoo were the touristy highlights.
Our Friends Alex and Dariella sold us their old Mitsubishi Montero, which will deal with the Mexican roads and crazy traffic much better than the aging Subaru.
By train we headed north for a few days to Santa Barbara to see our old friends Kevin and Carolyn — what a magic house they have near the beach, with many Asian touches from their house in Bali.
We all had fun in this tranquil town, Mel particularly enjoying the shopping! After getting the Montero serviced we cruised down to La Paz via Mexico Highway 1 in sections worse than our country road to Bream Creek in Tasmania very dangerous and really a poor excuse for a highway.
Three nights along the way in San Quintin, San Ignacio and Loreto were magic, each hotel having plenty of character and hospitality.
The boys finally got back to school a week late but the travels more than made up for it, though they did seem to spend most of their time watching videos or on the Kindle.
A rather quiet few months during autumn, such a quick change from the hot summer. Daylight saving has finished, so dark mornings are over and the evenings are considerably longer, delightful to lie back on a cool evening with a good book.
I, unfortunately, was doing something rather strange — working. Thankfully only a few short trips involved as I would not last any longer! The boys continue to progress well at school, their Spanish well ahead of mine.
For Christmas we will head out to anchor for a week, very quiet and relaxing away from the, already, overwhelming commercial shit.
If you haven't seen Casino yet, stop whatever it is you're doing, rush to the nearest video store, rent it, and watch it. Along with Mean Streets Casino is probably Scorsese's most underrated and unheralded picture.
I would also venture to say that this is probably his most ambitious film. The film deals with a particular time period and a particular atmosphere and accomplishes an overwhelming achievement by creating and accurately portraying both.
The art direction is splendid, most likely the best of any film Scorsese has ever done. The acting is superb.
I never thought Pesci would be able to top his dynamic performance in Raging Bull until I saw Casino. Every time I watch this picture I fall in love with it all over again.
This is the most honest depiction of Las Vegas, especially of the time period it was portrayed in. Scorsese's direction is flawless. Perhaps it is because I watch alot of Scorsese and Kubrick films, but I am becoming less satisfied with plot driven films and more enamored by films that possess the freedom that typical stories just don't seem to hold.
Sharon Stone gives the best performance of her career, and as far as the editing is concerned, well if you believe like Kubrick and Pudovkin that a film is not shot, but built who better to have on your team than long time cohort, collaborator, and editor Thelma Schoonmaker.
Ultimately, the genius of Scorsese is not just in the mastery of the medium, but in the understanding and appreciation for the necessity of great collaborators on all levels that Scorsese has consistently utilized throughout his career.
Casino exemplifies not only the best of a Scorsese film, but transcends it. This film is truly a gem. The most uncompromising studio picture of the s.
A complex, multilayered, beautifully directed film, Martin Scorsese's Casino is a masterpiece of destruction and betrayal. Few films take so many chances and succeed so wonderfully.
It takes some of the basic formulas that were found in Goodfellas and applies them to another type of story - while Goodfellas' view was ground-level, telling the story of the "blue collar" gangsters of NYC, this film tells the story of the guys who controlled those guys.
And it's fascinating to watch these people run Las Vegas, control the flow of money, and then fall from the heights of power due to lust, hubris, and greed.
An amazing film that will hopefully get the recognition it deserves in the years to come. I have to admit my bias, because I believe that Scorcese cannot do wrong - ever.
Even his lesser-known or critically panned films are above the "great film" line, and Casino is certainly no exception.
Casino spans three decades and chronicles the true story of a faction of the mob who ran Las Vegas casinos.
Robert DeNiro plays Ace Rothstein, a fantastic bookie who is chosen to run the Tangiers hotel and casino.
Along the way, he marries a drug-addicted con-artist trophy wife Sharon Stone and struggles with his friendship with loose-cannon Nicky Santoro Joe Pesci.
Rothstein is a complicated figure in that he is not a heavy, yet he wields a lot of power due to the respect he has gained from his mob bosses back home.
Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci are both fantastic in their roles, and Sharon Stone actually turned out a non-irritating performance.
As the viewer, you can't stand her, but that is the point. Scorcese's normal supporting cast are also involved in this film, including his great mother - even though she usually has incredibly minimal roles, they are always memorable.
Scorcese seems to have several different directing styles, and Casino follows in the tradition of Goodfellas as a pseudo-documentary.
A lot of the exposition is revealed by the characters themselves in the form of voice-overs, and several scenes are filmed in documentarian fashion.
The entire production however, is sleek and very quick. The use of music bears mentioning as well: Most Martin Scorcese films have an amazing soundtrack that adds to and enhances the scene.
Scorcese doesn't just utilize the soundtrack, he makes it part of the storytelling - by the music, we chronologically know what time period we are witnessing, since one cannot rely on other factors, such as fashion alone.
One of my favorite scenes in film which effectively involves music is actually from Casino - the very intense scene when the relationship between DeNiro, Stone and Pesci come to a head in the climax of the film.
The pounding music cut throughout this scene is a cover of "Satisfaction" by Devo and the result is absolutely brilliant. Being a complete film geek, I generally don't go to films that feature certain stars, I go to films by certain directors and Scorcese is one of them.
While this was probably the tenth time I'd seen this film there were more things I noticed, and I'm sure I'll notice more upon my eleventh viewing.
The man is a complete genius, and a gift to film - my suggestion is to watch some of his films, then check out his unbelievable series, "A Personal Journey with Martin Scorcese Through American Movies" which was done the same year as Casino.
The series is essentially a primer on the history of film, sectioned off by film genres. You not only will experience his amazing intellect and massive knowledge of film history, but his incredible humility as well.
This is one of the best films of the 90's hands down. Without a doubt this has become one of my favorite movies. I'm not sure why really, I just love it.
I think because I read the book and a lot of what happened in real life happened in my little town in Chicago. No names, and my old boss who runs our town grocery store actually knew "Ace".
That was always pretty cool to me, since my town really didn't have much excitement. I guess also because I'm a huge fan of Martin, Robert, and Joe's.
When they work together, they create masterpieces. Is it "Goodfellas Part 2", in my opinion, no. Yes, it's very similar situations, but it's not the same plot.
It's a little more gory and more bright. Actually that's true, it's not like it used to be. I'm only 20, but my mom and dad told me how different the times were in the 60's and 70's.
Everyone was more close and wanted to know who you were and how everything was going.