July 30, 2010

Tears, Shrines and Stories...

Before we came back into the Sea this summer I shared my old memories with Behan from Totem. Her family spent last summer in the Sea and as we compared highlights—her's from last year and ours' from 14 years ago—I was surprised by how many things were the same. She had stories of the same hikes, told of the same experiences in the same dusty towns, and caught the same fish on the same reefs.
I have to admit I was surprised—when you're living something that seems so rich and new, you want to think it's a unique experience. And it's not like we're in Disneyland; where we all get tickets for the same ride. We're in a diverse landscape with endless options.
San Jaunico (and us!!) 14 years ago
 But something happens in places where people go year after year. Experiences get passed along at the dock, and at potlucks, and gradually a story develops. Even without guidebooks we learn where the best hikes are, which bakeries make French-style bread, which islands we shouldn't miss, and where to dive to find clams (to see only—they are illegal to take if you are not Mexican...)
The cruisers' shrine in San Jaunico. I need to find the picture of our contribution...

Sailing through the Sea is like following a plot line. Today's story took us back to the same cruiser's shrine in San Juanico where we left our boat name on a wooden plaque in 1996 (this time we left it on a unique piece of bone.) We gathered more obsidian from along the same trail—but now we know they are called Apache tears and even come with a legend. Last time they were just nice rocks... And we showed Maia how to dive for chocolate clams and then pointed out to our neighbours how to read a potentially Chubasco laden sky (something we were shown on a similar evening when we were last here.)
Just a few of the Apache tears (aka obsidian) we found on the trail.

I'm no longer disappointed in knowing that someone came before me, and that I'm simply following the threads of a well-known story. Instead it motivates me. I want to find new things, or rediscover old moments that are no longer part of the tale. And maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll get to add to the collective narrative and make it richer for whoever comes next.
At anchor in La Ramada

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