About Seamore Nautical Spirits

For me, being near the ocean is where i want to be. Growing up in the Midwest, I had to make a concerted effort to carve out a life by the Sea. Which includes paying attention to how others before me have done it. I seek inspiration and celebrate it thru my blog. "Home" is more than an object. But, for practical purposes... currently my home is on a boat.

Abuela’s Instruction

 

Kayaking to Martini Cove

Kayaking to Martini Cove

Just over two weeks ago I climbed back aboard Seamore Pacific. And nothing happened. It still hasn’t. Not a trace of adventure in any shape, color, or size. I even shouted out to the ocean that I had arrived and was ready to take on whatever was out there. “Come on, time is wasting. I have a self appointed timeline to meet. Send me a doozy adventure and I’ll write about it,” was beamed out to the universe, stark as a search light on a dark and starless night. What I got in reply…a sky full of diamonds, cold nights in the boat yard, and a memory of my grandmother having my brothers and I wash away the day from our grubby little feet, before crawling into her bed of crisp polyester- blend sheets.

Seamore Pacific, like hundreds of other boats in San Carlos, is dry docked during off-season.   Captain Chameleon and I take our chances that she will fare better in a hurricane, perched on blocks in a field, than tethered to an unmanned and moving dock. But, this arrangement is a haul in labor and patience. It takes a few days in the boatyard to get her ready for dry storage and another few days once we return, to get her back in shape for the marina. One might think the boatyard is a lonely place, but just the opposite. It’s a social hub. A social hub of optimists, realists, and dreamers; grinding, sanding, and pounding until the sun drops over the Tetekawi Mountain, leaving another day’s boatyard dust and grime for the reckoning.  Personally, I’d rather sand and varnish the Titanic if it saved me from the frigid waters of a boatyard shower. “Living the dream,” I sarcastically thought one night as I climbed down the cold metal ladder from Seamore Pacific, zipped my windbreaker tighter, and headed for the ladies shower.   But then my dread was replaced with profound aww. The stars were magnificent! I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen them shining so brilliantly. I was actually a tiny bit thankful that I had been forced to leave the comfort of our boat, even if it was for a cold, stark shower.   Mindful of how the moment was short on convenience and void of comfort, I thought of my grandmother and generations before her, leaving the comfort and warmth of their beds for a dark and drafty outhouse, or enduring uncomfortably tepid baths with water that required the labor of pulling it from the well by a bucket. In my grandmother’s case, her ongoing worry was the well running dry or at least that is what she would say at the end of the day where we had played long and hard on the farm. Handing each of us a clean washcloth, she gave stark instructions to wash the dirt first from our faces and then our feet. No dirt was to be tracked into her bed. Clamoring for who would get to sleep closest to grandma, three little kids would pile into bed next to her; proud of ourselves for the good job we did of washing our feet as instructed, and more importantly, relieved the well hadn’t yet run dry.

How clever. The universe had ignored my request for adventure and instead beamed back a memory from my childhood. In Mexico, a place my grandmother would have never, ever ventured, was speaking to me and giving me a darn good alternative.   If a wash cloth spiffing up was good enough for Granny, it was good enough for me. No need to dread a cold shower on a windy night.   Using a wash cloth and sparing water, like my grandmother had instructed, I meticulously washed away boatyard grime so as not to get Seamore Pacific’s fresh jersey knit sheets grimy and then made a plan to run the next day at noon….when it would be hot, hot, hot.   A cold shower feels darn good after a hot, sweaty run.

As it turned out, we were in the boatyard for 10 days waiting for a high tide that could accommodate Seamore Pacific’s keel and 6 foot draft. Staying first in a quaint departmente’ (hotel), then on the boat while she was on the hard, I became acutely aware of the conveniences of running water, warm showers, cozy beds, and new found mental space to enjoy forgotten memories. It is ironic how sometimes memories come full circle and connect us to the present. A few days ago, Captain Chameleon and I met a very old man, while we were picking up rubbish and plastic from a field bordering the beach and this gentleman’s acreage. Happy to have the assistance of picking up trash, he invited us to wash our hands at his home. Setting up a small pale of water, and a fresh bar of soap, he sweetly ladled clean water, much like a faucet, so we could wash the dirt and sand off our hands.

