Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Reality Bites

A few days ago, Renee's mother had a fall and banged her head pretty badly on the way down. She's in the hospital now, out of danger but it's going to take some time for her to recover and it won't be easy. So Renee is flying home tomorrow morning to help her. She's figuring on staying there for three weeks and, if her Mom is doing well, rejoin Intermezzo in Nicaragua.

We realized and accepted that something could happen to our aging parents when we decided to take this trip, but hope for the best and knew we could get back to the US within 72 hours from wherever we were sailing if we put our minds and money towards doing so. It seemed like a reasonable risk to take, but as is the very nature of risks, they have a probability of being realized. So, one has unfortunately and suddenly come to fruition and though the reality of it bites, we will work our way through it with courage, kindness and love.

As luck would have it, I received confirmation that the engine parts and mechanic are arriving here on from Delaware on Friday, so until we received the news about Renee's mom, we were excited by the prospect of finally leaving Bahia del Sol and continuing our journey south. I feel very stuck here and, while there is a lot to like about the place and El Salvador in general, after almost a month, I am more than ready to move on. I am trying to find a crew member who will sail with me to our next planned port of call, Puesta del Sol, Nicaragua. If things work out, I'll leave here on Monday for the roughly 100 mile sail and when I get there, berth Intermezzo in the marina and then explore Nicaragua on my own while Renee is gone, but prepared to head home if she needs me.

I've asked my daughter Hannah to join the boat on May 1 in Nicaragua to help sail Intermezzo to Costa Rica. Renee's son Nicholas has also been invited. And if Renee's mom has recovered well enough, Renee will be back and we'll have a nice family cruise. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, although I would also be happy to have some one-on-one sailing time with Hannah if that's how things turn out.

Renee and a guy anchored here both asked me why I had to leave; why couldn't I leave Intermezzo here while I travelled. Good question. Here's why: 1) I think I will go insane if Intermezzo stays here much longer, 2) I really want to spend some quality time cruising in Costa Rica with family before we leave the boat for the summer and would like to get closer, 3) I want to have time to investigate Marina Puesta del Sol as a potential place to leave the boat for the summer and it looks very promising. It's only a 100 mile, 24 hour sail further south, but it represents a lot to me psychologically.

When we we first arrived here in Bahia del Sol, we were greeted by a couple who told us they arrived two years ago, never managed to leave, and are staying another year. We laughed. I'm not laughing anymore- this place is so mellow and inexpensive that, like many such cruising destinations, many "sailors check in, but they don't check out". This trip was never about finding a place to comfortably retire, vacation or just park my butt. We set out on a sailing adventure. No problem if the reality of a loved one requires an adjustment or compromise in plans, but I'm damned if I'm going to join the other half a dozen guys at the bar drinking shitty $1 beer every afternoon, talking about oil changes, water makers, canvas etc. for three weeks. I'll miss Renee and be worried about her mother, but Renee supports my reasons for moving on. As for the guy anchored here, he doesn't understand and disagrees with me, but he also passes out most afternoons on his boat after the $1 beers.
Very nice guy, accomplished sailor, but not sure how much attention I will pay to his counsel in this situation.