Friday, 13 July 2012

the tree that collected boats


On our way
There is a special tree in Caleta San Juanico. Early one morning, we went in search of it. From La Ramada, we walked on a dusty road, and then followed a rocky trail to the next bay. This tree is special because it is a shrine, a cruiser's shrine.

Mexican Shrine
In the nautical world, shrines are a commonplace tradition. We have come across a number of shrines, built by Mexican fishermen in honour of the Virgin Mary. Recently, we saw one on Isla Coronados. Worn pictures of Mary, candles in glass jars, shells, and a rusty can were housed in a makeshift shelter of plastic and tar paper.

There are cruiser shrines all over the world: in the Carribean, the South Pacific, and there’s even one on Wallace Island, in Canada. Cruiser shrines are erected to celebrate milestones. We made it this far, let's celebrate that.

The tree
Is this from your boat?
Many visiting sailors have gone to the tree in San Juanico and left a memento behind. We walked around the tree, taking in the passage of time and looking at the mementos left by those who preceded us. We recognized some names, laughed at the funny tokens and enjoyed the creativity of our fellow sailors.

For our contribution, we decided to go au naturel. Rick had the forethought of bringing carving tools. He found us a flat piece of sandstone. We took turns carving our bit for posterity, and placed it near the tree.

Now it’s official. The tree will remember us.

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