I sit here in the light of the sun slowly fading on the western horizon, Tulum gently rocking in the swells. As our thoughts begin to focus more and more on moving back into the Sea of Cortez, I reflect on the sailing notables and luminaries who have frequented La Cruz just in the last couple months. Some we met and some we didn’t, but they were here at one point or the other in the last couple months. Just thinking through the confluence of sailing experience here in the last 30 days..I’m a bit starstruck. I plucked up enough courage to be able to ask some of these folks for interviews (for the website) before they left, but only a few were able to coordinate schedules and meet with me for a quick interview. (However, every one of them did actually email me back, even if they couldn’t meet with me).
Upon pulling into the Marina, I saw Dona De Mallorca around the Marina. Richard and Dona De Mallorca are of Latitude 38 and Baja Ha-Ha fame…running the Baja Ha-Ha every year. Both were in town but when I tried to get a quick interview…it just didn’t work out. The same week, we noticed that Totem was on the dock. We had bought our new sails from Jamie Gifford (the Cruising Sailmaker) and Behan Gifford is one of the authors of the acclaimed “Voyaging With Kids – A Guide to Family Life Afloat”>Voyaging With Kids”, a tome we all have on our boats (and I highly recommend for those with kids). I was able to meet them both when they came to discuss a new downwind sail for Tulum with me. It turns out they’re real people with things going on and are down to earth to boot. Over the course of the last two months, I’ve been a regular at cruising seminars done by Jamie and Behan as well as Mike Danielson of PV Sailing here in La Cruz. We were also honored to be able to have Mike and Jamie on board to evaluate Tulum as part of the cruising series here in La Cruz…at which they found multiple pieces of equipment and rigging that needed some improvement and TLC. In mid-January we spent some time in the boatyard here in La Cruz and while in the yard, I was honored to be hauled out beside a J-Boat getting prepped for race season…that turned out to belong to Miss Eugenie Russell. Eugenie was the skipper of J-World, a J-120 that hit a whale in the 2009 Baja Ha-Ha and I was able to sit down and interview her 10-years after the sinking. That interview hasn’t come out on the website yet…but will be put together and come out in the next couple weeks. Next, while here in La Cruz I barely missed meeting Miss Jeanne Socrates, who just became the oldest women in the world to circumnavigate the globenonstop. She was down here soaking up the sun and giving presentations,,,but we missed each other. And earlier this month, I wrote the story about the Chris White Catamaran rebuild I was allowed to photograph in the yard..and emailed the link to Chris White on a whim. A day later, I was sitting in a seminar by Jamie and Behan Gifford and received a weird email back from Chris White…saying he’d just been in the yard and seen the boat, and read the story I sent him. I thought he was confused and emailed back…telling him I was in La Cruz, Mexico; knowing he had made a mistake with location. Nope, he emailed back saying he was on a large catamaran in the bay and we wouldn’t miss it. We went back on the hook that next day and did indeed see the boat, it took off that day for parts unknown. Bummed, I was sure I missed him, but his catamaran came back a few days later and we plucked up the nerve to go by his stern on the dinghy and say hello. What a surprise when Mr. and Mrs. White came out and very graciously had a great conversation with us…accepting LF2SF stickers before we said our goodbyes and took off in the dinghy. To the girls they were just Mr. and Mrs. White, but to me I know this was a once in a lifetime chance to actually meet the designer of the famous Atlantic breed of fast catamaran. And just a few weeks ago…a large powerboat pulled up beside us in our slip…and onboard was the first women to navigate an America’s Cup Boat for Dennis Conner. What a surprise to be standing on my deck discussing Quincy the Great Dane and the particulars of our boat…and later find out I’m talking to a someone who’s most certainly a sailing notable. Lastly, one of the editors for 48 North Sailing Magazine lives on a boat that’s been through here and gone…him and his family are probably best known to folks from the Pacific Northwest (PNW) but I think with all their high latitude sailing experience, they’re notables in their own right.
My point with this post isn’t to gossip at all but to highlight all the random encounters you might have when sailing…as each of these folks in the same place at nearly the same time is completely random and unexpected. We were lucky to meet each of the folks that we’ve had the honor to meet and to get the couple of interviews for the blog that we’ve gotten. We’ve learned lots from the seminars by more experienced folks and will always be in a mode to keep learning,,,as cruising and boating always gives you more to learn.