Cruising with Cadenza

"I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special." Steel Magnolias

01 April 2019
19 March 2019
28 February 2019 | Paradise Village Marina
21 February 2019 | Punta de Mita
31 January 2019 | Paradise Village Marina
27 January 2019 | Banderas Bay, Mexico
25 January 2019 | Banderas Bay, Mexico
18 January 2019 | Banderas Bay, Mexico
03 January 2019 | Martha's Vineyard
24 May 2018 | Edgartown, Massachussetts
09 March 2018 | Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
27 February 2018 | Barra de Navidad
19 February 2018 | Barra de Navidad
05 February 2018 | Zihuatanejo
29 January 2018 | Zihuatanejo
24 January 2018 | Barra de Navidad
13 January 2018 | Barra de Navidad
08 January 2018 | Barra de Navidad
27 December 2017 | Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
18 December 2017 | Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Rhythms of the Day

01 April 2019
Terri Potts-Chattaway
Photo by Casey Cartwright

March, 2019

Soon, Jay and I will be leaving Mexico for the season and although I am looking forward to going home, there is much here I will miss.

Sitting in the cockpit, having tea, I watch as the marina comes alive. Jay is below listening to the morning net on VHF radio. This is how we cruisers communicate. Every morning at 8:30 on channel 22A Monday - Saturday, the Cruiser's Net is broadcast. Local information is shared. Lost and found items are retrieved. Weather reports are given. Mariner's reports are given. Announcements are made of upcoming events. It is an essential part of our daily life and here in the bay it keeps us informed.

Today it is still. Clouds hover above. The water is like glass and is dark gray from the reflection of the sky. The birds' chatter is unusually subdued. Little beads of sweat break through my skin. It is not yet nine o'clock. A breath of air makes its way to our boat. It is of some comfort, but not much.

I love to watch the birds from the deck of our boat. The little birds are present in the morning. They have a sweet song and fly from mast to mast. Many hang out in the trees. Some are a bright yellow with black wings. Others are a dull white and not much larger than a hummingbird.

Yesterday, while enjoying my morning ritual of tea in the cockpit, a Mourning Dove came to visit. She sat on our awning just two feet away and sang out in that haunting tune so unique to her. I have always been struck by the cry of the Mourning Dove. It instantly takes my thoughts inward, causing me to pause and ponder the mysteries that surround me at the moment.

The workers begin to arrive. These are the ones who come from modest homes and travel long distances to work on the yachts owned by the affluent. You will see no hint of envy from them. Nor do they find cleaning boats demeaning. To the contrary, they wear their uniforms with pride and go about their day with a smile on their faces.

Our favorite worker is Bentura. "Buenos dios, Senor, Senora." He greets us. He speaks almost no English and I am sorry to say I know little Spanish. Nevertheless, the intension is understood; friendship. Eventually, Bentura will serenade us as he goes about his work. Bentura has a lovely, high tenor voice that carries across the water. He is quite good and brightens our day.

Paradise Village Marina is probably the best marina we have ever encountered, either in Mexico or the United States. It is clean and safe and offers many amenities. Because of this, many arrive and never leave. The result is a neighborhood of sorts and we have a wonderful community here. Neighbors walking by stop and say hello. Some stay for a while. Others wave and keep on going.

Mornings are also time for chores. Today is laundry day for me. Jay is dealing with some boat issues. As usual.

The mid-day sun is quite hot. The iguanas slither down from the trees to sun themselves. They need the heat. Us humans look for shade. Some find it under trees. Others in the water whether it be the pool or ocean. Some find air conditioning and others duck inside their boats. There is something to say for siestas.

Breaktime for the workers is also a time to fish. They bring out their nets, casting them into the sea, hoping to catch their dinner. This will make their wives very happy.

Lunch and siestas aside, it is time for more chores. I must confess. This is when I slip away to visit the pool. The heat wears on me, but with one dip in the cool water, I feel renewed. Jay usually joins me, but not until late afternoon.

At dusk you will find us in the cockpit again. This time with a glass of wine. The sun has gone behind the buildings and the wind has arrived. We take a deep breath, grateful for the break in the heat. The current seems to be strong today and so the boat sways back and forth against the dock. Some don't like the movement. I would ask them, "Then, why are you on a boat?"

The Pelicans and Magnificent Frigate birds perform their evening show. It is their supper time and we watch as the Pelicans dive down to catch a fish. The Frigate birds soar above, looking for prey they can steal. Yesterday, I saw a Frigate bird steal a big fish from another frigate bird only to drop it. A Pelican swooped in and won the prize. Later, the Pelicans will nest high in the trees of the mangroves. At times we have seen hundreds roosting there. I do not know where the Frigate birds sleep.

Night falls as the moon rises over the mountains. It is nearly full. The sky is crystal clear. We watch as the cruisers, all showered and dressed, begin their walk to dinner. There are many nice restaurants within walking distance.

One of our favorites is Chao where we eat brick-oven pizza and beet salad under the stars. If we are lucky, our favorite duo - playing violin and accordion - will be there. Another favorite is Barcelona Tapas. It is perched high on a hill overlooking the city and bay. It is a perfect venue for watching the sunset. But the best is after the sun goes down and the lights come on all across the horizon. Beautiful. Great food and excellent service too.

Jay and I are staying in tonight. We have invited Casey and will barbeque. A few glasses of wine, a good meal, some friendly conversation and it will be time to say goodnight.

These are our rhythms of the day here in Mexico. So much to be missed.
Comments
Vessel Name: Cadenza
Vessel Make/Model: Hardin 45' Ketch
Hailing Port: Malibu, California
Crew: Jay Chattaway, Terri Potts-Chattaway
About: Jay has owned Cadenza for over 20 years. He originally bought her in La Paz, Mexico (known as Mercury One and before that as Mar y Vent) and brought her up to the Channel Islands. Terri fell in love with sailing and Cadenza over ten years ago and she has been a labor of love ever since.
Extra:
The Plan: We are to leave Channel Islands Harbor the beginning of September, 2013 and head to San Diego for a few months of prep and family time. Next, we leave for La Paz (we love it there) the beginning of November. We will winter out of La Paz, exploring the Sea of Cortez. This is the first [...]
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