Boat Life = Pause
Wine Life = Play
Wait what? So there are lots of questions but the main idea is: Cameron and I have put Banyan up on the hard in Mexico and have made our way up to the norther extremities of the Sonoran Desert, the hottest place in…yup, you guessed it, Canada. Just north of central Washington, only a few miles from the US border is Canada’s extremely small, but potential packed red wine growing region; the Southern Okanagan Valley.
How did this happen? Well, a client that I’ve been working with for over a year now has put his money where his mouth is and has started purchasing vineyards and a half built winery. They have asked Cameron and I to come help get things kick started. It’s an exciting project with Backen and Gillam as the architectural firm, Ledcor as the construction firm and a host of other great people working together on what will be a lovely winery. We thought it sounded like a good adventure, good for the cruising kitty and great professional experience… plus it’s fun.
So, are you guys Canadians now? Is this because of Trump? We will be honorary Canadians with valid work VISAs (thanks to a good immigration lawyer) just through the end of January 2017 and then back to Banyan to keep cruising Mexico. I’m still working with all my wine clients in Canada and the US. Being in Canada sure makes that a bit easier eh?
I’m disappointed…I thought I’d see pictures of you all in the South Pacific, clad in bathing suits, drinking from coconuts, learning French on the beach and singing Bali Hai. I know.. me too. But there are a few factors:1) The ability to help a client for a set time at the beginning of a very exciting project is a great opportunity that fits right into our life plans, our interests and our abilities. It’s a very aggressive project with extremely high quality objectives which is appealing to us. We are looking forward to getting to know the people and the wines of the Okanagan as well. It’s just another twist in the traveling road.
2) El Niño. This anomaly can produce less consistent trade winds and unsettled weather on the way from Mexico to the Marquesas. Maybe, maybe not, but it’s not a plus, lets just say that.
3) We want to see more of Mexico! Mexico is amazing. Aside from the rabid dogs and the trash EVERYWHERE (sad), we love it. The people are so sweet, the food is amazing, we love brushing up on our Spanish, its very affordable, there’s a great cruising community, it’s easy to cruise there and we just haven’t seen enough of it yet. We want to do another season there at least.
4) So, with that in mind, it means that we have to do something for the summer, because only the really crusty cruisers weather a “Summer in the Sea”. The Sea of Cortez BAKES in the summer, and I say that with very little exaggeration. Getting out of that particular dodge is a must for most. There were several options on the table, but we opted for…well, Canada, strangely enough!
I thought Canadians just made icewine? Ha ha ha. Yes, they make lots of icewine, mainly for the tourists. They do have a few particularly exciting red regions, not large, but with lots of potential and gaining accolades regularly. We will be in a town called Oliver growing grapes on the “Black Sage Bench”. It’s a young industry in a young region but the combination of dramatic landscapes, huge glacial lakes, scant rainfall, long hot summer days and deep sand based soils make it a fascinating place to make wine. I’ve been working in this area for 4 years now and am so excited by the wines we have been producing.
What about the kids?!? Yes, they are coming with us naturally and they will be entering school! It will give them a chance to make more friends, experience some Canadian pastimes such as hockey, skiing and curling. Plus they will get to learn to speak Canadian! Say a prayer for them, they are a little daunted by the prospect. They have been weathering this particular storm extremely well. The decommissioning of the boat, the traveling, the working. I keep waiting for them to have a breakdown but I think I will probably have one first. Kids are so resilient.
So that’s the skinny. I have a few backlogged blog posts that will come out over the next month. This has all been a bit hush hush because of the very recent close of the property and we weren’t sure it was actually going to really work until a few days ago when the immigration officer actually let us into the country! So, stay tuned. A few more boat posts to come, then you may have to suffer through some photos of us making wine in the desert and then skiing at Whistler or something like that. But, back to the boat we will go come hail or high water.