We are now in Marina San Carlos and as I patiently await a doozy adventure to come my way, I am truly enjoying this special time aboard Seamore Pacific. She not only takes good care of us, but she gives me the opportunity to cherish formative memories.

Friendly wash-up

Friendly wash-up

DSC07619 DSC07620 DSC07588

Homemade Pizza dough

Homemade Pizza dough

DSC07571

Peace

DSC07582

Ruby on her daily walk to S – Dock

DSC07506

Security. This dog has been at the boatyard for over a dozen years.

DSC07621DSC07647DSC07606DSC07526DSC07534DSC07551DSC07508DSC07500DSC07494DSC07493DSC07465DSC07469DSC07470

 

Advertisements

In Tension

Charley in Flight

It’s here, that I am.

Over my shoulder is the safe path I strode for six months to collect sand dollars. And just to the other side of that is a point of view that pulls me back. It’s a boat. Compelling, awakening, and mysterious, the lure of the sea captivates me, but it’s living on a boat that whispers to my soul. So, it’s here that I am. “Here” is a point of view where intention, versus planning, is how I will connect to the Sea of Cortez this year.

This will be our third season in the Sea. It’s already shaking up to be unlike the other two times. It’s nothing major, just life in general, plus a heap of details and exceptions that fondly tag along, keeping sailors from going out to sea. “Life in general” would like us to believe that having a plan, a back-up plan, and an excel spreadsheet formulating a plan, is the reputable thing to do. A big downside to that approach is that when things don’t go as planned, my mentality goes to, “if it ain’t part of the plan then it ain’t supposed to be like this.” Once there is a plan, what is supposed to happen according to plan, is like a stray eyelash in my eye. Saline drops offer little relief to the stinging sensation and it’s impossible to ignore….imagine that for 6 months.  Or, imagine something else. Like the smell and feel of salt spray hitting you in the face when the waves come across the beam; the stretch and coordination it takes to hold onto the stanchion and lifelines with both hands, reach for the dinghy with your dominant foot, and then step down in sync with the rise and fall of the waves; or the unceasing sound of water slapping against the fiberglass hull and knocking halyards against the carbon fiber mast.

Salt water, wind, movement, lines, fiberglass, diesel, cooking in my galley, reading a book in the forward berth, watching Francis and Ruby make sense of their nautical world, sand, birds, fish, whales, dolphin, rays, sunsets, northerlies, warm sunshine, dew on the deck, VHF sailor’s net radio, keeping an eye on the depth sounder, crossing my fingers the autopilot will work, pointing into the wind while Captain Chameleon hoists the sails, hot but short showers, shopping at tiny Mercado’s, meeting old and new sailing friends…surprises, irritations, inconveniences, elation, contentment, and connection. These are my unplanned intentions for the next few months of living aboard Seamore Pacific.

As the Captain and I transition from land life to boat life in the Sea of Cortez, we will be balancing what other sailor’s balance, especially those our age; family at home. I’m comfortable with that, because it’s really no different than 25 years ago when I decided to move from Missouri to the coast. In hindsight, it was a time of balancing the overall big picture of being by the ocean with a large amount of pull and uncertainty outside my control. In the end, it not only all worked out but it cemented a new perspective that was made possible due to reliance on intention rather than planning; being open and ok with some outlier possibilities; and trusting that I will  know how to follow the road of least intensity to the place where I most want to be.

With eager intentions,

Seamore Nautical Spirits

 

P.S.  This last week, Captain Chameleon and I returned to San Diego (by car) to have new life lines made for Seamore Pacific.  It was great to be back.  The last time we were there was over 2 years ago, when we sailed out of San Diego Harbor and down to Mexico with the Baja Ha Ha fleet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

September Crossing

Gallery

This gallery contains 29 photos.

Some bit of air remains trapped in the depths of my lungs, during a crossing. Despite Seamore Pacific’s blue water capabilities, instinct always prevails. While wind forecasts and sea conditions are being monitored for weather windows, a team of voices, … Continue reading