Friday, September 23, 2016

Heading Back to Costa Rica

After a summer back in the USA, I'm heading back to Costa Rica to rejoin Intermezzo in Puntarenas and prepare to resume The Voyage.

This summer was a memorable one. Renee's mom and aunt worked through their respective health issues and are in pretty good, stable shape, thank goodness. They are now excitedly planning their move to a very nice senior community this winter. Sadly, my two beloved goats, Lola and Daphne, both passed away. At least I was home to say goodbye and lay them to rest in a pretty spot on the ranch. My relationships with loved ones morphed and shifted as relationships do when people undergo changes in their lives as I and they have.  I put time into my meditation and yoga practices and benefited mightily from both. I’m grateful to have ended the summer feeling pretty good about my life and in great physical shape. I owe many thanks to those who helped me through this eventful summer.

I’ll briefly recap last season’s sailing adventure new readers of this blog and to refresh the memories of my loyal followers. Renee and I departed Petaluma, California on October 5 last year and sailed down the California coast to join the Baja Ha-Ha. We sailed the Ha-Ha to Cabo with Jeanne as crew and then enjoyed cruising the Sea of Cortez until the beginning of December. We then crossed over to mainland Mexico and made our way to Puerto Vallarta where Renee left the boat to attend the birth of the first grandchild. Renee returned in January and we resumed our journey south with crew Marc and Marci joining us as far as Manzanillo. We continued double-handed to Puerto Chiapas where we cleared out of Mexico after enjoying some land adventures in Colima, Michoacan and Chiapas and conquering the notorious Golfo de Tehuantepec without incident. We sailed south to El Salvador had done a bit of exploring when on April 3 we received news that Renee’s mom had suffered a fall and was in the hospital. Renee hurried home to take care of her mom and I stayed behind to get some work done on the engines, saildrives and props while I waited to see if Renee would be coming back. She didn’t and I ended up sailing single-handed to Nicaragua where I spent most of the month touring the country by car.  Hannah joined me in May to bring Intermezzo to Costa Rica where I got the boat ready to rest for the summer in Puntarenas and then flew back to the US on June 1.

So now we’re resuming The Voyage, but our plans have changed. I think. Our original plan was to transit the Panama canal and make our way to New York by spring via the Cayman Islands, Cuba, the Bahamas and the Intercostal Waterway. That trip would involve quite a lot of sailing and put us a long way from home. That would pose a problem as Renee needs to be in closer touch with her mom and aunt and reasonably accessible should they need assistance. On top of that, after cruising the Sea of Cortez, I am pretty sure I would like to base Intermezzo there. It would be a long sail back from New York! So we’ve changed our plans so that we can break the sailing into chunks and make it easier to return to California when we want or need to. We’ll continue south to cruise the Pacific coast of Panama in October, then turn the boat around and start making our way back to Baja. We plan on getting to Puerto Chiapas and clearing into Mexico by mid-November, where we’ll haul Intermezzo out for bottom painting and leave her “on the hard” until January. We’ll come home for the holidays and then figure out when, how and with whom the journey north will continue with the goal of reaching the Sea of Cortez by the end of February or beginning of March.

Or, who knows, the sailing adventure bug might bite and we (or maybe just I) will go through the canal and into the Caribbean?