A Day in the Life of Cruising

Tuesday, February 28. Los Frailles, Sea of Cortez
Being woken to the smell of pancakes cooking is much better than to the sound of an engine starting. At around 9:00, I (Devon) was woken up to the delicious smell. “First pancake ready, come on out,” Kim shouted a few feet from my head. Both Anson and I responded groggily, “OK, coming.”
Of course, since I had just woken up, I did no such thing, and in fact promptly fell asleep. I woke up a minute later and got out of bed in a rush, hoping Mom didn’t notice my infraction.
I joined Anson and Mark at the table, but because of one minute of extra sleep, I was, unfortunately, the last in the pancake order. Thirty minutes and five, crepe-like pancakes later, we finished breakfast.
I washed the dishes with Anson drying and then helped get the dive gear and wetsuits onto the foredeck. I might have gone into my berth instead of helping, I don’t really remember, but I thought it would be better to claim the more responsible action first.
After deciding the water was too cold to snorkel in a bathing suit, I looked in the wetsuit bag and pulled out my wetsuit, disappeared into the aft cabin and put it on. I went topsides to find Anson and Kim searching for his wetsuit. Anson looked at me and exclaimed, “Hey, that’s my wetsuit!”
“No its not, look at me, you couldn’t fit in this,” I responded.
We finally decided it was his, and I went to take it off and put on another, thinner wetsuit.
Almost immediately after I tried on the second wetsuit I knew it wouldn’t work. I went topsides and gave both wetsuits back and after about two minutes came back down with Anson’s wetsuit, because he had realized that he couldn’t have fit in it. I then helped Kim and Anson load the dive gear into our dinghy. Mark stayed on the boat to make sure the unpredicted south wind didn’t wash Anthea ashore.
Kim, Anson, and I motored Hektor (our dinghy) over to the dive spot. We went into the chilly water and spent an hour or two having one of the best snorkels in my life, seeing parrot fish, black and white polka dotted fish with a rounded body shape, sculpins, angel fish, and many other species. Anson caught lots of them on the Go Pro, but Kim and I were just swimming and diving. Unfortunately, since the wetsuit was a little too big and I was getting rashes, we had to cut our snorkel short.
All four members of the family had a quick lunch of bagel, lox, and goat cheese, after which Kim and Mark had a nap. Once awake, they wanted to go on a walk on shore, so I dropped them off at the beach and came back to Anthea where my job was to figure out what we needed to know in Spanish to buy fish from the fisher folk. That took around 20 minutes so I spent the rest of the time watching a TV show.
1 hour and 45 minutes later I saw them coming down the path to the beach. I rushed down to get my lifejacket, my Spanish notes, and Mark’s wallet.
I landed Hektor and we drug the dinghy up to the high tide line and walked over to the fishing boats. There were around twenty fishing dinghies that were 15 feet long. The fisher folk would go out during the night and come back in the morning. They had little, one room shacks made out of scrap metal and other such materials. Later we learned that they had a fishing co-operative and marketed their catch in La Paz and Tijuana.
We approached a fisher person and used our meager Spanish to determine that they didn’t have any fish now because they load it onto the trucks around noon. If we wanted fish we would have to come at 6 or 7 in the morning. Mark ended the conversation by saying in Spanish, “Tomorrow, six, seven, Mark, Julio, fish.” Please may our Spanish get better soon!
We came back and put the dinghy engine on the boat while Kim started making dinner. We had almost got the dinghy on board when we remembered that Anson was going to do night photography on the beach. We then had to undue all of the work we had done: taking the engine off, handing up the dinghy wheels, and disconnecting the fuel tank.
Mark, Anson, and I came down to the smell of fajitas, which Anson and I gobbled down and then got ready to go to the beach. We left and landed on the beach, pulled up the dinghy, and Anson set up his camera on the boat. I sat down and watched TV. (An action that is now a banned!)
Anson noticed that the tide was coming in and getting closer and closer to us. Because Anson was taking a time lapse of the stars, we couldn’t move or even touch the dinghy. Instead, in between shots we built a wall of sand around it. At 9:30 we left, the water not having breached the wall, or even touched it. Not being able to see the water, we accidently launched into a set of bigger waves. We hurriedly got in, but Anson couldn’t start the engine. Having read a little too much Master and Commander, he yelled at me as if I were part of the British Royal Navy, “Row, damn you, row!” Fortunately, he was able to start the engine and gun us out of there.
When we reached Anthea, we stowed the dinghy, for real this time, and went to bed. Devon

2 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of Cruising

  1. I love reading your entries, Devon! You must be having such an amazing time! I’d love to see some of those pics that Anson is taking — star time-lapse, fish watching chilly snorkelers. But clearly, the sailing life is tough, lonely watches, stale biscuit, watery grog, Anson channeling Patrick O’Brian… I hope the fresh fish incentive works as a Spanish lesson. But where did you find the bagels & lox? (SoCal deep freeze?) Greetings to all of you from rainy Arcata!


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