Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Settling In



Ahhhh…back in sunny Mexico. Over the past few years this has become our second home and we really love it here. There are beaches to walk, old and new friends to enjoy time with and favorite restaurants to return to. It doesn’t take any time at all to adjust to the summerlike weather…especially when it is snowing at home. 
 
The view at home!


Sunny Mexico!

Some things just never seem to change, though. The water goes back and forth between a trickle and a dribble. The cable TV (with TWO English language stations) quit working last Thursday. This year has been the most challenging we’ve experienced yet with regard to internet access. The needed part the Jeep dealership promised would be here “yesterday” took two weeks to arrive. Ahhhh….Mexico! In many ways, being south of the border is like being transported back in time.

As soon as Faith was launched and floating my old friend, “Nerves”, showed up to pester me as I drove her to the slip. Even though it had been almost two years the short trip was uneventful until I reached the slip. She is a bit sluggish when it comes to her pirouettes and I was slow to begin the turn so we got a bit catawampus as we started the entry. Fortunately, Chris & Eduardo were on board and a “village” of cruisers were on the dock to help guide us into the tight accommodations next to a rather fat Catalina. 
VERY snug!

Since then we have been busy putting her back together and getting her spiffed up. Since she’s for sale and it’s important to keep her looking her very best, that slip didn’t last long. It apparently has a long reputation as a favored spot for one of the Pelicans to “drop his load” (so to speak). Every day the mess on the deck got worse so when Jeff & Janie left to head south and suggested we move to their slip we jumped on it! Not only are there no “bad birds” leaving “gifts” but there is much more room between us and our neighbor – AND – getting in and out is much easier as it is almost a straight shot in and we can back to port (Faith’s preference) when leaving.
Sooo much more room!

We are finally beginning to move things aboard in anticipation of moving in before Christmas. I was shocked to discover that, although there used to be too many blankets on the boat, this year I have neglected to bring more than one. Good grief. And, oh my gosh, WHERE did all those plastic containers come from and to what use were they put? I swear they have been reproducing in the storage unit! 
WHERE did all this plastic come from?!

A couple weeks ago a large contingent of very noisy motorcycles descended on the RV Park so we spent that night on the boat. The space heater was left behind in the RV and with only one blanket on the bed it was a pretty cold (though much quieter) night.
So we are settling in and getting ready for Christmas. After the first of the year we are hoping to head south where the weather is warmer and many of our friends are hangin’ out. We’ve been trying to get to La Cruz for 5 years now and are hopeful that this will be the one.    
Merry Christmas to everyone. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

South of the Border Again



Back in beautiful Mexico….ahhh. The sun is shining, the temperature is right around 80° and the Sea is its usual gorgeous aqua. And the sunsets…OH those Mexican sunsets!

We arrived in San Carlos Friday and as soon as we had the RV set up, the A/C on and the dog walked we headed to JJ’s for tacos and cerveza. Then off to check out “Faith”. She looked lovely. Eduardo did his usual beautiful job of washing, waxing & polishing the stainless. She just sparkled! Even the inside, tho’ cluttered with sails, fenders, etc., wasn’t bad. Dinner that evening was compliments of Jeff & Janie and we were face down by 8:00. A long day but, finally, we are here.

Chris has been busy checking hoses and hose clamps and batteries and thru hulls and all the other things that are critical for running the engine and keeping the water on the right side of the boat. We finally located Damian, the guy in charge of the worker bees, and made arrangements for the bottom to be painted…just in time for Friday morning’s launch. There seems to be a bit of a snafu on the slip we were assigned but the office insists they will get it straightened out and “no worries”.

It is so nice to catch up again with our Mexican friends and as much of the cruising community as is in town thus far. Tomorrow Steve flies back to rainy Washington so he & several of us are going out for a last dinner tonight.

It could be interesting getting in and out of the RV Park for the next 48 hours or so. Mexican President, Peña Nieto is going to be in town tomorrow so the place is crawling with military. Apparently there were 3 big ships built over in the Guaymas yard (about 10 miles from here) and he is going to be christening them and then come here for some unknown reason. Just like in the U.S., the security is t-i-g-h-t.

Friday morning early (before the wind comes up) the boat is launched and we’ll begin putting her back together. Friday afternoon a potential buyer is coming to check her out. Wouldn’t you know it…just when I was getting excited about the possibility of going cruising again.   
 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Redwoods and Mileage



Obviously I have gotten out of the habit of writing! I have also been somewhat depressed by the political situation but since I try hard to keep politics out of this blog, all I will say is that as “Flaming Liberal” I am very unhappy about the results of the current election. End of politics.


