Friday, December 21, 2007


One thing that kept recurring for us was the need to learn and ask questions. We found almost every person we met was a teacher in some way. We have constantly been in a state of receiving from strangers (and friends) since we left. Most people were happy to teach us Spanish words and wait patiently for us to describe something we didn't have sufficient vocabulary for. People spoke slowly and filled in words or corrections as we were speaking. We've improved at Spanish and have a long way to go.

Often before I could knock at a house I would hear "Pasale" through the screen door and see someone inside gesturing to come in.
One beautiful aspect of the culture was the welcome we felt to come in for a visit. It was humbling to experience the generosity of people who had enough to live comfortable but who had fewer things in their homes than we have packed in to our boat. We were welcome to whatever food they were eating and always took time to sit and visit and tell us about their town or their families(Olivia sent home a whole plate of fresh clam cakes-like crab cakes- for me to have since Brian was visiting alone--Yummmy) or their hobbies (Rigo, the abalone diver, raises fighting cocks! I learned a lot about that sport.) We felt challenged by their kindness and willingness to give a ride or advice or help with Nomad. It was a wonderful gift to not be treated as outsiders or as rich Americans to be taken advantage of. We have gained true friends in Baja because they accept us as we are. This is a valuable lesson we want to emulate with everyone we meet in the rest of our travels.

This example of community hit home especially because we've both finished reading a book called "Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger." I highly recommend it! It talks about many things but one of the points is that if churches or groups truly were functioning communities they would use fewer resources, meet more needs within the community, and be able to share love more genuinely outside of their community. A few different real life examples were described of people living simply, looking out for each other, and loving God. We found that that the small Mexican villages we visited looked more like true communities than most places we know of in the U.S. Whether this has to do with fewer material possessions or less media impact, or a different culture, we don't know, but we plan to begin incorporating these principles into our lifestyle and our future.

So, continue to be students of people we meet, Nomad, and each other. It's always new whether we're figuring out our SSB radio, finding a store that sells a part we need, or trying to figure out our future as a couple.

We're Back

Our return trip began with a one hour drive by Manuel and Tita from Abreojos to the military checkpoint outside of St. Ignacio. At the checkpoint, Manuel saw our bus pulled over for soldiers to check luggage for drugs and weapons. He ran over and asked the driver if we could get on so we didn't have to continue to St. Ignacio and wait for the next bus. We got on and stood for about half an hour until some passengers got off. Total trip lasted from about 5pm to 5am when we arrived in Tijuana. Unfortunately, our cash was gone and noone took visa for our next leg. So, we paid a driver 20$ US to drive us about 4 blocks to an ATM and then back to the bus station. Hopped on the next bus to Long Beach; caught another cab to John Wayne Airport and picked up our rental car and headed to Santa Cruz in a Prius. (28 hour trip from start to finish)
Miss Green made it back to the US too! Tucked safely in Brians jacket, they didn't even ask for her passport at the border.
I have been busy making Christmas presents and visiting my sister and beautiful niece! Brian went straight to work with his buddy Eddie. Gotta add to the bank account somehow. Cruising is cheap (once you're away from West Marine), it's the trips home that we have to save up for.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Jumping Ship

Hi all. The last week was pretty eventful. Our crew
jumped from 3 to 6 in the space of a few hours. Last
week we were at the island of Cedros (didn't even get
it on the yotreps it was so crazy) moving our boat and
trying to make sure that the onshore wind wasn't going
to blow us on land. Luckily we speak Spanish enough to
get permission to anchor in the fishing harbor in
between crab pots and protected from wind waves (still
windy). We got situated in the harbor and had another
sailboat tied up to us since it was such tight
quarters and they had less experience. It was a
polish couple that windsurf, conscientious and
friendly. We ended up getting tacos with them in town
(our first restaurant in Mexico) and coming back to
bed around 9pm. Right around midnight we heard a
commotion and looked out to see another sailboat
directly next to us and I heard a woman's voice
yelling "Deyess it's Grace" I recognized the voice as
a friend of Deyess' that we'd met about a month ago.
What was she doing on Cedros in the middle of the
night? Next thing we heard is a man's voice
announcing to us that he was going to raft up (tie up)
on our Other side. This is a tricky maneuver any
time, especially in the middle of the night. It was
clear very quickly that they were not in good control
of the boat and at one point as I went to fend them
off, Grace leaned over the side of her boat and
whispered, "they've been drinking, we need to get off
this boat!!" Not what we wanted to hear since it was
being driven by one of the drinkers at the moment.
The short version of the story is that despite the
fact that they drove directly at our boat and drove
over our anchor line several times they only bent a
stanchion which will only need minor repairs and they
ended up anchoring 30 feet away and not tying up to
us. Deyess went and got Grace (a ucsc grad that is
levelheaded and outgoing) to visit our boat. Turns
out there were two other people that wanted to abandon
the ship because the captain and his friend were
angry, violent drunks. All three (including the
captain's girlfriend Erica were scared) We got them
off of the boat throughout the night and after Erica
made over, we left the anchorage at 4am so as to avoid
any interactions with the captain when he woke up with
a giant hangover and only one crew member.We had
perfect escape weather and all were relieved and
smiling again. It was truly a storybook story. What
are the odds Grace would be on the boat and recognize
us? She only knew we were somewhere in Mexico! The
amazing coincidences that ended up having us be there
are too numerous to go in to right now, but it truly
is a miracle. For example, the captain thought they
were pulling in to a bay on the west coast of Baja
when really he was pulling in to a harbor on the south
east side of an island over 50 miles to the north
west.So we had Grace, Erica (the captain's now
ex-girlfriend), and Joe, a father of twin boys who was
crewing to get some experience so that he could take
his family sailing someday. WE had them aboard and
then on land at Ron and Ruth's house in Abreojos.
They have all left for either home or other adventures
leaving us with some mellow time with Ron and Ruth and
Genevieve. We'll be leaving the boat securely attached
to the bottom of the bay here (the fishermen will help
us strategically lay down 3 anchors tomorrow) and
under the watchful eyes of some locals that are
friends. In the next few days we'll head north in a
car (gonna rent one) toward Santa Cruz. Brian and Megan