Sunday, January 15, 2023

Scuba Diving in Baja California Sur


As the ultimate sports destination, La Ventana Mexico lures adventure seekers to its sandy shores with the promise of consistent offshore winds and waves. While it’s only an hour away from the bustling, tequila-fueled resort strips in Cabo San Lucas, La Ventana feels authentic–a place with dusty, bumpy roads, framed by cacti and quiet beaches in lieu of mega-resorts and buffet lines.

In La Ventana, sun seekers, mountain bikers, surfers, SUP’ers, kayakers, kiteboarders, snorkelers, divers, and anglers load up their gear and head down to play in the surf, with a stunning backdrop of the Sea of Cortez and Jacques Cousteau Island.

Baja Underwater Expeditions / Cerralvo Divers

La Ventana - Isle Cerralvo Diving

La Ventana: a kite surfing town with a small population of local fishermen and home to a gateway to Jacques Cousteau Island. The famous ocean explorer led many expeditions in this area and so the Mexican Government changed the name from Cerralvo Island in 2009 in honor of his conservation work. La Ventana: a kite surfing town with a small population of local fishermen and home to a gateway to Jacques Cousteau Island. The famous ocean explorer led many expeditions in this area and so the Mexican Government changed the name from Cerralvo Island in 2009 in honor of his conservation work. Many of the locals prefer to use its real name ‘Cerralvo’.

A huge dolphin population lives in the area too, and in the last few years, orcas encounters are becoming very popular! In one word, La Ventana is a truly magical place. Under the surface, a true multicolor paradise is waiting for all the divers that want something new to explore. Besides La Reina, very famous for the giant mantas, we can explore several unknown dive sites, all rich in marine life and beautiful coral formations.

Duration: 6 hours

Capacity: Min. 2 pax Max. 8 pax

Price: USD $180 for two tanks – USD $210 for three tanks  (100 USD = 95 Euros)


Roundtrip transportation by boat

Certified dive guide

2 or 3 tanks

Complete diving equipment (fins, visor, regulator, vest, weights)

Lunch, fruits, and drinks

PHONE +52 987 1171354 / +52 612 2127511
La Ventana - Calle Manzanillo y Corredor Isla, 8am - 5 pm

Cabo Pulmo National Park

It is the national marine park on the east coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, spanning the distance between Pulmo Point and Los Frailes Cape, approximately 3 hours south of La Paz. Cabo Pulmo is home to the oldest of only three coral reefs on the west coast of North America. Estimated to be 20,000 years old, it is the northernmost coral reef in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The reef has a number of fingers of hard coral atop rock outcroppings that run parallel to the coast, occurring in progressively deeper water offshore. The area was designated a national park in 1995, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

Cabo Pulmo National Park is home to over 6,000 marine species. Principle among these is the famous sea lions of the area. In terms of other large species, the park is also home to humpback whales, sharks, and whale sharks. Huge groupers, turtles, and large schools of jacks are readily available. Tropical fish are abundant, and the occasional reef and bull shark can also be found close to prey. Underwater photographers will be amazed at the diversity of macro life found on this rare coral reef. 

Pulmo Ntl Park Scuba-Diving

Several coral reefs at Cabo Pulmo attract schools of rays, turtles, enormous groupers, large schools of jacks, porkfish, tropical fish, and even sharks every once in a while. 

Most of the dive sites are shallow (30-40 feet) and located only a 10-15 minute boat ride from shore. The shallow depth of the dives and easy contours of the bottom, allow long and very easy drift dives.

Duration: Approx. 3:30 hours


National park fee, 2 tanks, and lunch

Without Transportation - Price: $125 USD

With Round Trip Transportation - Price: $275 USD (100 USD = 95 Euros)

Rental Equipment: $35 USD

Diving in La Paz

Espiritu Santo Island – 2 tanks day trip

1 day $180 


Guide, taxes 16%, snacks, lunch, and drinks

Rental gear is free

They are a group of French-Mexican friends, who share their love for diving, the Sea of Cortez, and the protection of marine ecosystems. The owner Alexia is a French marine biologist. All the members of her team have many years of experience in diving and the sea of Cortez and around La Paz.

Cabo San Lucas Marine Park Diving

Watch the unique Sand falls phenomenon, an underwater avalanche of sand

Dive with the playful sea lions next to the famous arch

Enjoy a tour around the Land’s End area: see Lover’s Beach, the Sea Lion’s Colony, the famous arch, and the Pacific

Experience a ride on our well-shaded, fully equipped, and custom-made dive boats

Dive in small groups with a PADI-certified Divemaster or instructor.  Daily 8 am and 1 pm, approx. 3:30 hrs


2 tanks, a guide, weights, and drinking water


Dive gear rental full set – $38

Nitrox tank up to 32% – $10

PHONE +52-624-9800640

Blvd. Marina #7D Local 37 Int. Plaza Gali

Diving in Baja California Sur is excellent year-round but each season brings its own gems. July to November has excellent visibility (25m). This season is also prime time for whale sharks (best chances in October/November) and offers the warmest water (73-85°F/23-30°C).