We had an absolutely wonderful time in Crescent City, CA. The RV Park we stayed in is right in the heart of one of the northern California Redwood forests and we decided to stay two nights so we could take full advantage of the scenery. The next morning we grabbed a packet of information from the office, picked up some sandwiches from a Subway and headed down the road to the Jedediah Smith Redwood Forest to spend the day driving and walking through it. It is a gorgeous place and so peaceful that the moment you arrive your entire body relaxes with an almost audible “Ahhhhhhh….” 
The “drive-through” road is one lane but there are pull outs at every curve so cars can pass without incident. 
With the trees close enough to touch as you pass it would be difficult to drive faster than about 15mph even if you wanted to. Since we were there on a weekday in November there weren’t many other folks around so it really felt like we had the forest all to ourselves.





The next morning, as we continued down Hwy 101 we were treated to spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The two lane road and hairpin turns had me constantly leaning toward Chris in the unrealistic expectation that my body weight wouldn’t be the final straw that tipped us over the edge.


Our next stop was Willits, CA at a KOA that has a few spaces with individual hot tubs for two! They cost a little more but were worth every penny for a little bit of decadent pleasure after a long day on the road. OF COURSE we opted for one of those!

                     
                      A photo of Chris in the hot tub belongs here!

As we left Willits, it was becoming clear that, while the coast road is beautiful, it is substantially slower than an interstate and we needed to make up some time if we were to get to San Carlos by the 18th so back to the main thoroughfares we went.  We did a quick overnight stop in Rancho Mirage to visit with some cruising friends who live there and we’re now in Tucson. We’re enjoying family visits and have taken care of last minute purchases so tomorrow we move to Amado, AZ and Friday we will make the final push to San Carlos. The weather there is predicted to be 80-85 and sunny for the next week or so. Pretty much my favorite “winter” temperatures!


Hasta Luego!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I'M BAAAAACK!



Hello again “Faith”ful readers and welcome back!

First let me explain what happened. Back in 2014 this blog was hijacked by something called Neoworx and no one (including me) could access it. I started a new blog (sailingtheseaonfaith.blogspot.com) but was feeling pretty depressed about having lost all my previous writings so didn’t do much for quite a while. This morning I discovered that Google has re-done their blog site and have apparently ousted Neoworx so I will begin again. I hope you’ll come back with me.

As I write this, Chris & I are on our way back to San Carlos where Faith is patiently waiting in the heat and dust. If you don’t already know, we have decided it is time to find a new home for our beloved boat. We have several reasons for that but it is mostly because we would like to see new places and do new things. So, since this is very possibly our last season of cruising it will be a happy/sad winter but I shall do my best to keep this upbeat and to write more frequently.
Sunrise in Warrenton.
Soooo…We left home last Thursday and went to Warrenton (Astoria) to begin the southbound meander down the coast highway. We took care of some “boat stuff” and then went to dinner with our good friends, Rod & Debo, who live in Seaside. Went to the new Buoy Beer restaurant where the food is hot and the beer is cold, and we had a great visit.
 
This is what the entrance to Newport looked like!


Friday we boogied down to Newport to visit with some friends who got a bit of a late start to go from Portland to Mexico and are currently waiting for a weather window. We ended up staying two days longer than we’d expected which seems to be kind of the norm in Newport. We, too, were stuck there for a while waiting for weather when we went south on the boat. Because it rained a lot we had plenty of time to read and when the skies cleared we took the car back to Depoe Bay to watch the big surf and remind ourselves how happy we are not to be “out there”. It was good to spend time with Brian & Leslie (S/V Ubiquity) and we look forward to seeing them in sunny Mexico sometime this winter.
This guy and his harem were in the field behind the RV park in Crescent City. He had Abby a little concerned.
After a long & winding trip today with a lot of spectacular scenery we’re now settled into an RV park in the Redwoods by Crescent City, CA. And here we will stay until after the election is over!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer Vacation

Wow! Today is the first day of September! The days are getting shorter, the leaves are turning to flame and the temperatures are beginning to drop. It seems like we just arrived home and it is already time to start packing for this winter’s cruising.
 
