17 February 2010 | La Cruz Marina
It's raining in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, a steady rain in warm, slightly humid air. Our boat has to be completely closed up in the rain, every porthole and hatch leaks if cracked even a fraction of an inch. So we're holed up inside, having canceled our bus ride to Marina Vallarta for the Wednesday seminar and the Mega grocery store in favor of a rain day, a chance to quietly organize our thoughts and finish taxes and so forth while Beethoven's Symphony #7, Op 92 in A Major wafts about the steamy interior of the cabin.
I've just returned from a trip back to California for a very bittersweet experience, the deep sadness and privilege of seeing an old friend into Heaven after being diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago. I have known Carol since I was 5 and it was hard to go through, but I was so blessed to be with her at home, sharing the last few days with her and her husband Brian, who I've know since I was 15. It was like being with my dearest family at a time of great importance, and that's what it was. Carol, incidentally, is the originator of the term "blurb" and in honor of her I changed the name a few months back from "blog" to "blurb." But Carol is through the pearly gates and strolling with Jesus, and for that I am very happy. Allan and Greg held down the wife-less fort here in La Cruz, doing manly things like climbing the mast and maintaining our social connections.
For the rest of us, life goes on, I am sort of numb all over now that I'm back on the boat and back in the routine of passage preparations and provisioning. The time for our departure to the Marquesas nears, we leave in just over a month. We've ramped up our inventory process. Funny -- we just provisioned this boat 6 months ago, but already it's time to take a second look and fill in the gaps. So, more drugs and food for the emergency ditch bag, more canned foods, and I'm having a great time developing simple, healthy menus that a mostly vegetarian crew will enjoy for the extended cruise. (For lunch today we're having Raw French Fries -- sliced jicama tossed with olive oil and Lawry's Seasoning Salt, dipped in ketchup. Quite convincing!)
I had a chance in California to spend some time with my mom, and Carol and John, Max kitty's foster parents, brought him up to Oxnard for the weekend so I could get some cat time. My friend Michelle and I zoomed around Ventura County buying everything I could think of that I can't get in Mexico, or that costs a premium here, mainly boat parts and accessories. I stuffed a giant suitcase with things like Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar and Trader Joe's Sunflower Seed Butter (yum!) as well as a clampy thing for the jib furling line and stuff like that.
Tonight we're getting together with Rod and Elisabeth to discuss the topic of Buddy Boating, and share our "What Buddy Boating Means to Me" essays so we will be more or less in line with each other as we cross the Pacific as a loosely formed team of 2. Tiffany arrives from Florida tomorrow, and she and Greg will have a little time together before we team up and start our final preps for the trip.
Not much to pass along in this blurb, but I thought it was time to check in, share the details of my week with Carol and Brian, and let you know we're still plugging away and still happy. Also, this is the trial run for submitting the blog via email rather than the Internet, which we will be doing while underway when we're out of range. Hence, no photo.
One of my friends requested a blurb on the local area, a little missive on what life is like not just in the immediate cruiser community, but also of our life here in Mexico, so that will come soon.