Finally, some internet service. Before I start the catch up process of the past two weeks, let me share a story of the littlest boat on our rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas.
Tom, (75) Captain and owner of the littlest boat (BlueBird a 19′ pocket cruiser) and his 24-year-old crew mate Wynn.
Wynn has never sailed before, and although not obvious to some, most boat Captains would never consider taking aboard such a novice crew member, no matter how good-looking.
Tom told me he posted an ad that he was looking for crew, some people responded but, when they found out how small S/V BlueBird was they quickly changed their mind. Wynn on the other hand wanted to see if she liked sailing or failed to fully comprehend boat size.
Wynn responded to Toms ad just prior to the start of the sailboat rally known as the Baja Ha Ha; each knowing the others limitations (tiny boat) (novice) (+ can cook great Vietnamese food).
While sitting on the deck of our trawler the M/V Western Flyer one fine beautiful Turtle Bay morning, I suddenly spot a tiny boat at anchorage.
I quickly fired up my dingy (The Flyer) and headed over to the tiny boat. The first person I see on the deck is Wynn looking like (mal de mar warmed over).
I say, you look like you had a rough night; she says I thought I was going to die!!
I’ve never been so scared in my entire life. In no time I invite both over and transfer them from the tiny boat to my dinghy which now looks huge in comparison. Before I could secure the Flyer to the mothership Patti has already served them coffee and is now making a generous portion of homemade pancakes.
Fast forward ourselves to another beautiful sail from Turtle Bay to our second wonderful anchorage at Magdalena Bay and the same thing occurs.
I scan the horizon of boats and quickly spot S/V BlueBird. This time I find out from Tom that while making anchorage the night before his alternator craps out and he now has no running lights or any power for radio or otherwise.
A quick word to the Baja fleet on our VHF radio and the second person to respond (S/V Pipe Dream) offers up a Honda 2000 generator. I transport the generator over to Toms boat but now we are looking for the cables to make the DC connection.
S/V Beach Access, a Lagoon 40 catamaran responds; I race over, I pick up the cables and in no time flat Tom is charging up his batteries. Patti is now teaching Wynn how to stand up on a paddle board she is paddling around the 150 or so fleet of boats safely anchored.
– If you live a life of make-believe, your life isn’t worth anything until you do something that does challenge your reality. And to me, sailing the open ocean is a real challenge, because it’s life or death.