Intermission

Posted:  April 6, 2024
👁 1029   5

Hello, Homeport 

Big Sierra Kris Elizondo

beignets at Cafe Nouveau

It was cold and damp, with the familiar sound of waves crashing on the beach echoing throughout the harbor. Darkness painted our home port in an eerie glow, which wasn’t the warmest welcome home, but after a whole day of air travel and navigating LAX, I was ready to get comfy aboard Sea Castle, Mama Neely’s Mason 43’ in Ventura Harbor. With my bags thrown below deck and Postmates on their way, I was still trying to grapple with the fact that I was back in the States, solo, and would soon be in the snow.

The following morning, my best friend Kris picked me up from the marina, and we went out to breakfast at Cafe Nouveau, my favorite spot, to celebrate my belated birthday. It was fun to finally show him where Chris and I had spent five years slaving away on Avocet before embarking on our wild adventures. Of course, after breakfast, we had to stop by Dexter’s Cameras to drop off a couple rolls of film, buy some more, and subsequently buy a new point-and-shoot film camera to help capture all the fun above and below the border. With our must-stops visited and crossed off our list, we started our four-hour road trip to Shaver Lake.

Runaground Ranch

runaround ranch cat Mikey

Missa and Mikey

“You seriously only brought flip flops?” It’s true. In an attempt to pack light, I only wore my trusty Birkenstocks with the idea that I would swap into my Uggs or snow boots once we reached Runaground Ranch. I didn’t anticipate having to stomp through snow to make it to our storage bins in the shop, though. Kris enjoyed watching me struggle a bit before offering to assist—a true friend. Everything was right where we left it back in January—our possessions neatly packed away in green storage bins alongside our Geronimo and the MG. It was still odd to come back to all of our belongings in the same place. After all, we had only lived in our house for a few weeks before packing up and moving back to the boat. I sifted through the contents that Marissa-from-two-months-ago had left, grabbing only the (warm) necessities to get me through the weekend.

I had flown home for work at the ski resort, tying in some content creation, event assistance, and fun (duh) with the help of Kris, who is not only my best friend but also my work assistant. It was a short trip and one very long day spent on the mountain, but it was nice to get so much time with my snowboard friends whom I missed so dearly last season when we set off for cruising. The biggest downside of our sailing season is that it takes place in winter, which means while I’m enjoying warm, palm tree-lined views, my mountain buddies are up to their eyeballs in epic powder days. Luckily, this season I was able to make a couple of trips home, even if they were short and sweet.

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I was able to spend the night at my house thanks to our dear friend and tenant Anna who was keeping an eye on things in our absence. It was funny to think she had lived there longer than we had, and I was eternally grateful she let me occupy the spare bedroom for a sleepover. We were both exhausted from our day on the mountain, but stayed up talking before heading to bed. It was the first dose of “girl time” that I had had in months since sailing with my lost boys who I left behind in Mexico… speaking of them, they all sailed to Isla Danzante to anchor at Honeymoon cove. A romantic retreat while their Wendy was away. 

Isla Danzante

Avocet y Imua

Heading Back South

The sun was bright and snow had melted away at Runaground Ranch on my final morning in California. Mikey, the cat who came with our house, meowed at the door waiting to be fed. I was pleased that he hadn’t forgotten me since Chris and I had unfortunately left just as he accepted us as his people, and allowed us to pet his timid little head. It was hard to leave, but as our home faded in my rear view mirror I was grateful to have such a slice of paradise to come home to in the summer. 

Puerto Escondido

Escondido from the sky

I drove our car down to Ventura and left her there for Chris, who would be arriving the same day I returned to Mexico. We actually sort of passed each other in the airport, but didn’t have the opportunity to physically connect. My heart was full from getting a good dose of winter before reuniting with Avocet and Peter, who was eager to go our to dinner and have long, meaningful, philosophical but usually silly conversations over way too much pizza and way too many margaritas. The following morning I helped him provision before seeing him off. Little did I know, it was the last moment I would touch land in six days.






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