Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Yesterday was a layday ... it seems to work out better when we girls plan. We went to the zoo (very tired and dodgy, with pocked walkways and itty bitty cages. they house native rescue animals for the most part: we were taken by a three-legged bear, and a couple of raccoons who tumbled in a kiddie pool, while a porcupine watched enviously from another cage), did a little shopping and then embarked on a mother-daughter triathlon: Coco won in all three events – horseshoes, ping pong, and swimming.
Today resumed with an exciting zipline excursion. Coco – surprisingly – was quite nervous. Right off the bat the guys singled her out: calling her Pinky (for her pink zebra print shirt) and also point out that she, being so short, would be on tippy toes all day; as they clip you on and off the cables. I’ll admit even I (a three-time zipliner) had a racing heart and case of the willies, but all told it was exciting and a nice feather to have in your cap.
We threatened to go kayaking but were too lazy ... instead we hung at the hotel, swam, and I captured the ping pong title after a lengthy (really lengthy) game. Then we walked to Murray’s Saloon in the village. We couldn’t discern where to go, and Murray’s had good YELP reviews, so we strolled the dark and empty streets to the pub. It was really noisy and raw; we grabbed menus from the bartender and took a seat in the corner, and for a while, debated leaving ... but the bartender (Jenny) was friendly; the reviews had been good; and they had Delirium Tremens on tap. ‘Glad we stayed. Within about 20 minutes the vibe improved: Jenny stayed on top of the tables despite the busy bar; the karaoke singers began (some great, some truly tragic – like the guy flatly singing Donna Summer’s “LET’S DANCE” ... ) and the food – especially the $10 seared ahi with grilled veggies - was outrageously good. We chatted with some locals until finally, reluctantly, we left. Tomorrow is a busy day: checking out early and heading toRedlands where we’re going to shoot some clays, then go to Newport Beach and enjoy a duffy ride with friends. Maybe not your typical mother-daughter outing, but a good one for us.
Bedtime now, over & out!
Monday, August 19, 2013
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Here I am doing the shower dance again. Sort of a rain dance ... but instead of boundless precipitation from the sky, it’s begging for a shower: with steamy hot water and decent pressure; typically in the sterile, tiled confines of a marina or yacht club locker room which is either a) unheated in the frosty winter or b) dank and steamy in a tropical summer clime or even c) both of the above; done naked, jiggling alongside a vinyl shower curtain of questionable cleanliness; and right about the time you realize you forget shampoo. (But not to worry, I dug up some dish soap). Nothing is worse than standing naked in a locker room, staring at a spigot of cold water gurgling from the showerhead or needle-fine shards of water stingily misting out, when what you need is a really good, hot soaking.
Today’s gig was busy but a fun one: about five hours on the water, preceded and followed by several-many hours downloading, editing and FTP’ing pix; sending specific pix of specific teams to specific media; taking more pix of other competitors – in this case with JJ Fetter, the Olympic medalist who came to give a fun and sometimes irreverent talk on “Path to the Podium” (“telephone-pole sized masts” and “Finn sailors are only good for helping take a boat off the roof of your van”) plus all the other work I am supposed to be doing at this time.
My duties went on and on, until one of the guys at the club chased me out of the back office to my boat (mi casa for the week, a very nice Tartan 35 which is super-roomy as far as camping out on someone’s boat goes) with a bribe of two plastic cups of wine. I worked on deck as the sun painted Newport Harbor angelic colors, then dragged my work (and two cups of wine) below. It was then I decided a blistering potent shower was due, before it got too dark and I’d have to grope my way back onto the boat. And it was lovely. Steaming hot from the get-go, good water pressure, and yes I even found some sort of soap to use.
Now, after a long and head-banging-inducing teleconf and now I’m going to bed, and will climb into my sleeping bag in the forepeak of the boat, with the companionway and a few other hatches open which keeps it cool, but airy – still shy of allllll my work, stories, deadlines, press releases, photo edits. Oh but how glamorous it is!
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
I don’t know when the ocean seeped into my blood.
When the salt became my oxygen.
How the shrill of seagulls became my morning aubade; the slapping of halyards my soothing lullaby.
My spirit lifts at the rush of the surf. The spray fills me with desire.
Earth is a stranger. Land holds me no charms ... but a few points to navigate by, and then I go on.
I am a woman mis-cast. In the grip of a (sea) monster.
The siren has sung. Conventional life cast upon the rocks.
All else seemly is surrendered – sacrificed – for the whisper of the sea.
