Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's all about friends (David)

Cruising in Mexico is all about the people you meet. Sure, the beaches are beautiful, the anchorages benign and the climate is great, but the big contrast compared to the Pacific Northwest is the degree to which one socializes. In the Pacific Northwest, most people are on a one or two week vacation. Even the long term cruisers are all going in different directions. In Mexico it is different: pretty much everyone is moving either up or down the coast and you see the same boats in anchorage after anchorage. Close friendships develop and that is one of the joys of cruising in this part of the world.

Sarah & Darrell (and Sparky of course)
For example, on our very first day in La Paz, we met Sarah, Darrell and Sparky on El Tiburon, (El Tiburon) and enjoyed their company at just about every anchorage throughout the season. Farther down the coast we met the folks on Tapatai, Sarah Jean II, Musik, Rutea, Anna and Miss Teak, to name just a few of our cruising buddies. To further illustrate the point, I'm still in contact with families I met in the South Pacific in 1974 and two prior cruising seasons in Mexico (1990/91 and 1999/00).  Don't get me wrong: we loved our ten years in the Pacific Northwest. With 1000 miles of islands and anchorages between Seattle and Glacier Bay, it's a great place to go boating -- it's just a different cruising experience.

Mexican Train Dominoes
This year, the game of choice is Mexican Train Dominoes. Then there's bocce ball on the beach, dinghy pot-luck raft-ups, tacos & cervezas at beach palapas, excursions to the local markets, shell collecting (quite a competitive sport, as I have learned), dinners in town and of course the camaraderie of shared passages and 'boat talk.'

Happy Hour, La Cruz Yacht Club
In March and April, we said bon voyage to Sarah Jean II, Rutea and others as they departed for the Marquesas. Earlier we wished Silas Crosby safe travels as they left for the Galapagos, Easter Island and Chile. More recently, our group split between those returning home via the 'Baja Bash' and others, like us, who are leaving their boats in Mexico for the summer.

Unlike earlier years, these are not really goodbyes because we can stay in touch via e-mail. For example, everyday we read of Sarah Jean II's progress across the Pacific and their adventures in the Marquesas, Tuamotus and beyond via their beautifully-written blog postings (Sarah Jean II). We also always enjoy Meredith Lewis' writings aboard Silas Crosby.

Dinghy Pot Luck Raft-Up
Drinks aboard Mystic

Loreto Fest