Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sailing with Carl, again


Our first winter in Baja, at Playa Juncalito where we’re camped now, we parked down the beach from Carl and Chris, an American and Brit couple. We met them, liked them, and became friends. Last May on our way to Alaska, we spent a night at their great cabin in the woods near Likely, British Columbia (see link HERE). But that first winter, and again last winter, we went sailing with Carl. As a retirement gift to himself, a month before we met him, he bought a 27-foot sailboat and towed it behind their motorhome to Playa Juncalito where they camp 5 months each winter.


Today Carl wandered by our campsite announcing plans to sail in the afternoon and wondering if we’d like to go along. Bob has been fighting a cold that has taxed his energy for 4 days and wanted to keep the afternoon available for a nap, but Cathryn jumped at the chance, and off they went.


Carl and Cathryn spent 4 hours tacking between the Baja mainland and outlying islands, entering Honeymoon Bay to check out the sailboats anchored there and a group of half a dozen kayaks camped on the beach, chasing whale blows to get close to two whales (unidentifiable to us as to type), and circumnavigating the small island a bit offshore from Playa Juncalito where we’re camped (and Carl’s wife Chris took photos of us from shore).


Look closely at the foreground here to see the whale!

It was a warm, sunny afternoon with perfect wind, and Carl was generous in letting Cathryn share the helm. He told stories of the 5 years he and Chris sailed the Mediterranean, crossed the Atlantic, and explored the U.S. intracoastal waterway, in addition to his story of being shipwrecked on his first sailboat in the 1970s in the Polynesian islands, living with a tiny tribal atoll community of 11 until he was rescued two weeks later.


At 5:00 eleven beach residents including our sometimes travel buddies Greg and Debbie from British Columbia along with Carl, Chris, and 5 others gathered at our campsite for cocktail hour.  Which turned into two hours, but who’s counting?

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