Friday, November 28, 2008
This was the time when it became very apparent that we soon need to buy a Spanish translator, or at least a translation book! Our first cab took us to a doorway that said "Entrada." It didn't look like a hospital, but that's where we thought we told him to take us. We were met at the door by three men who wouldn't even let us enter. They told us to go to the military hospital. Unfortunately the cab had already left. So we hailed another. The first place he took us DEFINITELY did not look like a hospital. The second place he took us had a gate, with an armed (machine gun) guard in camos. After a little more confusion and an escort to the correct door, we found the place where we needed to be. As far as emergency rooms go, it was the best we had ever been in. There was only one other patient, and Patrick was in and out in before the Novocaine in his finger took effect and it only cost $75.00. He had SEVEN stitches, more than he has ever had. Now we are home again and planning a quiet evening watching movies. Hopefully it turns out like we plan.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Later that day we met an amazing Australian family who are tandem bicycling from CA to the tip of Chile! They are a couple and their two sons, ages 10 and 12. They plan to take about 3 years in the endeavor and they are doing it on a shoestring budget. So we ended up inviting them to the pool for a swim and then later that night we had about 14 people (kids and adults) over to the boat for an impromptu party. Jack had a great time with a posse of kids tearing up the marina on his scooter and bike and playing hide and seek in the dark. When we were telling our tale to the people on our boat, one of the woman who sails in a mono-hull said, "Well, we only have one engine, and we sail around." Well that put the matter in perspective. We checked with a couple diesel mechanics in the marina and they said the same thing. They would use both engines for maneuvering in the marina, and just cruise on one engine at sea. Just monitor it closely and change the oil a lot if we don't get it fixed right away. With that, we decided to leave first thing in the morning on Saturday, but on a shorter trip. We were anxious to get out on our own.
We chose to anchor at Ballandra Bay which is about 2 hours away. It was beautiful. The Sea of Cortez is full of life and even motoring along (no wind to sail in) we saw many schools of fish breaking the water's surface. The bay was large and surrounded by rock cliffs and with lots of shallow sandy areas. We set up the anchor and started the fun. The snorkeling was fantastic. The water was warm, clear and full of beautiful tropical fish. Jack had his spear ready but never saw a fish worth eating. He is very excited to hunt for fish. We swam, kayaked, fished, snorkeled and beach combed all day long and the next day too. On this trip, Rudy stayed on the boat. He is very chicken of changes and was afraid to come down the steps and jump on the dinghy, but in time he will learn. On Sunday, we stayed until noon and then pulled anchor to return to Marina Palmira, where we dock our boat.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Today we are heading off to a island group that is about three to four hours away. It is a marine preserve. We will only be out of the marina for a couple days. We have a reservation for the Thanksgiving dinner for 200 that the cruiser's group is throwing on Thursday, so we will be back for that.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Our day is simple. Every morning I get up, make coffee. Then I take Rudy out for a brushing. It looks like Christmas in July with mounds of white hair floating away on the water. By 8:00 am, the VHF is on channel 22 so we can listen to the cruisers net. This is a radio broadcast where all the cruisers in this marina exchange info, announce arrivals or departures, ask for assistance locating services, make announcements about charity work we can participate in, etc. It takes about an hour. The rest of the morning is filled with little chores, walks, fishing, maybe a little grocery shopping and homeschooling. By lunch, it is hot (89 ish usually) and so we head off to the pool or sometimes take Rudy to the nearby beach for a swim, or sometimes both! Evening rolls around and the choice is dinner at the restaurant or dinner in. Sometimes there is a little cocktail party at someone's boat, but mostly we have a quiet night at our boat. It's a tough life. The people around us are a hoot and we are really enjoying ourselves.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The flight was great. The shock of the heat at San Jose del Cabo nearly melted me on the spot. In the airport imagine my surprise when I see Rudy's crate, with him in it, riding on the baggage carousel with the other baggage. Someone helped me heft the crate off the carousel, and then I could let Rudy out. He was a little rambunctious after about 7 hours in the crate. But that worked out well. He helped pull me along, while I dragged the crate with three of our big bags stacked on top of it. Getting through customs was a bit of a circus, but it only took about 45 minutes. Rudy kept on trying to jump on the customs agent and airport officials, which wasn't helping. I kept looking for Patrick to come and help me. He wasn't anywhere. I was starting to get a little upset that he had forgotten that we were coming in! Everyone else off the plane had walked out the front doors of the airport and it was only me, Jack, Rudy and about 30 Mexican airport officials left in the airport. They were all looking at me and talking to each other in Spanish , which can really make a girl cranky when she's being dragged by a dog who has sat in poop while simultaneously trying to drag along 100 lbs of luggage and a giant crate (Jack was also carrying luggage. Thank God he was there to help!) Then Jack said, "I can see his shoes outside the door." Most of the glass door was blocked out by a large poster. I was so relieved. It turns out they wouldn't let Patrick enter the airport. He had to wait outside, anxiously watching the people file out.
