Ode to Eliade

Happy New Year!

It turns out the World, did not end, after all, back on December 21, 2012...

I had been fairly sure it wasn't gonna.
According to the Popol Vuh, the Ancient Mayans actually considered themselves, the greatest, most awesomest, people the cosmos had ever seen.
They had no concept of Apocalypse - a miserable, pinche gringo concoction...They thought of themselves as eternal.
Like all cool kids.

Most likely, they were making ends to calendars, just for the excuse to have an epic party and build a few more temples by the end of the epoch...

Even though I knew it was unlikely, I decided Impending Doom was an excellent opportunity to NOT think about what we would do next (for a few weeks) and enjoyed eating as much Nutella as a person can consume in a month.

So, when December 22 dawned bright and clear...
I was back to pondering what we would do and where we would go once the holidays were over.

Thankfully, the big ponder could wait for a few more weeks-we had another guest arriving on the same day my mother was flying out.
We were sorry to see her go but the list of things to get done before for our friend's arrival kept us busy until the final moment.

Once again, we washed and cleaned the boat and filled the water tanks.
We changed the sheets in the sleeping bags and took the towels to the washer-ladies,
I loaded the boat with bags of Masa for tortillas and Jon sharpened his spear.

JR would be bringing a large bag of goodies for us and our much needed water maker membrane and we were looking forward to resurrecting this helpful tool.
Ours is not the greatest water maker on earth;  it's old and small and doesn't make much-only a gallon an hour -but cruising without one is an exercise in constant vigilance.
We carry about 140 gallons. The four of us use about 10 a day-more with guests and more with washing up after grand holiday meals-so, after a couple weeks out, you do have to start to do the math.

While mom packed her bags and had last minute snuggles with the kids, Jon and I whirled like Dervishes and got everything tidy and ready and ship shape.

The winter weather pattern was holding and we were experiencing another round of strong Northers. We mapped out a course to head South on the winds and then work our way back up on the calmer mornings-the big loop would let us show JR some of our favorite spots, keep us protected from the worst of the weather-and get us back in a week so he could fly out again.

The fishing and the marine life would be up to Mother nature but we had our fingers crossed that we would get lucky.

JR literally stepped off of his plane as my mom was getting on hers. Hunter and I still cried and our hearts were tight with missing Nana but it was good to have JR here and he brought  instant smiles and laughs and more PRESENTS!

There was an unbelievably cool dive light for Jon and a Monster High Doll for Hunter and another cool light for Kai and box sets of shows I longed to see and more presents from Grandma Sara and more stuff for Pura vida...it was Xmas all over again.

After one last shop for the Best Ever wheat tortillas made at the roadside stand in Loreto, we loaded all our goodies onto the boat and settled in for the night.

The next morning we had a fair sail South on a bright and windy day. 
JR is a sailor from way back and he settled right in to our routine.
He also ate about thirty tortillas on the first day.
It's literally impossible to describe how good they are.

Later, after anchoring in the lee of a rocky islet, Jon and Kai went hunting for our dinner with Manta while Hunter and I took J for a snorkel.
As we worked our way along a small reef, I noticed a chink in the rock just barely wide enough to swim through.
Poking my head through, to see if we could make the tight passage, I noticed it narrowed into a long squeeze for five feet and then opened up into a twenty foot deep canyon on the other side.

It was a giant aquarium.
A  "fishbowl", literally filled with a huge school of juvenile sardines. 

Millions of them.
Milllions and millions and millions of tiny silver fish.

I signaled to JR and Hunter to swim through.

We spent the next hour, in gin-clear water, surrounded by a moving, silver bait ball.
Every direction you moved they swirled and moved, together and apart, around you, above and beneath you.
As they rushed this way and that, their moving bodies made a sound unlike anything I have ever heard.
It's the sound of shooting stars,
and the goddess dreaming.

Never in my life, have I seen anything like it.
Well, maybe, kind of, in an IMAX theater, but my daughter and best friend were the stars of this movie.

When you get one of these moments out here;
Where what's happening in front of you is one of those gobsmacking moments of surreal beauty,
and you look over and see the expression on the face of a person you love dearly...
And you are sharing this thing, this happening, that no one else on earth is having, in this way, at this very moment...
Well, it's hard not to feel like a Mayan.

