July 29, 2010

One of Those (Perfect) Days

They should all be like this. And in the imaginings of people who dream of going cruising, but haven't quite made it out yet, they probably are. I don't normally write this blog in diary format. I'll give the rough details of where we are and what we are up to—but I find the moment by moment, blow by blow account that some bloggers give at best boastful and at worst boring. But because yesterday was one of those days, so rare in its goodness and the fact that nothing broke, well...
7:00am (or there abouts) I woke to a sound. Sharp and close to the boat, it pulled me out of a dream and startled me awake. In the half-light of the rising sun I heard it again, then again—an echoing bang. I slid past Ev and headed out on deck where I watched the big manta rays leap free from the sea.
Their sun salutations reminded me of my long neglected goal for regular morning yoga. So I rolled out my mat and with the manta rays leaping and the sun rising, I woke up my body. My view was of blue-green water ahead and the red volcano and white sand beaches of Isla Coronados behind. Once it was too warm to keep going (do I need to admit only 20 minutes had passed?) I jumped in the water and swam until I cooled off.
By now Evan and Maia were up. It was 8am and the day had started. We had breakfast and tidied the boat—then did a Spanish podcast together. Then Maia went to play over on Hotspur and Evan and I organized our dive gear. We have a compressor and all our gear aboard, but we're still novice divers. So we went through each step carefully, checking each other's gear, then weheaded by dingy to an easy dive spot.
Once in the water we descended to a magic world. Diving seems different than snorkeling in that when you snorkel you're clearly foreign and often spook the fish. But when you're under the water it doesn't take long for the fish to accept you as one of their own (although a bit ugly and clumsy, perhaps...). And within a few minutes we had a school of curious fish around us—escorting us as we checked out crevices and boulders, looking for the beautiful and strange.
A perfect day on a sailboat also needs a good sail. And we had one of those too. An 18 mile beam reach to our next anchorage of La Ramada. Our lousy La Paz bottom paint job couldn't even take the fun out of the sail—despite the fact that a heavy crop of barnacles is currently costing us boat speed. We even caught a couple of fish—one Skipjack which we threw back, and the another (a pretty little mystery fish) which became part of an excellent curry.
Tucked into the cozy anchorage we knew the best way to end the day would be dinner with friends. So we convened on Hotspur and were joined by two singlehanders who were also in the anchorage. We watched the moonrise, while swamping stories and enjoying the potluck fare and then headed back to Ceilydh—where we spent a quiet night.
It's funny to think of how hard we worked to get yesterday—years of planning, saving and scheming just to experience a simple day on the water where nothing at all went wrong. The payout for the simple days is so much more than most people ever expect—hours of work and frustration and loads of money mostly.
But when the days do come, we savour.
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