Thursday, November 25, 2010

Warm and Wonderful Welcome in Mazatlan

We left La Paz after 3 wonderful months of making it our home.  This is one part of the cruising life that is difficult – becoming attached to places and people and then having to leave.  What also makes it difficult is that we don’t know when we’ll be back.  And if you ask the kids, they were quite angry that we had to leave when we did as the 2010 Baja Haha ‘kid’ boats started arriving only a couple of days before we left.  We hope to meet up with them again somewhere down the line, but that ‘somewhere down the line’ doesn’t compensate for not having had many other kid boats around since June.

After a great 35.5 hour and 240 mile crossing of the Sea of Cortez, much of which was full-on sailing without our motors on (!), we arrived in Mazatlan safe and sound, although a bit weary-eyed.  Passages are one of my favorite parts of sailing.  I love the tranquility and peacefulness of the night sea, particularly on a full moon.  I get into my book, drink loads of hot tea, and get busy with log entries and chart plotting.  Michael and I do our night watches between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. on three hour cycles, but I was feeling so good last night that I took watch from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. so that he could get a good straight five hour sleep.  Unfortunately I missed the sunrise, but still awoke this morning to nothing but sea and sun.  We caught a glimpse of land soon after.

About 3 miles off the marina entrance, we were hailed over the VHF by another boat that did the crossing at the same time as we did to see how we were faring.  This got picked up by our friend Darlene of s/v Scrimshaw (and who also lives on land here in Mazatlan).  We were thrilled to hear her voice as we thought she and her husband would be in Puerto Vallarta this week. Darlene was our connection to anything we needed during our last stay in Mazatlan as she has made it her business to get to know local services and people.  It comes to her quite easily as she is a charming and beautiful woman. Plus, she will be teaching her yoga class tomorrow morning at 8:30.  What a great way to start our visit!

An even greater surprise came as we finished our chat with Darlene when we heard, “Whatcha Gonna Do, Whatcha Gonna Do, Whatcha Gonna Do.  Gypsy Wind.”  You may recall from a blog post last fall (Some Unlikely Friends) that we became close friends with the crew of Gypsy Wind (Captain and First Mate Harvey and Kim, and their kids Nikita (17), Kiya (15) and Noah (8)) early into our adventure last year, and buddy boated with them for several months.  Their plan was to cruise for nine months, so they returned to their home in British Columbia last May. They kept their boat in Mazatlan, but did not know when they were returning.  At the last minute, they decided to come down for a visit, and weren’t expecting to see us either.  We have not had any better welcome as theirs: After making our way through the treacherous entrance into the Mazatlan marina with wobbly knees from riding the surf and staying away from the rocks, the crew of Gypsy Wind were jumping up and down on the bow of their beautiful boat shouting with excitement as we rode past them heading into the marina.  We had dinner with them tonight, caught up on life, and the kids were so happy to be reunited with old friends.   We talked about how intimately one gets to know another while out cruising.  Kim pointed out that the act of going grocery shopping together is an intimate activity – back home, I don’t think I’ve ever done this with my friends.  The simple knowledge of a friend’s grocery buying habits, how quickly they get through the store, etc. may seem trivial, but indeed it is intimate. Our friendship with the Gypsy Wind crew is life-long. 

It had me thinking:  We go through life in our own little cocoon (in our case, it’s our family unit on a small boat) and then we connect with people who become precious to us.  Somehow, we matter to people out there, and they to us.  And that excites us.

We are heading to sleep a very happy bunch.

-Safe in Mazatlan,

1 comment:

  1. There are a lot more of us out here in the "real world" that you matter to as well. But I understand how you feel having been out at sea with you guys. The experiences that you are having as well as the incredible bonding with each other will last forever. You are all living life to its fullest! Enjoy...