Saturday, October 25, 2014

Farewell Valhalla

Farewell to our Beloved Valhalla!

With Mexico in mind, Don and I found and bought a boat and within 2 years transformed her from a day sailor to a cruising boat.  September 1, 2012 Valhalla set sail, went out the Golden Gate turned left and headed down the California coast.  Taking our time, we totally realized the difference between cruising and racing.  After 30 glorious days and 640 nautical miles we arrived in San Diego. 

 Valhalla in the 2012 Baja Haha 

We headed for Mexico as a part of the 2012 Baja Haha Cruiser’s Rally along with 130 other boats.  The Haha would be our first and last race in which we accomplished 777 nautical miles in ONLY 11 days running from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas.  We will never forget the continuous 24 to 72 hour runs of beautiful downwind, warm weather sailing. Soon after our arrival in Cabo, we crossed over to the tropical mainland of Mexico.

Me and My Man
Every day was a new adventure and we stayed on Valhalla for the entire 180 days our visas allowed us. Our longest stint living on the hook was 34 days without pulling into any marinas.  It wasn’t easy learning to live the minimalist lifestyle getting by using as little as 2-4 gallons of water per day.  No matter, every day was a blessing seeing beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the moon and the stars, the dolphins, whales, sea turtles and rays.  The beauty of our surroundings and the rewards of the life experience we were gaining made it all worthwhile without question. 

Muy Tranquil at Playa Bonanza in the Sea of Cortez

Most Magnificent Sierra de la Gigantas 

We had sailed as far south as Manzanillo and then north to Mazatlan crossing through 4 states in Mexico.  We made our second crossing back to Baja California Sur to enjoy a bit of the desert climate of the Sea of Cortez before our time ran out on our visas.  Sailing the Sea is spectacular with crystal clear warm water and the scenic Sierra de la Giganta mountain range as a backdrop is spectacular.  After cruising 228 nautical miles in the Sea of Cortez, it was time to leave Valhalla on the hard and return home for hurricane season. 

April 1, 2014 we returned to Valhalla.  We gave her the TLC she needed before launching and heading north back into the Sea of Cortez.  Designated as a National Park, the uninhabited islands of Espirtu Santo are beautiful beyond belief.  We sailed north to Pureto Escondito and back south to Cabo San Lucas.  It was such great sailing with so many beautiful anchorages.

Honeymoon Cove - One of MANY Beautiful Anchorages!

TLC for Valhalla

A Trip of a Lifetime for Both of Us!

There were decisions to be made….should we stay or should we go?  It was decided it was time for us to bash back to California, USA.  Soon after leaving Cabo, it became apparent that the best part of our sailing adventure was over.  It was now time to pay our dues for all the fantastic warm weather sailing we had done.  The bash had begun and after rounding Cabo Falso it was evident that Bashing is NOT for wimps.  After a week waiting for weather in Turtle Bay we headed for San Diego in near PERFECT conditions for bashing.  Unbelievable…our last leg of the bash was calm, flat, glassy seas…what a blessing and a beautiful finish to our Mexico adventure. Our energy was flowing high and the grandeur of our last leg was emotional.  As Valhalla crossed the international boundary, we were greeted by the United State Air Force with a direct fly over of two extremely loud, fast and furious fighter jets.  It was a glorious feeling and I stood on the bow and waved to our boys welcoming US home!!!  I was so proud of myself and especially my Captain…we had done it…we were home!    

Police/Customs Dock San Diego

Now, an amazing chapter in our lives has concluded with the sale of our beloved Valhalla. We bought her with sailing Mexico in mind and she served us remarkably well. We set out on a road trip to Los Angeles to sell, transfer and deliver her to her new owner, John Berg, a blind sailor who is living HIS dream!   Soon Valhalla will be heading back to MEXICO to do the 2014 Baja Haha.  Some say the happiest days of a sailor’s life is the day you buy your boat and the day you sell your boat.  Well, I’m sure ONE of the happiest days of John’s life was the day he bought our boat.  However, for us…with some sadness, we bid Valhalla farewell.

A Happy Day for the new owner of Valhalla
Blind Sailor, John Berg - A Man Living His Dream!

For now, we will stay close to home due to family obligations.  For the next couple of years we’ll be land cruisers traveling with our new 5th wheel trailer we call Fort Fugowi.  In September we traveled almost 4,000 miles enjoying Oregon and Washington states.  After that trip, Don and I concurred that, without a doubt, cruising by land is far more dangerous than cruising by sea!

Fort Fugowi On the Hook in Washington State

In the not too distant future, we plan to buy another boat, fix her up and sail afar to the South Pacific.  Someday…we’ll open another chapter continuing our dream and sail again!

And the Sunsets on This Chapter of our Lives

We had a great time and had fun logging and blogging our entire journey.  During 2012 and 2013, we on Valhalla accomplished 2,749 nautical miles.  In 2014 we cruised the Sea of Cortez and bashed home for a total of 1,265 nautical miles. 

With sincere thanks to everyone for reading and following our sailing blog.  It truly was trip of a lifetime for us!