Where do I even begin?
How about with an email from one of our readers.
“Chris and Melody, It has been a long, long time since your last blog post. I hope all is well with you both and just wonder if you have any updates to your journey. Your posts are always quite interesting. Thanks, and mucha suerte!”
It has indeed been a long, LONG time since my last post. Back in 2019, after we purchased Finch, our Hallberg-Rassy Rasmus, we spent the summer living small at Spring Cove Marina. That fall we pulled the boat, shrink-wrapped her for the winter, and hit the road for what became an epic road trip to Baja.
And then, nothing–nada. We went dark, fell off the map and I guess I owe you an explanation.
Honestly, it became difficult to write when we weren’t cruising. I felt a bit of Imposter Syndrome kicking in. I felt that the things I was writing had less and less appeal to the Vacilando crowd and it appeared that our readership numbers were falling. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to write about anymore. I wasn’t sure any of you cared to read it. I decided to take a break.
Here’s what we have been up to.
We made it to Baja in November of 2019. We rented a small apartment, made incredible friends, celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and rang in the New Year in grand fashion. Then, in March, as you know, Covid shut the world down. We were basically stuck in Mexico.
We were extremely productive during the shutdown. Mel’s online business went through the roof with more and more people working from home and I published two new books. One is a collection of poetry and short stories called The Quiet Goings On and the other a more clinical publication called Downsizing for Tiny Life.
Jet? Oh, he supervised. All while enjoying long walks on deserted beaches, salty shrimp tail treats, and extensive belly rubs.
We remained in Baja until June of 2020, at which time we returned to the states and launched Finch for another summer at Spring Cove. This last October, we pointed the Adventure Pod west – back to Baja – and crossed the border on November 1, our Covid tests negative and our ballots cast.
I’ve said it in past posts, but it deserves repeating. Jet was almost 14 years old and due to his failing vision, we were unable to travel with him by boat anymore. That’s why we didn’t sail Finch south as we had done in previous years.
We wanted the Jet-pack to ride off into the sunset without the stress of off-shore passages or late-night dinghy rides. We wanted him to enjoy green grass, soft sand, and we wanted to spoil him with love in a calm environment.
And that’s exactly what he’s had for the last two years.
As it happens, Jet was not the only one needing a little extra attention. This year, my mom had a few health issues flare up so in April, we loaded up the Adventure Pod and headed for Philly, intent on spending some quality time with mom.
You know who was most happy about this? Jet… that’s who. If you think Mel and I spoiled him, you don’t know my mom. Holy smokes did he get spoiled.
And now, the real update. On Sunday, May 23 at 5:30 pm EST, Jet – our best buddy, crew member, and beloved family member – crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
12 years ago, we rescued him. To be honest, who rescued whom is up for debate. He’s been traveling with us 24/7 ever since. He’s been to 20 different states, traveled the ICW 6 times, and sailed to 5 countries.
He was the first to greet people when they arrived on the dock or when it was us arriving at a new marina. He was known by many as “The Ambassador.” Oftentimes, most people never remembered mine or Melody’s name, but they always remembered Jet.
I could go on and on about his courage, his uniqueness, and his aloofness, but the only thing that really matters is that he was family and his goneness is apparent.
The outpouring of love from those who had the pleasure of knowing the spoiled brat has been incredible. We know, with time, the pain will fade. We’ve lost dogs before. Thing is…none of them were Jet.
It’s funny how the Universe works. Here we were rushing back to take care of my mom, when it was actually Jet’s situation that needed a resolution. I believe the Universe gives us what we need when we need it. As difficult as it may be sometimes, I trust the process.
As for us, the future is uncertain. Finch is for sale. Life looks different right now. With Jet gone, we have a “freedom” we haven’t had in over a decade. A freedom we’d gladly trade if we could have our Jet back. It’s a strange feeling and we’re simply trying to concentrate on the positives and move forward.
Deepak Chopra said, “All great changes are preceded by chaos,” and thusly, we are embracing the chaos.
If you’re reading this, thank you for sticking around. I’m sorry I left you hanging. I started this blog so long ago under the banner of Vacilando, a word with no English counterpart. A Spanish word to describe the act of wandering when the experience of travel means more than the actual destination.
This many years later, we are still wanderers – it may appear – with no destination.
We have each other, and that is our destination.
Here’s to the mighty Jetpack. Run fast. Run free, sweet boy.