Sunday, June 12, 2011

Onward to Turtle Bay

This morning we awoke to terns calling and I got my first hit of real sadness. Sadness that this journey will be over soon and we will be leaving this life. Anchoring in stunning places and being part of the place is something we have absolutely loved. We haven't been able to do enough of it lately so this one is bittersweet. This is the first actual location we've returned to. It brings back so many memories, surf landings, crabs on the beach, sand dollar frisbees, lobster pasta with new cruiser friends at Xmas time, and delightful local fisherman. Like we've said before, we're ready for a change but there will be so many things we will miss.

The cruiser tribe that was here all left early this morning. This is one thing we won't miss. We haven't been around the cruising community much in a while and didn't think about how big of a deal the Baja Bash is to so many sailors. We have been sitting here with 10 other boats in the anchorage and the VHF chit-chat has been almost non-stop about the weather and when and how boats will leave. Even more annoying, our 18 channel on our VHF bleeds over to 16, so when boats switch to 18, which they have been doing constantly, we can hear their conversations too. At times, we smile and are cheaply entertained but at other times we've had to switch off the VHF entirely just to have some peace.

Don't get me's not that we are better then all these other cruisers. We are just different. We've almost never wanted to be part of these circles where everyone is always sharing plans and buddy boating along together. It's just not us, and takes away from the adventurous and independent side of the cruising life which has always been our way. When a certain boat here in the anchorage is calling for a "cruiser net" in the morning and evenings for all the boats here to check-in and share weather data, we opt out. A "cruiser VHF net" in Bahia Santa Maria? It's a bit much for us.

On a positive note, the VHF is an helpful and important tool. Just yesterday a boat was calling looking for a barometer for their clipper route (offshore) passage to Oregon and a boat in this anchorage swiftly responded with one. We have seen this thing happen again and again. The cruising community really is amazing most of the time. We all would do anything to help another one of us. Out here with people we may never have befriended in another world we would automatically go out of our way to help them if we could, and most other cruisers would do the same. It is a special thing to know you have a community that you can depend on.

We have spent the last two days cooking soups and baking cookies and banana breads, watching movies, catching up on TIME magazine articles, and going through old photos. Returning to Bahia Santa Maria and reflecting on where we came from and where we've been, we realize we've come a long long ways since when we arrived to this bay 4 1/2 years ago. We were pretty green back then. And even though we chose not to buddy boat or join a group of cruisers south to Mexico like the Baja HaHa, we hadn't done that many overnight passages together on DK and we were nervous. Now that's all changed. Even though the Baja Bash isn't fun nor easy with all the beating into the wind and seas, by no means is it that tough. Being smart with planning and patient with weather windows helps a ton. And then accepting the reality of motor-sailing for 2-3 cold nights in a row is part of the deal. Thankfully this is isn't the southern ocean with big storms and massive seas nor is it filled with
possible potential pirates. This is still Mexico and there are places to anchor, hide, and actually escape from the winds and seas if you need to.

We'll leave tonight about midnight and hope the boats ahead of us are fairing well and the VHF chatter isn't floating too far on the airwaves. The weather forecast looks good and we're hoping we can get to Turtle Bay in a couple of days, do a quick refuel, and continue on. All rested up and ready for Leg 2 to begin.

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