Okay, well we are in the countdown to our final day here in Mexico and it’s unsettling to think of it. We’ve grown a little attached to the pre-Corona Virus Mexico. It’s almost like we’ve lived here for a couple of years now. Every day we tick another little item off our list of things to do before we set out. Since I’m the chief supply officer on board I’ve been spending a lot of time in the galley. I’ve made sauerkraut, Mexican pickled onions, a sourdough starter, and preserved cilantro in avocado oil and lime juice to make it last a little longer. I made candied ginger just in case we either get sea sick or want to eat candy.
We have said goodbye to our crew member, had our laundry done, and have found a new home for the old Avon dinghy that we are not taking with us. Tomorrow Mike will climb the mast to give things a final check. We have paper charts for the part of the Pacific we’ll be sailing, and also a big chart of Hawaii. The list is growing shorter.
Yesterday our chore was taking apart the forward head and giving all the parts a good clean. It’s one of those chores that we generally put off until we can’t stand it anymore because the toilet is not working great. So much calcification. So much soaking of parts in vinegar to get clean. As a rule we love our old fashioned, amost bullet-proof Wilcox-Crittendon marine heads. But when their guts need cleaning, it’s a big job and it’s hard to get everything back together just right with no leaks. This is not the time to talk about replacing them with anything else. They are what we have and that’s just the way it is for now.
You can tell by the clipped speech of that last sentence that this Covid-19 nonsense is getting to me. I’m ready to get going just to stop feeling stagnant. What pushed me over the edge was the newest mandate from the states of Nayarit/Jalisco that insists people over 60 stay home. They don’t even want you to go to the grocery store and will turn you away at the door if they suspect you are over 60. Um. That doesn’t quite work for me because even though we are well provisioned with dry food, I still will need to make a good grocery run to Bucerias to get the fresh stuff for the passage. And I’m not turning my provisioning over to someone else to do for me because that would be just one more things I would have no control over. So in the next couple of days keep your eyes open for a news item entitled “Blonde-Haired Gringa Explodes in Rage When Turned Away From the Local Mega Foods”. I figure I can pass for 58 if I wear my mermaid bandana, a big hat, my sunglasses, and if I walk with extra liveliness in my step. I’ll let you know how it goes.
So Monday Mike will go to the Port Captain’s office in Nuevo Vallarta to check out of the country. He will go alone because only one person is allowed to ride in a taxi at one time. Weather permitting, we will have 48 hours to get the hell out of here.
But wait! For the last two days we have been watching the formation of a tropical depression several hundred miles south of the Baja. It’s a wee bit early in the season, but frankly, why would the weather be any different than the rest of 2020 when it comes to interference with plans, hopes, dreams, incomes, all the things? I mean why WOULDN’T this be the year for an early storm season? I’m ready for 2020 to shut up and sit down already. How about you?
Anyway, with all the stress of the times, I realize I have been feeling extremely irritable and it’s been a long time since I could blame PMS for my internal tension. No, it’s straight up stress of the unknown and progressive shut downs. The only fix is to focus on some of the good stuff that happens here all the time. So here are a few things we are truly going to miss about Mexico. I’m not going to bore you with sunsets, and beautiful water, all the fish in the sea, the sunny weather and the friendly people of Mexico. Those are the easy things to identify. Here are some of the less obvious things.
1. 160 Peso (about 6$) roasted chickens with all the fixings. Oh. My. God. So. Good. Better than making it yourself and you get roasted potatoes, jalapeños, fresh tortillas, salsa, and rice with the chicken. We bought one today in La Cruz and after we feast tonight I will make soup tomorrow. So, so good. In fact, we will miss many good foods here and we will definitely miss how economical it is to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Definitely. Our kids tell us we are going to hate being back home. Hmmm. Well they have a point. But we miss them more than grocery money.
2. Easy medical care. I needed to refill some medications for the on-board first aid kid. In particular, the antibiotics I like to carry on board needed refilling. Depending on where you are, most antibiotics need a prescription now. We walked up to the 24 hour clinic that serves the cruising community here and had a casual conversation with the doctor on duty. Standing in the waiting room, no appointment needed, I told him our sailing plans and asked what he recommended we carry with us. 5$ later I had a prescription in my hand. I. Love. This.
3. Mexican pharmacies that cater to tourists. There are so many things that you can buy here over the counter without a prescription. I mean, it’s almost like they believe you can think for yourself! After filling the prescription for the antibiotics for the medicine chest, I purchased a few other items that I like to keep on hand but would need an entire doctor visit for at home. Prescription strength skin care cream (for my aging skin, you know), sleeping medication, pain killers… I am a fan of anything that keeps me out of the healthcare system back home. I will miss these places.
4. Street dogs. Mexico’s streets are home to hundreds of dogs. And while I wish every doggie could have a bone and a home, that’s not how it is here. Most of these dogs are very sweet, seem well fed, and invite petting. Sometimes you get lucky and a dog will walk with you for awhile, just keeping you company and hoping for a treat. Sometimes they actually belong to people; it’s often hard to tell. Since we don’t have dogs, we take advantage of every opportunity to find one to love on.
5. The local Lavanderia. Before we came to Mexico I had never had anyone do my laundry for me since I was a child at home. They do such an incredible job here. All over Mexico we have had our laundry done and have never failed to be pleased with the results. It’s a happy day when we bring freshly washed, dried, and folded clothes and linens onto the boat. (Bedding that isn’t covered with salt. What a wonder!) I have no words for how much I will miss this feeling of extravagance and luxury. We picked up our 4 bags of laundry today for 15$. That included the soap and bleach for the whites. All our sheets, towels, blankets and clothing are freshly clean.
Well, that made me feel better. It’s hard to keep focusing on the positive day after day when so often the news isn’t what we want to hear. But I challenge you to find small things that make you happy in your here and now space and to keep a good thought as we all go through this strange and unusual time.
We will be posting regular updates from the Sat phone. Stay tuned.
S/V Galapagos, standing by.