Adventures in Mexico – Chapter One
Chasing after your dreams can get you in a lot of trouble. Sandy’s friends and family were certainly skeptical when she told them her plan. She had put a profile up on crew.com in early September and was contacted by a skipper from Washington State who was currently sailing in Mexico. After emailing each other for about a month, he offered to pay for her airline ticket to Mexico. She would finance her trip – he said she needed her own spending money – by selling her car to her son, who needed it to get to college. That was probably her first mistake. That, and trusting Bank of the World not to mess with her ability to draw on the funds from out of country.
“You don’t even know this guy!” her best friend exclaimed, when Sandy told her she had finally booked her ticket for the first week in February. “But he comes with great references,” Sandy argued. “His parents’ best friends are Bill Gate’s parents, for one thing. And his dad was editor of the Seattle newspaper for 20 years. His sister still works there. And he’s a retired lawyer, pro-tem judge, and assistant district attorney.”
“You know you can never trust lawyers,” Lisa said.
“Interesting that you think so, considering that your husband is in law school,” Sandy retorted.
So Lisa planned a bon voyage party for Sandy to be held in conjunction with Lisa’s birthday party, and Sandy started to pack, limiting herself to two collapsible duffle bags, her daypack, and her laptop. She would have been better off just packing her daypack, the way things turned out. She just had no way of knowing that at the time.
The first red flag had waved when Bob booked her ticket. Even though Sandy had told him that she couldn’t possibly leave until after the holidays or her kids would have a bigger fit than they were already having, Bob got her a ticket for Christmas Eve, with a layover in LA. Fortunately, Seattle got snowed in on Christmas Eve and the airlines offered her a replacement ticket for anytime in January, so Sandy got to spend Christmas with her family after all. Even though that red flag was still waving somewhere in the background of her brain, Sandy lobbed in a call to the airline the last week of January and they told her she could still use her ticket the following week.
When she told her ex-husband she had made her plans, his jaw dropped (and he almost fell off the kitchen stool he had perched his fat ass on) over the fact that she was really going to go. But he was one of the reasons she was really going to go. He’d been making noises about how difficult it was to live with your ex-wife after having been divorced for 15 years. Her daughter had dragged her back to their north-of-Seattle suburban home from Tahoe a year and a half earlier to get Sandy away from her then-boyfriend, and she had been occupying the nanny suite ever since. Sandy and her ex (husband, that is) were still pretty good friends, even though she’d had good reason to leave him when she did and there was no hope of their ever resuming their marriage. She’d gotten to the point that she didn’t really want a relationship with ANY man, not after what she’d gone through with her ex-boyfriend. Men presented their best selves to women when they first met them, then turned into monsters after making them fall in love with them, in her opinion. Shortly after hitting menopause (which she was still suffering through), she realized she no longer had much desire for sex anyhow. It was fairly comforting not to need a man in her life just so she could have sex on a regular basis. None of the men she was interested in were interested in her, anyhow.
It was a good thing the skipper didn’t know this, or he probably would not have been inclined to purchase her ticket, since he was probably looking for a sex slave rather than a galley slave. And Sandy probably should have insisted on a roundtrip ticket, just to be safe. But Sandy wasn’t focused on safety. She was focused on Adventure with a capital “A.” She was bored with her life, and one of her dreams was to sail… if not around the world, at least the west coast of the Americas. Being in the wind on a sailboat was Paradise, no matter where you were.
She wasn’t afraid of Mexico, and she didn’t believe all the negative press it had been getting over the drug wars lately. After all, she had lived in Tijuana with her druggie ex-boyfriend for three months and had even written a book called “Crystal Meth: The Scourge of America” about her experience, although she had yet to sell it. It was on the laptop she was taking with her, and she figured she would have plenty of time to fine-tune it while they were under sail. She counted on the sale of the book to continue to finance her sailing adventure after her son had paid off the car.