26 January 2011 | btwn san blas and mazatlan
I don't know what is more mezmorizing... the green and red LED bow lights washing Christmas colors on the endless miles of ocean we glide over or the electric phosphorescence of my bow wake, lighting the salt water with millions of volts of color. It is midnight, I am once again alone with the sea and my thoughts...and a sky full of the brightest stars you could ever imagine. Aside from the rolling and pitching that my little world exists in, this is small sacrifice for the world of dreams I am caught in.
I am stuck in a wonderful scenario called win win. You ever been there? Let me explain. Here I am on my portable float shop of projects, unknown anchorages, fridge full of food and cold beer, 60 days worth of new memories, my Pops is here with me enjoying every minute of it...his dreams coming true too. I've had all the important members of my family down for a stint of this year's adventures and stayed safe. I've navigated, fixed stuff, swam, sunned, ate, drank, explored, loved, lost weight, tanned, met new people every day...and done lots and lots of thinking. I mean common, what else do you do when you are alone on watch, nobody for miles around but you, the sea birds and your floating island. What a life! I love being under way.
So, here's the quandary if sorts...I am looking forward to being home too! If you can believe it, I have so much to look forward to in my life no matter what the venue, what the country I'm in...there's always home and all the sweet things that home has to offer. Mom's cooking, my own bed, clean sheets, running water without worrying about the tanks, electrical without worrying about the amps, TV!, (though I don't miss it), my "Other projects" the business I'm excited to take to the next level, driving my own truck, knowing where everything is or can be found at a store, ENGLISH!, and of course most importantly, MY GIRL. Two weeks after my arrival home we will celebrate our first year together! (I know, corny but true). You see, I am happy with my life and all it has to offer. No matter whether I 'm here playing around in the tropics of sorts or back home doing my thing there, it's a win win.
I find myself envious of those who are out here full time, retired or just gave it all up for a while to travel by boat to far off places. Then I catch myself thinking....."well, dummy!..if they can do it, you can do it too!" SO instead of jealousy I have admiration for those people because they earned every damned minute of it just like I do....it's just a smaller piece of the pie for me...for now. When I'm ready for full time cruising I'll know it. Until then, I will enjoy my blessed life and try not to complain about the things I can't change...and keep wearing my patient pants as long as needed to succeed at the aforementioned!
Enough of the blither. We are on our last leg of this journey. We decided to leave today and skip the jungle tour and palapas of San Blas because the weather looked so good from the harbor! A couple hours into it, the winds picked back up but not bad....it's about 10-12 N NW and 3-5' seas...just enough to make a cup fly off the table! We have made 55 miles since we left at 1045 this morning and have 70 miles to go....puts us in Mazatlan around 3pm (give or take). It's about a 3 or 4 hour wiggle room before dark. By the time I send this we may be snug at the dock unless I can convince Pops to steer again so I can shoot this out over the sideband radio. When I boot up the modem and hit send, there's so much power getting sucked out of the bank and so much RF that the autopilot decides to steer way off course...can't fix it, just the way life is on a boat with all this stuff on it!
The day in my life while on my day watch was as follows: I'm in the cockpit sucking down my second bottle of water and sucking one potato chip at a time, salt first, then all the texture of the potato and when it's a gooey glob of preservatives and carbohydrates I swallow it...pretending I'm out at sea for months at a time and have to ration every little morsel of food. (seriously...I'm that weird) Then off in the distance I see something low to the water....splashing, moving like wildfire would through a forest dry from no rain. The closer I get, it becomes obvious I'm looking at miles upon miles of feeder fish in large schools. There are hundreds of pelicans and other sea birds enjoying the feast. It's so amazingly loud that I can hear it over the engine! So of course I'm praying my lure snags something bigger below the surface but have no luck. Just as I get back to my book, in the corner of my eye I see something...it's about 2 miles out....SPLASH!!!...then again...SPLASH!...get the binoc's and look out....it's like a massive concrete pillar coming straight out of the water....yes...a really really BIG WHALE! How the heck do they get those huge bodies so high out of the water? By the time I was close enough he was gone.
About 30 minutes later I see more splashing on the horizon....ho hum....yawn....another whale....wait a minute....either that whale is something super human or that's not a whale....get binoc's again....look through the cross hairs and get my bearing (bearing compass inside binocs...pretty cool) that damn boat is coming straight for me...and I mean FAST....like 30 knots fast! Look again, can't make it out....put autopilot on standby and steer to starboard....boats steering to starboard....flip on radar just to make sure....yep, crazy SOB is following my path.....wait a minute....HOLY SHIT!...it's the Mexican Navy! Oh GOD IN HEAVEN!...are they going to board me? CRAP! (Heart pounding out of my chest) They keep altering course to intercept me so I just keep heading straight. Mental check list goes into high gear....Drugs? NO! Firearms? NO! Fresh meat? NO! ...fish? YES! OH GOD! I have frozen tuna on board and Dad doesn't have a fishing license! SHIT!, they could take my boat away and throw me in jail!! So in my head I start going over in spanish how I'm going to explain this little issue to 8 men with machine guns...and explain to my family and clients and girl that I'm now rotting in some shithole Mexican jail eating moldy bread and drinking water full of disease. (man, do I have an imagination?)
Thank the good lord they veered off at the last minute and passed me so close the wake felt like a mountain...I waved and smiled they waved and frowned...all two of the 10.
SO that's my exciting day on the high seas, just finished a ham and cheese quesadilla and am on my second bottle of water tonight. Time to get back to my 5th novel and looking out for pirates and rocks.
All for now,