Last night while our Thanksgiving dinner cooked in the oven I sat on deck and watched the sunset. Around us seabirds dove into the water catching the little schooling fish. A sea lion and dolphin came through the anchorage-their breath loud against the calm. The moon glowed against the red sky and as the light faded phosphorescence began to twinkle in the water beneath us.
We were anchored at Isla Salsipuedes-"Leave if You Can" Island. It's a rugged rocky island that tends to be off the beaten path. But after a day of magical whale encounters and lovely sailing its stark beauty seemed like the perfect place to say goodbye to the northern sea.
There is often a transition for me-an instant between the moment when I am leaving one place and the one where I head somewhere new. It's the time when I stop looking backward with wistfulness and prepare to look ahead with excitement. And as we set out from Salsipuedes today I stared hard at the island and the Baja--willing the shapes and textures into my memory; inhaling that unique aroma of desert spice mingled with ocean brine.
We unrolled our sails soon after and began a gentle upwind (both stupid forecasts called for downwind) beat to Isla Tiburon. Almost on schedule we passed through a school of big sharks. Soon after their blue tipped fins were out of sight we saw flying fish and boobie birds in the distance and then we caught two dorado, including a big bull which will show up for several meals this week.
By the time I finally looked aft again, Salsipuedes had grown hazy and indistinct.
We had left.
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