Sunday, May 31, 2015

Memorial Day

Between rushing home to San Diego to be with our son in the hospital with a broken neck and then racing to Oregon to be with John's Dad, we found some time to visit Luscomb's Point, a surf break on Sunset Cliffs where 5 years ago we scattered our son's ashes.  If you're ever near here, walk out to the end of the cliff and toss a penny in the water.

John's Dad's passing wasn't unexpected but such events never happen without some profound impact on those around, not the least of whom being Dad's beautiful companion Frieda, who seems to wonder what's going on and, more importantly, who among the three brothers the new Alpha Dog is going to be.  

When John's brothers left Oregon, John and Frieda stayed behind in Dad's big riverfront home, attending to the mountain of affairs associated with his estate.  Frieda was never far, usually preferring the risk of getting stepped on to being left alone.  After three weeks John's watch in Oregon came to an end and his brother Steve took over.  For the day overlap when both brothers were in the house, it became obvious who Frieda's new Alpha Dog would be:  Steve!

Just two days later, it was quite a change to find ourselves thousands of miles away from all the recent events and anchored here in Ensenada del Candelero on Esla Espiritu Santo, about 20 miles north of La Paz.  John calls it Candlestick Park.

The place gets it's name from this rock in the middle of the bay, which reminded it's discoverer of a candle.

We didn't mind the overcast day which provided some relief from the heat we remembered from last year.

But later, as the sun neared the horizon, Baja's magic came to life

The colors seem to change by the minute and the rocks appear to radiate light.  

That old candle changed from this...

... to this in a matter of minutes.

We had to remind ourselves to look away from the sun to enjoy the magic all around us...

...everywhere we looked the colorful views were breathtaking.

Someone? Please cue the pelican for the sunset picture!!

The sunsets were like this each night we were here.

We needed to start our journey north along the outside of Baja's long peninsula for our summer aboard Moonshadow in San Diego, but convinced ourselves we deserved just a couple days in the small cove and fishing village of San Evaristo, where the sunset colors work their own magic on the rolling hills and rugged Sierra de la Gigantic along the spine of the Baja peninsula.

We found a lovely spot in a cove just the right size for Moonshadow. 

Then we headed ashore for lunch and some cervezas at Lupe's restaurant.  Here, you'll find Charlotte and Steve Baker, who sailed their Catalina 27 "Willful Simplicity" to Mexico back in 2009; fell in love with San Evaristo and settled here where they help with Lupe's restaurant as well as helping the little community here.

While our lunch was being prepared, Charlotte gave us a box of paints, brushes and a shell so we could create moonshadow's part in the memory tree out front.

Later our dear friends from San Diego Yacht Club, Lynne and Rob Britton arrived aboard their ketch Aldebaran.  Sadly, Rob never left San Evaristo.  We learned by email from Lynne while on our Baja Bash north to San Diego that Rob passed away aboard his lovely ketch in this beautiful bay just two days after we'd had dinner together at Lupe's.

On Memorial Day.  

Rob Britton kept his boat Aldebaran on H dock at San Diego Yacht Club, just down from our boat Legacy.  He and his wife Lynne, and their dog Ruby began cruising Mexico several years ago and we've run into them in several anchorages since we arrived here last year.  Rob was a big man.  If you looked straight ahead, all you saw was neck.  So you had to look up to Rob, but not just because of his stature.  He was a smart guy, having worked on aspects of the Apollo mission among many other things.  He was funny and a great story teller.  You could always tell it was time to sit back and listen when Rob would say "Well:..." then take in a great deep breath.  Rob and John had lots of things to talk about; flying airplanes, racing midget ocean racers, cruising offshore, troubleshooting and fixing boat parts.  Now, there's a big hole in our lives where Rob used to be.  

 We are once again reminded we must live every day to it's fullest. 
 Like it's our last.  That's what Rob did.

Our trip around the East Cape and under the south end of the Baja Peninsula was easy, followed by a day of running around Cabo San Lucas getting our clearance out of Mexico.  Yes, RUNNING.  This year, the port captain insisted on seeing a paid receipt from the marina so he could rest assured we we not going to skip out on the tab.  Hey, do we look like those kind of people?  Anyway, we learned of this new requirement 15 minutes before the government office closed at 2:00 PM.  Needless to say, we RAN, and made it to the marina and back in time to finish our paperwork so we could leave the next day.

Besides the usual crash-bang that goes along with any 750 mile passage directly upwind, our Bash was uneventful.  We'd prefer not to have an eventful Baja Bash, so we're quite happy with that.  At just a tad over 100 hours underway, we never had wind more than 10 degrees from straight ahead, but we were happy.  Happy it was over!

We did however have some visitors.

For some reason, Moonshadow seems to attract birds.  Then we look at them and they give us back this look that says "Whada YOU looking at?"

But this dove paid it forward, taking a turn standing watch, steering Moonshadow, and keeping a beady eye on things.  Being the bird of peace, we were happy to have him along, and hope his visit signals the onset of more peaceful times ahead.

For a review of other freeloaders, check out our Stowaways page.