Molly & Braden, the Queen and the King of the Mazama-Rama with Wedding event.
Be sure to check out our photo gallery to find out how we got named The Minister & The Mermaid!
We are just back in La Paz again after a whirl-wind trip to Seattle for "Uncle Captain Reverend" Kirk to officiate in the marriage of our "nephew" Braden and his lovely fiancé Molly the Fox.
Braden is the son of Sara and the Late Great Dr. Bob (whom some of you knew.) Bob and Kirk were best friends since they were 11 year-old boys messing around in boats on Lake Washington. Though Bob left us waaaay too soon last year, we feel his presence everywhere in the wind around us. He was the consummate wind-surfer, always seeking big breezes.
Being asked by Braden & Molly to officiate their wedding (wearing his Universal Life Church minister's hat and his beautiful Mexican Guyabera shirt) was one of the greatest honors of Kirk's life, having been a part of the family for over 50-years and watching Braden grow up from baby to Dentist!
We were excited to head back to Seattle for the wedding as well as catch up with a few friends, pick up a few boat parts (like our long-lost autopilot!), and re-provision a few things we can't get in Mexico (like vitamins and supplements, gluten-free items, Trader Joe's food, and Neal's Yard Remedies
health and beauty products.) However, before we could head to Seattle, we first had to secure Due West for hurricane season, and find someone to take care of Dos Gatos, a.k.a. Tosh & Tikka in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
Tosh & Tikka beating the La Paz heat, lounging on the salon table under the A/C unit, they're no dummies!
We had a cat sitter lined up who unfortunately fell through at the eleventh hour. Luckily our friends Boni & John on s/v Ingenium
stepped up to the plate to help us out. They also have dos gatos (Moko & Princess), and were the perfect cat sitters to spoil our kids rotten. We had invested in an A/C unit for the main salon hatch to help keep the furbies and the boat at a cool 88° rather than the 104° it was outside! We can't thank Boni & John enough for their help with all things gatos, and hope to return the favor at some point.
Fun gathering at our friends Devon & Jim's house with sailing friends...Thanks so much guys, we love you more!
So cats and boat secure in La Paz, we took a three hour bus to San Jose del Cabo to catch the 5 hour flight back to Seattle. We are so grateful to our good friends Laren & Ted, Teresa & Rob, Devon & Jim, Kelsi & Jesse, Karen & Jared, and Regina & Mike, for housing us, feeding us, lending us cars, and rides to/from airport plus organizing a few small get-togethers with more friends so we could see as many people as possible in the few short days we were there.
We even got to race in the Elliott Bay Marina Downtown Sailing Series (one of our favorite summer events) with our friends Mike & Regina, and Sandy on s/v Quo Vadis, as well as catch up with a few old marina friends.
We so much appreciate the love and support of all of our friends and all the ways you helped us out during our visit. You guys really made this trip FANTABULOUS for us! Apologies if we didn't get to see you on this visit, it was a quick, fast-paced trip (LOL - do the Hacklers do it any other way?!) Hope to catch you next time we're in the Pacific Northwest.
Jim, Heidi, Devon, and Kirk in their amazing garden.
Although we try to shop locally in Mexico for most everything we need, there are things we just can't get here (like any kind of peanut butter other than Skippy!) or things that cost 3-4x as much in Mexico as in the States (like boat parts) so we took advantage of heading back to Seattle to shop. Knowing that our time would be limited, we tried to plan ahead and order our shopping list of boat parts and food items online so we wouldn't have to spend our few short days there stuck in Seattle's notorious traffic--shopping.
Stocking up on all the stuff we can't get in Mexico, like boat parts, gluten-free food, vitamins and supplements, cat food, and let's not forget the Bug Zapper and inflatable Swim Lounger to keep us cool-ish in the Sea this summer.
Apparently it was the UPS-gods that got stuck in traffic, or had other plans for us (did we have too big a carbon footprint from all that shipping?!) Multiple packages from multiple vendors (including our long-lost Lewmar autopilot that we'd shipped back to the UK in May for repairs!) went missing or were delayed. No Bueno!
After hounding Lewmar for two months, our autopilot finally arrived the day before we left Seattle. And then there was ThriveMarket.com who just plain canceled our order of copious amounts of gluten-free and healthy dry-goods because it appeared to them we were "buying in bulk with the potential to re-sell." After Heidi called to explain to them we were buying in bulk because we live on a sailboat in Mexico and wouldn't be back in the States for a YEAR, they let us re-order but not in time to arrive in Seattle before we left! So we had it shipped to our friend Miles in San Diego, where we were making a 2-day stop on our return trip.
