Tuesday, October 31, 2017

It's Been One Year

It is hard to believe that a year has gone by since we sailed out of San Diego Harbor with the Baja Ha Ha in search of adventure in Mexico and beyond. Where does time go? The girls have grown so much this past year and as a family we have learned so much about so much...sailing, Mexico life, living on a boat, living in another country...the list goes on and on. Despite all of the learning and growing, it feels as if only a few months ago we were just sitting in the anchorage of San Diego trying to imagine what our new life was going to be like. Hint: it isn't really exactly like we imagined but that isn't necessarily a negative.

Shelter Island San Diego

Yesterday we drove from Puerto Penasco early in the morning heading toward Orange County California.  We just missed the 2017 Baja Haha fleet that departed earlier yesterday from San Diego.  It was kinda surreal to be back in the city that we had left from just a year earlier.  Everything looked the same in spite of how much we have changed. We took the opportunity to pick up a few needed supplies from Downwind and Marine Exchange and then we were on our way to spend some time with friends and family. If things go as planned this will possibly be our last visit to California for a very long while.

The summer has been a whirlwind of land travels as our boat has sat in the Cabrales Boatyard in Puerto Penasco Mexico.  We have logged over 5000 miles as we have visited family and friends and traveled back and forth between Penasco and the States. We were fortunate enough to be able to borrow a car from Tom's mom, which really saved a ton since we didn't have to purchase a car or take flights. We also found that having the car allowed us much more flexibility in our travels and definitely helped us bring numerous loads of supplies back to the boat.

After the initial trip to CA in May we headed back to Penasco minus one crew member. Emily spent the summer in Huntington Beach where she stayed with friends and worked  at the Newport Beach Seabase to earn some travel money. We spent about 10 days in Penasco getting started on some of the initial projects we had planned and then we headed to Houston to spend time with Katlyn.

In Houston, Zoey went through another surgery for her scar tissue at Shriners Children's Hospital in Galveston. We had been planning this surgery for months and we are so happy to report that she did amazing and recovery for her went very well. So well, that after a month, Tom and I were back on the road to Penasco to get some more work done. Zoey and Hannah stayed behind with Katlyn in Houston.

Sanding at night to avoid the daytime heat
Penasco was hot as hell during the summer and time in the yard is never fun.  We were fortunate enough to have friends in Tucson that we could visit to get a much needed break from boat work.  We spent a couple of weekends in Tucson and the weekdays we chased rats, fought the dirt, dust and heat and made some progress on new floors, new counters and cabinets in the galley, saloon and nav station. Tom also had been working with Vesper Marine to troubleshoot AIS issues and we planned for a new autopilot since we had been having some issues with the old one that was on the boat.
We loved having friends visit us in Penasco

Family time in Virginia
It was then a trip back to Houston where we then escaped Harvey and headed east to my parents in Virginia.  Two days after our arrival they sold their home and we spent the next three weeks going through all of their belongings and helping them downsize the home that had been in our family for the last almost 35 years. Emily rejoined us in Virginia and we headed back to Houston mid September, where we spent a week before making the journey as a family of five back to Penasco.

Hard work is paying off
We have now completed almost all of our projects.  Last week I added some new color and our new logo to Empyrean and Tom completed the autopilot install.  We also added a new Mantus Anchor to help us sleep better at night when we are at anchorage.  We have been provisioning like crazy for all the things we will need and can't get in Mexico as we prepare to set off for the South Pacific in the Spring. Empyrean will get a new waterline and bottom paint when we return.

We are excited to get Empyrean back in the water upon our return and head south once again. This time we are anxious to meet up with friends from last season along the Sea of Cortez and beyond.  There will be lots of new kids as well. We hear that the Baja HaHa has a bunch of kid boats with girls on board so that will be right up our alley. It is always fun to watch how the kids just jump right into hanging out and lasting friendships develop over beach volleyball, snorkeling, tacos and sunsets.

Happy Halloween!
We are so lucky to have this life and despite the ups and downs of boat projects I am glad we have made this life choice.  Tonight our girls will go trick or treating, they will spend time here with family and land friends.  We will relish in hot showers and endless internet.  We will enjoy each moment we spend with those we love. In a week we will go home to Empyrean and new adventures will unfold.
Stay tuned...there is so much more to come!