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Retirement is Exhausting

We've come to understand this very well.

The last month has been filled with taking trips to the US, conjugating spanish verbs, researching solar panels and anchors, being social on the dock, hosting the morning cruisers net on the radio, having the boat hauled out for maintenance work, canvas repairs, cleaning, sail repairs, happy hours, playing tourist for a day and for Daz, lots of development work.

After much hand-wringing and anguish regarding the pro's and con's of solar panels and their installation we ordered 8 semi flexible panels for the top of our dodger and bimini, so that when we're at anchor we have enough power to run the refrigerator, charge electronics etc., without draining the batteries completely. We'll be able to spend more time away from the dock which we're really looking forward to, without having to sacrifice too much in the way of comfort, because imagine how devastating it would be to not have ice for a gin & tonic. Right? So quick as a flash, Amazon kindly delivered the panels and assorted parts and pieces to our mailbox in San Diego and we headed to the US to pick them up, and we took the opportunity to see Alyssa and Michael too - Daz was kept on his toes picking up crayons from the floor, finding that one lost shoe every 10 minutes, eating the 15 breadsticks Michael sweetly insisted on feeding him and and helping Michael push the cart in the supermarket so that not every end cap was razed. It was so fun to spend time with them!

We'd organized to have the boat hauled out as we knew we were overdue for new bottom paint and we had a laundry list of items that would be easier to do while the boat was out of the water. So we left our marina home and headed to the Baja Naval shipyard for a few days of pampering for Eione. It was amazing to watch the guys get her out of the water and into the yard. I think Daz will have a video of the haul out, it's not something we see every day and so many people stopped along the boardwalk to watch. We were parked next to Third Wish, a Norseman 447 which had recently been transported to Ensenada from Panama for repairs after being wrecked on a reef following their transit of the canal. You can read their story here. So devastating, but they're excited to have their repairs finished and to get sailing again!

Over the next few days we stayed in a small cheap hotel not far from the marina. It was really cute; think 1950's Palm Springs meets faux Spanish Mission and you'll have a good idea of the buildings and décor. I wouldn't have been at all surprised to see Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby walk around the corner. It had everything we needed though, a comfy bed, a shower, wi-fi and close to the shipyard so we could go over each morning to see the progress and to do some work ourselves. Daz wanted to do the wiring for the solar himself and this was a good time to do it. The shipyard workers were all over the boat, doing electrical work, replacing head hoses (eww), polishing the fuel, installing a new thru-hull for the as yet not purchased watermaker (still in the hand-wringing anguish stage with that) and sundry other things we kept adding to the list of things to do. They were all so nice, and did such fabulous work. I do have to say though, it's very disconcerting to watch someone drill a hole in the bottom of your boat. While Daz worked on the solar, I cleaned and polished the hull waterline and before we knew it, it was splash day and the boat was being put back into the water. It was so nice to have our home back!

While the boat was on the hard we took a quick trip out to La Bufadora, a blowhole south of Ensenada. There were so many people there and of course you couldn't get to the actual blowhole without walking a mile through the middle of all the hawkers and vendors with their amazing variety of inventory - ostrich cowboy boots, paintings of Frida Kahlo, margaritas, sombreros, bull skulls complete with massive horns, jewellery, glowing pictures of Jesus, tequila, shrimp tacos and to top it all off, a petting zoo of baby cheetahs, lions and tigers. No bueno. Also, we saw a large Amish family and I desperately wanted to know how they got out to La Bufadora - surely not in a buggy? - I never asked of course, although I did have a good look around for a few horses in the parking lot on the way out, but aside from a mangy looking burro grazing lazily on the top of a hill, nothing to be seen. I hasten to add that I don't mean to imply the Amish family were part of inventory or on par with a petting zoo of exotic cats - I guess I just didn't expect to see them is all....anyway...I'll stop digging this hole now....

Moving right along: We met a lovely Aussie/Kiwi family on their boat, Boombox, when they came into the marina for a few days on their way south. They invited us over for drinks one night, pulled out their guitars and started singing sea shanty's. As seems to be fairly normal, drinks became dinner and Kath whipped up a fabulous pot of potato soup for us all. So fun! Cameron and his dad Richard were playing in a jam session at our local brew pub, Cerviceria Transpenisular, the next night so we all went over and enjoyed that too. Great music. And no wonder - turns out Cameron is in a band - The Streets of Laredo. Such lovely people and we were happy to hang out with them for a week as they prepared their boat to sail to Australia with the Marquesas in French Polynesia being their first stop. It's a long sail, about 4 weeks and we've been tracking their progress via AIS - we think they'll be there in about 4 days!

We were in Texas for the past week. Daz came to work with a client and I came too this time and got to indulge my secret passion for the Jerry Springer show. I have no excuse. I just can't stop watching. Anyway, many years ago we lived here in Dallas and it's been fun to be a bit nostalgic and revisit the places we lived and meet some lovely new friends. We love it here - everything really is "big" in Texas, and the people are so kind and welcoming.

The house we built in Texas, 2001 and today. We never lived in it though. Long story. But I wonder what our life would be like if we'd stayed there?

We made it back to Mexico early yesterday. It's nice to get home and relax a little. I know I know...hearts all over the world are breaking for us and the hardships we're suffering. We'll make it through somehow though, don't worry too much.

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