Cooler waters between December and March (64-68°F/18-20°C) bring different creatures. Now is the best time to come face-to-face with humpback whales and mobula rays. Whatever time of year you visit, your logbook will be pleasantly full after diving in Baja California Sur.

Enjoy your time underwater watching the marine animals flow by.



Monday, January 2, 2023

Publishing Newsletter January 2023


Tips for Successful Publishing - Newsletter January 2023

by by 111Publishing and SavvyBookWriters

Content of this Newsletter:

- Book Categories

- Fellowships & Grants

- Writing Contests

- Freelance Writing


Hello Friends, 

Feliz Año Nuevo - Bonne année - Happy New Year - Gott nytt år - Gelukkig Nieuwjaar

I hope you all had a marvelous Holiday season and you are energetic to tackle the New Year.  This is your year!  But good intentions change nothing.  How can you stick with your goals throughout the year? And what are your plans for 2022?  Get lots of encouragement to stick to your resolutions with our tips here:



Why should you care about Amazon book categories as an author? Using the right categories to list your book allows you to reach more potential customers and improve your overall sales performance. Learn more:

On the same page you will also find:

  • How Amazon Book Categories Work
  • Importance of Book Categories
  • Browser Categories vs. BISAC Categories
  • How to choose winning Book Categories



Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency

Artists selected for this program are at all stages of their careers and work in all media, including drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, film, video, new media, installation, fiction and also nonfiction writing, interdisciplinary, social practice, and architecture. The residency provides studio space and living accommodations. Each artist will be assigned their own house in which to live and work for the 6-week length of the residency. All US and International artists are eligible for the JTHAR program. Location Northern California.   Deadline Jan 10


Conroy Center Writers Residency

Located on a salt marsh, the residency at MarshSong Cottage provides an inspirational, creative space in the heart of Pat Conroy’s beloved Lowcountry. The residency location is a guest cottage on St. Helena Island, SC. The residency dates will be Feb 28 to March 7, The residency is open to both published & unpublished writers, available to writers of all genres.  Deadline January 10


Tennessee Fellowships

Fellowships provide those individuals who by education, experience, or natural talent engage in a particular art form or discipline, and live and work in Tennessee. To qualify, an artist must be financially compensated for his or her work, and this compensation must be a significant source of support for their livelihood.  Recipients will be awarded $5,000.  Deadline Jan 23.


NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships

Prize: $8,000 cash awards are made to individual originating artists living and working in the state of New York for unrestricted use. These fellowships are not project grants but are intended to fund an artist’s vision or voice, regardless of the level of his or her artistic development.  Deadline: January 25.


Writer of Note Grants

Applications are open to individual adult writers regardless of race, ethnicity, gender orientation, education, economic situation, geographic origin, or location. The de Groot Foundation will award seven COURAGE to WRITE grants of $7,000 each to writers writing in any genre and three $7,000 LANDO grants to writers exploring immigrant/refugee issues and experiences.  Application Fee $22.  Deadline Febr 15



Open to women, US citizens only. Genre: Novel. All entries must be submitted by publishers who wish to have the work of their authors that were published in the year 2018 considered. No self-published works or works from vanity presses will be accepted.  Prize: $7,500.  Deadline: Jan 15.



Open to residents of MN, IA, ND, SD, WI, or MI. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $10,000 & book publication with Milkweed Editions.  Deadline: Jan 15.


The Orwell Prize

£3,000.00 for political writing is open to nonfiction first published in the UK or Ireland. (See publication deadlines.) Genre: Nonfiction, including entries addressing political, social, cultural, moral, and historical subjects.  Deadline: Jan 16.


Bronwen-Wallace Award

Candidates must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents; Under the age of 35; Unpublished in book form and without a book contract. Genre: Poetry and fiction. Prizes: Up to C$10,000.  Deadline: January 16.


Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing

A Book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on contemporary Canadian political life. The book must be published in Canada. Prize: CAN $25,000.00.  Deadline: Jan 31.


Memoir: First Chapters Competition

First Prize: £1500. Second Prize: £300. Third Place: £100. Memoirs can be in any style or form, but must be in English, and written for adults. Submit a 300-word One-Pager (summary of your Memoir), and the opening chapters of your Memoir (5,000 words maximum). You can apply for a bursary if low income, class, race, age, gender, sexuality, caring responsibilities, location, disability, or mental and physical health affects your writing.  £20 Entry Fee.  Deadline Jan 31.


Papa Tango Prize

The winning writer will receive £7000. Their script will be produced by Papatango in a full run on the main stage of the Bush Theatre, London, in spring 2024. The writer will receive a royalty of 8% of the net box office and their play will be published by Nick Hern Books. The four shortlisted writers will each receive £500.  No Entry Fee.  Deadline Febr 5.