When did the sunset become my Cinemax? The nomadic moon, my beacon?
FLASHBACK Dec. 29, 2002
I went out back to dump the trash and heard the waves banging so furiously against the beach I had to go down and see. I put on a heavy jacket. The worst of the wind was blocked by the high berm built to keep the sea and houses from meeting, but when I climbed clumsily to the top of the rock-strewn sand dune. the wind whipped my ears. For a moment I was envious of the only other person I saw, standing a few yards away in a big hooded parka.
The ocean called.
Enormous swells barreled toward the beach, curling high and majestic, tauntingly. They crested prematurely in the shallows, filling the air with a briny vapor and spreading a frothy lawn at the foot of the berm.
The wind drove hard from the west, where the sea ended in a crisp, black swipe, and a jumble of lavender clouds teased of exotic places in the distance.
My ears hurt from the blustery cold. I could hear it accelerate with each gust, pitching up and up in a frenzy.
The ocean called.
Oh how I want to get back to sea -- but me? Broken*, broke.
I stumbled along the top of the berm to the lifeguard shack, and went home.
* this was just a year after I’d been Humpty-Dumptied and put back together, and had just learned how to walk again.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
|Sunrise over El Salvador|
We left Marina Chiapas uneventfully enough, and were greeted by big seas and a fresh breeze as we left the jetty. Sails set, we cruised blissfully south toward Guatemala in refreshing conditions ... But within a few hours the sun had set, the wind had died; we were threading our way through a minefield of long lines and pangas, some marked with strobes, some not :( ... ; not sure which lights belonged together... no sooner had we escaped that mire, than the fog rolled in. It was a tedious watch, the deck growing wet from the fog, me straining with binoculars in search of anything.
Just past midnight: Paul took the next watch, then Pamela, and I’m not back on til 6AM! Heavenly! That is, unless I get awakened to help set sails ... or for moral support, once the moon sets and the blackest curtain of night falls.
El Salvador provides a different experience. The sky was clear; the volcanos silhouetted against the dawn, spectacular. During the night we had a ghost ship (not on AIS, presumably military) that shadowed us just a mile abeam, with no lights on. DOH! Wind that built from 0 to 25 in minutes, then no sooner had we reefed; crapped out entirely. Wind from the east, west; south, north ... opposing swells, wind chop. Mountains ablaze, dusting our deck with ash.
|(Why can't I get this image oriented right?) |
"Which is more ominous? The stormy cloud cover lurking overhead,
or the bar we have to cross, to enter the port?"
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Against all conventional wisdom ... contrary to all the cruising guides, and all the advice one would glean from other cruisers and delivery skippers, who have traversed the Golfo Tehuantepec ‘with one foot on the beach’ so many times, they no doubtably have one leg longer than the other; we decide to “shoot the Peckers” as Paul calls it, and go straight across from Huatulco to Chiapas. Wind forecasts are exceedingly mild for the next week, and the only breeze – from the south – would theoretically make the isthmus of Tehuantepec a lee shore, he reasons, as we enjoy our ‘last supper’ in town at Las Locuras del Chef; with copious amounts of vino tinto following our shots of tequila, and some incredible ceviche chef Gustavo has fashioned for us: onion and pepper julienned as fine as angel hair, avocado and shrimp so delicately paper thin they are transparent; in a picante marinade that rivets your attention.
But perhaps that was the tequila talking ... This morning we awoke, a tad foggy, with a good deal of trepidation, and not just about our decision to dispense with wisdom and decorum and cut straight across. They have not made a passage in four months, Pamela reveals; and with the back and forth to Los Angeles for business and family holidays, have ventured out of the marina only for weekends trips to the bucolic anchorages to the west. A lot needs to be stowed and readied; water tanks topped off; so on; and we spend the morning refilling and refueling and making space in the refrigerator for all the meals we are preparing in advance.
As if to bolster our mood and bravado, Pamela cranks on the Black Eyed Peas and makes banana walnut (gluten-free) pancakes. Paul checks for various leaks (engine coolant, propane, etc.). I shoot pictures and write. We decide to leave this evening. Pamela is just this side of concerned, but we all concur she has veto power – which she refuses to exploit. We will know within a few hours of departure whether the forecasts are accurate, and will be prepared to head back if not. But by dawn we will be 60 miles into the gulf and committed to our route ... continuing (hopefully) with a nice westerly breeze, as forecast, which will let us sail and fish ;D) ... or crack off and run.
ETA in Chiapas / Puerto Madero: Tuesday afternoon 19 March.