Book Reviews, Cruising

Cruising and a short Book Review;

To combine or not to combine. Here is my dilemma. Do I keep my cruising entries and book review separate for the purest, or combine the two for those that want a little of each? While I want to give the reader a something that they will enjoy but not take up a lot of time. I don’t want to make this blog work for either of us. So, here is a short review that I hope will whet your appetite for both.

Book Review; “Night of the Jaguar” by Michael Gruber copyright 2006

Gruber’s third book with character Jimmy Paz, South Florida resident, Cuban decent, Miami PD Detective, and restaurant line cook. Paz finds himself searching for a Amazonian, that has come to Miami to stop the cutting of trees in a Colombian rainforest. Taking place seven years after his last story Paz is married and has a daughter.
He left the police force at the end of the last book and has been working with his Mother in their Cuban restaurant. Jimmy’s life is not ideal, but it has a reality that most readers will be able to identify, to a point. At least I did, it is not idealistic but its good, and character Paz is dedicated to his wife and daughter and his Mother all though sometimes it’s difficult to move between them all.night of the jaguar jacket

“Night of the Jaguar”, tells a good story, and also educates the reader in different aspects of the Cuban culture in the United States, including interracial marriage, religions, and prejudices, not only color, but also, education, family, and learning disabilities, and this is just in the Cuban community.

If you have read any of the other Gruber novels you already know that he uses African and Cuban religious rituals in his stories. In Jaguar, Gruber includes the religion and beliefs of Amazonian tribes. While a novel not a text-book the cross-section of religious views, racial and cultural bias are hard not to raise questions in the reader. He raises questions in the beliefs of what most of the “Merikan” population was raised.

“Night of the Jaguar” is worth the read and I have enjoyed all three of the Michael Gruber books that I have read.

Next up; “Cryptonomicon” by Neal Stephenson, suggested by a well-educated friend of mine. Let’s see if I’m in over my head.

Cruising; Shakedown run to South Haven, Michigan.

We are preparing for our “Grand Adventure” and are using any excuse to try something a little different but still remain in a comfort zone. Our first short cruise of the season is to South Haven, MI, a trip of about 55 miles south. On the day of our departure we found waves on Lake Michigan to be 1 to 2 feet out of the south-west with rollers . I have been watching the weather and the wind will be switching from the north to the south during the night and should help keep the wave action to a minimum.

On Lake Michigan we have not only wind generated waves from the current conditions, but also waves that have been generated from the previous conditions. So, it is not uncommon to have waves that are moving in more than one direction. We’ve always called them rollers. Whether a correct term or not that is how I will refer to them. We always try to make any ride comfortable and with waves coming from a couple of directions it sometimes makes it a little difficult. The best way is to keep any wave from coming from the side or beam of the boat so we alter our course to adjust. This could add some time and fuel but comfort is the goal of any trip.

Our trip to South Haven was uneventful, but did get a little uncomfortable in the last couple of hours. We did speed up from 9 mph to 12 mph to help power through the waves that had increased to 2-3 foot by the time we reached the South Haven area. With course changes to head more into the waves and our increased speed we arrived in about the same time amount as if we had stayed slow and rolled around more. Comfort is the key, and it is always nice to enter a harbor and gain smooth waters.

We tied in South Haven’s Municipal Marina (North Side) and began to settle in. South Haven has refurbished this Marina recently, last year, and it is very nice. There is a park a couple of blocks away that is a favorite of our dog. The Lake Michigan beaches are just a short walk also. There is a nightly procession of people moving toward the beaches for sunset viewing. South Haven has also many Charter boats that offer sunset cruises or fishing excursions. All of them must pass by our slip. A “No Wake Zone” keeps it from getting to bumpy at the dock and the different water craft passing by makes for great viewing.IMG_1876 IMG_1882 IMG_1885

We found ourselves enjoying the sights, activities, and hospitality of the Marina so much that we stayed an extra day. With almost calm seas our return to Grand Haven was very relaxing and smooth.

We continue with our plans to leave on our “Great Loop” adventure the third week of August. Which is soon coming and my learning curve has grown exponentially as the time for departure gets closer.

Until next time, find a book and read it. Then have an adventure of your own.


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