Seven days can seem to flee swift as a northwind, soft as the flutter of a sail or as endless as the waves around me. My senses are filled with sights and smells and tactile newness in an environment that is as different for me, the desert dweller, as the air would be to the fish below me. The challenges are few, but of extreme importance:
- Stay on the deck, not in the sea.
- Know which way the wind is blowing when spitting *ahem* off the edge of the deck.
- Leave nothing to chance.
So far, so good. I have not fallen overboard. I have been consistent with my anti-seasickness patches, so no violent retchings or dizzy spells have plagued me. One thing I had not considered was just how much physical exertion it is to simply sit, lay or sleep on a boat at sea. The continual rocking, lifting and dropping upon the waves, minor course adjustments and shifts of wind necessitate the body to be in a continual state of vigilance and accommodation to changes in the center of gravity. The torso is constantly twisting, leaning left, right, forward or back, rocking and lurching. And then, suddenly, for long periods of time, the sea is gentle, the boat steady, all is at ease. Just as suddenly we are back to rolling and bobbing. Never leave it to chance that the cup of hot coffee you have just set upon the table will remain in its place. Keep a hand on it. Grab that halyard when moving about the deck, lest you find yourself flung sideways and over the rail! Always. It is all about remaining present in the Now. Good solid meditational practice.
Meals are varied. That is, they are either palatable off-the-shelf canned goods, beans, rice or pasta, peanut butter and jelly on crackers – or freshly caught tuna and equally fresh tropical fruits of papaya, mango, coconuts, avocado, jicama and watermelon. Anchorages near villages or port towns along the Mexican coast provide us with the opportunities of the occasional seaside restaurant meal. Usually the restaurant is just a shack with a few tables and chairs, the meals cooked to order by the person whose house is nearby. And believe me, these meals are some of the finest I have had!
Social life on board has been quite enjoyable, due in large measure to the good naturedness of Paul, Daniel and Jakob, the crew members of the sailboat Patience. They, being friends and co-creators of Treks and Tracks Adventures, seem to have worked out a mutually respectful interaction of responsibilities and the how-to of daily activities. Their mutual quest for good surf seems to bond them together in doing whatever it takes to get to and make happen the fulfillment of that goal. I have known and been ‘family’ with Jakob and Daniel for the last 13 years has allowed me to slide right in with the groove of the cruise. Mostly I just stay out of the way when they are pulling jib and mainsail ropes, ending a hand when asked. Oh, there has been the occasion when my own years of experience in life and know-how has allowed me to provide some insight or fix-it that they hadn’t considered – which they were quite willing and accepting of receiving.
Books and an occasional movie watched on the computer provide some entertainment distraction during the long stretches of just tooling along at sea. It is amazing, really, at how much doesn’t need to be done once the boat is pointed in the direction we need to go, the sails are full with a steady wind and the GPS navigator keeps us on track. Music, provided by our selections from mp3 players and CDs keep a pleasant background going quite a lot. Thankfully our musical tastes are pretty eclectic and agreeable.
Ok… so much for the general feel of this adventure. I will post more on the places and experiences as time permits.