Ahoy, mates and mateys, and welcome to another thrilling adventure, featuring your old pirate buddy, Captain Kidder. (a/k/a Doc Yanoff) As you can tell from today’s blog title, this next book is loosely based upon the comic opera known as the PIRATES OF PENZANCE. This charming opera was written by Gilbert & Sullivan, better known as Gilbert Gottfried & Ed Sullivan. (Just joking) It was actually written by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, and premiered at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City on December 31, 1879. (Man, that must have been one hell of a New Year’s Eve party!)
Today’s blog, which is obviously more interesting than that ancient opera, marks the beginning of a fascinating tale of high adventure on the dark and stormy seas of the Caribbean. (Actually, the only dark & stormy thing I saw was my rum cocktail, which was called a Dark & Stormy. Rather fitting name, since it got a little dark after two cocktails, and then my stomach got stormy!) In any case, we shall be focused on my recent voyage to the Caribbean islands found between the Greater and Lesser Antilles. (No, they’re not called the Mediocre islands!) Have you heard of my Aunt Tilly? Well, she has nothing to do with this blog, so let’s move on…..
My goals on this particular voyage were twofold: 1. Sell & autograph as many books as possible. 2. Endear myself to the indigent people of the Caribbean basin.(Oops, make that “indigenous” people) So, did I succeed? Yes and no. I sold a lot of books, but I did not gain many followers among the heathen savages that we encountered. No idea why. Most of the semi-naked natives had an “attitude” about waiting on me hand and foot. (Although some of them simply used a middle finger from time to time.) Still, our voyage of enlightenment was a huge success, even though I had to return the lovely couple I purchased on St. Lucia.
Our trip began in lovely San Juan, Puerto Rico, which really did look great. The entire area encompassing Old Town has been cleaned up from last year’s devastating hurricane, and the good folks of Puerto Rico were exceeding gracious to us. (Even after I used some of my oldest jokes on them!) We spent two days at the Marriott Hotel on the north shore, and it was simply wonderful. (Lovely accommodations, good food, and a marvelous beach.) The towels were a little thick, but we managed to fold a couple into our duffle bags. (I’m talking about a couple of towels, not a couple of tourists.)
San Juan is most famous for mojito, mofongo, and salsa. (Sounds like a law firm!) Each is delicious in its own way, and when you’re done stuffing your face, you can take a nice long walk around the historic town of Old San Juan. (We chose to travel by Segway, but after running over several of the locals, we decided to walk a spell.) You enter this section of the city through San Juan Gate, an impressive remnant of the walls that once encircled the area. Once you’re inside, you can view the vast Fort San Cristobal, the largest fortress built in the New World.
If you’ve never been to Puerto Rico, I suggest a visit to the Bacardi Rum Factory (which you will enjoy, but not remember in any detail) and a visit to El Yunque Rainforest. We once toured the rainforest with Barbara and Max Talbott, and after we saved them from a local tribe of headhunters, we marveled at the lush 28,000 acres of the park. (The park contains 75 percent of the virgin forests in the country, but very few other virgins.) Still, if you enjoy flora and fauna (I liked Flora the best) you will be intrigued by the forest’s 240 tree species and its 150 types of ferns. (Fern was also nice!) Well, enough about those questionable virgins…
Let’s get back to pirates… What do you call a ship that’s twitching at the bottom of the ocean? (A “nervous wreck!”) How much do pirates pay to get their ears pierced? (A “buck-an-ear!”) Last one… (thank God)… Why can’t pirates play cards on a ship? (The captain was standing on the deck!)
Hey, come on, some of those jokes were passable! All right, maybe not. So what else is new? Well, as you might have read in the NYT, my new mystery book (CAPONE ISLAND) received a wonderful pre-publication review. The reviewer, who I did NOT bribe, wrote the following: “Buckle your seat belts, folks. Adam Gold,(America’s favorite insurance investigator) is heading down the highway to hell again, and this time he’s involved with Big Al’s treasure and a band of ruthless Cuban spies. CAPONE ISLAND is the new book, and it is destined to become one of the best-selling mysteries of the year. Look for a May release date.”
Well, I don’t have any idea how well the book will do, but I can assure you that you will enjoy the story. The manuscript is undergoing some final “cleansing,” so I will keep you informed of the actual publication date. In the meantime, if you will scroll down, you will see some recent photos of my Caribbean outing. (I wasn’t actually “outed,” but you know what I mean.)
Have yourself a marvelous week and we shall meet again soon… (The next stop on our voyage was Road Town, Tortola, which is part of the British Virgin Islands. (However, as before, I did not meet any virgins!)
Love to all,