Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A busy, busy summer...

Time is flying by:  Unbelievable!  It's already September and we haven't accomplished half what we'd envisioned for this summer...  BUT we did have some fun, oh yes we did.  And, we did see some friends and family (never enough time). And, we did get a little travelling in.  We're already deeply involved with the planning and preparing necessary to drive south through the States and into Mexico... so the following is a short recap of how our spring and summer unfolded.

I've already shared the Celebration of Lives for mom and dad (Daley) in May... and you're aware we acquired an older, in need of tlc, summer boat (SV Mojo), fixed her up a bit and did a little sailing.  Of course there's always the domestic chores we're all familiar with when it comes to maintaining a home, and we did ok in that regard, but by early June we were ready for a break and so Kathy, her mom Marg, and I took off and headed north to the Kingfisher Spa.  There we enjoyed a couple days of pure pampering and relaxing.  It was really quite marvelous, with whirlpools and mud baths, great food and terrific staff... we all came home much more relaxed.  Kathy was heavily involved with some contract work from her office during the months of May, June and part of July.  It was hard work and took long hours of each day and night, but she really enjoyed doing it.. which is always nice when you're putting in that kind of time. 

While Kathy toiled with her contract work and pitched in around the house when she could, I puttered with Mojo, did some work for the yacht club (re-organizing the policy and procedure manual and writing a few new policies as required), and took on the challenge of organizing the thousands of Daley clan photographs in preparation for having them digitized. The photo project has taken many hours but was really a neat activity as I got to spend those hours wandering through my memories of our family growing up... I also met some ancestors I hadn't known of and am very excited about spending more time with the historical piles... next year.

Mojo upgrades (of course :-):Some of the projects the little boat endured included; rebuilding the pull-out bed so that it was large enough to sleep on, new canvas (dodger, tiller cover, handrail covers, sail cover), scrubbing and cleaning all the 'black' out of lockers (left from the original diesel engine), the new 'pots and pans' cupboard, servicing of the outboard, repair and varnishing the tiller, replacement of the fore stay and re-alignment of the shrouds (we lost the old furling unit but at least the mast hadn't fallen down), and major cleaning of the stove and BBQ.  As well, Kathy and our electrician friend Tony worked hard at cleaning up the old wiring and installing a proper charging unit and wiring system.  We also had to 'retire' the infamous 'sausage'.  I'm afraid it was just too unsafe to tow and not very good at rowing.  We acquired a new main (hidden in the back room of a sail shop) two used, hank-on jibs for the new fore stay and a new, used, inflatable dinghy that rows much better and tows just fine. It's even quite light for moving around.

Cruisin': Our 'cruising' over the summer was fairly spotty.. rebuilding the boat and other domestic things got in the way... but that's okay; we had fun when we did get out.  We spent several glorious days at Pirates Cove, one of our favourite spots in the Gulf Islands, and, we had a few simple day-sails. In August we spent over two weeks floating about our favourite haunts in the southern Gulf Islands.  As Kathy puts it, during our two week cruise we circumnavigated Salt Spring Island and visited 6 different islands while doing it.  Great fun.  Even living on the little boat wasn't too bad.  The hardest thing was that we'd brought way too much gear (what else is new) and spent far too much time looking for things... never did find some of them.  I'll be emptying those lockers a lot before our next outing which will be the Commodore's cruise in late September.

House guest: Do you remember last December, when we had to return home quickly following the sudden passing of Kathy's father?  Well, the reason we both were able to return, and abandon both the boat and the dog in Mazatlan, is that a wonderful woman named Cheryl (who was crewing on a neighbouring boat) came over and offered to boat and dog sit for us.  And so she did, allowing us both to come home.  Cheryl's from Australia and has been out for the past couple of years exploring the world.. doing all kinds of exciting things.. and this summer she came to visit us here in Maple Bay.  She arrived on July 31st and spent the rest of the summer with us.  We've shown her Victoria and around our little neck of the woods as best we could and she departed for a new adventure on September 2nd. She's now RVing in Utah.. or some such place. It's really quite amazing what she's come up with...  crewing on boats in the Caribbean, ocean cruises, trips to Alaska and Central America.  She's braver than me... Anyway, Cheryl will continue on with her journey and, with luck, we'll see her again sometime in Mexico.

MBYC Regatta: Kathy and I both pitched in to help at the yacht club for the annual Regatta hosted by the MBYC.  It's a huge undertaking and we spent most of our time mixing and delivering pancake batter for the morning breakfasts.  We also did some cleaning up and selling of hats and t-shirts.  Our feet are still sore from the standing, but we had a good time working with a team of great people. 

As for heading south.  We did the math and can't leave until October 16th.  Once we head off we'll be driving down... slowing a bit near San Diego to look at some Freeport Islanders and then hurrying on to Mazatlan to prepare SV Shannon for her new life.  We will miss that boat so much... it still hurts the heart.. but we know it's for the best as we do want to move up a wee bit before we swallow the hook - and mother time isn't slowing down for anyone.  Add to that the logistics of trying to sell a boat formally.. anywhere.. and the very good luck of having someone find us.. and want to take over the care of Shannon.. and, well, you know what they say about opportunity knocking.

There's one other piece of news I should deliver.  One of our friends incorrectly reported on her blog that the Shannon was sold and we had gone home.  Technically, at that moment, that was possibly true.... however... many of our cruising friends have assumed that meant we'd thrown in the towel, swallowed the hook, lost our minds (or courage) and gone home.... So, for the record,  NOT SO MY FRIENDS.  We are alive, well, and anxious to get going again.....  We've even picked out the name for our new boat as soon as we find her.

Now then, for those of you who are interested.. we have narrowed our search for the new 'ride' to two different kinds of boats...  The first is a Freeport Islander 36 (like the SV Eagle, one of our buddy boats on the journey down the coast).  These boats are great.. with a huge amount of space, and a pullman berth, tucked into a beamy 36 feet.  They have lots of daylight below and a walk-through transom as well.  AND then we met up with the Pearson 385.  Haven't actually seen one (physically) yet but the reviews are terrific. They're generally slightly newer that the Freeports and very different in layout.  They have a centre cockpit, aft cabin with athwartships double bed, forward cabin with V berth, dedicated shower stall, and a nice salon. Many of them are cutter rigged as well.  So the Pearson 385 also has us very interested and we have an appointment to view one moored in Barra de Navidad... We have our fingers crossed tight this all works out.... we would really love to be able to continue cruising as soon as possible.

That my friends... is how it's been and how we're doing.  Busy ... like all of you... at this time of year, preparing the house for winter and our friends who will be caring for it over the winter.  Princess Sophie will lounge with Susan and George for the first month while we boat shop (too hot for a  little black dog to wait in the car while we traipse over miles of docks on the hunt).  Kathy's coming home to her mom's from mid-November to mid-December and PS will fly back to Mexico with Kathy when she returns.

That's enough for now.. just wanted to catch up.. We hope all of you are well and have enjoyed a fabulous summer...  And we hope your winter will be just as good... filled with peace, love and happiness.

The Blog:  We will be keeping this blog going.. it's a great way to stay in touch and we enjoy sharing our travels with you.  Stay tuned for news of our drive south and search for 'the new boat'.

ttfn  (ta ta for now)  CJ