Monday, October 25, 2010

One Year Ago

The 2010 Baja Haha, an annual cruisers' rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, is departing today, Monday, October 25, 2010. We were registered to leave with this rally in 2009 along with nearly 200 other boats, but because of some  unexpected health issues, we decided to postpone our departure.  IMG_5955Health issues, or the possibility of them, are one of the reasons for doing this trip.  Michael and I both lost our fathers at very young ages (his dad was 61, mine was 53).  But these new issues, which turned up only 10 days before our planned departure, put us into a new conundrum. What were we to do? Should we even go at all? A lifetime of dreams, painful decision making, grueling planning and preparations, and high expectations were all at stake.   After balancing out all the risks and worst case scenarios, we decided to wait out only a couple of weeks, which put our departure only 3 days later than the rest of the HaHa fleet.  Our crew members were flexible enough to leave late with us. We were still able to check in with the fleet every morning once we got started, and caught up at both stops before meeting again in time for the Big Party upon arrival in Cabo San Lucas.   

But of course we questioned our actions every step of the way.  Were we being irresponsible? Selfish? Foolish?  Would we be able to forgive ourselves if something did happen?

And here we are, one year later.  The health issues that delayed us in the first place have all but faded, while many incredible experiences are behind us.  Did we do the right thing?  Given how things turned out, we can easily say we did, but had it been different, who knows? 

I guess that’s the thing.  Who’s to say one decision is better than another?  A decision just is.  And then you go with it. 

The other day Harrison asked me what the biggest mistake I had ever made was.  It was an easy answer:  Not getting out of a situation I knew wasn’t working, in reference to my first job as a lawyer right after the Bar.  It wasn’t that I took the job – taking the job was, after considering all the options, a good decision, a decision I made and I went with it.  I tried to make the situation better after I found that I was so unhappy, but when that didn’t work, I needed to get out and I didn’t.  I got stuck on the original decision to be there and forgot to look ahead.

Should we be doing another year? Should we be going to Central America or to the South Pacific?  Should we haul our boat in La Paz or in Mazatlan for a bottom paint?  Should we meet guests in Zihuatenajo or in Huatulco? How long can we wait for a 'weather window'? When should we be making our crossing to Mazatlan from La Paz? We consider our options, talk it through, make a decision and then go with it.  We cannot look back.  We must look ahead. And if changes need to be made, we make them as yet another decision in our path.

In fact, that’s a huge lesson that cruising teaches you.  You cannot get bogged down in the what-ifs or you won’t do anything.  You consider your options, you make your decisions, you go with it until the next decision needs to get made.  That’s life, isn’t it?  Only in the cruising world, the decisions seem so exaggerated, somehow; perhaps because each one is so all-encompassing to your life at that moment, or perhaps it's that some have a real bearing on your personal safety, or maybe it's because they need to be made so often.  Or am I forgetting what it’s like to live on land?

I am grateful that we've been in good health for the last year.  And we’ll keep looking ahead.

Signing off La Paz, BCS,


  1. I follow each and every post -- I am so excited for your great adventure. Your writing is amazing and I could keep on reading. You definitely have a way with words. I especially loved your thoughts on "togetherness" and "guilt" and the great appreciation and admiration you have for your family. Keep up the good work. I think of you often and have given out your blog address to many. Say hi to all. Barbara

  2. You are so right. Jeff and I found that same thing when we were travelling in Spain too. We made decisions to go and see certain things or take certain driving routes. It all worked for us. Would we do it the same way if we knew what we knew after we did them? Maybe not. But it worked for us at the time and we had no regrets.

    As for on're forgetting! :-)
    We're facing it with deciding which camp to send the kids to. Is Hannah ready for sleepover? If so, which one? Will it be the right decision? Is there a right decision? Only time will tell. And we'll never know whether a different decision would have been better or worse. We just have to hope that the one we make will be a good one. Same with school. Same with a million different things.

    In the meantime, can you make a decision as to where you'll be at pesach?? :-)

    Glad you're happy with all your decisions so far. HOpe we get to visit soon.

    Miss and love you guys.

  3. Life is all about decisions, some more important than others, and also depends on what you are involved with at the time. The important thing is not to procrastinate, just make one and then move on, as you said. Otherwise life just passes by... AMEN!
    Love the way you express yourself - and all the decisions you made...

  4. Ah, to be free from the hashing and rehashing of decisions. Think of all the sleep I'd get.

  5. oh - Im so mad. I just wrote a whole response and when it came to posting it - somehow the computer just decided to shut down. Here's the gist of it -
    when I read your blog, I had to smile because you are preaching to the choir over here. Decisions decisions. We obsess over camps and schools - I wonder if we hadn't pulled marlee out of usds and sent her and Russell to Leo Baeck - we could have moved south by now. Instead, we allowed Hailey to go to Chat (very inconvenient) this year instead of char (bus comes basically right to the corner for pick up and drop off). i wonder all the time if our decisions have been right or wrong - they certainly havent made our lives easy. But - i look at it like like this - one day or one step at a time and if each decision is made with the right intentions then that's the most important. However - I often wonder this as i drive for hours gathering my kids every day from all over the city. I look forward to seeing you guys in dec where I will let michael do all the driving and I sit drinking a cold glass of white wine (hint hint) on your boat!
    ps - nice bathing suit in the pic!

  6. Hey Guys,
    Ummm....about hauling out in La Paz for bottom paint, based on our experience we can emphatically say "do not get hauled out on a rail system." We had a horrible experience last year. If you want deets you can read our blog around late Nov last year. It was one the worst experiences we have had in Mexico by far.