The People You Meet
15 February 2012 | Marina De La Paz
The People You Meet
We have returned to La Paz Mexico ~ we flew in last night and found our boat and nestled in. Valentine ’s Day is half over but we sleepily turn on the VHF radio to the sound of chatter across the water. The first a lengthy conversation between 2 Americans all about cats, it could have been an episode from Sesame street featuring the letter ‘C’ so much detail about the C A T. Switching channels, we hear there is a meeting for all “Puddle Jumpers” (that’s us) ~ held at 4pm today. So, off with the radio and on with the jobs of work for the half day that is left.
We head off to see there are those stragglers who haven’t yet left the club house after the 7.30am boaties coffee meeting as they are engrossed in horror stories, I heard something about ‘pepper spray and if they grab you by the neck’! I swiftly posted my note on the wall looking for an old bike so I could get on with my daily ritual of errands into the centre of town for the weeks that follow. We wander up to brunch and see the (long waisted/short legged) Mexican boy delivering roses to the shy pretty Mexican girl who works in the milk bar, sweet valentines. There are couples bonding over the spare parts in the Marine Centre, not us today but will be tomorrow. There are those who are toiling over the chores on board together and those who laze in the sun chatting to passers-by. The passers-by who have finished their chores – or not, have a tale for everyone all enjoyable... tall as they sometimes may be. There are those who you can see through the open hatch under the bed bag as you leave, and still under the bed-bag as you return. In the meeting room there are people from all walks of life and you can pick the Aussie without even speaking to them. (it’s funny how you are drawn to them and they to you). Surrounded by age and wisdom, weather beaten sea salts to fresh faced newbie’s who I found out one girl has only had a 12 hour course for experience. We all shared our planned set sail date between the perfect window of early March – End of May 2012. We mentally ticked the people we needed to see post meeting, as they had info we both thought we should know. Then there was this young, eager, fun loving rogue who spoke about his grand experiences last year through the south pacific. Had him ticked until he told us he left in July on the tail of a hurricane to make the crossing. Yikes, that is either brave or stupid pending which way you like to live your life. He looked the better for it in his contagious energy and boyish looks but that trick could put some people in a cardiac arrest and rightly so. After a demonstration by a passionate rock climbing, yachty about how to get yourself up the mast safely and how to rescue someone twice you weight who is in trouble up the mast in the only climbing gear you have. As the sun sets ‘he’ passionate, rock climbing, yachty decides we all should go through that one again next meeting, as most attendees surrounded the room with frowns. We make our way back to prepare for a quiet dinner and walk through the same line up of sundowner drinking couples who sit along the arm of our dock at the same time daily. Yesterday we were probably sized up, today we were invited to join, and tomorrow we will.
So we close the first day with a valentine’s dinner at a restaurant set on the nearby sand with hurricane lamps, digesting all the information we had absorbed for the day (make that half day).