Thursday, January 13, 2005

Fearless sailing in a motorhome

PARADISE VILLAGE MARINA, NAYARIT, MEXICO — We watched a documentary last night called “Fearless” in the company of maybe 100 other sailor/cruisers. The film is based on a book by the same name about a woman who survives 40+ days at sea in a dismasted boat after the boat took a knockdown — a knockdown that also tore her boyfriend off the boat. He was lost at sea and his body never recovered.

The power of the sea is on everyone’s mind all the time anyway, but with the tsunami and now this film, there’s probably more thoughts about trading in the sails for a motor home than ever.

In an odd way, the tale actually made me think about how nice it is out on the ocean, away from land and all the politics and general b.s. we have to deal with. It’s certainly cheaper to live on the sea. Yes, you have to fill the food lockers and water and fuel tanks before you go, but once out there, forget about buying anything. And forget about television and all but the most rudimentary of broadcast radio. What you do rely on is the HAM radio, but what you hear is mostly people like yourself and you are not concerned about how much the latest Ipod costs, but what the weather will be like until you make your next landfall.

The weather here in this part of Mexico has been so benign it’s almost eerie. The wind blows from the north in the morning, the west in the afternoon and the south at night, almost like we are circulating the same air over and over. It’s about 70 degrees when we awake, 82 degrees at the middle of the day, and perhaps 75 degrees in the evening, an hour after sundown. The water temperature has warmed up, too, so even the ocean is probably close to 80, though the swimming pool with the ever-popular crocodile slide is more like 82.

This morning was a ‘get-up-early’ morning to do several boat projects before the prime boogie-boarding hits — high tide at about 11 a.m. That’s three hours from now and it’s amazing what you can accomplish in a scant three hours with a little determination. Up first is emptying the locker behind me, so that potential buyers can actually see how much space there is. Then another shot at cleaning the teak rails is probably in order, followed by a quick trip up the mast (well, part-way) to see about cleaning off the oxidation.

At some point today, I will have to sit down and start work on my next set of magazine stories. But that will mean logging on to see what the latest news is regarding education and what the latest assault is on the integrity of teachers, the pension system and/or organized labor.

Don’t be surprised if you see a move to repeal child labor laws sometime in the next few years — after wages have been depressed so far that Wal-Mart looks like an attractive employment option, and Social Security has been destroyed.

Enough of those thoughts. There’s a stuffed locker behind me crying out for my attention.


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