Thursday, December 31, 2015
Last night (new years eve) at our marina (Costa Baja) cruisers came together to share in drinks and a potluck, with the added bonus of sharing cruiser stories and ringing in 2016. Immediately, it became obvious that our small in number group, can easily match most any cruisers in distance, destination and most importantly crazy adventure categories.
Most made it as far as our cruiser’s midnight (9:00 p.m.); at about the time that New York started their count down by dropping 2015. Suddenly, hugs and kisses all around, a quick clean up of our party food and drink and the group disbanded to their boats in the marina. No housing development or neighborhood can possibly compare to the small community feel of this area where everyone that passes by is friendly, outgoing and well traveled.
Next door, an Italian restaurant, with a Mexican flair (for 750 pesos) hoisted a New Year’s celebration. The sky all lit up with swaying disco type lights. In the marina fish jumped skyward at the lights and sailboat masts appeared to dance to the flashing moving lights; or was it the three or four Cuba libre drinks effect. No, not rum and coke but, authentic Bacardi Gold, 1862 Santiago de Cuba brand made in Puerto Rico. You squeeze the lime in the glass full of ice cubes, then you add a shot or two of rum, then you pour the cola in and drink, a drink whose origins date back to the 1900s.
Moments earlier, our party organizer(s) John & Mitsy required as a condition of your potluck attendance to also share, your favorite cruiser story. Within our small circle, thousands upon thousands of sea miles and untold hours of boating projects, came the following. One boat nearby has made it around the Inside Passage; another, the owner brought back from France; two returned this year from the Panama canal region. Cruisers from all walks of life.
To the best of my recollection, it became obvious right that at least three in the group served time in the U.S. and Russian military. The Navy outnumbered the Army two to one and the Marines for once, were not represented. Possibly, one dodged the U.S. draft. Our comrade served as a young lad on not just any submarine but, a nuclear powered one. Trading porn magazines and cigarettes for vodka; barely surviving a grounding on a Caribbean island reef while watching square groupers (marijuana bales) descend from the sky; delivering a catamaran from France to the U.S.; hitting a whale; petting a whale; riding with whales; being chased by a whale. Racing stories, riding a jet ski from the Port of Anchorage to Kodiak Island, a dismasting, losing a rudder at sea, a near sinking, fool hearty naïve sailing; and sharing in one of the boaters best two days of their lives. Purchasing a boat and then selling a boat. A nine-year cruising experience that speaks volumes is now over for these two. Their future life, now boatless will be to travel by road.
Still to come. Cruisers beach party in January; La Paz carnival in February and seeing the arrival of the whales in March 2016. Where else can you watch the family friendly parade while drinking and eating on four separate days. The parade route that packs with thousands runs each day for four days.
My wood working project is now done and the floors are all varnished. Yesterday, I laughed with the others at our floors brightness. Why I could just look down to the floor, see my image and easily comb my hair; what hair?
As far as the late 70s and 80s the Mexican government has promoted Loreto as the next big place for tourism. Located about 240 miles NW of La Paz on the Sea of Cortez. Large mountains behind, great beaches and the turquoise colored waters of five islands just offshore should give us plenty to explore once we get our fill of the La Paz area and Isla Espirito Santo.
Gotta go, another party is calling!