Reflections by Kirk
07 February 2015 | Tenacatita Bay
Weird mix of brain activity right now. Have a mixture of sad and angry after watching the very dramatic conclusion to the Super Bowl. Sad, that the Seahawks lost a chance to become one of a very few teams to win consecutive Super Bowls. Angry that they may well have won the game if not for a very questionable play call when they were on the Patriot’s one-half yard line with about one minute left to play. The Seahawk’s Marshawn Lynch is one of the more punishing running backs ever to play professional football. There was enough time left to give him three chances to advance the football one-half yard for a touchdown that would have put the Seahawks into the lead. Instead of just giving the ball to the man who got them to the Super Bowl, the coaches called for a pass right into the middle of a gang of players that ended up being intercepted by the Patriots and ended Seattle’s chance for a victory. Oh well, it really is just a game and life goes on for me. It is probably a little different for Seattle’s players, coaches, staff and Mr. Paul Allen.
The other weird brain activity is a giant mish-mash of names floating around up there. We have met so many people in the past few weeks that I really feel like my brain is overflowing and matter is escaping away. For the past three weeks or so, we have been traveling between Barra Navidad and Tenacatita Bay. There must be 60 or more cruising boats doing the same thing we are doing. We meet a bunch of people on a beach in Tenacatita and then some of them again on the water taxi in Barra Navidad. Or meet people at a dock party who come up to visit us in a dingy a few days later and all types of occasions where we have run into people multiple times but at different places under different circumstances. Remembering names has never been one of my strong suits, but I’m not even remembering many of the faces. I don’t believe that I am especially feeble-minded and it is driving me crazy that sometimes I am not even sure that I have ever met someone who calls me by name and asks about Seattle. I hope that this is just a case of way too much information overload. Sixty boats equates to at least 120 people. Apparently, that is far above what I can assimilate. Maybe this section of coastline, about which we have heard so many positive things, is really just too good. That must be why there are so many people here. During our travels in British Columbia and Alaska, there were seldom more than just a few boats around and we often had anchorages all to ourselves. We met a lot of people and do not remember them all, but this is out of control. So anyway, all of this stuff is going on in my head so why not just confuse things even more by trying to relate to you what is happening to us.
We are experiencing a dramatic change in the weather. There has actually been real rain for parts of the past three days. This morning it started with thunder in the distance. Twice over the past two days there were times when the skies opened up and buckets of water fell out of it. But today the thunder kept getting louder and then we could see the flashes of lightning. Lightning can be a bit of a scary thing on a sailboat. We have a mast that sticks way up into the air and it just seems like an excellent target for a bolt of supercharged electrons. Seldom do boats get nailed, but for sure with more frequency than golfers. Everyone around here was fine with the lightning; but when the squall finally arrived right overhead, we did hear a report of a dingy flying off of a boat at anchor in a 45 mile per hour gust. Later reports had the dingy safely blown ashore not too far away from the mother ship. We have not had much rain since..., well, we can’t really remember. There may have been a day while we were in Newport, OR (little surprise at that) and a little drizzle one night in San Diego. For someone who has lived in the Seattle area for over 35 years, it is strange to be without rain for so long. The difference between rain here and rain in Seattle is that this rain is not cold. I would not call it warm, but getting soaked the other night on the way back from watching the Super Bowl wearing just a tee shirt certainly did not leave me with chattering teeth. We were so wet that night that we both stripped down before getting back inside the boat to avoid soaking the rugs. I grew up in New Jersey where booming, crashing thunderstorms happened with frequency every summer. Seldom does Seattle have storms like that and today’s storm here along the mainland Mexico coast was really kind of cool.
So what about all of these people who are making a jumble of my brain. For the most part, they are cruisers like us. Others are “snowbirds” who have houses or condos down here and some are just here for a one or two week vacation. We are getting to know a little more about people who have chosen to travel long distances in small boats that they call home. As I have probably related before, this is a very special group of people. Very few seem to have notions of self-importance or superiority or trying to outdo everyone else. Big boat or little boat, old or young, been cruising for years or only for a short time (it is funny though, how sometimes people just starting out profess to know an awful lot about everything), cruising folks all seem to be on an equal footing. People almost never talk about the pre-cruising life or how much money they made or how they were giants in their profession. Most discussions are about weather, what things work well, or not, on their boat, pluses and minuses of past places visited or questions about where to go next, a good recipe, fishing stories, anchoring stories, beach landings in the dingy and such. Cruisers seem to be a most generous lot. In general, they are very free with words of advice, offers of assistance and spare parts when needed. We almost always ask where people are from and that usually leads to yet another thread of stories. There seems to be an abundance of smiling faces.
Why is this so? To this, I do not have answers yet, maybe because we are still relatively new to this style of life. I feel that it is probably in some part based on the fact that cruisers must all be very self-reliant. There is no gas station, or 7-11, or Home Depot right around the corner. As a matter of fact, conveniences that we come to rely on in our land-based lives are seldom within any kind of reasonable distance, if available at all. Every day promises new challenges, different than the day before or the day to come. Just due to the nature of the many and various challenges that can be presented every day, cruisers have all made mistakes, some big and some not so big, but no matter, humility is a result. It is hard to feel superior to someone who has run aground or dropped something overboard or became confused with navigation or had to reset the anchor more than once, when you have either already done it yourself or been within a hairsbreadth of the same misfortune.
We really love this community and are proud to be a part of it. The huge bonus to this is that we are having a tremendously good time.