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S.V Condesa Del Mar
23 meter Herrishoff Schooner built in Wilmington Boat Yard California 1970 onwards. Fittout completed mid 1990's. Mark and Jenny Gaskell purchased Conmdesa November 2011 and crossed the Pacific Ocean in 2012.
The Adventurer
Jenny g

An unassuming Australian adventurer rumbled into town on his dust covered black motor bike with side car. He had driven through the Copper Cannon System, moving to the beat of his own drum and possibly the drums of the Tarahumara Indians. After seeing both the bike and him so dusty and weathered I decided to check the history of this expedition on Google ....and what a rugged wilderness passage it was for him!
He was in town checking in with us as potential crew, then planed to drive to Seattle to stow his bike and to visit to a few good people. Who he says helped him along his way. I googled his next trip from La Paz Mexico to Seattle America, and it too is a journey of huge mileage, not to mention the drop in temperature to 5 degrees. This ranks him as a serious adventurer and biker as well.
He spent 2 full days sorting, god only knows how much an adventurer has to sort after such an extensive trip for years through the wilderness. He then bunks his tired and dusty self into Mexican hostel accommodation close to our marina. He can't drift off to sleep for his weary body won't let him but takes much needed rest.
He chats to the people around him within and I suspect takes a marzipan sweet from an idle person in the hallway of the accommodation. He asks an idle person sitting in a wheelchair if he wants a ride in his bike up to the shops and when this was accepted with such delight, he then offers this disabled person a side-car ride to Seattle with him the next day - 'just for kicks' he said. However the adventurers' calendar already was hard pressed for time to be back within 3 was a tight turnaround. With his "should be fine" attitude he makes both space and time for another human being on his antique motor cycle.
We both felt this special adventurer warranted a wave off on his journey, so we head up to the car park in time to see his departure. As we approached the side-car we were offered a marzipan sweet by the disadvantaged pillion passenger. The still dust covered bike was loaded up to the hilt with the side car companions' trusty wheelchair strapped to the top - readily accessible. That grateful companion was sitting pretty with the box of sweets on his lap ready for the next person he will meet along the route north I suspect.
This is not my story to tell but just want to say that 'the adventurer' was going to be inspiring as a crew member aboard Condesa. The Pacific crossing will be just a part of his next expedition; it must be never ending adventures for people with the time and the respect for the world and what it has to offer. And I am sure the latest travelling companion who accompanied him on the ride north to Seattle in that side car had witnessed a rare act of kindness he would never have imagined being offered to him.
I looked forward to hearing more about the Indian tribes and their lives in the Copper Canyon region when we are drifting across the Pacific.
But sadly that day never came for either of us. RIP Dean

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The Bravo Markets
Jenny g
25/02/2012, La Paz

In the middle of the markets

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The Butcher
25/02/2012, Bravo Markets La Paz

Found the one I think I need

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Jenny g
25/02/2012, Bravo Markets La Paz

At last I found the markets I was looking for. You know the ones where there are people gabbling around you and bumping into you because they are more intent on their selection. The selection it seems warrants staring as it travels from the display into a bag onwards via the distant cashier and back through a few hands into their possession where they can relax and bury it deep into their trolley. Some people shop like a dog watching the dinner bowl their focus is so intent, I think that is why they must shop alone. I have he who hums in toe and not sure it was the right move.
I would like to try the mystery dishes served in the stalls and when I suggested it I think I saw him slightly regurgitate before he said "sure - didn't you have breakfast?" We move away from the slapping of the meat being tenderized and I perch on a stool where everyone is head down eating. I watch the girl clap the thin pastry from hand to hand, tacos made with the blink of an eye. This looks like the one for me, so I manage in my limited Spanish-for-cruisers to pick the fish dish and confidently wave my hand with a 'Si dos gracias' when asked if I wanted tacos too. He who'd hum would have been impressed if he hadn't been handed down the sentence to eat with me. I pass him the spoon and a taco but I do note from the corner of my eye he delays making his taco until I have started, swallowed and survived. There is no instantaneous combustion so all is well. We share a fresh juice, I agree with confidence to all the Spanish words she asked, I assumed were for fruit and vege (how could I go wrong).
We strolled around some more - me taking it all in, he thinking of a place he had to be. Got it! He soon states he had to get back to order the lettering for our new dingy. Oh ok. I walk him out from the dark den of bulk produce out into the white light of the street called Bravo. He is back on Saturday midday. Shame...
But I immediately return and head to the next isle where I am surprised to see a grotto of Mary immaculate, huh I guess you never know when you may want to drop to your knees in the middle of Saturday morning haggling, in fact I should! I have been left here alone my silent prayer was answered. I am sure he is humming all the way back to the Marine shop, as might I around the Bravo Markets and beyond.

