Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Arriving in Cabo San Lucas

    I've only just been able to look at the news. My prayers go to the people of Japan today. Thank you to everyone from Hawaii and California for sending news of what happened, life is so precious and we just never know what moments we have. The following was written a few days ago, we arrived yesterday and were able to reconnect with friends.  
     After reading about my last sailing trip across the South Pacific on a boat even the Ancient Mariner would have bitched about my friend Heidi asked, “Why would you ever want to go sailing again?” The list is endless; wing on wing downwind, a mild following sea, Jimmy Buffet on the stereo, the prow on the waypoint, a chipped sapphire tropical sea and destinations not yet experienced. Or as the ballad of the Minnow so aptly states “No phone, no lights, no motor cars…” Then out of the literal blue all this bliss was enhanced by a dolphin show. One school, I swear, escaped from Sea World. They shot out of the water leaping so high we had to look up at them.  And when they did it in pairs I was too elated to lift my camera, but when four jumped, twisted sideways and splashed down together I wondered who trained who. I wished for a bucket of fish to reward them, like the good humans at Sea World, but they were gone just as quickly.
     The sun came up as we rounded Cabo Falso, the lighthouse a welcome sight after several nights at sea. It never gets old, staring at the changing colors of the ocean, the stars traversing heaven, the moon’s silver streak across the wave tops. The challenging part of sailing is internal, when sleep is infrequent and the tedium of staring at the radar during the night watches insights involuntary yawns. Hours of checking reveals nothing, until suddenly a freighter is bearing down and those moments of anxiety while trying to determine their course are more effective than a whole pot of coffee. A few passed close enough to hear the giant rumbling engines. Plotting a course on a paper chart marks the hour and is something to look forward to. It was cold at night and work to stay warm. I paced and waved my arms. My warm clothes weren’t enough for the cold wind. Luckily most of the wind came out of the north and we made good time. We passed by Cabo San Lucas to stay at Marina Puerto Los Cabos, a modern facility full of giant power yachts and few cruising sailboats. Mostly the mega yachts go unused, except by birds and the people hired to clean the guano off them.
     This area has grown considerably since I sailed here fifteen years ago. Condo sprawl covers the desert hillsides. This is a country clearly not afraid of color, laid on thick in bright, garish combinations as if to challenge the dusty, muted tones of the landscape. The cemetery overlooking Bahia Tortugas quietly proclaimed; life is celebration, even after we are gone.     

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