Monday, January 25, 2010

Catching up with ourselves... 2010 already?!

Post yoga bliss at Just A Taste Ithaca, NY

January 6, 2010; As Tao bobbed around her mooring in the sunshine of Puerto Escondito, in Baja Mexico patiently waiting, all 3 of her crew members (including the feline cohort) sat in the Ithaca, NY airport looking out the windows at the winter scene of snow falling and blowing amidst a blinding white layer of frozen land. Another delayed flight through Philly, surprisingly reminiscent of our reuniting there and being delayed overnight on the way to the east coast for the holidays. But there’s a lot to catch up on that got us here we should back up…

Shawn started teacher training (TT) October 4th after Chris drove her and all of her gear to Las Vegas. Chris returned to his dad's in Palos Verdes to collect equipment for Tao. He purchased and serviced the new-to-us 2006 4-person canister Avon life raft, AIS (thank you Jane!), auto pilot, 200’ of chain, tricolor masthead light, redesigned the head system, visited Minnie’s twice and West Marine 3 times (thanks to Scheherazade!). All the while Chris did PT and rehabilitation for his shoulder and spent time with Dave and Anette as they remodeled the interior of their new home into which they moved in early December. Chris also notably had a reunion with Santa Monica high school friends at the Bagel Nosh a classic high school brunch hangover hangout and on to a BBQ at Ari’s house. Halloween weekend Chris visited Shawn in Vegas.

In November Shawn continued with TT in the crazy yoga-bubble life in Las Vegas taking two yoga classes a day plus lectures and Mahabharat until the wee hours of the morning. Chris, on the other hand, was moving. From the 4-12th he and Pepe were in Mexico at the boatyard in San Carlos for 10 long sweaty dusty days to recommission Tao. When he got there, the deep sump and bilge had over topped with water up to the sole from Hurricane Jimena. The key issue is the lazarette locker leak for which we’ll continue to search for yet another “fix”. A few achievements:
· Our close up job was bomber and Chris undid all that work and is still trying to get adhesive off from duct tape.
· We had a bottom job done and last moment had to re do the boot stripe.
· Customized our head system (this is the fifth upgrade) by installing a MarkV Whale sanitation pump to replace our Headmate hand pump, which failed early in our voyages, for a final product of a half Lavac and half Thetford Headmate system. Works great so far!
· Improved and rust-proofed our original (1979) stove by reshaping currently made burners to fit our stove.
· After filling our dried out port tank and disinfecting our starboard tank that had a bit of algal growth in the bleach water that we had left in the tank, Chris installed an in-line filter between our freshwater tanks and our galley hand pump.

The 14-22nd Chris came back to the states. First to Flagstaff, AZ for WFR recertification through NOLS (unfortunately the first day was spent fighting montezumas revenge, gracias Mexico). He then made his way to Vegas for one last visit to Shawn at TT and on the 22nd headed back to Mexico via Tufesa bus, leaving Pepe with Shawn. November 24th Tao splashed after nearly 6 months on the hard. Thankfully Pisces was there to assist Chris anchoring in the harbor (with our new system 200-ft of ¼ inch high test 7800-lb breaking strength). Chris then readied Tao for her first passage of the season. Rewired switches for electrical panel, climbed the mast several times, ran rigging, bent sails, installed a new masthead light (after luckily and thankfully finding an extra available wire), installed a new VHF for the sweet new AIS system. Buffed topsides. Pumped Eeyore and got the Seahor running (although she’s begging for a spark plug replacement). Reinstalling Moni and our boom alone were feats of great magnitude. Thanksgiving was bittersweet spent apart- Shawn in Vegas with yoga family and Chris with sailing family Pisces in San Carlos.

December we finally got back together! On the 20th both of us flew east, Shawn from SFO, Chris from LAX. We met in Philly for a snowstorm that delayed all flights, stayed there for a night, and arrived in Ithaca 24 hours later than expected, but all luggage intact and ecstatic to be together. A very nice homecoming, we spent Christmas proper with Shawn’s entire little family based at her Mum, Judy’s, holiday decorated moose-laden home. Shawn’s Dad, Ken, as well as her brother, Chuck, sister-in-law Maura, nephew Liam and twin nieces, Campbell and Ainsley came to visit, exchange gifts, and have a lovely holiday ham dinner together. This is the first time in a decade that Shawn has been home for the holidays, thanks to Bamp for bringing us all together! We miss her very much. After a quick trip to Kingston, Ontario to say goodbye, we returned to Ithaca, spent a lovely evening with Shawn’s best friend from high school, Leah and her partner Gretchen and then 3 days straight of teaching/taking classes at David Corson’s Bikram studio in Ithaca, we rung 2010 in mellow-style in Ithaca after a nice hike then early dinner with Shawn’s parents (Judy’s cooking = YUM!).

2010 already?! January 1-2nd we headed north in Leah’s Honda Civic (same era as Pepe) who did very well in the winter wonderland of upstate NY. We had a very nice visit with both Chuck & Maura and our nearly walking nieces Ainsley and Campbell (10 months) and rambunctious nephew Liam (3). We are amazed at how smoothly they are handling having three little kids!!! We also managed to have a fun snowmobile and dinner with Aunt Barbie, Uncle B and Cousin Daniel too! Back in Ithaca, the 4th was a momentous day in which Shawn taught a 25 person class with 3 beginners one of which was her father!!

And that brings us back to the airport as we traveled away from the winter wonderland of Ithaca; all three of us together flying across the country to SFO spending our last moments for the next few months together. Chris continued on to LA for his final shoulder rehab check for “full duty work release” (aka 100% recovery) then back to Mexico and Tao. Shawn and Grizzly went north to Petaluma to take advantage of all her hard work at TT by gaining experience actually teaching as well as taking advantage of a tremendous opportunity to work with Lynn Whitlow. 2009 passed by like a whirlwind. Some of our last year’s resolutions came to be, while others were swept away in the constant swirl of life’s turbulent flow. We entered 2009 together and focused; we enter 2010 separate and scattered. Again we will be apart for the coming months, but we know that it will bring us closer together for a better-quality future. Welcome to the next chapter in our story…

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