Healing & Heeling
11 December 2011 | Mazatlan to Isabella
Healing and Heeling
December 1 - December 10
I'm kind of stupified realizing so much time has passed without writing in the blog.
That could be a good thing: it may make me think - and write - in shorter clips! And hey, seein' as how today's the shortest day of the year, that could be a doubly good thing.
It's all a bit of a blur... By the time we arrived in Mazatlan in early December, I was having tremendous back pain. I was able to get to a chiropractor and after our first evening in town (Friday for the Mazatlan art walk) I was pretty much on my back, icing it and resting it. Everyone speaks so highly of Mazatlan, I was sad to not feel "up" for more explorations. A sweet city indeed. But I guess I'll have to catch more of it some other time.
We stayed in the Marina Mazatlan long enough for me to feel able-bodied. Four chiropractic visits and enough ice/rest seemed to do the trick. Of course the other factor in successful healing is people, and because we stayed in one place for about a week, we were able to meet quite a few great folks. Their collective energy all added to my plus factors in feeling better.
One fun event at the Marina was a seminar on the El Salvador Cruisers Rally. Listening to the presentations enabled the concept of "heading further south" to gel more in my head. I still have many questions about timing and such, but the folks organizing the rally put a lot of thought and time into the project. It was also great to see so many people from various marinas turn out for the seminar. Wow, so many cruisers in one spot! We ran into some folks we'd met before, who then introduced us to some others they had met along the way.
Funny thing about the internet...you can meet someone for the first time, only to realize you "know" them perhaps better than a lot of people you actually do"know." Que paso? Well, it's the strange gift of the blogosphere. It turns out that at the El Salvador rally, I was introduced to a woman named Kate whose blog I've been following for quite a while. I was looking at her...then I heard her boat name... slowly my brain is putting two and two together... 'wow! It's You!' Suddenly I found myself feeling giddy and nervous, strange considering I don't feel that itchy when meeting so many of the celebs and Forbes 400 types. Thinking about it later, I guessed it's because I've felt so 'close' to Kate through her blog, as we've led somewhat parallel sailing experiences and had some similar reactions. I let her know that her blog sharing had comforted me on many an occasion, and later we were able to visit for a little bit. I'm hoping we'll be in the same anchorage or marina in the future...but I know there will always be the virtual visits!
Another great experience in the Marina Mazatlan was a presentation by the folks on the boat Harmony. Virginia Gleser has written a wonderful book chronicling she and her husband Robert's adventures, and they offered a book signing/discussion session. I loved their background, their stories and their style. Later Paul and I were able to spend a bit more time visiting with them and I realized we had some friends, organizations and places in common. I'll work to close some of those circles in the future, and will also be looking forward to encountering Robert and Virginia down the road. Meantime, Virginia's book kept me company while we cruised to new places...another soothing voice of wisdom sitting with me in the cockpit on some of my watches.
Sailing from Mazatlan, our first leg was to Isla Isabella. Holy smokes, we had such an amazing sail to the island and then a couple of great days at this very very special place. My mantra became: "Christmas Came Early!"!!!
One of our "problems" throughout our travels this time around has been arriving too early to our destination. We keep sailing faster than we intend so we try to slow down, leave later, etc. to avoid the 3 a.m arrivals - which means that we we are stuck sailing around throughout the night, awaiting a sunrise. (I use the term "stuck" somewhat loosely, it's just that you get kind of tired of having to stay awake...the sailing part isn't bad, it's pinching yourself for the up-all-nights that gets a bit tiresome)
We weren't certain about tides and their impact on the ins and outs of the channel in Mazatlan, so we ended up having to leave there about 4 hours earlier than we wanted in order to avoid potential problems with currents and tide depths, etc. Our departure still ended up being interesting as we had to punch through some fair sized waves to make it out to sea. Then there were the obligatory fishing boats - eight of them coming at us ... one additional very, very, verrrry large ship too. Later we found our jib sheets had become cockeyed and we had to re-rig one of them. Crises' all averted...enabling beautiful beam reach sailing at 7++ knots.
We put a reef in our main and partially furled our jib so that we would slow down as we started calculating a midnight (no good!) arrival at Isla Isabella. Next step was changing course to go further out to sea than we needed, more time -killing strategy. Eventually we celebrated the realization that we were back in the Pacific Ocean for the first time in over a year!
Our Pacific sailing yielded a gorgeous sunset. Moonrise was also wonderful. Paul and I decided to eat above decks to enjoy the amazing skies...Natalie Cole was singing Christmas tunes...I delivered the dinner...and in no time the sea performed her magic, and it was dinner with a twist, upside down spaghetti. Zig Zag became official and invaluable crew at that moment, he was the best spaghetti cleaner-upper ever.
From Kate's blog, I copied her idea to try to write more in the log book. (Her idea was actually trying to write something each hour or so, but I was an immediate failure at this.) So, for my 6:30 a.m. Log journal, I wrote "the moon is still so bright in the sky, like a light someone forgot to turn off! At 0600 I could see the island - we're close! A beautiful beautiful sunrise - pastel pinks and blues and golden streaks, with a welcoming committee of boobies and frigates flying overhead. I had the moonbeams on the water behind me and the evolving sunrise in front. YUM!"
So, yes... ok...it's true. The girlie-girl in me likes the above log journal entry a lot better than "Time: Position: Course: Wind Force: Barometer: etc........." But it's still hard to keep track of where and when and what and why even with adjectives. At one point I wrote simply "Whales!!! 2 humpbacks - flukes and blows!" Considering my passion for those critters, it's hard to believe that's all I had to say about their visit!