Daily Remedy

News articles run between 400 and 1,000 words. Pay is $1/word.  All articles should be directed to the Editorial Features Editor at  They prefer articles that editorialize on popular health topics using novel, nontraditional methods of analysis. Pitches should be brief, with a single paragraph explaining the story idea. Articles should editorialize on popular health topics using novel, nontraditional methods of analysis. Features run between 2,000 and 2,500 words.


The Sunday Long Read

They publish roughly five to seven original long-form articles per year and would love to hear from writers.  They may not be able to publish a story right away. Their floor for reported long-form (>2,000 words) stories is $2,000 with the possibility of covering expenses.


Write for Lonely Planet

What we’re looking for: 1000-word articles that analyze the stories beyond the headlines. They have a longer shelf life than a traditional news story but are still “of the moment” – e.g. explainer pieces, and festival advice. We cover topics from all over the globe: arts and culture, identity, history, nature, outdoors, sustainability, and heritage. Stories need to be informative, engaging, and packed with personality.


Better Homes & Gardens 

Looking for new, experienced freelance writers for upcoming evergreen commerce articles. Previous experience is required. Rates start at $600. Please email resumes and press clips to Brittany Romano, the Senior Editor at



A website that pays its contributors for writing interesting and unique lists. The lists cover a wide range of topics, from the bizarre to the interesting to the informative. If you have a knack for coming up with unique and engaging lists, you can make money by writing for Listverse. The website receives millions of visitors each month, so if your list is accepted and published, it will be seen by a very large audience. But that’s not where the money comes in. You don’t get paid for the views you get. It’s a flat rate. Listverse pays $100 for each accepted list.


More freelance writing for magazines: The golden ticket to write for senior magazines


As we head toward the new year, think about how you will overcome fears, find peers to support you, and get your writing and pitching done. 







Sunday, January 1, 2023

Contrary to the Myths: Mexico is a Safe Place


Mexico continues to attract a record number of international visitors: In 2019, Mexico attracted over 45 million foreign visitors, making it one of the world’s top-ten most visited countries.  Despite negative media news flow -  especially about drug-related violence - people keep coming to Mexico. Mexico is today one of the world’s few ‘trillion-dollar’ economies and mature nations are keen to work with Mexico.  The country is seeing consistent demand from foreigners who are interested in relocating to Mexico.  

Last winter I drove from Laredo in Texas through the  Mexican mainland and further to the west coast of the sunshine country.  In Mazatlán, I boarded a ferry to La Paz in Baja California Sur.  Several months later I drove from this pacific-bordering peninsula 2,500 kilometers north to the U.S. border and San Diego.  During this extended road trip through large parts of Mexico I discovered the natural beauty of this country, its delicious food, and its friendly, helpful people,

Even though I didn't speak Spanish at this point, I single-drove thousands of kilometers in Mexico, being female and over seventy years old.  Despite all this, I always felt totally safe.  However, lots of friends and strangers from North America and Europe asked me if I am not afraid to travel to Mexico. 


No one ever asked me if I feel safe when I head to the U.S. - despite more than 600 mass shootings in the first 10 months of 2022.  Visitors to the U.S. can be shot in any Walmart, on a bus, in a popular restaurant, or in a school...

However, the U.S. media is eager to point out every fight among the drug cartels - which barely ever bothers tourists or foreign business people in Mexico.  If they don't hang out in obscure bars at night, try to get into the drug trade, or buy drugs - then there is barely a chance to be involved in gang fights.  American media outlets should rather point to their home-grown crooks and mass murders.

The violence is mostly confined to drug gangs.  When you drill down into the detail of the data, figures show that the surge of homicides in Mexico over the last decade has come about through criminal gang members fighting each other.  Tourists, business visitors, and foreign residents are not being targeted by drug gangs.

Just look at the tiny country of the Netherlands in Europe: Gang wars and contract killings, a crown princess who cannot study carefree, and threats against the head of government: what sounds like a fictional thriller about the power of drug cartels is a reality for the Dutch.  The trial of suspected drug lord Ridouan Taghi has shone a spotlight on brutal methods used by his "Mocro Maffia" in the country.  And the recent dismantling of a "super cartel" in Dubai with links to Taghi has heightened fears that the liberal country of the Netherlands could be on its way to becoming a drug state... wrote recently: "Every day, tourists arrive in Mexico to vacation and enjoy its rich culture and heritage.  Business visitors arrive to trade, cultivate friendships, and agree on deals that create new wealth.  Foreign residents living here are going about their lives normally and contributing positively in the Mexican communities they love calling home."  

My advice is:  Never buy drugs, don't hang out in bars until the wee hours, and don't drive at night in unknown areas.  It will keep you out of trouble.