Family time: Sandy with sisters, Barb & Kathy and Mom


As summer comes to a close I have to mention how blessed we are to be in the Pacific Northwest where, other than some pretty vicious fires, we haven’t had the brutal conditions other parts of the country are experiencing. It is very difficult for me to understand how anyone can deny the evidence that major climate change is going on. All one need do is watch or read the news. Almost every day there is a story about record high or low temperatures, drought conditions, super storms, etc. Obviously this trend is not going to end any time soon and we will all need to get used to experiencing (and surviving) weather events the likes of which we’ve not seen before. I recently read that an “extra warm” El Niño is expected this winter so that likely means we’ll be dealing with snottier weather for passages and less serene anchorages.
Garden bounty


Overall, we have had a wonderful summer vacation. The garden has provided us with beautiful flowers all summer and even the few vegetable plants have been producing like crazy…especially the zuchinni! We have had plenty of time to get caught up on our medical and dental checkups, joined a gym to work on some of that flab, and Chris has lost a good chunk of weight. I, on the other hand, seem to be more successful at the weight loss when I am south of the border. Go figure!
Garden beauty

Last month I got a new (to me) car and have been having a ball driving it. I’ve always wanted a convertible sports car but, being the practical girl that I am, just couldn’t bring myself to buy something that was pretty much just for fun. Thus, I’ve always had station wagons or economical imports. Last month, I learned that a good friend was selling his ’99 Porsche Boxster due to health problems. The price was right and I knew the owner and car and the care it received. So…it now resides in our garage and is “Sandy’s new fun ride”.  And it is definitely f-u-n!
Sandy's new fun ride!

We managed to take a couple road trips this summer. Our first getaway was to the Oregon Coast. We wanted to visit friends and were missing the sand and the sea. The friends part worked out just fine and we really enjoyed seeing them. Beyond that, though, the “walk along the beach” part was a bust. The rain poured and the wind howled and, other than the foray to our friends’ house, we just hung out in the RV with our books. Not a bad thing by any means, but not exactly what the “plan” was.
Chris absorbed in a good book

Last month we loaded up the RV and headed to Canada (Vancouver Island to be precise) to attend a “cruiser party”.   
There is a lot of great art on Orcas Island.

Our first stop was Anacortes, where we left the Coach while we ferried to Orcas Island for 2 days to see some cruising friends we’d met our first season in Mexico. We’ve missed seeing them for the past 3 years and they have brought their boat back to the States so this was a good chance to catch up. We’d not been to this island before so Tom took us on a wonderful tour complete with lots of history. Barbara & Tom’s lovely home overlooks Puget Sound so cocktails on the deck at sunset were a must. As an added bonus, it is crab season so they served us delicious Dungeness Crab for several meals. Yum!  
Happy Anniversary to us! Five wonderful years...so far!

We returned to Anacortes on the 15th (our 5th wedding anniversary) and it seemed only appropriate to indulge in a romantic dinner at a wonderful restaurant overlooking the marina. While we ate we realized that the docks were filled with “pirates” and the Jolly Roger flag was flying in abundance. Of course, we needed to check it out so after dinner we wandered down to the dock to discover that it was one of the get-togethers that “Cruising Outpost” magazine hosts during the summer. We didn’t stay for the festivities but we did run into a guy we’d met in Mexico last year. The world is, indeed, a very small place!  
Front row on the ferry but not much to see.
The next morning we ferried to Sidney and then drove to Victoria where we settled into a nice RV park right on the water. It was a lovely spot but very, very tight spaces. I’m constantly amazed at how talented Chris is at squeezing the behemoth into and out of small spaces!
Doe & her "kids" crossing the street in Comox.

From Victoria we could explore Vancouver Island by car and our first foray was to Comox to visit our friends, Rolande & Angus. It is a pretty drive through forest and along the water and their home is just across the road from a nice beach that is perfect for sunset strolling.  We’d last seen Angus & Rolande 3 years ago just before they left Mexico for Australia. Since then, they have cruised the South Pacific, sold their boat in Australia, flown back to Canada to finish building the house, returned to Australia for a several months long road trip and returned again to Canada. We had great fun catching up and, since they have decided they aren’t done cruising Mexico and have purchased another boat we’re excited to see more of them this winter.  
Enjoying the beach with Angus & Rolande.

After returning to Victoria, we spent a couple days exploring the city, 
The Empress Hotel in Victoria. Oh look...a Boxster!
 touring the Royal BC Natural History Museum and wandering Butchart Gardens.
Enjoying a sunny day at Butchart Gardens.

The last day was the big cruisers’ party that Fran & Jean-Guy hosted. There were over 30 people at the party, some we knew and some we didn’t. It has been 6 years since we left the NW and headed for the tropical climes of Mexico and during that time we’ve collected many wonderful friends. But the cruising community is nothing if not fluid. Some folks have moved on to new places to explore (Panama, Venezuela, Great Britain, the Caribbean, the South Pacific), some have decided it is time to stop cruising completely and come home and some have, sadly, passed away.   
Cruising Friends

Now that we are home again we are in the throes of amassing all the gear and supplies we need for this year’s cruising season. Already we are excited to get back to the boat, the water, Mexico and, our friends. Every year we make new friends but it is nice to know that this year some of the “old guard” will be back again.