And that you are part of this, 
The Myth of Eternal Return.

It's just f-ing great...

And then you pause to wonder what big thing might be lurking in that drop-off (right over there) and what these terrified Sardines are hiding from?

Later that night the wind came up from the West and made the anchorage untenable.
We woke the crew and weighed anchor and moved to a safer spot.
The moon was up, the wind blew cold and we rocked gently on the wraparound swell off a long empty stretch of beach.

We decided to move on to Agua Verde the next morning- out of the North winds and a good spot to teach JR how to scuba on the protected reef inside.

Manta had also told us of a cave in the hills that was reputed to have ancient cave paintings.

As we set down the hook for the third time in twelve hours, there were  dolphins in the anchorage -
Hunter offered to take JR for a ride in the dingy and show him how to "play" with them.
Jon and I had to chuckle as we watched our eight year old daughter expertly hook up the fuel hose and lower the outboard and prime the engine and start the finicky machine.
JR looked at us with a "OMG?" expression.
We shrugged. 
Boat kids are neat like that.

That night we climbed on the boom and laid under a blanket of stars and talked and laughed.
It was great to see our old friend.
We've all come a long way from previous incarnations in our lives and all of us have shared in the growing and changing of one another.
It was a gift to see our friend in such a happy, peaceful, prosperous place and we were thrilled to share our new special world with him.

JR learned to Scuba and re-discovered his long lost love of Pufferfish.
He spent most of every dive catching and cuddling the prickly little puff balls.

New Years eve we had another feast on Manta with freshly found Sea delicacies.
We danced to Old School Soul and watched a full crimson moon rise from the sea.

Manta went to bed and we dingied back across a sea of phosphorescence to Pura Vida and waited for 2013.
We whispered prophecies and wishes, sent prayers for friends and family not with us,
counted our blessings, told silly jokes,
meditated the coming year
and at 12:00 the kids banged on the pots and pans and woke up the only other two boats of non-partying, goat-fish eating, stern-looking Norwegians who shared the anchorage with us.
Then JR looked at his iPhone and realized our boat clock was wrong and we were 7 minutes ahead of midnight.
So, 7 minutes later, we woke them up again. 

New years day was blowing a light gale but the boats were well anchored out of the fetch so we set out on an adventure.
Manta had located some GPS coordinates on google earth and spotted what looked like the painted cave.

We hiked for hours through, desert trails, past old graveyards, through ranchers fields across someones yard,  through a swampy jungle, down a three mile beach and then climbed a mountain.

There was no cave at the given longitude but we found another one.

From the beach we looked up the cliffs towering over the sea and at the very tippity top you could see a low cave mouth.
"If I was ancient peoples, that'd be my spot." Kai said.
And so it was.

The cave, where in times unknown( it turns out archeologists have yet to identify the early peoples of the Baja, despite their evidences being everywhere. The Mexican gov't is only just beginning to take an interest in funding the scientists looking to explain it) must have held at least twenty or thirty people, was incredible.

From inside it, you could see forever.
The ocean, the lands surrounding, there would have been fresh water nearby-the jungle creek we hiked through- you could have seen the great whales and the schools of giant tuna moving in the channel...
Hunter found evidence of fire in the back of the cave...
and of course, there were the paintings.
Tiny handprints in red ochre on a limestone relief.

I watched Hunter and Kai clamber around the cave, 
imagining who might of lived here and what they might of done, where they went or what they became.
Just  like those Ancient Mayans...
A mystery...
surrounded by a bunch of gringo's making S@#% up.

Give me back my camera!

Amazing J

Agua Verde

Honeymoon cove

Who's hands?

inside the cave

Letting off steam

life of a boat kid: schlepp schlepp schlepp

J treats us to a hotel...and dinner and a massage for me!
and a hot tub for Hunter!

And Kai finally takes a REAL shower

Sorry to see you go our lovely friend!
But we looooove you!
PS. The kids say "GO TO BED!"


  1. ProtoprotoprotomayamanJanuary 9, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    Wut in hell yoo doin in mah CAAAAAAAVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! Go To BED!

  2. I am the luckiest man alive right now! Thank you guys for it all! Love you respect and admire and cherish you all!
    Now tell those kids GO TO BED annnnnnd (in your raspiest voice) Call me Mommy!!!