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Boating, Business & Beadledom

After our consumptive night at Oceanside we made our way south to the utter bliss of the public dock at Shelter Island, which is kind of ironic - it's full of nefarious night time comings and goings by a wily band of raggle-taggle boat gypsies who seem to know every rule of every anchorage and manage to circumvent every single one of them. Periodically the police come along at 2AM and bust them for staying illegally on the dock and tell them to move along, but invariably the engine doesn't work, or there isn't an engine at all in some cases. Previously we had watched a 2AM boat moving mission, whereby what could only be described as something akin to the RV from Breaking Bad was being towed off the dock by a spluttering 1963 era ski boat with no lights, under the baleful eye of a shrieking harridan worried about the paint job on her boat! (I don't think there was any paint on it, I'm pretty sure it could only be described as "Algae on Bare Fibreglass". Doubtful that shade would be found in the Awlgrip catalogue!) Always quite entertaining to stay there, but we were very careful to lock everything up before we went to bed or left the boat. Anyway, I digress – in a nutshell, we made it safely to Shelter Island, slept like logs then spent the next day touring the USS Midway, our last hurrah in San Diego before making our way back to Ensenada.

No sooner had we arrived back we turned around again and headed to the airport for a few weeks work in Texas. (You may be wondering why we didn't leave the boat in San Diego while we went to Texas. Great question, short answer: No moorage was available for under $1000, which is OUTRAGEOUS.)

We love Dallas! Many years ago we lived there and enjoyed everything about it. It's changed quite a bit of course, but the BBQ is still amazing, the people are so incredibly polite and the thunderstorms are still formidable – some things never change fortunately! I spent the time being a pampered princess, reading and watching Jerry Springer (it's my dirty little secret...shhh don't tell!) while Daz toiled and travailed to bring home the bacon. (In my mind's eye this last sentence conjures an image of me propped up in bed wearing a fou-fou 50's nightgown, popping bon-bons into my mouth and watching TV while Daz is deep in the bowels of a salt mine with a pick-axe and a sweaty brow. Don't be fooled though...there was lots of Top Golf and lunches out for Daz!) We spent wonderful evenings with Darrin's colleagues and their families and enjoyed their hospitality and kindness so much. The highlight for me was a trip to the George W. Bush Presidential Library with Kristi and Christian, 2 lovely ladies who kindly offered to take me out for the day, little knowing I have to read every.single.word on every.single.display in places such as this. I was given a stern talking to by Darrin about it, reminding me it's rather dull for everyone else when I haven't got to the end of the first gallery and everyone else is done and ready for dinner. So I was on my best behaviour and had a fabulous day learning more about Dubya than was ever reported in mainstream news reports. Before I descend into a jeremiad about the evils of mass media, regardless of political affiliation I would highly recommend visiting if you're ever in Dallas – I want to visit all the Presidential Libraries now, definitely on the bucket list!

We had quite a bit of boat work to get done on our return to Ensenada, and we also had to start thinking about our plans to head south. Hurricane season was coming to an end and it was time to get our trip going. We had talked about joining the Baja Haha rally but hadn't really made any progress for a decision either way – Daz wasn't too enthusiastic about it but I was, for various reasons. So what's the Baja Haha Rally you ask?

For the past 25 years a rally of cruisers makes the trek from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas over two weeks at the end of hurricane season. I think the 2018 rally was the largest so far with about 150 boats taking part. There are two stops along the way and I think for me I liked the idea of taking part for the 'safety in numbers' aspect, along with meeting up with other like-minded boaters to have fun with as we cruised. That being said, Daz had major concerns about the timeline as our boat was a mess from our California trip and we still had the car we had to sell. All fair enough as we couldn't possibly leave if it wasn't sold and we'd forfeit our entrance fee if we didn't make the start. We'd also have to find crew, which isn't as easy as one might think – how does one go about finding two strangers to spend the next two weeks offshore on a 40 ft sailboat with us? Daunting prospect, especially if it turns out no one gets along! So we talked about it some more and by the time we came to an agreement, we'd missed the entry deadline! So that was that – or so we thought. I decided to contact the rally committee directly to see if they would accept a late entry, and after a few hours of nailbiting on my part and debating on theirs, they came back to us saying we could join! How exciting!!!!

Excitement aside though, we now had 3 weeks to finish up our boat projects, sell our car, find crew, provision enough food for 4 adults for 2 weeks and get some work projects wrapped up for Daz. Sounded busy but easy enough, so we paid our entrance fee and were officially part of the Haha!

It wasn't until a week later we found out my name on the title of the car was wrong, and we couldn't sell it until we could prove the person listed on the title was actually me. Ordinarily this probably wouldn't be a big deal, but my name has changed a few times in the last 20 years over two different continents, the car was registered in Washington and everyone we spoke to at the DMV gave us completely conflicting information about how to fix the problem and how long it would take to fix said problem. Quite the crisis and with every transfer to another DMV department for more bad news, Darrin was telling me he told me so, the car wouldn't be sold, the rally would leave without us, we'd lost our money, etc. etc. Salient points, although I hated to admit it.

I said a very bad word. Maybe more than once. I might have had an extra strong G&T. Possibly two.

Ah, life - it goes from pudding to poop real quick doesn't it?

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