Thursday, March 4, 2010


20 February 2010
16 hour crossing from Bahia San Carlos, Sonora to Caleta San Juanico, Baja California Sur

There aren't really any pictures for this story--and if there were, you wouldn't want to see them.
I have a confession to make: even after all these years, I still get seasick.  To hear others tell about it, I'm blessed (cursed) with only the mildest version of the affliction, a vague and generalized nausea resulting in an inability to eat--probably caused more by anxiety and excessive gripping of stomach muscles as we leap from wave to wave than true motion sickness.  Small doses of Gravol help, and time cures the problem--not so apparently with more violent forms of sea sickeness. 

It's frustrating.  There's the boat, doing what she's meant to do, and Marike grinning and whooping and riding the waves like a cowboy.  I have utter confidence in both of them; both handle the seas far better than I can or ever will.  Indeed, they are in their element there, sails taut, wind singing through the rigging, boat plunging through the waves.  I'M the problem, and I know it.  Setting off into large seas, I'm like an ungainly dancer, a figure who knows no rhythm and clumps about in poor shoes, awkward, dropping on the downbeat, missing the upbeat, swinging forever the wrong way.  And I know if I can just relax, just settle into or find the rhythm of the boat's motion, I'll be fine.  But somehow, for a time, no matter what I do, I can't.  I'm like a polka dancer at a samba party, stomping when I should be flying.  

Sometimes sleep helps--to lie down, let go--holding myself up in all that plunging is hard work--always one hand for the task, one for myself.  Then, as I dream, the music of the boat slips into my bones.  I breathe--though sometimes this takes hours--deeply.  There.  Finally, the dance; the pleasure of the blue blue sea and the force of the wind and this rollicking motion hour after hour and into the night, whirl of stars above and dolphins leaping alongside us.


What We're Here For

17 February 2010
San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico

Wind blows the dust out of the hills, off of the roadways, from dusty parking lots.  I eat a fish taco and drink a limonada and wait for Marike to come back to land.  She's on the boat with Salvador, the electrician, doing repairs.  I've been online all day trying to figure out how to get the computer to stop thinking the gps feed is another mouse or pointing system.  No luck.  Next to me a couple speaks urgently, quietly, into a telephone.  There has been an acidente grave.  They seem to be everywhere these accidents.  We've had word from home that our doctor's daughter was thrown from a car and hangs between life and death; her pelvis shattered, she's in an induced coma in the hospital. 

Inside the bar, Cesaria Evoria sings and men drink alone, so I've come out to sit in the sun and watch the street--and the dust--blow by.  The couple next to me goes on speaking softly, anxiously, in Spanish, reviewing the details--four young people in the car; one girl--the woman's neice, and three young men. Suddenly the man breaks out into English, his accent pure LA--SH I I I T!  How'd that happen?  Nothin'
 moves fast here, not even a burnin' bar.  What you got to be in a hurry for?

So I eat slowly and watch the palms bend in the wind.