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So Newton passed by with minimal effects to Sonrisa — electricity was out for a few hours with some 50 knots being recorded in the marina. A normal thunderstorm shuts down La Paz due to the poor drainage so it was a couple of days until the boys returned to school. Plenty of trees down but otherwise La Paz came off lightly.
It really is incredible that it was 10 years ago he crossed the Atlantic as a toddler, one really needs to enjoy these times, gone far too soon. We now have a week in Puerto Vallarta sin ninos for our 14 th wedding anniversary, another milestone I find hard to appreciate, again seems like last week Mel and I were working on Wild B in Italy.
Just before we head to Tasmania in November our dear friends from Seattle Rennie and Denny are coming to stay on Sonrisa — a great opportunity for us to repay their incredible hospitality. Tasmania will be an interesting time as we sort out our lives, Mexican permanent residency and whether to sell the farm in Tasmania.
Vancouver really is one of the most picturesque cities around, with all the bicycling and walking paths we never had to resort to a car. The Canadian dollar being on par with the ozzie dollar made life that much more bearable and enjoyable. So a big thanks to Gary and Jeanine for allowing us to stay for several days — a fantastic location.
Finally a night in Denver at the Crawford hotel and a sumptuous meal with our ever generous host Chad McWinney — the meal at Stoic and Genuine, as last time, unforgettable — thanks Chad!! Back in La Paz, with a pretty warm September — as I am writing this Hurricane Newton is some 24 hours away so the decks on Sonrisa looking very clean.
Hopefully the 20 odd lines holding Sonrisa tight will be enough. We managed to get out to Espiritu Santo Island most weekends for cooler times and the busy school days. A few days to prepare Sonrisa for cyclone season — a very bare yacht with all sails, halyards, covers off.
We found a good home for Peluchie our family cat for the last 18 months, with 2 months away now and then the 5 month trip to Tasmania in November it was just too complicated to keep him on Sonrisa — a very sad day when he left. Our first stop in Seattle was to Denny and Rennies, our cruising friends from Columbia several years ago — such a warm welcome.
His first unaccompanied flight, we were so proud of him as he set off. An interesting time for Huon also as this was the first instance when they have been separated — in the end the parents stressing more than the boys! As we did last year, a magic several days down at Stretch Island in Southern Puget Sound, July 4 th fireworks, kayaking, crabbing etc with Huon happily being a shadow to 3 older boys — now one of a pack taking on all the fashions and actions of the older boys.
Plenty of activities in Seattle over the next 6 weeks along with a pleasant offer to stay in their house in Vancouver from other cruising friends we met in Costa Rica in , Gary and Jeanine from High 5 — they are taking their yacht down to La Paz, and Costa Baja Marina over the summer. Just the odd other yacht floating around. Two weeks just getting back into the cruising mode as we are now tied to the marina most of the time.
The highlight was the diving with seals at Isla Los Islotes, where the seals where very happy to perform for the camera with an apple as a toy. A really wonderful trip with excellent weather. Last weekend we visited La Duna for an evening with several of our local Mexican families. This rustic and very environmentally friendly resort provides a magic location just to chill and chat for the children and adults that went very late into the evening. February was rather quite, school runs, Mel studying all rather domestic.
I popped down to Barra Navidad, south of Puerto Vallarta to bring Princess 1 back to La Paz, as expected on the nose most of the way so, double the time taken to get down there, some 3 days for some miles much of the time at around 7 knots.
A few days later to Cabo San Lucas so she could be hauled out for her yearly maintenance. We had a magnificent week with our dear friends from Monaco, Poala, Antoine and Daniel their 6 year old son. Our new old two car family made arrangements easy. Mel was also busy for a few days helping arrange provisions for a couple of large yachts, something we might consider more of later on. Finally we actually had some of that thing called work.
Princess Two in the Caribbean was within days without a crew — Mel biting the bullet, agreed to come along for 4 weeks to cook. Leaving the boys for such a time was a very big decision, but with our delightful La Paz friends and children Igor and Daniella we could feel they were in very safe hands.
Princess Two was in St Thomas the US Virgin Islands, the first demonstration trip was cancelled and the second charter with guest from Mexico city is best not talked about we did our best in trying conditions with untrained crew — the fact that the two Mexican crew were left tips and the 3 Anglo Saxons were not says it all — funny to experience a little discrimination on our side, makes one respect what other non-white Anglo Saxon cultures have to deal with.
Our taxi driver, Sobers, providing me with several hours of laughs as we went shopping for parts and food. With 4 crew for the mile trip from St Thomas to the Bahamas a couple of long nights, made longer by the 10 minute departure in the Turks and Caicos of the rather useless South African stewardess.