Going home

We’ve been in the states for nearly three months now, road tripping our way though some beautiful landscapes and great visits with friends and family. Our time north of the border has brought new appreciation for the cruising life, and helped the differences in our lifestyle this past year into focus. We’re ruminating on those and will have more to share about the differences later.

One of the biggest realizations is that the boat is internalized as home for our family. It sounds obvious to some, and not to others- we do still own a house, and feel very connected to loved ones back on Bainbridge Island in the Pacific Northwest. But the emotional pull we’ve all felt for distant Totem is undeniable. Where ever she is, there is home.

We’ve also felt a pull to return south of the US border. In Colorado a few weeks ago, we found ourselves behind a Mexican family while walking around Red Rocks. Listening to the rapid-fire Spanish that drifted back to our ears, we looked at each other and almost simultaneously said “I miss Mexico!” We’ll only have another six or so months back there before crossing to French Polynesia, but we all look forward to getting back.

There are sweet memories to take back with us to Totem. This has been a wonderful time to reconnect with friends and family. I am immensely grateful to have had the time to make the visits we did- there are indelible memories of good times, and building more bonds as our children grow older. They have a sense, now, of the people, relationships, and ties of our extended family. I’m equally grateful to the dear ones who let our busy family descend into their lives. We aim to be low maintenance, but there’s a certain amount of action that accompanies a family with three young children- no matter how easy-going!

Lessons with Auntie Melissa

We planned to return to Totem during the first days of September, but at the moment we’re not sure exactly when we’ll get back. Hurricane Jimena has lost the attention of the US media, now that we all know Cabo was spared, but the impact in Mexico has not been insignificant. Although San Carlos, where Totem is snug in a slip, was spared the brunt of the weather – there were historical rains (we hear 30” in 12 hours) and winds sustained at 60 knots (that’s about 70 mph for you non-nautical folks). Reports are that Totem appears fine, but at the moment, the Marina Real where she lies in San Carlos is cut off. It’s not possible to get there from Guaymas, the nearest large town, thanks to a 20’ deep hole where a culvert collapsed. It sounds like even Guaymas may not be accessible, as we hear that several bridges connecting it to Hermosillo are washed out. And considering the mountains backing up to the marina, rain of biblical proportions has probably translated to a mess in the water- getting out of the marina could have some challenges too. It may take some time for us to get back.

It’s difficult to be far away when your home is in danger. We’ve had reports from fellow cruisers on the same dock, who checked her for us and have kept us appraised. It’s a huge relief to have them there! The marina has lost power, but we’re able to get reports from Frank and Linda on M/V Discovery through their single sideband radio. So we wait for news, but lucky to be with our very understanding family in Phoenix.

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