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waiting waiting waiting

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We Go Here and There
Jenny g
20/02/2012, Marina De La Paz

I Take Her Here And There
I wait by the gate under the tree, the yachtie club to the left and the restaurant to the right. The steep slopped gang way is starting to liven up as the day breaks. First it is the tradesmen going in the gate - the steel man...the canvas man.... the electrician....the wood work man. Eventually I see the squinting faces of those rising from the hatches like they have been hibernating. Then they start to come out of the gate and make way to the smell of coffee at the little club house, soon the murmuring elevates to chatter with time.
Sometimes she is late, but each day it is becoming more 'Mexican time' not 'Australian time'. As she leaves the boat, it may take a while pending how many conversation happen on the way. She arrives and I always get a warm greeting. I can tell she is still thinking about the plan of attack, red floral bag into the tray, my padlock is unlocked and we are off out the gates of Marina De La Paz, passing Rafael the taxi man as we go (he is thinking something ever since I arrived).
Yes, as usual we are going along the Malecon La Paz taking in the fresh cool air. The beach to the left and hotels, Port administration, Customs, Bus stations, Military hospital, Hospitality and Tourist businesses spread along to the right. We won't go the full 12 klm today I took her there yesterday. Today she has plans to find the perfect markets; I can tell buy the string bag she carries. So up past the money exchange and into the street named 'De Mayo' and a right into 'Revolucion De 1910' past the cathedral (no stopping... we did that Sunday) we cross the street called '16 De Septiembre' and we spot the farmers markets. Because of a tip off about the bakery, I am parked at a lamp post close to the smell of fresh goodies straight across from the markets and I lose sight of her.
Meanwhile "he who hums" will be walking up 'Abasolo' where he has worn out a track and then left into '5 De Febrero' stopping at each marine shop again. Not sure how he will go on his own in the Marine centre as the lovely white haired man there tends to almost nod off when getting the information. You have to reignite the conversation when the breathing becomes laboured and the finger stops running down the small printed page.
Soon "he who hums" will be wondering where we are as he waits at the new little street stall for fish or shrimp tacos. Definitely he will have bag of something else tucked under his arm, some thing that we hasn't already got in his tool room and likely not what he headed out for entirely. But hey, pastries weren't written on our list either.

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New Crew
jenny g
17/02/2012, Marina De La Paz

Finding Crew

Now that I have spent some time with her I can tell you what I know.
Yep she is in her 30's and American! She seems like an old soul who has been here before, lots of knowledge of the wind and water because she's from San Francisco and we all know the wind never stops blowing there. She is very traditional in all aspects of boating. Being very tall and with a good reach (let's hope that is a help not a hindrance). Mum you will love her, not only does she only ever wear green as she also has a French name. She is solid but elegant. As is plenty of room on board that is not a problem. People will tell you that sharing space can be difficult but she seems generous so all should work out well.
It is too soon to elaborate as she hasn't shared a lot with us yet but I am sure as time goes by and by her manner she will ease into it all without a hitch. I would call her the strong silent type bordering on stoic. She is far from a show pony . I can see people noticing her wherever we go out and is the centre of conversation before too long. This sometimes annoys me but hey, she is who she is and I am going to have to learn to live with that tiny flaw. No one is perfect - right?
Her name is La Condesa Del Mar ~ so if you think you are crew material then there is a small line up.

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