Did you go away to college? If so, do you remember the events and feelings surrounding Christmas Break, where you left the world of the university and went to visit a parallel universe called "home"? That's what we just did - we went home for the holidays, catching up with family and friends and taking a break from what sometimes seems like the University of Cruising. Now we're back in Mexico from Christmas Break, back to what for the moment feels like course work at good old UC. Studying, working (and playing) at the school of boating.
Personally, I've enrolled in a particularly difficult class this quarter called "Head Repair and Replacement". It's a 300 level self-guided class with a full-on lab where we remove saltwater heads and replace them with fresh water heads. The tuition for this class isn't bad, but the lab materials are expensive! The class also involves a unique style of yoga, where students tuck themselves into various Bilge Postions.
Our social calendar was booked for several days in advance within hours of returning to "campus". Everyone wants to party! Lisa and John on "Orcinius", Andy and Debra on "Murar's Dream", Elizabeth next door on "Sea Gnome". And we haven't even gone in search of anyone yet. At college, fun just happens, right?
Other classes we are working on:
Connecting Vessel Wide Area Networks via Telcel
Improving Reception on Single Side Band Radio Installations
Puddle Jump Routes; Departure Timing and Locations
Puddle Jump 201: Crew Selection and Transportation
Family and Friends Hospitality Techniques
Laundry Options in Remote Anchorages
Pre-Spanish (audit only)
Last semester I took a class on Margarita Cocktail Construction, which was ungraded, just Pass Out or Fail. I had quite a bit of fun over the holidays demonstrating my new-found skills in the dark art of Margaritas. Below I am giving tips on proper lime juicing techniques to Grandson Leif.
We are now back at the boat, which is located in Puerto Vallarta at Marina Nuevo Vallarta and moored directly under the ever-watchful eye of the Capitania de Puerto. All silliness aside, we did have a truly wonderful holiday with our family back home in Kirkland. Even got a day of skiing in with our sailor friends, Carol and Ted from Frannie B! Regardless, it is also nice to be back in Mexico, on our floating "home away from home".
Biggest impression about being home in Kirkland? It's dark! People wonder if we felt cold, but no, not at all. The cool weather was actually nice and invigorating. But the lack of daylight, where it's not really daytime until about 8:30 in the morning and dark again at 4:30 in the afternoon was kind of shocking. I've lived in the Seattle area pretty much all my life and while I knew it could be a grey place in winter, I never really understood just how grey it really can be until this Christmas trip back home. I dearly love and miss our family (and skiing and our home), but at this point, I'm not sure I can ever spend another winter in Kirkland. Have I seen the light? Maybe. It might just be a passing love affair with tropical sunshine. We'll see.