Friday, 16 November 2012

home sweet boat

Enjoying a warm afternoon on the beach
The Sea of Cortez feels different. Or maybe it is I that has changed. When I think about it, we both have. Now that it is mid-November, the air is obviously cooler and the northers have begun nosing their way into the Sea. As I am writing this, the skies are overcast and the wind is blowing hard. (Mind you, there are still mostly warm and sunny days.)

I am sitting at the table, holding my favourite mug, steaming with warm goodness. When the weather is cool, I drink what my mother calls “kinder tea” – children’s tea: black tea with milk and sugar. On the stereo Mumford and Sons’ new album is playing – Rick is off fishing, so I have it turned way up. I like to fill the cabin with their music. This moment reminds me of winter days in Victoria, when our cozy cabin was a haven from the cold and grey. That was home, and so is this.

What I’m realizing is strangely how at home I feel wherever I am now. The idea of home has become more about a state of mind than an actual place. While the boat gives me a sense of familiarity and comfort, I welcome whatever sights I see out of my portholes as I wash the dishes in the galley. It doesn’t matter where I am. When I’m aboard Nyon, I am home. Before Nyon, I had never spent more than 4 years in one residence. It’s been 5 years since we have moved aboard. It took an itinerant dwelling for me to stay put.

November in the Sea also feels different because there are far more boats around. Winter is the busy season here. When we first arrived in San Juanico there were quite a few boats there. They left. Another influx came by, and they quickly went away too. We are now at our third influx of boats. We don’t know most of them. The intimacy of summer (even if it’s just recognizing a boat name,) has gone away with the accompanying intense heat. It is taking me some time getting used to the crowds, or as John puts it, to: “Being back on the highway.”

Taking the dinghy for a walk - rowing along
the beach, we came across a sand bar.
No problem
Yet, San Juanico is worth every minute we have spent here. The waters are very clear, and in spite of the stinging jelly fishes, we couldn’t be kept out of the cooling waters. We’ve eaten well, and we’ve played well. We did hunker down for a day or so, when those northerlies came whipping by. It wasn’t much of a bother, except for when we decided to hike in the nearby hills. That day, the forecast called for diminishing winds in the afternoon, but when it was time to return to the boat, the winds had built to 25 knots. Rick was exhausted from rowing back and forth all the way to the boat, as we were unable to make headway rowing straight into the wind. It’s only in these rare moments that we think an outboard wouldn’t be so bad after all…

Yes, he's wearing long-sleeves
Gab fest and fire poking

The changing seasons in the Sea, have brought about a new obsession: Bonfires. The evenings are cool enough to light a fire, and sit around its proffered heat as the sky fills with stars. Interabang started it. They reminded us of the joys of beach fires by organizing more than one while in San Juanico. The only lament is that Mexican marshmallows are just weird and I miss roasting marshmallows. There, I said it.

Troublemakers, all of 'em
(L to R: Rick, Derrick, Trisha, John)

Card games and gab sessions have been the rigueur with the Interabang and Time Piece crews. Life has been pleasantly full and relaxed at the same time… We are in no rush to leave.

Cake - Just because
(Trisha - SV Interabang, John - SV Time Piece)

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