Dreamtime Gifts

During these dark. wintry days, owning a boat feels like an exercise in wildly misplaced optimism. It is really hard to get any kind of boat project started.  I visit the boat often but usually I just want to find a warm place for a nap. I’ll putter in the shop, check the bilges and ports, making a general inspection in the unceasing war against moisture in all its nefarious forms and then check out the aft cabin berth for a little snooze.

Winter napping territory

Winter napping territory

But today we received a gift that lifted our wintry spirits and move us that much closer to making the dream real.  Some former slip mates of ours contacted us and asked if we would be interested in some cruising guides for the Baja. We had only met Tim and Sharon once or twice when we first brought Galapagos up from Astoria.  Currently they cruise locally on an Ocean Alexander. But for years they sailed a Tayana 37 up and down the west coast, from Alaska to Central America.

Baja Bound

Baja Bound

Now that they are cruising locally Tim and Sharon are paring down their library. Tim recalled our cunning plans and contacted us through the marina office.  Since we had only been slip mates for a few weeks, I was touched that he had recalled our plan and taken the effort to find us.  In short order I was down at his boat, the recipient of several cruising guides for the Baja and even further south.  As important, Tim and Sharon shared stories and advice about their time in Mexico. We talked about equipment, anchoring strategies and the vagaries of living in a foreign country.

While I remain touched by Tim and Sharon’s generosity, it isn’t too surprising. Cruisers seem to have an innate desire to share their resources and expertise. It is an extension of the implicit obligation that all mariners will render aid to those in need.  While we usually think of this obligation in terms of saving a ship or rescuing a sailor gone overboard, the impulse to support one another is manifested in less dramatic ways. Melissa and I take that obligation seriously and consider our ability to help others one of the great pleasures of sailing.

So, thank you Tim and Sharon. Your gifts will go a long way towards keeping our dreams alive during these wintry months and beyond until we pass them on to another sailor in need.


9 thoughts on “Dreamtime Gifts

  1. Nice! And there’s nothing better than passing a cold, wet wintry day by reading a cruising guide for a much warmer, exotic location (except watching the Seahawks win!). Happy reading! And if you’re looking for another book to add to your library, we recommend Pat Raines’ “Mexico Boating Guide.”

  2. A couple of other good books to have for cruising Mexico and the Sea of Cortez would be ‘Sea of Cortez: A Cruiser’s Guide’ by Shawn Breeding and Heather Bansmer (http://www.amazon.com/Sea-Cortez-A-Cruisers-Guidebook/dp/0980090113) and ‘Spanish for Cruiser’s: The Boater’s Complete Language Guide for Spanish Speaking Destinations’ by Kathy Parsons (http://www.amazon.com/Spanish-Cruisers-Complete-Spanish-speaking-Destinations/dp/0967590523). Shawn and Heather have also published a cruiser’s guide for the Pacific Coast of Mexico, which is also an excellent resource.

    • I’ll second your recommendation of the Sea of Cortez: A Cruiser’s Guide’ (http://www.amazon.com/Sea-Cortez-A-Cruisers-Guidebook/dp/0980090113). Melissa bought that one for my birthday a couple of years ago and I really like the layout. Great photos of approaches.

      And I will definitely check out the Spanish language book. I have a simple phrase book, but language competency is one of my first goals once we are down there. I have heard good things about the Se Habla language school in La Paz.

    • Definitely second/third the Breeding/Bansmer books — absolutely the best. Books such as Rains or Charlies can’t hold a candle to them. Unfortunately, Bains/Bansmeer do not (YET!) cover the outside of Baja.

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