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Diamond Lil, at our dock behind our house, back in June, 2005

No matter how many times I travel from Roatan to Ontario and back, it's always a mind-boggling experience. Within a few short hours, I am transported from nose-stinging, ear-biting cold and heavy, grey skies to a tropical paradise. From below freezing temperatures in Toronto, as I slid my toony into the slot in the cart dispenser at the airport, to 61 degrees F when we landed in Miami, to 78 degrees F when we touched down in Roatan.

The captain was there waiting for me, as always. We squeezed my luggage into the back seat of our pickup truck, alongside the cooler full of ice, big bags of dog food and cat food, and two cartons of books.

Great timing - the books arrived at BJ's Backyard late on Friday and I was here by 1 pm on Saturday.

Thanks to all of you who ordered books online from or other book sellers. Kindle sales have made up 75% of all sales this month, which really surprised me. Sales are split evenly between all three books, also surprising. The Nautical Mind Bookstore now offers all three books for sale, if you live in the Toronto area. They will ship to you if you like.

Thanks to everyone for their reviews. Amazon reviews, for anyone who bought through them, are really helpful to me. Here is a review by our good friend, Joe, who gave Diamond Lil his blessing when we were looking for a boat. Thanks, Joe!

About fifteen years ago our good friends John & Mel Wood came to me and asked me to recommend and pre-purchase survey a good "Loop boat" for them. Considering budget and logistics, such as draft and liveability, I said Bayliner 3888 MY with Hino diesels.

(This post is not about Bayliner Boats, but I need to nip in the bud what opinions some may have about the make. Based on my 25 year professional career in marine surveying, Bayliner Boats, especially the bigger ones, are structurally not inferior to any mid-range affordable fiberglass production vessel, such as Sea Ray, Carver, etc.... those are fitted and finished nicer, that's all!)

After finding "Diamond Lil", a 3888 in great shape, the two of them went to do the Americas Great Loop and the Bahamas, only to keep making passage against the stream above Cuba and further south and west, hiding for Hurricane Season on the Rio Dulce, The River "that swallows gringos"!

Now, whatever I think of Bayliner Boats, I was not recommending an off-shore motorboat, I was recommending a good Loop boat, IOW suited for nearshore and inland navigation.

I guess Captain John and Admiral Mel had different ideas about what a little boat can do; today they are in the Roatan Honduras - on a Bayliner!

Mel so far has written three very well received books on the adventure and I just received my copy of the latest, "Diamond Lil Does The Rio Dulce".

Mel's first book starts out on Lake Simcoe and the Trent Severn Waterway, so I highly recommend these books to anyone with the boating bug, especially at this time of the year in Ontario.

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