Brought to you from the world of “did you ever think this would happen?”
Sixteen months ago, we left the boat on the hard in Puerto Penasco, Mexico and headed back to Vancouver to wait out hurricane season as we normally would. It was different, due to the Covid pandemic, but we, and I suspect most of the rest of the world, thought this would be over in a few months and all would be back to normal.
As we all know this was not the case. Based on world circumstances we made the decision to stay in Vancouver and take a pass on the last cruising season. We know others who made the choice and went back to their boats and for the most part enjoyed the season all be it in a different form than usual. We just felt more comfortable staying put.
It did allow us to make some changes to our own lifestyle. Derick went back to work to add some cash to the cruising kitty. He was surprised and a bit disappointed at how quickly and easily he slid back into the normal working for a living pattern after a couple years away from it. The job has worked out well and we are hopeful that he can pick it up again for a few months, when we come back at the end of this season.
We purchased a house with our daughter and son in law. They live upstairs and we have a suite in the basement. This provides them with a nice home and gives us a place to call home during the hurricane season.
Our plan is to drive down to Puerto Penasco this time. We have some bigger projects to take care of before the boat goes back in the water and the vehicle will allow us to bring parts down with us and get provisions more easily prior to launching for the season.
For reasons that make no sense to us, we still cannot drive across the Canada / US border so to make this happen we needed to ship our car (full of our stuff), complete with a two page “Contents Manifest” listing everything in each box, bag and Rubbermaid tub, from the airport in Abbotsford BC to the airport in Bellingham Washington. We then chartered a small 3 passenger plane to fly us from Abbotsford to Bellingham so we can enter the USA by air which is permitted. Then we can drive our car through the US to Mexico.
We arrived at the appropriate location at the airport where we were to meet the plane. Due to Covid they want you to wait outside. Shortly thereafter the shipping company arrived and took our car. It was a bit scary how easily we gave up our car and belongings to a complete stranger. But we did and watched them drive off while we’re still waiting for a plane to arrive. We waited and waited then called the airline only to find the office closed for the day. No car, no belongings, no plane yet. This was not how the plan was supposed to play out. Finally, the plane shows up 45 minutes after it was supposed to. Turns out there was an issue with the plane we booked so we got a free upgrade from the 3-seater to the 5-seater. A 9-minute flight at 1200 feet and we are in Bellingham. 30 minutes and several hundred dollars later we are in our car and driving south.
Lots of miles to make in a fully loaded car and a paranoia of it being broken into meant some long days. We did manage to stop in and see our nephew, Jordan, who is in college in Valencia CA. We picked up some parts in San Diego and met up with a co worker from my old Freightliner/Thomas Bus life in Phoenix. He took us out for an amazing dinner. Thanks Bill! We left Phoenix early and crossed into Mexico with no issues whatsoever at the crossing. We made it to Puerto Penasco in four and a half days. After the initial inspection it looks like the boat survived well without us. Very dirty but no bugs, rats, mold or exploded cans. Now the real work begins.
We know people that have had Covid with the entire extremes of symptoms from barely ill to people that died as a result. It is our sincerest hope that anyone reading this has not been too terribly affected by the pandemic and you have our deepest sympathies if you have lost friends or family as a result.
We have had our vaccinations and are looking forward to getting back on the water to see what the new reality of cruising Mexico and points beyond is going to look like.
Stay tuned for season 3