My last blog post ended with these words – “Therefore, we don’t think we will actually arrive in Marina de La Paz until late September or early October. But who knows, plans have a way of getting off track.”
Off track indeed…. Our first stop on the trek back to La Paz was Santa Cruz, CA. We arrived on a Monday for what we thought was going to be a two week stopover to visit with friends and family. We were to gather the roughly 500 lbs worth of boat parts have been collecting from our storage unit and be on our way. Well, that was the plan anyway.
This is what really happened………..
Meet Dr. Shafi. He is Steve’s new Cardio surgeon. This is the man that repaired Steve’s mitral valve. A procedure that we only learned was necessary the day after arriving in Santa Cruz. You see, while we were on our travels in the Sacramento area Steve developed a cough that just wouldn’t go away. So we visited a doctor in the area and he gave Steve antibiotics and told him to follow up with his primary doctor while we were in Santa Cruz. So we did. Steve had an appointment scheduled for 10am the morning after our arrival and by 4pm we were scheduling surgery. After recovering from shock we did a whole lot of rearranging and rescheduling and soon we had a new plan. Steve underwent a successful surgery on July 24, 2017. He spent 5 days in the hospital and another 4 weeks in home recovery as he slowly regained strength, stamina, and health.
Home recovery! What home? We sold ours two years ago when we decided to sail away. All we have is a boat and a small RV. Hardly adequate for this type of situation. It is in times like this that we are reminded; How would any of us get by without friends? The above pictures were taken in our friend Graham’s beautiful english garden. He graciously allowed us to stay in his home while Steve recovered from surgery. Meanwhile our friend Carol, Graham’s sweetheart, allowed us to store our RV on her property. Those two people were lifesavers and we will be forever grateful for their generosity.
Needless to say two weeks turned into two months……….
While in Santa Cruz we did get to visit family and friends in-between the doctors visits, hospital stay and recovery time. We joined in the celebration of Steve’s son Donald’s birthday dinner, we had multiple dinners with friends; Ralph, Joel, Sue, Graham, and Carol. We visited friends Mac and Cathy. We spent time with son’s Nick and David and their wives and partners Kristi and Jessica. To top it all off we had an amazing experience watching whales feed in the waters just offshore while spending a beautiful day at the beach with Joel and Sue Wade. We made the absolute most of every minute.
On Tuesday September 5, 2017 we waved goodbye to Santa Cruz and again started our journey south with our first stop being Morro Bay. The irony of this is that on September 22, 2015 we left Santa Cruz on our sailboat, Pablo and our first stop on that journey was also Morro Bay. I could get all philosophical about repeating patterns and life’s path expanding in ever widening circles, but I will save that for late night conversations over wine and desert.
From Morro Bay we traveled to Pismo Beach to visit our friends Mark and Susan Hall where we walked, talked, ate good food and basked in the warmth of friendship. Then we traveled to the small town of Buellton just so we could have dinner at one of Steve’s favorite restaurants, the Hitching Post, and spent a day wine tasting at the Foxen winery. From there we went to the Sycamore Canyon camp ground at Point Mugu State Park. There is an accidental flock of Black Hooded Parakeets that have made this canyon their home. It was such a treat since these birds are native to South America and no one has a good answer for how they got here. The birds along with the hiking trails and the close proximity to the beach make this a camping location that we will definitely be visiting again.
At this moment we are high in the San Jacinto Mountain range in the San Bernardino National Forest. We are enjoying a week’s stay involving hiking, lounging, reading, and the occasional nap. We have many more stops to make before crossing the border into Mexico and many more friends and family members to visit. We are enjoying the journey and having lots of fun along the way.
Steve has recovered to about 90% and just the other day we did a 4 mile hike and later he climbed to the top of a large rock formation just to prove he could.
I dare not try to put a timeline to our expected arrival in La Paz, Mexico. Its becoming a joke at this point. So I will just say this….
Onward and Southward we go!
And for those who enjoy my bird photos, here are a few I have taken along the way.