The Marco Polo of Baja

The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat.

– Jacques Yves Cousteau



If Marco Polo is considered one of the first and most famous Europeans to travel all of Asia during the Middle Ages; then our friend John ranks right up there. Like any of my friends and fellow members at the Los Angeles Adventurers club ( when it comes to adventure John can always hold his own.

There was the time in Africa, on a surveying job; he was jailed twice, and on the same job. Then there was the time he was handcuffed, AK-47 butt stroked to the kidneys and almost killed on account of his due diligence in attempting to complete another surveyors job.

A normal surveyor is one who works on various projects pertaining to land measuring, mining explorations, tunnel building or major construction. Johns surveying specialties somehow always took him to real life third world countries.  A natural for the job, possibly on account of his “always get the job done” expertise, due diligence and attitude.  Hence possibly, the butt stroking and jailing incident for trespassing onto an African countries military reservation.

Now why would anyone need this placed surveyed? On his deathbed Marco Polo was said to have remarked, “I didn’t tell the half of what I know”.

Our 94-year-old LA based Adventurers club, like John, is a well-kept secret but, worthy of sharing with you now. John departs home today following five fantastic years of cruising the Sea of Cortez and mainland Mexico.  His beloved sailboat will soon follow. If you ever wanted to know the difference between a boat, a yacht and a ship here is a quick analogy. Johns boat will be loaded onto a ship soon and make its way to Vancouver, Canada.  But, the ship cannot fit on Johns boat.  Now, if John employed paid crew on his sailboat then we can start to refer to Johns 41 Beneteau, as a yacht.

Last night cruisers at Costa Baja took John out to dinner at IL Rustico, an open air Italian Restaurant, in La Paz. The food was wonderful and the cruisers like John, extraordinaire. One couple is traveling on a brand new catamaran and another on a monohull.  One heavily accented New Zealander sits at one end of the table while our friend John, the Australian Canadian sits on the opposite end.  A Texan, two Coloradans.  And like the real sailors that they are; they also made John pay for his meal and drinks. Yes, sailors do appear to be cheap on the surface, but, most really are not.

John can safely be called the Mayor of Costa Baja, and unfortunately for us, after five wonderful years, he is finally leaving us for more condo life in Vancouver, Canada, and some more Inside Passage sailing.  His Japanese born wife Mitsy and ever faithful traveling companion is another explorer and adventurer with as colorful stories as her husband.

Like Marco Polo, John & Mitsy probably don’t see themselves as real life adventurers and explorers.  Perhaps we shall call them wayfarers.  People that enrich the lives of others they meet along the way by always organizing and including others in everything from Thanksgiving, Christmas or other cruiser get togethers and potlucks.  All the best!


This is not the end, my friend.
Just as the ocean sings songs to infinity
Our friendship too will flow onward
Until the day one of us
Turns and leaves
And the seasons will turn too
As our shells
As they return back to sand
And the tides that brought us
Will take us back

I will never leave you, my friend.
Every time you see a wave rushing to
Meet another,
Two friends unite.
Every time you see a wave crashing,
Two friends depart.
The journey will go on, my friend.
Our memories are recorded
In seashells
To show and tell
The lessons learned
In these heavens and hells
Part of this sea of life –
And when the tide is right,
We shall cross paths again
When the ocean sings our song.

– Poetry by Suzy Kassem”






About trawlercat

Retired and now moving on from the cruising life jeeps, adventure bike, gardening, and travel. Always in search of the next great adventure!
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