The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association
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Living in the Moment...

Tricia and Jim Bowen

Falcon VII
Kelly-Peterson 46 center cockpit cutter
October 1st, 2015

There’s an old saying “Be happy with this moment; this moment is your life.” While cruising in Mexico over the last year and a half, we’ve tried to maintain this philosophy, savouring the time we’re here, embracing the culture and making lasting friendships with other cruisers.   We love exploring both remote anchorages and towns, volunteering where we can to try and give a little something back. The other side of the coin is planning and preparation. Initially this is done with the goal of untying the dock lines and leaving the home port, but then the planning continues… weather needs checking, destinations need researching, and equipment needs maintaining. Life is one big balancing act and takes full participation. There are no rocking chairs out here! This is living life to the fullest!

We spent Easter weekend in Santa Rosalia, a small town half way up the Baja Peninsula. We were not by ourselves, sharing Easter with three other BCA couples. Rob Murray and Debra Zhou on Avant are part of our “Class of 2013”, while Gary Peacock and Karina McQueen on Sea Rover II and Scott Chapman and Tanya VanGinkel on Kialoa are part of the “Class of 2014”.

BCA members in Santa Rosalia at Easter: Top left:  Jim and Tricia Bowen, Falcon VII; Top right: Rob Murray and Debra Zhou, Avant; Left middle and front:  Gary Peacock and Karina McQueen, Sea Rover II; Left middle and front: Scott Chapman and Tanya VanGinkle, Kialoa

BCA members in Santa Rosalia at Easter: Top left: Jim and Tricia Bowen, Falcon VII; Top right: Rob Murray and Debra Zhou, Avant; Left middle and front: Gary Peacock and Karina McQueen, Sea Rover II; Left middle and front: Scott Chapman and Tanya VanGinkle, Kialoa

It just so happens that our schedules to reach Guaymas have more or less coincided, so over the last five weeks we’ve linked up frequently, often sharing appies, meals, snorkeling and card games together. Last week, two single-handers from the States joined our cluster of cruisers, with all five sailboats sitting at anchor in Bahia Coyote, inside the 25 mile long Bahia Concepcion. The water was incredibly warm and inviting, with docile whale sharks leisurely swimming along the beach area being enjoyed by paddle boarders, kayakers and swimmers. Swimming with whale sharks is truly a once in a lifetime experience! The weeklong Easter celebrations were well underway, with dozens of families camped along the shoreline enjoying the perfect weather.

Whale shark in Bahia Concepcion.

Whale shark in Bahia Concepcion.

Of course, in addition to all I’ve mentioned above, we’re sailors. Though the fickle winds sometimes mean we motor or stay put, other days it couldn’t be better. Last Wednesday was one of those days. Sea Rover II and Falcon VII left Bahia Coyote just after breakfast, hoping the predicted southerly blow would push us the 50 miles to Santa Rosalia before dusk. What a day it was, the best of our sailing season! Moments after we weighed anchor, a dozen huge dolphins charged towards us. We motored at a speedy 7.2 knots with those sleek creatures charging towards us, then pivoting 180° under our pulpit as if it were choreographed, so they could play in our bow wave. More and more dolphins joined in, including a meter long baby sticking close to its parent. I leaned as far over the pulpit as I could, wanting to touch those beautiful creatures who seemed so excited to be there. One in particular, with jagged visible scars all down its back, stayed longer than the rest, twisting to look up at me every few seconds. I swear there was eye contact! It was a great way to start the day, which got better and better.

We motored north for another hour before the southerly filled in enough for the asymmetrical spinnaker, which filled instantly and propelled us forward at over 4 knots. Falcon VII and Sea Rover II continued sailing north together under perfect conditions. Shorts, tee shirts, sun and sea life. What more could we wish for! Jim soon spotted a mass of boiling water off our port bow, where a school of squid were being chased by something big. We changed course and heated it up till we were screaming along, beam reaching at 6 knots in flat water. Huge dorado were feeding on the terrified squid. The dorado’s distinctive vibrant green, lemon yellow and deep turquoise was easy to spot, shimmering just below the water’s surface.

By early afternoon, the winds had ­­increased slightly as we changed course to the northwest and eased the chute for a glorious warm weather sail. Massive sting rays jumped a meter out of the water, while humpback whales in the distance spy hopped before crashing back below the rippled surface. We stayed in radio contact with Gary and Karina on Sea Rover II, who were enjoying their afternoon under a multi-coloured asymmetrical spinnaker and mainsail. At one point, we heard a familiar voice on the VHF, as BCA member Gord Wedman from Touchstone radioed Jennifer and John Gleadle from Spinnaker. Jim intercepted his transmission and found out they were both over in Guaymas, 80 miles to the east on mainland Mexico, heading for Marina Fonatur before hauling out for the season. We hadn’t connected with Gord for over two months, so it was nice to know where he was.

Sea Rover II on a spinnaker run.

Sea Rover II on a spinnaker run.

Towards late afternoon, the winds lightened up, but we continued to fly our blue-on-blue spinnaker, maintaining 3 knots for another hour. When we finally slowed to less than 2 knots, we socked the spinnaker and motored the last half hour to the breakwater sheltering the Santa Rosalia’s Marina Fonatur. What a day! We flew the spinnaker for a total of 8 hours under the best conditions imaginable and couldn’t have been happier.

Falcon VII under spinnaker sail.

Falcon VII under spinnaker sail.

We organized a cruisers’ potluck at the Santa Rosalia Marina Fonatur for Easter Sunday evening, where more than 25 sailors from around the world shared dinner and swapped stories of their travels. Both Sea Rover II and Falcon VII plan to cruise to Guaymas on Monday or Tuesday, a 72 mile crossing of the Sea of Cortez. We hope the wind gods are in our favour, but no matter what, we’ll enjoy another day on the warm waters of Mexico while, like the saying goes, we’ll live in the moment and embrace our adventure.

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