Since landing in our home port of Ventura 6 weeks ago we’ve had an opportunity to spend lots of time with our family and friends. The timing of Thanksgiving and Christmas allowed for more time with those we love,the best part of being home. I was lucky enough to have lots of ‘girl time’ at get-togethers, movies, lunches, shopping, etc., etc. Socializing took up lots of our available time. We had a half dozen party nights on Blue Aweigh (my husband’s family would make good cruisers...at least the cockpit partying part),our kids joined us a few times for our morning hike and to run the 5K Turkey Trot with us on Thanksgiving, spent time with a dear friend and met her new love, got together with cruising friends we met in B.C./Alaska, and enjoyed seeing our son and his new wife enter escrow to buy their first home together.
Of course day to day living was on the agenda; drove in lots and lots of traffic, worked on rentals, packed and packed and unpacked items we won’t be needing on board any longer, visits to the doctor and dentist and handled the myriad of details necessary till March when we make a quick trip home to do taxes.
When we pulled into port our “To-Do List” was extremely long and had to be completed by Christmas Eve for our year end departure. Day by day we got through it and crossed off things we accomplished or could live without. The list was intimidating, challenging and frustrating but get through it we did. One of the best things we did while home was add an HD tuner to our analog TV. Living without TV since the digital conversion 6 months ago was trying at times, especially since we were in English speaking countries. Funny thing is, now that I haven’t watched TV in months I am lost watching familiar shows. Maybe not all is lost!
One of the joys of the cruising life is being able to share it with others. Mike’s sister Cyndi joined us as we shoved off from Ventura on 12/26 for Isthmus on Catalina Island. This was a first for Cyndi. I am happy to report that she is a natural. She now understands the draw we have to this lifestyle. We got to show her all the tourist stuff at Isthmus and Avalon. With the sparkle I saw in her beautiful blue eyes, something tells me we won’t have to pressure her to join us again. Going forward, we’re keeping our eyes open for a cruising man lucky enough to sweep her off her feet. Perhaps with the help of Heather on SV Meerkat in Ventura we can help her out.
We are now officially on our own again. We departed from Marina Del Rey (where we dropped off our passenger), anchored overnight in Newport Beach for New Year’s Eve where we went to bed at 8:30 p.m., and spent last night in Dana Point. Tonight’s stop is Mission Bay, our last U.S. port of call. Though the weather has been beautiful, every morning things in the boat feel very damp. Warm sunshine here we come.
Where we go after Mexico is still up for discussion. We have 3 options; back to So. Cal for summer cruising at the Channel Islands and to handle some business at home, heading through Central America and the Canal is still a possibility and last but not least, French Polynesia/New Zealand/Australia. While people at home quizzed us about where next I realized everyone thinks we sound flaky. With my wonderful new Webster’s dictionary (thanks Dev!) a flake is defined as, ‘an eccentric, unbalanced or irrational person’. The reality is that we are cruisers. We plan according to the wind and seas. Cruisers don’t typically plan very far ahead into the future because for us, it really doesn’t matter. We are travelers, not tourists. This definition could fit almost anyone living and traveling on a boat, especially the unbalanced part, when defined by a landlubber. People on land tied to Blackberries, date planners, calendars, alarm clocks, etc. see us as flaky. Everything on land is planned and accounted for. We see our lifestyle as serendipitous, ‘luck or good fortune in finding something good accidentally’. That’s us!