December 19th, 1999

Season’s Greetings,

We arrived in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico (one of 27 states, best known for good beef) a week before last Christmas, uneventfully completing the last overnight passage of our cruise. This was about 6 months behind our self-imposed schedule, but hey, you had to be there. One of the reasons you find yourself in San Carlos is it is about the only place in Mexico where you can have your yacht trucked back to the United States. When we got there, we looked around and said to ourselves, “Hey, this is also a great place to get work done”.

So, as of last December 31, we embarked on a 3-1/2 month project to give Spirit a cosmetic makeover. Steve had to learn new words in Spanish each day to keep the work crew focused. We lived on Harvey the RV, 6 days a week in the boat yard while we managed the projects and Sundays in a nearby RV park with a laundry, cable TV from the states, and a great swimming pool and Jacuzzi. Spirit now has a new epoxy bottom, 4 coats of Cetol on the exterior wood, the interior varnish redone, and a polyurethane cabin sole (floor). After completing all of the boat projects, and our income taxes, we drove 800 miles south to Puerta Viarta, leaving Spirit on the hard so the new chemicals could cure. We did cool things like live for days underneath a palapa on the beach existing on fresh coconuts, oysters, and pastries. Of the Mexico we saw in 2-1/2 years, PV was tops.

About mid May, Steve received an email about joining a buddy that’s starting up a new company in Silicon Valley. It wasn’t easy to make the final decision, but we drove back to San Carlos, prepared Spirit to be trucked back to SF Bay, and then drove back. We parked Harvey in front of our friends, Jim and Jo Callan’s house on June 22 and started the mental trek back. We’re very grateful for their support making coming back feel like coming home. You know how it’s harder going back to work after a two-week vacation than one? Multiply that by 1000. Since July, Steve has been working. Spirit is back in a slip in Brisbane Marina. We now live in an apartment, and are day by day, doing more things that people that live and work in the United States call normal. I believe we’ll never be the same.

We flew to Michigan to visit relatives over the Thanksgiving holiday. We rented an RV because it seemed normal. Wow, the nieces and nephews are people now. It was like visiting a foreign country. Mom, sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews all seem to be getting along and doing well. Marsha is currently conducting a job (well, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a search) thing. She has been waiting until I got settled. The guys working on the project I’m involved in finally got paid this month (back pay from Sept. 1), so she got a hair appointment and had me walk some of her work clothes around the corner to the dry cleaners. I keep trying to tell her to do something she considers fun, you can create your own reality, but she keeps telling me the words fun and work don’t fit in the same sentence. She does have an interview this week, so stay tuned.

At least we made it back in time for the millennium party, whatever that means. We look forward to hearing from you.

Merry Christmas.


The crew of Spirit