Location: 27 41.1052' N, 114 53.3675' W, Turtle Bay
Date: November 1, 2018
Yesterday afternoon's sail and sunset dinner on deck was the biggest treat. After training for over a year, we savored our shared love of the sea, of our team and of delicious braised pomegranate molasses lamb. When we woke up from post dinner naps to find a velvet black sky full of suspended diamond stars, we didn't even try to wipe the childish grins from our sun-warmed faces.
The wind continued to build to 20 knots as we approached Turtle Bay's entrance. Dolphins jetted up to welcome and play with us. They jumped and showed off in our headlamp spotlights, reminding us to enjoy the journey, to take a breath. With crew on the bow, midship, at the nav station and helm we successfully avoided lobster pots and lead a caravan of buddy boats to safely anchor inside the calm bay.
Sculptural desert mountains, an expansive clear blue sky and a fleet of cozy sailboats anchored in sun dappled blue water greeted us in the morning. Roll call gave the fleet a chance to show off how many fish they caught and to lament what parts broke during passage. Our boat chihuahua Sofia dozed in the face of those human trivialities, she
wanted to smell soil again. Ashore we went.
First stop, coconut paletas (popsicles) at the small, but well stocked grocery store. Sofia found lots of new dog friends and we met a few people friends. We meandered around the town, enjoying land and practicing speaking Spanish. Kids chased eachother on the beach wearing their Dia de los Muertos face paint and costumes, cruisers gave them candy.
With no agenda, no boat tasks, no to do lists, we luxuriated infollowing our dusty sandals to admire folks' well-loved gardens and colorful homes. Shells inlaid in the cement as a welcome mat in front of the library, alternating baby blue and white boards to form diamond patterns on a garage. After a few days at sea, all the creative human
made details popped from the landscape.
Toes in the sand for a beach taco and cold beverage lunch turned into a few hour hang out. We checked out the cruisers vs. locals baseball game and returned to our beach taco table until sunset. The muted blue and pink sky above the desert mountains, a church steeple silhouette, a loping black puppy trying to follow Sofia home on the rickety deck.
We somehow convinced Enrique to deliver diesel to our boat just as the last light faded. John and Anna courageously motored the deflating dinghy back while the rest of us hitched a ride on the fuel boat. We inflated it again and hopefully it holds! A cozy dinner onboard with proper wine and good conversation wrapped up our day together.
As the wind howls across the desert, and through the rigging, we dream.
Diane Berol is an ocean adventurer and the captain of Celtic Song based in San Diego, CA.