Sunday, October 25, 2009

Here We Go!

In Tee-minus 12 hours, Ben, Emily, and crewmates aboard the Interlude will uncleat their lines from the dock and join the parade of boats leaving along the San Diego waterfront, officially signaling the start of the 2009 Baha Ha-Ha Rally. And so will begin Day 1 of Leg of 1 of the Great Adventure.

The food is the stowed and the booze is chilling. Contests have been won, prizes claimed, laundry done, fuel tanks filled, armpits washed, and goodbyes said. We're ready to go.

The crew aboard the Interlude is a sundry cast of characters: Joe, resident comedian and veteran Interlude crewmember; Nick, Joe's nephew and electronics whiz; Darlene, creator of gold medal-winning 'Where's Waldo?' Costumes; and finally our fearless leader Mike, whom we can thank for our aforementioned readiness. Plus, yours truly and yours truly.

Our estimated arrival date into Cabo San Lucas is November 5th. In case we don't have a chance to update, we will be stopping along the way in Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria. We promise to eat well, secure our safety tethers, and take care of each other. Thanks for checking in!

Here are some photos from our time in San Diego:

Aboard the Interlude, Sunday morning (photo by Ben's cousin Brad, who drove 7 hours with his girlfriend Lindsey to have breakfast with us):

Nick, Emily, Joe, Ben, Darlene, and Mike just before winning the Team Costume Dance-Off Competition at the Baha Ha-Ha Kick Off Party:

Monday, October 12, 2009

First Steps...Minnesota Style

First things first, right? Any decent preparation for an adventure brings you to the most unlikely of places. So it is that, two weeks from stepping aboard an ocean-bound sailboat, I am just about as far away from the sea as one can possibly be in North America.

But not crazily unlikely. This is where I'm from - good old Circle Pines - and this is where my family is. I'm here to spend some quality time with them before I leave. And to take advantage of their hospitality - thanks, Ma, for letting me store all my crap in your basement!

And check this out - I get to hang out with my nephew Calder and brand new, not-yet-two-weeks-old niece Delilah...

Cal's favorite things are tractors and goats; Lilah, though you might not be able to see her superfingers, is probably going to be either an incredible basketball player or a piano virtuoso - we'll let her decide.

It's great to be home - to see old friends and to have some free time to take care of some logistical housekeeping and to start delving into the literature about what Emily and I are going to be experiencing in the next few months - Steinbeck's Log from the Sea of Cortez and the Lonely Planet's vision of Panama for now.

So I'll take advantage of this responsibilitylessness for another week before I fly into Los Angeles and meet all the movie stars of Emily's hometown - and then the hard work of sailing to the Caribbean begins. It's going to be rough.