Keeping the plans fluid!

(Note: This post is being entered via our SSB, so this is a test!)

It might have been the second jacket that did it or maybe the sound of rain on the deck. Or maybe it was the promise of yet more howling north winds heading our way. Whatever the reason the result is that we have decided to make another U-turn and head back south to warmer weather and calmer seas. We’ll head down to Mazatlan and the Puerto Vallarta area for a few months, then make yet another U-turn and come back into the northern sea in the spring to explore the islands and hidey holes that we missed on this round! The trip over to Mazatlan is another overnighter, but should be relatively easy as long we pick a good weather window.

We enjoyed the last few days in Puerto Escondido though, meeting up with fellow cruisers. It’s always fun to compare plans, hear about other people’s experiences and of course share all the funny stories (we seem to have a lot of those)! As I was thinking about the conversations we’d had in Escondido it reminded me about the fun encounters we’ve had all along our trip, meeting other boats in anchorages and in towns. So lest you think we’ve only been communing with the fishes and burying our toes in the sand the last few weeks, we want to let you know that we have actually enjoyed some human interactions as well!

Last night we enjoyed a fantastic homemade pizza dinner on a new friend’s boat, where we were both anchored in Escondido. Their boat is a beautiful Freedom 36, with two carbon masts and no standing rigging. We ate in their warm and cozy cabin and shared some great laughs. It turns out that they’d been on the Baja HaHa with us, and we just hadn’t met yet. Greg shared a funny experience they had on one of the rough night watches. Since they were sailing without additional crew, Beth and Greg took turns at the helm and sleeping in the cockpit. Greg was settling into the cushions under a cozy quilt to get a few hours of shut-eye, and because he had so many layers of clothes on he was having trouble getting all the layers of clothes, PFD (Personal Floatation Device), tether, and the quilt situated! At one point in trying to pull down what he thought was the bottom of his jacket, he pulled on the rip cord to his PFD which of course inflated in one big POOF! That would have been fine except for the fact that he now had a fully inflated PFD under all those layers of clothes, and he couldn’t breathe! Think of a Michelin Man in a sailor suit, ha! Beth had to cut him out of a few layers until he could once again breathe easy..ha!

While in Honeymoon Bay we’ve met a number of cruisers, possibly since the bay is so close to Escondido that it makes a good jumping off spot. One afternoon we spent awhile yakking with a couple who had been cruising the Sea for 12 years. They love it here, as most of the people do who stay here for years. What’s been unexpected to me is how many people moor a boat somewhere in the sea and then drive back and forth across the border to their homes in the States. On the flip side of all those who love the Sea, we met one couple who “couldn’t get out of the Sea of Cortez fast enough”. They hated fighting the crazy winds in the unprotected anchorages, so they were heading back to La Paz and then who knows. I’m not sure they’ll really ever enjoy this lifestyle, but what do I know?

It’s been fun to meet up with fellow HaHa’ers along the way too. A couple that we met the other day while we were anchored in Honeymoon Bay, are on a sabbatical from their jobs in San Francisco and will sail their Aires 32 back to San Diego in a month or so. Lana is from Russia and we loved hearing about her home. They sailed the entire way from San Diego on the HaHa with us, and are quite the intrepid sailors! While in San Evaristo we spent a couple of evenings with HaHa friends on a Pacific Seacraft 37. Dennis and Pamela are planning to make the Pacific Puddle Jump in March and spend a year in the South Pacific. A couple of very artistic and talented cruisers; there’s nothing like guitar music in the cockpit while floating under the stars!

It’s hard not to feel a little bittersweet while thinking of all the people we’ve already met in these few short weeks, as well as missing all our family and friends back home. It’s been awesome to meet up with new friends and instantly have a connection. There seems to be something in all of us crazy cruisers that makes it easy to come and go in each other’s lives, but it’s a little sad to keep saying goodbye to people that you’d like to get to know better. We just hold onto the thought that we’ll cross paths again, just as we know we’ll see all the family and friends again that we miss so much now. As we’ve been finding in all our travels, either on land or by sea, it’s a small world!

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