Over Christmas I had my first real case of homesickness. It creeps up on you. One day I’m happily biking up and down the sunny La Paz malecon while doing errands, and the next minute I’m holed up in the boat not wanting to face the world. Conversations around town seemed lacking and forced. Finally, when I found myself berating Jonah for not “bringing enough Christmas” to our lives, I realized that I might be missing my family. I mean, I’m not even a Christmasy person; Jonah and I have never had a tree or even exchanged gifts. But my mom has some serious Christmas spirit (trees, music, cookies, stockings, eggnog, services, carols, the whole nine), and I missed it… and her. We had no plans to see family over the holidays because it’s not in the budget and we were already feeling pretty lucky for our family time during a summer trip to the states. But it was Christmas week and everyone all over town was wrapping gifts and boarding planes, or were unavailable because they had a boat full of visitors. I was really missing my family, my old friends, the people that really know me and love me. Realizing the source of my angst we made sure to socialize with new friends in the anchorage and had long phone chats with loved ones. Additionally, Jonah started communicating through dancing and singing in an elf voice in his effort to “bring more Christmas.” Seriously. How could I be anything other than happy with this guy? We ended up having a thoroughly enjoyable holiday. On Christmas we took our friends from the boat Astraea wakeboarding around the anchorage (dirty bay water be damned!) and then had an amazingly delicious dinner back at their boat (Natalie is quite the cook). Sully, their three year old, showed off all his new toys.
With all this yearning for loved ones you can imagine my excitement for visitors over new years. Three of our buddies from Santa Cruz came to enjoy a week of cruising with us. Colleen, Mariah, and I went to grad school together and have been in a pretty tight family of friends ever since. This family includes Nils, Colleen’s boyfriend, who joined the fun. Our Santa Cruz community played a huge supportive role in getting us ready for this trip- helping install and deconstruct, listening to our grievances, gifting us supplies, taking lines on shakedown sails, sending us off- and it felt good to have some of them come enjoy the bounties of all that hard work. They came with dive gear in tow and we went to explore the waters around our favorite islands.
The Espiritu Santo islands have become my favorite islands so far in the Sea of Cortez because there are numerous coves to anchor in, the waters are full of life, and they are a quick day sail from La Paz. You are almost guaranteed to swim with a gaggle of the friendliest sea lions and you can always stop for a swim with a whale shark on your way back to port. We love bringing folks here because they are always thrilled with the experience… as are we.
It’s amazing how easy the week was. We adventured and explored daily, but we also relaxed and caught up. It was a special time of getting to really download about this whole crazy experience with people who knew us pre-boat, and now on the water. I am finding that every so often I need to re-ponder and state out loud the purpose of this journey and how what I am doing fits into my life goals. Long talks with friends really helps get to the heart of things. So do cannonballs off the bow.
We bid 2015 adieu on a beautiful day in the Ensenada Grande anchorage. We hiked among the cacti and lizards scurrying through red rocks. On the beach we played with fire and new friends (note: it’s easy to make friends when you have a pocket full of sparklers). And we wrapped up with a night snorkel and a yummy dinner. I think we may have stayed up until the clock struck midnight, somewhere in the world. There is no better way to breathe in the newness of a year than in the clean, quiet air, warmed by morning sun, off an uninhabited island…. with friends.