I have lived my life for the last 15 years with the week starting on Monday. I have asked Stu no less than 3 times in the last two days, ‘What day is it?’, as I’m completely discombobulated not living my life via the work week. It is going to take some getting used to, but I suspect it’s going to feel a tad glorious!
So, here we sit in Astilleros Cabrales, the boat yard in Puerto Penasco, Mexico, five days after making our middle of the night departure from Pemberton. Oddly enough, this 40ft by 20ft boat already feels quite a bit like home, as the girls settle in, monkeying around everything. We’re anxious to ‘splash’ and get the boat in the water, but know there are several more hurdles to cross before we can do so.
We’ve gone through almost every locker on the boat (pardon the boat terminology):
- (2 under each of the 3 berths (or beds),
- 3 in each of the cabins (or rooms),
- 2 in the middle of ‘our’ side of the boat,
- the 1 in front of our head (toilet)
- 2 above the chart table,
- the 1 where the propane is stored,
- the 1 under the helm (read ‘steering wheel’),
- the 6 in the galley (kitchen),
- the 1 lazarette (locker) at the stern (back), and
- the 2 large ones toward the bow (front).
We have 3 left, under the settee (couch) in the salon (main living area), and then we’ve at least gone through the main storage compartments, unearthing what is there, determining what we need and deciding what we don’t. In some ways, it’s a full continuation of what we’ve spent the better part of the last six months doing. If anyone needs someone to sort, purge or organize their living space…please look elsewhere, I’ve retired.
Thereafter we’ll be doing a more extensive provision (buying groceries and supplies); continuing to test the various systems on board; awaiting delivery of several things we’ve ordered and generally getting to know the boat better.
Our voyage to Puerto Penasco was relatively uneventful, thankfully. We found ourselves in the plushest of plush sprinter vans for the quiet drive from Pemberton to YVR, thanks to the awesome service of our pal, Mike Manale and Limobook. Ellie excitedly babbled the entire drive down, over the moon about her upcoming airplane. Lily slept, save for a few awake moments where she, in typical Lily fashion, asked for food. The Vancouver International Airport was all but a ghost town, and our first flight to Calgary more than half-empty. Calgary to Phoenix was smooth, and the girls were incredible travellers the entire way.
The real adventure started after we successfully collected all our luggage (four large duffel bags and three large bins, plus backpacks and car seats) from the carrousel in Phoenix and were met by what was supposed to be a large transit van (pre-arranged by Stu before we had left). Instead we were met by a Toyota Carola, to which the driver simply looked at our two luggage carts, shook his head and immediately called his boss. Ever the gracious Mexicans, they promised they’d immediately send a more appropriate ride, telling us to keep our eyes out for a four-door Nissan Frontier pick-up. Within the hour, attempt #2 arrives, in the form of Toyota RAV4. I was doubtful, but lo and behold, everything fit in, including the car seats and all of us. We had a quiet drive to the border, as we all fell asleep for the majority of the three hours.
We were uncertain what would happen as we pulled up to Trump’s infamous ‘wall’ backlit by a typical stunning Baja sunset. In a matter of seconds, our driver drove through, and before we knew it, we were across the line, without even opening our passports, let alone speaking with anyone. However, the moment we pulled through, the car popped a tire simultaneously with Lily waking up with some dangerous sounding farts. As we pulled into the shuttle office, the flat tire was confirmed, as was the disaster in Lily’s pants (newly toilet trained, and doing SO well until then). So, while Stu transported all the luggage into a different minivan, I ventured into a rustic Mexican toilet to clean Lily up and calm her poor cries.
From there it was another 90 minutes to the boat yard, and before we knew it we were driving up right below her bow, looking at her from below, and unloading our worldly possessions on board. We had arrived, ready to start this next chapter of our lives.