But the fun wasn't over. Remember how we had to fly in to San Jose del Cabo, but our boat's in La Paz? We now had a three hour drive on a windy mountain road at night in a small rental car with black Velvet interior. Have you seen Rudy? The interior was white with dog hair by the end. But we made it. I was pretty zonked, as was Rudy and Jack. Rudy was so stressed about his adventure that he tried to fit as much of his 75 lb body as he could in my lap the whole way. Since then we haven't been doing much. I feel like I just tried to beat Micheal Phelps in the butterfly. I'll get my energy back soon. I am already feeling a lot better today. This place is amazing. Our marina is a resort. More about that tomorrow!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
And now for the fishing report. Patrick says they have caught numerous dorado and tuna. One dorado measured 52"! As anyone who knows Patrick knows, he's having a great time. The water temperature is 85 degrees. The nighttime air temp is in the 80's. They continue to have following seas and fair winds and so they are having a great trip.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
At midnight on the second day at sea, my watch was ending when a pod of dolphins visited our boat. The water was full of phosphorescence and the dolphins were outlined in glowing green, and their path behind them stayed illuminated for a few moments. About 20 of them began playing in the wake of our twin bows. I crawled out onto the nets that stretch in between the boat's pontoons and laid down. I was suspended just a feet or two directly above the dolphins while they played. All I could do was laugh since they were having soo much fun and were so joyful. One of them turned on his side and looked at me. When he jumped out of the water, he chittered at me, just like I was laughing at him. I could have touched them if I tried, but I didn't want to bother them. They played for about 15 minutes and then disappeared back into the ocean. I hope never to forget that moment.
Arriving in San Diego on October 29th, I departed the boat to return to Washington to our son Jack and Rudy (our dog). Patrick continues on in the boat with Ralph, Arlene, and a former co-worker of Patrick's who took my place. Currently they are off the coast of the Baja Peninsula, wearing shorts and T's and catching tuna. They hope to be arriving in Cabo on November 5th. Once they get to La Paz, Jack, Rudy and I will be flying down to join them, hopefully around the 10th or 11th of November. And then, I can relax.
I've been promising for some time to get a blog together, and finally, here it is. It has been one crazy journey just to get to this point and now the fun begins! A quick recap for those who are joining the fun late - We decided in March, 2008 that our life could suit us a little better if we made some simple changes. April 29th, the "For Sale" sign was posted in front of our home. By July 22nd, the house was sold and in the possession of the new owner. In August we purchased our new boat "Just a Minute" in California. I began homeschooling Jack in September (we love it!). Patrick worked his last day at his job of 19 years on October 1st. We left for CA on October 7th to begin outfitting the boat for our cruising adventure. Our plan is simple. We are just going to float around the Sea of Cortez and hang out together. We hope to be doing this for at least a couple years. If we get bored with the Sea, we will move through the Panama Canal. Or not. We really don't know. But when we do, we'll tell you about it. It's been one hectic six months, but soon it will all come together.
Fair Winds and Following Seas,