After completing the initial part of our putting "Full & By" to bed while enjoying the resort at El Cid it was finally time to head into our summer slip at Marina Mazatlan to finalize the process. This is always most difficult as final cleaning and emptying of the boat while carrying on with our daily lives becomes almost impossible..it is also very hot and humid by now in Mazatlan so you melt doing any work beyond 11:00 AM. I never look forward to this last week however this year our friend Nancy "Moondancer" was heading our way after many years away on the Atlantic side. We had been listening to her conversations on the Pacific seafarer frequency (a Ham radio net) for several nights following her passage north from Costa Rica. Although we heard her very well while crossing the Sea of Cortez, the radio reception in Maztlan is known to be very bad due to radio wave interference from surrounding boats in the marina. lucky for us we could still pick up the conversation and by listening for Nancy nightly we were able to continue following her progress up the Mexican coast. I forgot to mention that while in Costa Rica Nancy had acquired a little Costarican costeño (Costarican homemade), rescue puppy "Popeye" for companionship
Here he is with Nancy & Lulu upon their arrival in Mazatlan. It was wonderful to see Nancy & crew arrive safely as travelling up the Mexican coast against the prevailing currents and winds can be very difficult .... a true test of stamina, perseverance and sailing skill...especially with a brand new puppy aboard.... Also waiting for perfect conditions is not always possible as much as we try. Hurricane season was almost on us and it was time to get out of Dodge as quickly as possible. Popeye lived up to his name we were told as we celebrated "Monndancer" and crews' arrival....we instantly fell in love with "Popeye"....how could you not. After another week of hard work, boats were ready & done and so were we!
We left Mazatlan at first light hoping we could get to the US border before dark (we do not like to drive in Mexico after dark as there can be anything from people riding bikes without lights to cows and burros on the hwy ) We made bathroom stops every couple of hours at the Pemex ... "Popeye" was good as gold...although refusing to stay in the crate we had bought for him...he did stay in the backseat the whole time as his Mom kept him entertained between naps.... As we approached the US border about 1 mile away, sure enough about six cows were wandering about on the hwy, stuck there as the hole in the fence side they had come through was too small for them to find and make their way back through! As it was dusk they were very hard to see and fortunately being so close to the border we were travelling slow enough to be able to stop with out hitting the cows ourselves or the windshield! Gosh knows how long the cows would have been there as for about ten miles as you approach the US Border from Mexico there is a 50 foot high ss mesh fence with barb wire on top running along either side of the highway.
At the border where we expected to be detained with "Popeye".... few questions were asked..... Popeye was asleep on the back seat...he wasn't noticed and so we were not questioned regarding a dog and so within a few minutes we were on our way into Arizona and to our motel for the night ...a dog friendly Comfort Inn in Green Valley. Yipee!! In the morning we stopped at starbucks in Phoenix and Popeye had his first experience with grass..he was so funny he kept laying down on grass with paws out to the side... he absolutely loved the feel of the grass on his belly. He would just suddenly pop down with paws out to the side at a 90 degree angle... Later that day was "Popeye" first encounter with horses...as small as he was he showed no fear ...and ended nose to nose with a couple of them. It was such a treat to watch him discover the world!
The second night we managed to stop for the night in a small place, about four hours south of San Francisco..more grass right outside our room...great. Once again Popeye was as good as gold and the next day we dropped him and Nancy off in the big city for a night with Nancys' daughter while we visited with friends who live on their boat "Lady M" in Alameda.
The next day Popeye and Nancy came to visit the marina and here we all are in what came to be named "The Bengal Room"...a lovely sun room on the back deck of the "Lady M"
We had a lovely time visiting with Barb & Gene enjoying and appreciating their wonderful hospitality...They fell in love with "Popeye" too! Here he is in the "Bengal Room"
Early the next day we were on the road heading for Canada. We arrived at the Canadian border before midnight and again Popeye was asleep in the backseat ...not noticed ...so no dog questions were asked! We live minutes from the border so very soon all of us were very happily ensconced safely at home. Nancy stayed with a good friend close by until we were all able to take the ferry to Vancouver Island and onto Parksville to Nancy and Popeyes home.
It was a wonderful journey.. no problems and besides catching up on stories and adventures with Nancy we all bonded with Popeye. It was good to see them home and safely resettled.
We made several trips to Vancouver Island this summer visiting friends either on land or on the water, swimming, sailing, paddleboarding and including the first Mexican Cruiser Pig Roast....
We enjoyed time in Barkley Sound, Secret Cove, Salt Spring Island, Hornby Island, Nanaimo, Courtney, Victoria and Princess Lousia Inlet. It was a great summer however way too short! We are now into fall and starting to gather the needed boat bits to take back down with us when we return to "Full & By" It's amazing how fast the time has gone by....all the jobs we thought we would do upon our return to Canada will now have to wait as we have run out of time. Only three weeks now ....we have managed to dodge yet another hurricane season and we are anxiously looking forward to our time in the Mexican sunshine on the water with our beloved "Full & By"