My mom was coming to visit in a couple of days and we wanted to get our bearings before she arrived. My mother is an 'adventure-chic"kind of traveler, always managing to find something unique and gorgeous at a good price wherever she goes. She had found a house in town with a garden and a pool for a week, after which she would join us onboard for a few days of cruising. Everyone was super-excited to see her and I was looking forward to a "house-break' with Nana-and proper beds and showers!
We are accustomed to living on a boat and don't really feel "deprived" of any comforts from home- Kai doesn't mind never showering, other than to rinse off the salt- but I'll admit to enjoying a little luxury now and then- you know, flush-toilets and all. Old princesses, like me, never really change-even once they have given up their claw-foot tubs and learned to shave their legs on deck with coconut-oil and a bowl of water.
I told my mom to bring my favorite face cream and eye-brow tint and looked forward to pampering myself by the pool before setting out to take care of "pink jobs"- my end of readying the boat for the next month of cruising. Pink Jobs are Suki jobs, like anything to do with food, cooking, storing, stocking, wardrobe, decorating or style and anything requiring tact or grace. Blue Jobs are Jon jobs. These include anything to do with money, taxes, engines, computers, things that are gross or heavy and anything that comes with instructions. We share children and cleaning equally.
While I navigate the markets of La Paz, seeking out new things to cook up in the galley, Jon will wrestle new valves into the kid's clogged toilets. I don't know... it works for us.
Anyway, we have a HUGE to-do list in La Paz and some upgrades to our cruising lifestyle. The list isn't cheap but the additions should make things more affordable in the long run. Our plans include;
Two new solar panels-summer months in the Sea will mean running our fridge more. Since it's ALWAYS sunny, the addition of two new panels will add enough power to our batteries to cover this-and we won't have to use the generator, other than for AC-power tools, watching DVD's. etc.
We have been advised by many cruisers to add extra shade panels to our bimini-this entails hiring someone to make them as I can't sew a patch on jeans never-mind whip up complicated upholstery patterns. Being a tribe of blond and freckled people, we need our shade, especially in the Hades inferno of summer here-so we will take this on with professional help. While they're at it, we will have them make "chaps" for our dingy tubes-everything here melts in the sun and our dingy is one thing we don't want exploding from heat failure- and that actually happened to the last one we had!
We have to weld some new stantions on for the solar panels, so we're gonna add a fish-cleaning table to the rail-no more fish-guts in the galley!
And last but not least, if we can find or trade for a used stand-up paddle board, we will add that to our wish-list.
We have been warned by prudent cruisers, many times, to stay OUT OF MARINAS. They will blow your budget faster than you can say "maxed-out" on your plastic. This time we couldn't avoid it, what with all the work we needed to do-and the outboard overhaul involved needing a stable platform, so we're gonna have to bite the bullet this time.
There was a cruising festival in La Paz, the marinas in town were full, so we opted to stay out at Costa Baja. Oh my lordy, it was worth it! It was only 29 bucks a night and had a beach club and two beautiful pools and a gym and amazing showers and laundry service and the best margaritas in the world. As soon as we arrived at the dock an adorable seven-year old girl went bouncing by with her towel on the way to the pool. She and her three sisters and her mom and dad and Uncle Ronnie were staying on a very large, very fancy power boat across the dock. They run a successful trucking company and all live in Venice Beach and spend a week in La Paz every month. They have been coming here for years to fish and dive. They were totally generous and hilarious and laid back people. We came in looking as crusty and salty as you can imagine and they were on this big fancy boat but they adopted us right away. While we cleaned our boat, they took Hunter for lunch at the pool and when we were finished, they piled us in their van and had their boat guy drive us all to their favorite carne asada joint and then they treated us all to dinner and ice-cream later at the best home-made ice-cream place. They were a blast. They had to leave the next day to go back home but we hope to run into them again this summer somewhere up the coast.
We washed ourselves and had our laundry done and got the boat looking presentable again and then mom arrived. We opted to rent a car for a few days so Hunter and I drove to the airport to pick her up.
What a reunion with Nana! The next few days were bliss and the house was gorgeous. La Paz is an amazing community and not at all dependent on the Gringo's to survive-so it has a real local flavor to it. It's kind of like Venice beach a hundred years ago-only there's cars and wi-fi. The only bummer was...
My camera got nicked. I hear this is REALLY unusual in La Paz as the crime rate is really low but I was a dummy and left it sitting out or something. I want to think it was my own stupid mistake and maybe I had like temporary amnesia and left it somewhere but in any case-it was gone. This REALLY sucked. I've had it for eight years and we certainly can't afford another one-what with all the other stuff right now- but I can't do this trip without a camera. I was able to replace it and with a newer model, EOS REBEL T2i and it was the same price as in the US. There was only ONE available in La Paz but I got it. Bear with me as I get used to all the new bells and whistles and hopefully the pics will be even better now.
We have now spent so much money in the last week between the new stuff and my losing stuff that we have made a commitment to staying out for a month when we leave. That means anchoring out as we make our way up through the islands. If we don't have any medical or mechanical issues, we should be able to do this. When was the last time you went a MONTH without spending any money? I don't think I ever have. Not since my adult life began. This has been a big goal of ours on this trip.
We will fish and gather-we dug up some beautiful white clams in Ballandra and I cooked them up and they were delicious!
We will swim and read and play drums and guitar and look at the stars.
We will write poetry and paddle-board and spear-fish.
We will make water from the ocean and gather energy from the sun.
We will yawn and stretch and count our freckles.
People back home keep saying,
"Yeah, that all sounds great but when does reality set in?"
"when are you coming back?"
I don't really know what to say to this yet. I kind of feel like we haven't even started this adventure. We're still trapped in that material world of "needing" things we don't have. Fish tables and paddle boards and camera's. We still want to "accomplish" things because we are taught to believe that is the definition of a worthy life.
Until we get way out there, where the whale-sharks swim below our boat, when we haven't seen our wallets in a month, when I have caught and killed and cleaned all the animal I have eaten in a week, when half a day goes by with no one saying a word...
Maybe then I'll have an answer for them.
Every night out here, I look up at more stars than I have ever seen, it is so totally astounding it makes your brain feel likes it's carbonated... and I feel I am nothing to the universe.
|we find a used paddle board!|