we finally got down to neglected business on Pura Vida.
We'd been spending so much time having fun and goofing off underwater, that our "to do" lists were really starting to pile up. There were oil changes and plumbing fixes and I finally thawed out the deeply frozen fridge and took stock of our nearly empty stores.
It was exiting to work through our respective lists of boat chores, knowing that we had a new adventure to plan.
Exciting and overwhelming.
There's a real gamut of emotions to run, when you are about to embark on something really, really big.
The daylight hours are filled with so many things to do, and you are kept so busy, completing the endless list of chores to accomplish and it seems entirely plausible and fantastic that one day soon, you will be sailing across the wide seas.
During the day, it makes perfect, even sensible, sense and this whole mad adventure you are plotting, seems like the most wonderful thing a person could possibly be doing with her life.
It is later... in the quiet dark of the long night, that you wake with a start and are flooded with dread.
You will lie, frozen in your bunk as the wind howls in the rigging and imagine yourself and your little family, THOUSANDS of miles out to sea, utterly and completely ALONE.
You will consider, the many terrors one could encounter in that vast expanse of the wild and temperamental Ocean. All the gentle monikers people give the Great Crossing, "the Milk Run" "The Puddle Jump" will seem like, impetuous lies, designed to enchant foolish, under- experienced, dreamers ( ME!) into attempting the craziest thing in the world. Sail across an ocean???!!!
Then you will lie there, for the rest of the night, in abject panic and you will vow to cancel this whole crazy idea at first light.
As the Dawn, leaks slowly through the hatch, you will crawl out of your warm bunk and shuffle out on deck to stare up into the purple-blue atmosphere. You will rehearse again, how you will break the news to your partner as soon as he wakes up.
This crazy notion was and is madness and shouldn't we just go back to some saner version of life?
Then, the stars will disappear one by one...
and the giant Sun will roar over the horizon...
And you will be flooded with courage.
You will stand there, bathing in the warm glow of possibility and your husband will appear, with a steaming mug of coffee and you will beam at him with love and joy and gratitude and you will sit together, as the sun rises, flipping through your new Cruiser's guide book to the South Pacific, and dream of all the amazing archipilegos and you can't wait to get started on the to do list again.
Then you will repeat this whole process, all over again, every, single day.
At least, this is what you will do, if you are like me.
If you are like the wonderful Ali, a fellow cruiser we met, on her boat Muktuk, you will not do this.
You will be brave and awesome and fearless and you will sail around and around and around the world with your husband and your two adorable children and crossing to the marquesas will be no bigger a deal than driving over to the next province or state to visit a favorite aunt.
One of the wonderful things that happened recently, was we met Ali and her husband Carl and her joyous little boys, Jan and Noah.
Actually, we had seen Muktuk before but never met.
They were part of a pair of boats we were anchored close to in Agua Verde. I had labled them the "Stern-looking Norweigens" only they weren't at all Norweigen, they are from Austria...and the only reason they seemed grumpy is because we were noising-up the anchorage with our compressor running twenty-four seven. Us, dive happy boats were forced by the Norther's to hunker down in one spot for a few days and we were driving everyone else in the anchorage nuts with our noisemakers. After we met Ali and Carl and spent a couple of quality days getting to know them and hearing of their adventures, we all had a good laugh about that first meeting.
Carl admitted to being exactly the same way when he was younger and keen to dive all the time, and we learned a thing or two about etiquette and in the future we will make sure to stop by with a smile and an apology to all the non-dive boats in an anchorage.
Mutuk is just passing through the Sea of Cortes, having recently sailed down from Alaska, where they spent the summer, after making the North West Passage. Before that they were in South America, went around cape Horn, sailed across the Atlantic to Europe, went over to Greenland...they have up down and around Central America, South America, Antarctica, the Carribean, the Alantic-seven crossings- they build and restore everything on their boats, Ali speaks at least four languages (that I know of) their boat is neat as a pin, they made everything on it and they were all around, jaw-droppingly inspiring to us-and Kai was THRILLED to finally have some boys to play with. He and Jan shared a mutual love for all things Fish and spent a few happy (though unfruitful) days trolling the harbor.
And...we also met up with our dear friends on Eyoni, again. Finally. We had been trying to catch up with them since last summer. They spent the past few months on the "hard", meaning their boat was out of the water, while Ethan restored her completely. Hunter and Zada reconnected and there was a sleepover and a princess party and it was fun to not be the only kid boat around.
On the nicest, warmest, calmest day we've had in a month, we loaded up the car for the 16 hour drive to San Diego. We will leave the car to sell, get our hands on some spare parts and second hand dive gear...
And buy those big, wonderful, paper charts for navigating the South Pacific.
|Too big to snuggle|
|Eyoni's newest crew member...Mancha Dog!|
|Hard to say goodbye|
|The far voyaging Muktuk|
|Gaggle of kids...|
|On the road|
|Meeting Manta in SD and feasting on favorite snacks!|
|Back home again to family...and baby Pippen.|