Some folks have asked us what is “End of a cruising Season” – here is what we think it means traditionally and under the current circumstances. A little explanation for the non-cruisers.
After a season of cruising, traditionally cruisers escape the hot summer Mexico to travel to cooler destinations or home. This year many left as early as March and April leaving their boats on the hard and returned home for personal reasons and Covid-19 driven fear. With the current border closures, it is unknown when they can return to their boat. But traditionally the majority of cruisers leave June/July. – haul boat, travel to cooler locations, and returning Oct/Nov.
Due to the combination of the current pandemic and border restrictions we decided to change our summer plans. Originally we were going to travel to Arizona, Oregon, and California to visit with family and friends. Even adding in a weekend backpacking to Siouxon Creek to surprise our P-Town friends. Like many, we were saying the same. We were going to do ‘this…‘. And we were planning to do ‘that…‘. If we learned anything this year it’s this: as cruisers, you write your plans at low tide because they will quickly be washed away. Keeping a loose grip on our plans lets us remain flexible.
It was February and Mexico was in the infancy stages of the pandemic. Cruisers were trying to develop a plan to whether stay put, cruise north a bit and haul out, or cruise to the top of the Sea of Cortez and haul out. Among conversations, Plan A, Plan B, Plan C’s were shared with acknowledging nods of understanding those plans may wash away at low tide. We chose to stay in Puerto Penasco, located at the north end of the Sea of Cortez, and complete our long list of boat projects.
Slow but Steady
Dharma Girl is currently on the hard. That means she is out of the water, held upright on tall boat stands as seen in the photo. The keel rests on parallel blocks. Now the bottom of the boat is accessible for seasonal maintenance. The topside is accessed via a tall stair ladder provided by the boat yard.
One of the reasons we choose Puerto Penasco is it’s proximity to the US of A. An hour from the border and four hours later we are in Phoenix. Let’s just say shopping at Trader Joe’s, CostCo, and the common American stores was a fun treat, and a bit overwhelming too. So many choices!
Before a cruiser heads to the states, they spend countless hours filling the shopping carts of various online stores. It’s like Christmas when you arrive to a family member’s house who received all 42 of your boxes (thank you again Pat and Melody). So you understand, finding boat parts in Mexico are slim to none. So we shopped for the boat it includes the engine, hull, galley, head, and personal and boat consumables.
So we loaded up the rental Dodge mini-van with luggage and headed north. The drive north of Prescott to the Williams’ abode was uneventful. Our stay was wonderful and our hosts were gracious.
Though our stay was short it was a lovely visit with Chris’ family. Each day we shopped for shoes, clothes, and favorite nonperishable foods to bring back to our boat. And an additional treat during our stay was Chris ate a delicious hamburger. I ate many salads of the sorts! But nothing beats meals with the family.
We also walked the neighborhood and enjoyed our morning coffee overlooking Pat and Melodie’s beautiful yard.
With the van loaded and the suspension stressing a wee bit, we head South to return to Puerto Penasco. The visit was good but we are missing our girl. Gratefully we had another uneventful drive through the dry, hot, Arizona desert land. The highlights were experiencing 114.8 degrees fahrenheit for the first time, actually saw the US/MX wall, getting the green light at the MX border (the packed van did not get searched), and at the Puerto Penasco city entrance, Chris was chosen to get a Covid-19 Rapid Test.
And look who greets us when we return to our little in-law apartment but the ever so adorable little Miss Chloe.
Back at It
The mini-break is over and we shift back to our work days as described in the previous blog post. We will learn how to endure working in even warmer weather. To beat the relative heat, I foresee our workdays beginning at 5 or 6 am.
If you read this far, we thank you for visiting and hopefully learned a little something from our experiences.
Ever wonder why the bathroom on a boat or ship is called the head?
The head (pl. heads) is a ship’s toilet. The name derives from sailing ships in which the toilet area for the regular sailors was placed at the head or bow of the ship.