I am somewhere off the coast of Mexico bear the bottom of the Baha Peninsula. The weather has finally started to warm up and we haven’t had rain since yesterday. The skies are still cloudy and the sun is weak but it is now somewhere in the 60s I believe. Much better than when I arrived in California about a week and a half ago. Yes, California, the ‘golden state’ because of its weather and the gold rush in the 1800s. Great weather, awesome beaches, lots of sun. SUN? It rained the whole time I was there and all I heard about were ‘bomb tornadoes’ and ‘atmospheric rivers’. The ground is saturated. The wind is knocking down trees and roads are closed all over the place as far south as Los Angeles.
I stayed with my dear friend Pat Dawkins in her new home across from a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. So we were dry and far enough away not to worry about sliding into the ocean. But you could certainly hear the surf pounding the shore and below that cliff is what was once a pier with an old ship, built during the war out of cement because of the lack of metal at the time and sunk there after, I think, WW1 as part of the pier. In any case its been there a long time. All of it now pretty damaged. Everyone told me I had picked the worst week to visit, weather-wise, since the early 1980s. But the silver lining to this storm is that Pat and I got to spend a lot of time together getting caught up on our lives and I got to see her stunning new home in Aptos, CA near Santa Cruz. Mostly we had a cozy fire burning and a glass of wine, several glasses of wine!! Then, before you knew, it was time to head over to San Francisco and board Insignia.
Saturday January 14, Pat’s driver drove us to SanFrancisco. It rained all the way. They dropped me at the Fairmont Hotel and no sooner had I checked in than I heard my name being called across the lobby. There were two couples from the 2018/2020 ATW cruises and I was so happy to see them. These world cruises are like family reunions. The next day, still raining, we were taken to our ship to start my around the world (ATW) adventure. On board, the family reunion continues… so lovely to see the crew and passengers we have sailed with previously. Lots of hugs and smiles and it is such a good feeling to restart old friendships. Wine and hors d’oeuvres flow along with the animated conversations of catching up while we wait in the lounge for our rooms to be ready for us.
There was lots to nibble on at our reception, so I decided to skip dinner and get my cabin in order, unpack and get settled in. Sail away was at 10pm, an hour earlier than planned to try to avoid a band of bad weather that was moving in . We were no sooner out of the harbour when the waves started to rock the ship and I was put to sleep by the rock and roll of the ship in the rather heavy seas. I thought I am off again on another exciting venture as I drifted off to sleep, lulled by the motion of the ocean.