Cruising the Sea of Cortes

Cruising the Sea of Cortes

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Mexico, but not as we know it[/caption]SAN EVARISTA, Mexico — Rising at dawn to catch the sunrise, cruise passengers nursing coffee cups watched as the Safari Endeavour glided past the Baja Peninsula’s ragged coast.

As the rays played over the cliffs, each thumb-shaped cove and crescent beach came into view for a minute or two, then slid out of sight, disappearing astern.

Fifty metres off the starboard bow, a whale surfaced, blowing an airy spray and leaving a widening circle of ripples. On the port side, a squawking band of seagulls hovered over a rocky islet shared by a colony of croaking sea lions.

They – and the Endeavour – were the only signs of life, or so it seemed to this first-time visitor to the Sea of Cortes, a 1,000-kilometre long finger of ocean separating the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland.


Spencer Pond camps

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Step back in time into an authentic wilderness lakeside housekeeping cabin. The camp does not have electricity and therefore cannot accommodate electrical appliances. It is completely “unplugged” and off the grid.

Using tools from earlier eras the cabins are both comfortable and retain the rustic charm. There are no toasters or microwaves but “old-fashioned” kitchen tools that allow you to mix your cakes, perk your coffee and make your toast.


Global search for tranquility

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In California go north to this sulphur-rich spring famed for its healing properties. The Wilbur Hot Springs hotel is off the grid and totally solar-powered – there are no TVs, no mobile reception and, apart from on ‘chef weekends’, guests have to prepare their own food in the communal kitchen. Add to that the fact that clothing is optional around the baths and you can rest assured you’ll be getting away from it all. There are free yoga sessions, a sauna and outstanding stargazing while coyotes howl.


Girlfriend Getaways

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Women are taking knitting trips, adventure trips and spa trips. There has been a 230 percent increase in the number of women-only travel companies in the past seven years. And many women who are taking girlfriends’ getaways are married — but leaving their husbands at home. Some women feel guilty about taking a vacation without their mates. But men often encourage their significant others to travel with other women. April Merenda, co-founder of Gutsy Women Travel, sees more time-pressed career women in their 30s and 40s taking girlfriends’ getaways.


Greek island holiday

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This luxury Greek Island holiday accommodation is a 7-acre private and gated country estate on the shores of the Ionian island of Ithaca perfect for a Greek Island holiday. Perched on a hillside and having spectacular sea views, this organic olive oil producing estate includes four houses, each set into its own fragrant gardened terraces, a swimming pool and outdoor amenities. The accommodation offers you a luxury, family-friendly and romantic destination where quality and hospitality are the abiding hallmarks.

‘In recent years four houses, a swimming pool, outdoor cooking/dining area and holistic massage pavilion have been added to terraced gardens within the groves, providing a holiday destination with services and surroundings to suit the most fastidious.

Together with the houses, the pool and its summer house, olive grove and forests, the accommodation also includes organic vegetable and herb gardens, a morning coffee shop and a quite separate ‘farm’ area which is home to half a dozen pet sheep and chickens.


Sustainable Ballard

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Biofuel is cool

Solar-power panels, brochures about organic gardening, and electric cars that make a Mini Cooper look spacious were all on display in the second annual Sustainable Ballard Fair. The event was the latest project of Sustainable Ballard, a 2-year-old all-volunteer nonprofit seeking to gradually move the Seattle neighborhood of roughly 45,000 off the grid of the global economy.

The group was born out of frustration at trying to mount opposition to the Iraq war, said Vic Opperman, one of the three founders. Sensing that they weren’t making a dent on the international front, and disheartened by the direction of federal policies, the Ballard residents opted instead to try to craft a blueprint for turning Ballard into a sustainable town. There, energy and other resources would be used at levels that can be maintained for generations.


Utilities crushed solar power

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The solar water heater industry was driven out of business in the 1940s, and now look at the mess we’re in. Eco-building consultant Laren Corrie explains.

In 1930s Florida, Solar energy totally dominated the water heating business (the same was true in southern California). Two thirds of water heaters sold in Florida in the 1930s were Solar water heaters, up on the roofs. When WWII began, copper, glass, and able bodies were in high demand to serve the national cause. Just as the auto industry in Detroit shut down, and we never saw any cars for a couple of auto years (1943-44 ?) the very successful Solar energy industry in Florida, also shut down for the war years. For rest of story, click on “more” below.
Solar Power: The Evolution of Sustainable ArchitectureSolar Power: The Evolution of Sustainable Architecture – buy it from Amazon US


European Wind Energy Conference & Exhibition 2006

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Not just hot air

Take advantage of this opportunity to share your experience and present your products and services to the international wind community. All accepted abstracts will be presented in plenary, parallel or poster sessions and be published in the proceedings. All authors will be notified by the end of September 2005 of the decision of the Selection Committee. All abstracts must be submitted online before 30th June 2005.

For further information contact Cristina Munteanu at +32 2 776 0996 or

Wind Energy Explained: Theory, Design and Application“Wind Energy Explained: Theory, Design and Application” BUY IT FROM AMAZON UK


Conference Subjects:



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Bartering food for drink in Santa Cruz

Barter is a way of surviving economically outside the system. Here are some links to sites which facilitate bartering. Barterer beware – some of the sites are more interested in their fee than your satisfaction. Bartercard, one of the bigger middlemen, has had a lot of bad publicity after some if its members ended up with thousands of barter dollars they were unable to spend.

Barter Exchange Guide

The guide explains how a business can use barter to increase material
flows and covers the benefits of barter, the different types of barter, and what
to look for in a barter exchange firm, among other topics.
International Barter Alliance
Claims to be the world’s largest barter marketplace.


This story was recycled

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Here are 101 money-saving ideas for the truly frugal, with thanks to the web site

The list covers every aspect of life — from Beauty and Shopping to Work and Travel:


*Lower your thermostat temperature a couple of degrees and wear sweaters around your house. For every degree you lower your thermostat, you save 2-3 percent on your energy bill.

*When you use your dishwasher, stop it before the drying cycle, and open the door to air dry your dishes.

*Make sure all your appliances are running smoothly by cleaning the filters regularly.

*Unless you are baking, put your food in your oven when you first turn it on.

*Close your drapes at night to help cold air from getting in.

*Open your drapes wide when the sun is shining to warm your room.

*Keep your windows shut as tightly as possible. Locking them will make the seal tighter.

*Close doors to rooms that don’t need to be heated, like closets, storage rooms, etc. Close the heating vent in unused rooms.

*Turn you lights off when you leave a room. It is cheaper to turn them on and off than leave them on, and the bulbs last longer.

*Use the lowest wattage possible and still have adequate light.
Frugal Living for Dummies – Buy the US Edition

Frugal Living for DummiesBuy the UK edition from Amazon


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