New entry in my Kilt blog 9/21/2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Excerpt From The Log of Serenity

"You'll never achieve your dreams if they don't become goals." Anonymous
Leaving Palinita, Isla Cedros, Mexico
Tuesday, Nov 27, 1984
MST 0720 - We're off Motorsailing W/Jib (with jib)
                    Sumlog fixed itself yesterday
 0830  Undersail  5 kts. (knots)
           Course 155*M
           Log 2.4
           Spd 6  (km says 4)   (I thought we still had some trash on the sumlog impeller but on later inspection it appeared that some sea critter had taken a bite of it.)  

We had anchored here the morning before after a tense night with yours truly not trusting his navigation. During the early morning hours under a moonless starlit sky I was on watch as we sailed from Isla San Martin where we had spent Thanksgiving gorging on crab claws, langusta, turkey and dressing. I was cat napping in the cockpit and re-thinking my calculation when I suddenly realized that we should be there. Jumping up and looking forward I could see nothing. Looking to the left and right I could see stars and astern there was nothing but the frothy sea and stars.  Forward there was nothing but darkness that extended to the nearly straight up.   Oh shit! that's the island I'm looking for.  I immediately, and hastily I might add, disengaged the autopilot, started the engine and readjusted the sails for this new course which was 90 degrees to what we had been holding. I was aiming for the edge of the "Black Hole" which is how I remember this event. Isla Cedros will forever be remembered as the "Black Hole". To this day I cannot remember it with out getting that certain terrible feeling in my chest of "Oh Shit!".  SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) came out of her bunk wanting to know what the hell was going on and I calmly told her how I had made a slight miscalculation but I had found my mistake and saved us all from certain death and destruction. It was dark so she could not see me shaking like a leaf and did not know I had nearly crapped myself and really needed to throw up.  We still had 5 miles before hitting the rocks on that coast I think but since it was black as pitch forward I had no way of knowing. I vowed never to make another overnight passage inshore unless there was a full moon.

We made it into that anchorage you see in the picture and anchored in six feet of water. We were followed later in the day by Jim Murphy on the good ship "Evergreen" of Mammoth, Ca. We had met Jim at Isla San Martin and shared meals numerous times. He had left hours before we even got out of bed but we had a rolly gusty night and I imagine his little ship rolled gunnel to gunnel. We were to see him many times after that as we were going to the same places.

Our course was taking us to Bahia Tortugas were we would go ashore for the first time since entering Mexico. That is another story of anchoring, re-anchoring, engine breakdown (minor) and my first attempt to communicate in Spanish, a language I had not even thought of in years. I manage to ask an older gentleman there where I could find the "lesbian" while searching for the tortilla factory. Needless to say I did a little brushing up after that and I was a lot more careful.

But that is another story for another time.

"Your dreams come true when you act to turn them into realities." Anonymous 

6 comments:

Steven Cain said...

It looks like a lumpy Catalina.

I've only ever been a passenger and never had to worry about running aground. Blame it on the tryptophan

Shadowmoss said...

Spanish mistakes. yeah. I thought my male co-worker was asking if I had a man at one point near lunch time. I thought he was being a bit forward, and wondered why he thought I had a man and what I was doing with said man at lunch. Turns out he was asking if I was hungry, tengo hambre, tengo hombre. Another day I was worried for a bit that I had complained to the young male at the front desk of my hotel that my morning shower had not been 'spicy' enough. Turned out I had used the correct version of 'hot' after all.

Anonymous said...

Well...I continue to love your blog! I teach live/interactive healthy cooking classes for a diverse Native American audience. Recently, I was supposed to say "Welcome to my house" in the Chickasaw Language. An elder in my audience corrected me. I had actually said, "Welcome to my pig!" Crazy and I felt like a fool! But I got a good laugh! Keep your stories rolling! I am enjoying them thoroughly! :)

Dizzy-Dick said...

Good story, well written.

workbike said...

You're in good company: Kennedy is well known for telling the people of Berlin that he was a sticky bun, but they respected him anyway and appreciated the sentiments.

Oldfool said...

The old man that gave me the Spanish lesson just smiled when I misspoke then in broken English told we what I had said. I told him what I really wanted and we began a lesson in Spanish and slow walking. It took what seemed like hours to walk a 100 feet to the corner where he pointed out the torterillia.
I had asked for the torterilla. When I passed later with a kilo of tortillas the old man was still walking back to his house. I had been living on a boat in southern climates for years and I thought I was pretty laid back but this old gentleman had started my postgraduate work in that subject.
My Spanish got better and I earned an unofficial PhD in procrastination and slow not to mention in making do.

All the islands along the California coast look like a lumpy Catalina but I think they are all beautiful.