Radio Wake -up calls
09 March 2012 | Marina De La Paz
First, deep in my subconscious, is the sound of the cock crowing in the distance then soon after followed by the cathedral bell tower striking long slow chimes that bring you into a new day.
8.30 - Our day in Marina De La Paz officially starts once we awake to the channel #22 VHF radio, we hear the airwaves come alive with ‘Goodmorrrrrnninnng Fleeeet!” (that’s us!) this is an open radio program where you should participate where necessary or possible, on your ‘truckie style’ hand-held receiver. First: the net controller asks if there are any medical emergencies or issues overnight.... Usually silence reins which we all hope for. We breathe again when he moves onto the weather watch reported in by someone called ‘Bluey’, bay watch report and then ‘whose coming and whose going’ and so on. This is in case you want a ride, a lift or need to get mail out. He then does a running report from 3 marinas on the Baja coastline (Marina De La Paz, Marina Palmira and Costabaja Marina) Tick ...Tick... and Tick! I do feel less guilty listening from the cosy Captain’s quarters when one of the marinas randomly misses a reply. But they are more likely to be sorting some boating crisis or need or check- in or check-out, not running late.
Next comes- What’s on around town? This draws me in every time imagining myself attending the R & B night on the pier, salsa in the park, darts over the road, dominoes in the cafe, or I could (should I wish) volunteer for the next celebration in town from where I lay. My subconscious does a reality check for me and I remember that the most urgent project is the one we are living and breathing and madly planning. However before they finish that segment!... I do see myself attending the National Geographic celestial documentary, invitation for Friday, courtesy of the Mexican Technical College. Here, they build their own telescopes and also engineered and have constructed the planetarium! That is awesome....by now I’ve forgotten the contact boat to radio in my name for that outing as they have long moved on- but maybe tomorrow I could catch that. Within seconds the pace seems to have elevated and has taken several turns spinning my easily distracted mind into thinking about the Ice man; Goose and Ghost rider with everyone clipping in and out of the air waves.
See you don’t often have a Christian name in these morning session, only a boat name, so I am ‘Condesa’ should I call in. There are a whole community of “Wandering Puffins”, “True Companions” “Bright Angels” “Blue Wizards” “Sea Otters” and my favourite being “Black Dog”. It feels kinda fun to have a stage name... well, a boat name.
Anyway my point is, many topics are covered for you within the half hour, but the one I feel we should jump out of bed for is the ‘Swaps and Trades’. I hear daily of things we need eg: dingy anchor, lifting gear, inflatable canoe, as well as the many things we could swap. Though the bit I love best is that you pay coconuts or in some cases ....peanuts! We, the cruising community like to look out for each other, so what goes around comes around. Nice!
One day, he who hums will be ready to participate and I have my scribbled list of swaps and trades waiting right by the Ray-marine VHF radio, should he surprise me. Until then, I have ears pricked waiting for a rustle at the navigation station, that’s when I’ll know I might have to jump on my bike and to go get us more coconuts. But I do have salted peanuts down in the galley somewhere.