In the last couple of weeks, Seamore Pacific has been hither, dither, and froe. It is the best way I can describe our travels, concessions, and tiny, but oh so important moments where I feel it in my soul and can finally utter the words, “Gee, this is pretty amazing.” Unfortunately for Captain Chameleon, he first had to hear, “What in the tarnation are we doing out here?” The Sea of Cortez is an impressive teacher and she is teaching me that I’m not actually in charge of how things roll- literally. Anchored off a beach, watching seabirds fly to roost as the sun melts behind towering geologic wonders can quite possibly be replaced with gnarly winds that gust and howl, bringing tall dark waves from distances and depths that my eyes cannot see.. Unyielding, the ocean goes about her business unaltered, despite my bargaining, “If you will please calm down, I’ll like you a whole lot more.”
It takes me back to kindergarten. Finally a “big girl” I was given the next step of walking myself home. Straight out the double doors of Oak Grove Elementary, my instructions were to take the first right, then the second left, and my house would be at the end of block and on my right. Easy-peasy.
Easy-peasy except that 2 hours prior, big crocodile tears were streaming down my face, and sniffles were cutting into each breath, as I explained to Miss Patterson that I was ready to go home, “now.” The kindergarten scene, mixing with strangers, the different smells…it wasn’t what I was expecting and I was put off and a bit scared. Scared of what, who knows but thank goodness that Misses Patterson looked into my eyes with her clumps of green shadow and thick black mascara to listen through my sobs. Her head gently nodding she welcomed my honesty….but knew just when and how to redirect. I was in her class to learn how to figure myself out of tight and uncomfortable spots. Quitting and going home wasn’t an option. I was directed back to my place in the circle and life that day went on without even a notice of my hesitation. But to this day, I still remember Misses Patterson’s eye makeup and what it felt like when fear of the unfamiliar received the short end of Life’s measuring stick.
Thank you Miss Patterson for not letting me back out of that day and go home. One small learning opportunity became another learning moment, and then it turned into another, and lots of others, and before I knew it, our kindergarten class was sitting on the front row watching the all school Yo-Yo Assembly. Wow, was that something to behold!
I can’t exactly pin it down as to why I have thought a lot about Ms. Patterson’s response to my intrepidations but I believe it is because I feel so much like a novice-newbie-kindergartener when it comes to understanding the ocean and how she works. In the last two weeks of hither, tither, and fro I’ve been put in my place to take a seat in the circle and learn.
Excerpts from Ship’s Log:
- Left Santa Rosalia Marina 16 days ago. Seas choppy and on the beam, knocking stuff out of the shelves. Changed course to go behind Isla Santa Domingo and found smooth waters. Heading into Punta Chivato rolling but only lasted 2 hours. Dropped anchor. Shared the bay with two other boats. Met Cayenne from Austria. The following day went ashore with Cayenne and Kashmira, and accepted a ride from residents in the area to a community event. Fun! Spent 2 nights in the bay (the swells rolled us all night the first night but next night we slept like babes.)
- Santa Rosalia to Santispac to find an anchorage for a northerly blow that was coming on Thursday. Found a great spot off the beach. We arrived to find a couple of boats. Next day there was 20….all seeking protection. The winds gusted up to 30 knots but it wasn’t bad at all, just amazing to see the water go from bathtub calm to chalky green.
- Santispac to Punta Pulpito. Calm beautiful seas but on the nose so motored the whole way. It’s still very strange to go to bed at night and be attached to a chain that keeps us off a reef….so far from Boat Us Towing, the Coast Guard, etc. We are truly on our own out here.
- Punta Pulpito to San Jaunico. Beautiful! Beautiful! We stayed 5 days here. Most mornings a calm, afternoon with winds from the west in the teens, and the night was 20 knots from the north. Not very good sleep to be had, but it was a time to reflect on Ms. Patterson and kindergarten. Enjoyed a potluck on the beach with other cruisers, appropriately names Shipwreck Potluck. Confirmed I wasn’t crazy by talking to a retired professor who remarked on how the sea has him feeing like a student and so “green behind the ears.”
- San Jaunico to Puerto Escondido. So lovely and so nice to be in an anchorage with a lot of other cruisers and beautiful boats, hooked to a mooring. Awwww……wonderful sleep! Plus, there is a road and I’m running each day. It’s not a town but we can have a rental car delivered. We plan to take a road trip along Mexico 1 and into Loreto…hither, dither, and fro.
Take care and cheers to all the teachers in this world,