30 April 2017
Terri Potts-Chattaway, Photo by Casey Cartwright
Returning to Paradise Village Marina
April 30, 2017
I sit here on my couch, at home on Martha's Vineyard, staring out my front window. I am mesmerized by the bright light of sunshine. We have been here four days under a bed of clouds and chilly temperatures. We have seen rain for the first time in almost five months. Today, with not a cloud in sight, I watch spring unfold.
The birds have come back to nest in our trees, their songs light and airy, as they are, themselves. Rich, tonal sounds accompany them as the wind gently blows through the chimes hanging outside our bedroom window. Along the front of our house, the hydrangeas' limbs stretch out, bursting with buds in anticipation of the sun and warmth. The lilac tree, too, longs to bloom. Her leaves are open. Surely, the blossoms are soon to follow. But it is the young cherry tree, in the center of our yard, who will win this race. Her buds show a hint of red and youth is on her side. Already the grass is a deep green after weeks of rain. Today, I will work in the garden, but I will have rainboots on to combat the mud and I will wear a jacket to keep warm.
How different the landscape here is from the tropical jungle that surrounds Puerto Vallarta. It never ceases to amaze me, how far and how fast one can travel in such a short time. It hasn't even been two weeks since we left Mexico and yet, it seems to me, a dream. I remember back to our last days, cruising, when we had just celebrated my birthday along with the successful rescue of Molly J and we were awaiting a weather window to head back to port...
I would like to say it was good karma. We only had to wait two days for the good weather, and when we left Chamela Bay, the seas were flat and the wind was calm. We were on our way at dawn and arrived at Ipala prior to sunset. Just outside the anchorage, while we were dropping the sails, our motor started stuttering, as if it would quit. I looked at Jay, startled. (All I could think about was the Molly J and her engine problems. Wouldn't it be - sadly - ironic?) "Put it in neutral!" He told me as he ran below. He assessed the situation quickly and added oil. She was only thirsty. We had been pushing her hard, running her at 2000 rpms compared to our usual 1500. She is an old engine and needs attention. Once filled with oil, she purred, relieving our anxiety. Lucky for us, we still were the first ones in the anchorage and settled in for a good night's rest.
The following day, our good karma continued. We left Ipala at dawn, again, and rounded Cabo Corrientes it the early hours of the morning. What could easily have been a rough ride, considering the opposing currents and waves, turned out to be a smooth one. Upon reaching Banderas Bay, we were greeted by a couple of whales and 15-20 knots of wind. We had a great sail home.
As we were approaching the entrance to Paradise Village Marina, we heard a loud sound. "What was that?" I asked Jay, looking up to the sky. I couldn't see it at first because of the sail, but then, there it was! A plane! "Oh!" I felt so silly. Of course, it was a plane. But there it was. It pointed up how - when we are cruising - it can be like going back in time, when life was not filled with planes, trains and automobiles, or inundated by technology. Life may have been harder then, but in some ways, much simpler.
Back in the marina, we spent two weeks putting Cadenza to bed and saying goodbye to our friends. It was the first step back into a frenetic world and prepared us, somewhat, for our reentry into the U.S. of A.
On April 18, we left Mexico and spent a whirlwind week in California, surviving the freeways and visiting our children and grandchildren. We are now back on our island, where the pace is much slower, and much more to our liking.
Our life is very different here. We dig in the dirt, plant flowers and cut grass. We have a television and we drive a car to the store. We love our earthly existence, although it is quite tame compared to our adventures at sea. We are grounded, it is true. But not for long! Our 18' Herreshoff catboat, SkipJack, is to be launched May 10th and we will sail again. Maybe even cruise out for a weekend or two. You see, you can't keep an adventurer down for long.