Adam and I are still in shock.
First, we have never felt so loved in our lives! Thank you for all of the support, phone calls, care packages, dinner parties, slip decorations and miles traveled by some of our guests over the last week to welcome us back to Seattle in style. We are awed and humbled.
Second, we still can't believe that Adam somehow convinced me to sail through a cold northern ocean to the Pacific Northwest just at the end of summer. His faith in me (and some warm clothing carried by my Mom when she visited us in Hawaii) gave me the courage to embark on this trip and I was literally dancing in the cockpit during the last 24 hours. There was rain pouring down, I was wearing five layers and felt like the Michelin Man every time I moved, but I was ecstatic because land was near and we were experiencing the coldest, wettest day of the trip. I had anticipated that the entire trip would be that way but instead we saw much more sunshine than we did between Mexico and Hawaii and although it was cold at night most of the days would have been extremely pleasant it we hadn't had to motor so much.
Third...what next? We know what happens in March: the residency match. At that time we will find out where we will be for the next three or four years. However, between now and then we may be a little transient. We are living on the boat in Shilshole Marina in Ballard (part of Seattle) and will, most likely, be working at Ballard Kayak hauling boats up the beach and possibly leading kayaking tours. Our wonderful friends John and Becca who visited us in Mexico for Christmas own this unique and expanding business located on Golden Gardens Beach, just feet from the Marina. We will also be doing odd jobs like boat work, babysitting, dog walking, etc. to rebuild our bank accounts. The kayaking season in Seattle ends in little over a month, right in time for residency interviews and then, very soon, the holiday season. After such a long trip we are both very excited to see our families and will definitely be visiting Madison and Raleigh at some point in November and December. After that I have to (get to?) go back to school. I have three rotations before graduation in May, when the next adventure begins! Moments may go on the market but we haven't made that decision yet.
Wrap up on the trip:
We made the distance (Hanalei Bay to Neah Bay) in 24 days. We used about 60 gallons of diesel. The maximum winds we saw were 30kts, sustained. The highest waves were 15ft. The wind turbine churned out more power than we could use even when the freezer was running full blast full of fish. And, we sailed with only a headsail most of the time; in light winds we used the asymmetrical spinnaker and in heavier winds the genoa. The waves were at our beam almost the whole trip and the main just flopped around slowing us down.
We caught more fish than we could keep. So many that we feel certain we could have lived on fish if we kept the poles in the whole time. Initially it was Mahi-Mahi and then as the water got colder primarily albacore tuna. Even me, a sushi lover, got sick of tuna.
Keep an eye on the blog.
I am not sure what I am going to do with the blog. I have really enjoyed feeling in touch with people and being able to share our experiences with those at home and the friends we have made along the way. I plan to post some more pictures of our trip when I have enough internet to get them off of our phones and camera. After that...who knows. Maybe medical blogging is in my future.