Another big shout-out goes to Angie and crew at Dockside Solutions
, our mailbox and forwarding service for holding said packages for our arrival. She even recycled all of the packaging while we unpacked everything to its smallest component and repackaged into zip-lock bags for air/water protection and ease of cramming into duffle bags. If you're heading out cruising (or fishing, or RV-ing for that matter) give Angie a call, her services are second to none, including scanning all mail, dropping PDFs into Dropbox, and holding onto or forwarding any mail we request, or even sending it down with other people traveling our way, all for a very reasonable price. It's how we "get our mail", and we can't say enough good things about the services that Dockside Solutions provides.
Molly the Bride requested that everyone stop to take in her favorite view on the North Cascades Highway, from Washington Pass Overlook.
After visiting with friends and running errands all over Puget Sound from Bainbridge Island to Port Townsend to Ballard, it was time for another four-hour tour as we headed over the North Cascades Highway for the Mazama-Rama with Wedding, the main reason we took this trip! The Minister was an important part of this four-day outdoor wedding extravaganza that included climbing, hiking, rafting, and biking, (in case you were wondering, we didn't participate in any of those activities...we would have done the rafting but we were sailing that day) plus outdoor yoga, campfires, and 200+ friends of Braden & Molly. We stayed in a great AirBnB, but many guests camped in tents and RVs at the wedding site near Winthrop, WA (a Western town with geography/geology looking very similar to Heidi's home town of Jackson Hole.) It was a beautiful, amazing event and we were thrilled to be a part of it.
The Minister "Captain Reverend Kirk" waiting to welcome the wedding party and guests.
Kirk did a fantastic job officiating and providing intermittent laughter throughout, like when he announced to the gathering at the start of the wedding, "There have been a lot of events going on these past four days, so in case there's any confusion as to where you should be, this is the "wedding" portion of the Mazama-Rama with Wedding event." Kirk also had the pleasure of walking Sara down the aisle after the ceremony.
The Mazama-Rama with Wedding was capped off by an AWESOME outdoor dance party, that both the photographer and DJ said they'd never seen the likes of before. The little white lights surrounding the dance floor with all of the bodies gettin' down gave the illusion of being indoors, until you looked up and saw the ceiling of moon and stars above, so lovely! Molly proclaimed the wedding to have been "perfectly perfect", she wouldn't have changed a thing, which made Kirk grin from ear to ear, as it was his first gig as a minister! His shingle is now hung, if you or anyone you know needs the services of a minister (and a mermaid?) let us know.
BEST. DANCE. PARTY. EVER! And outdoors under the stars too.
All too soon the Mazama-Rama with Wedding was in the rear-view as we headed back to Seattle for one more party at friends Karen & Jared's house. It was a fun roof-top deck party overlooking Seattle...and a reunion of sorts, most of this crowd had sailed together in the British Virgin Islands about 10 years ago!
Then off to catch our flight to San Diego, run more boat part errands and get in a quick visit with our dear family friend Vava. Plus we got to spend some time with our friend Miles and his cat Andy, where we met up with our errant UPS items. Miles was instrumental in helping us pack up 5 duffle bags + 1 box (and 2 carry-ons each!) and getting us and all of our stuff to the airport to fly home to s/v Due West. MANY, MANY thanks Miles, see you in Ecuador!
The Mermaid with our 6 pieces of checked luggage weighing 400lbs! Seriously a fish-out-of-water ~ and wearing a brace for tendonitis to boot!
The perfect ending to our trip: our awesome cat-sitters Boni and John rented a Jeep and drove the three hours to Cabo to pick us up along with our 400 pounds of luggage! Then it was off to Costco, cuz we didn't buy enough stuff in Seattle?!? OK, the Costco stop was Boni & John's main reason for driving down...we just hitched a ride back along with some paper towels and toilet paper.
BEST Cat Sitters in the WORLD, John & Boni on s/v Ingenium picked us up and the airport and took us to Costco for more STUFF!?! This will get us through the next 4-5 months in the remote parts of the Sea of Cortez where stores are few and they don't carry much.
It was a fantastic trip back to the Pacific Northwest, but we were SO HAPPY to see Tosh & Tikka again too, we really missed those kids! Happily they were in great hands while we were away. Now it's back to stowing and getting ready to head north again soon. Aiming for north of Latitude 27° by mid-August to hopefully be in the Hurricane-free zone for the rest of summer/fall. After hitting some of the same spots we visited last month, we'll likely hang out for a bit in Bahia Conception, Santa Rosalia, and Bahia de Los Angeles, before possibly heading over to the mainland and Guaymas/San Carlos area in late September or October. But remember... our plans are written in sand at low tide!
Internet connections will be few and far between for the next few months in the northern Sea of Cortez, so check out our IridiumGo Track
to see where we are if we're not blogging regularly. Happy rest of Summer to all of our friends and family, and an open invite to come and visit us--if you can stand the heat...or just need to get out of the kitchen! :-) We have two bunks open (even with all of the the stuff we just brought back--Heidi is a Tetris Queen!) you may just have to fight Tosh and Tikka for a spot to lay your head. :-)
More photos of our Pacific Northwest adventures on our photo gallery page.