A trip like this can teach you about human nature and the human spirit.
Certainly you can learn about yourself, about how you make mistakes, how you deal with adversity. Sometimes the result is not pretty, such as my injury in rough conditions off Cape Blanco
In a small way, the choices and the self-revelations you face when cruising mirror the challenges of living.
But when you look around, beyond yourself and the boat, you will probably see more profound evidence of human nature and the human spirit.
I saw that in Santa Rosalia. Santa Rosalia is a small town, a traditional Mexican town. Some tourists like me go there, but not many.
So walking through the residential streets of Santa Rosalia who would expect to see a big sign like the one above, a sign with a quotation from Simon de Beauvoir, a French writer and feminist.*
That surprised me. A mural in the small Mexican town of Santa Rosalia quotes a French feminist writer.
And what did the Santa Rosalia mural painter quote from Beauvoir? The quote is about eschewing subjugation and embracing freedom and self-actualization. It is about the human spirit.
So the human spirit lives in sleepy Santa Rosalia, Mexico. It's there because the human spirit lives everywhere.
And not just today. Also in Santa Rosalia, along the waterfront, near the Mexican Navy facilities, is a plague memorializing the Mexican cadets at the Battle of Veracruz in the 1914 Mexican-American war
. Those young Mexican cadets fought and died, against superior force, for their ideals. For the human spirit.
A German song, "The Gedanken Sind Frei", attests eloquently to the human spirit. The song extols freedom of thought. The anti-Nazi resistence movements in Nazi Germany adopted the song, and those freedom fighters, including those in the Weisse Rose group, died for their beliefs.
But those people are not alone. People have died in so many other places standing up for the human spirit - at Veracruz in 1914, in Hungary in 1956, at Tiananmen Square in 1989, and countless more.
And in small, sleepy, Santa Rosalia, the mural I saw attests to the same universal human yearning for freedom and self-actualization. That mural connects people in Santa Rosalia to people throughout the world. It connects people through the human spirit, a spirit ubiquitous and unconquerable.
*PS There are 2 errors in the Beauvoir texts in the photos. On the left Beauvoir's name is mis-spelled. On the right the last word should be "libre", not "livre."