Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Who are the Rocinantes?

Vicki and Larry Byers of s/v Rocinante* are two of the nicest people we have ever met.  And fun. And adventurous.  And competent.  And smart.
You first started hearing us talk about them back in May when we ended up traveling with them during our Copper Canyon trip, almost by fluke.  We’ve been with them ever since – very purposefully. 

Vicki is a labor and delivery nurse and doulah by profession.  It’s perfectly suited to her, as she has an element of calm and confidence, together with incredible kindness (Michael will attest to the several batches of oatmeal raisin cookies she’s baked because she’s known it’s his favorite!).  She is also incredibly and naturally beautiful.  She fishes (has her own fishing pole!), cooks gourmet meals with fewer pots than I have, rolls her own sushi, is an accomplished sailor, and, although a contemporary of ours, – hold onto your hats – is a grandmother!!  She has great stories about her family life.  She is amazing with animals of all shapes and sizes (from the little 2 week old kitties in El Fuerte at the hotel to the horses eating apples from her hands), and it’s an adventure just walking down the street with her as she seems to find all kinds of strays wherever she goes.  She’s teaching herself how to play recorder and flute.  She has a beautiful voice. She swims in cold waters (for which I am thankful – she’ll get in with my kids when I won’t). She’s a great yoga enthusiast and has taught me a thing or two.  And she is a little bit of a rabble rouser – putting her and Michael together with some expired flares, for example, is frightening.  She told us the story of when her teenage daughter decided to shave her head out of protest for the importance put on female beauty, Vicki decided to shave her head too.  Of course she did.  That’s just what Vicki does.  She really doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything.

Larry is no slouch himself.  He worked for a dialysis company for many years – an instant connection from the outset given that my dad was on dialysis for 15 years before he died.  He is also an accomplished sailor, knows his boat technically (I have no clue what he and Michael are saying when they talk engines), is incredibly dedicated to Vicki, loves fishing, loves kids, loves fishing with kids…  Need I say more?  But yes, there’s more.  He’s an accomplished musician (guitar and harmonica), and in fact played professionally for several years.  As he goes through different towns, he’s also played the ‘gringo’ bars to many fans.  We’ve had many wonderful jam sessions with him and Vicki.  He is kind and gentle – perhaps what attracts Harrison, who calls Larry one of his best friends. 

Vicki and Larry hail from Seattle, WA, where their blended family of 5 kids and their families now live.  We have been impressed that, together, they learned Spanish in preparation for this trip, and have helped us with it along the way.  They are wonderful with our kids, who love them dearly.  They are both adventurous and game to try almost anything.  They love exploring, swimming, hiking, and life in general. And they have great senses of humor.  Positive vibes all the way around.

As we mentioned in a previous post, Larry and Vicki have headed north into the Sea of Cortez, in order to leave their boat in what is hopefully the outside of the hurricane zone while they return home to Seattle for about a month or so.  They’ll be back around the same time we will be, in mid-September.  We are hoping to continue our travels with them at that point. We’ll miss them in the meantime, and look forward to sharing our adventures together when we reunite in the fall.

-Barbara in La Paz, Baja California Sur

*Who or what is 'Rocinante' (pronounced Rosen-UN-tay), you ask? According to Vicki and Larry, Rocinante was Don Quixote's horse.  'Rocin' means 'old steed', and 'ante' means 'formerly', as in, "The horse formerly known as an old steed" (makes you think that Rocinante would have been a better choice for The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, no?). Supposedly, Don Quixote found the old steed and nurtured it into a reliable horse.  So too with their boat - it's been beautifully and lovingly brought to life by Larry and Vicki.  They do all their own wood staining - and there's loads of beautiful wood.  It's a gorgeous boat.

1 comment:

  1. They sound like amazing people as I am sure they say the same about you guys!
    I hope to get to meet them one day...