Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jan 27 – Happy Birthday, Dixie!! We have been to Punta de Mita and back since I last wrote, so Merle had some time in the surf, which was great for him. The adrenalin makes him feel alive, and he likes the action – it keeps him very present and focused on what he is doing; letting your mind wander is not an option when there are rocks just underneath the rushing water on which you are precariously balanced as you rocket forward on the edge of the green water with foam piling up behind you, chasing you to the boulder garden beach. He loves it. That crazy guy! On our return leg to La Cruz, we saw the best whale show of the year! We were sailing along, and I was manifesting for a whale tail photograph, and Merle said, ‘The only thing that would make this better would be to have a whale jump right over the boat.’ And within a few minutes, a whale shot up out of the water, did a pirouette, and landed in a gigantic splashdown just off the bow of the boat, heading towards us. And then, he did the same rocket take-off out of the water, and splashed down next to our boat. We felt his landing before we could hear it; it felt like the thunder of a monstrous drum on our boat. We watched this spectacular stunt 6 times in a row; it was incredible! We were in awe for the rest of the journey. When we returned, Matero and Shandro drew pictures of what we saw. So, Matero’s first picture of a whale shows the whale sticking straight up out of the water, with his black back and light tummy, his great fin and the hole on his head. Shandro’s picture was very similar. Definitely not the ‘normal’ first impressions of a whale, and certainly more magical than I could have ever hoped! It was amazing.
On Saturday, we sailed our last sailing race. There were quite a few boats in this race – maybe a dozen or so. And about halfway through the race, the wind died! So there we were, sitting in irons for a while, unable to move! It was kind of funny actually. And Merle had an epiphany while we were there. He realized that the racing is a game just like life. And you can sail in any direction you want, and you can make your hands bleed or not, and the decisions that you make along the way, the goal posts you set for yourself and the finish line are all arbitrary decisions. And what is winning anyway? Is it crossing the (arbitrary) finish line first? Or is it having fun along the way? The racing has actually been very good for us, because it is easy to say, in the midst of chaos, ‘it’s just a game!’ and it really is. I think life is the same. If I have the presence of mind to look up in the midst of chaos and see that it’s just a game, that delights me! It is getting easier to do that. And Merle can see that too, which is so wonderful!
So in the middle of the race, I looked up and I could see an orb on the front of our boat. It was beautiful and green, just hanging there between the jib and the mast, about 4 feet off the deck, and just under 1.5 feet in diameter – amazing! And just after that, as we followed one of our competitors into the bay and directly towards the finish line, I looked down at our electronic GPS screen, and I could ‘see’ that there was no wind ahead of us in the direction we were sailing. (The screen does not show the wind, but my intuition about it was so strong that I sensed where there was wind and where there was none, and I saw it in my mind’s eye, but it seemed like I could see it on the screen.) So I said we should turn right and sail out into the middle of the bay, away from the finish line which we did. The wind picked up right away, and we were off on a new tack. This allowed us to sail quickly, and we ended up finishing in the allotted time, ahead of some of our competitors for sure, tho we were not sure how many at that time. When we crossed the finish line, we celebrated as if we had won, although we had no idea if we had won or lost. And we told the boys, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose – it just matters how you play the game. We had a big family cheers and told the boys we had a great race. On Monday, we laughed as we listened to the local ‘net’ on the radio and found out that we had not only won the race but also the series! We thought it was pretty funny actually, as we were racing with people here who have been racing here in the bay for many years. Hmmm, I still need some work on taming the old ego.
Watching the dogs for Love Song was nice. I loved running with them on the beach. I forgot how much I loved running with Chilko until I started to run with Dallas and Dulce. It’s a magical time, running with your dog, somehow.
Today, we met the family aboard Totem. They are Behan (pronounced BeeAnn) and Jamie, their son Niall age 9, and their daughters Mairen 6 and Chibhon (pronounced Shivon), age 4. The boys loved having new friends to play with – and girls to boot! They are great people with an open ended schedule and only a few foggy plans. It’s always refreshing to meet people on the same path to nowhere as us! It is so flexible! And so adaptable. And when the spirit moves us, we move too. It is a good way because it teaches you to listen to your heart rather than the calendar or the clock or the schedule. It’s better. It allows for serendipity and co-operative incidences.
We were talking about home schooling today a bit. The sailing community is an interesting and lovely community to belong to for many reasons including the children. While home schooling (HS) is looked on with suspicion by many land based people, HS is the only way for those living aboard their sailboats. It is understood that if you have children, you are home schooling. And the entire sailing community supports and loves that! Typically, HS is done in the morning, so the kids can play in the afternoon. And the schooling is flexible so the kids can learn about their environment – the plants and animals and the cultures and languages – and anything else that interests them can easily be incorporated into the lessons. Because it is one-on-one learning and teaching, they learn quickly so less time needs to be spent ‘in school’. And they get the social skills here because there are indeed other kids in the sailing community. As well, they spend time with people of all ages (rather than trapping them in school amidst only their age group) which further facilitates their ability to communicate and get along with others. We do fieldtrips and outings and there is just plain old beach time or play time too. I am so grateful to be part of such a supportive and loving community in this regard. And it is flexible and open-minded too, so our lessons on dowsing and rock moving, and our attempts at meditating with our children are supported rather than frowned upon.
I was just saying to Merle this evening that I feel very comfortable in this community – very supported by a positive and willing network of people, very much like the ‘tribe’ at home. In fact, I feel much more connected to this group of people living on their boats – our physical neighbors – than I ever felt in our own neighborhood. There were people living only 4 or 5 houses away that I never once spoke to, and would recognize only by the car they drove. I think the morning ‘net’ has something to do with this. Did I mention the net before? In the morning at 8:30 Monday to Saturday on channel 22, someone comes on the radio and directs a net. This net asks all cruisers to identify themselves by boat name and location. Then they proceed with categories including lost and found, treasures of the bilge offered or needed, boater’s assistance needed or offered, announcements including various concerts, parties, and events, tides, weather, crew needed or offered, arrivals and departures, etc. In short, it is a very helpful transmission that connects people to other people, helps with solving problems and fixing things, helps with finding things needed in the area, and offers up fun events for everyone to be part of. It is very positive, and it really promotes the well being of each individual as well as the group. It makes everyone feel as if they belong (which of course they do as we are all so connected), and puts people on an even playing field – this voice only communication that notes nothing of the size of boat you are sailing or the degrees behind your name. I would trade the news for this morning net in a heartbeat. I guess I have already. I don’t even know what is going on in the news these days. And it is better that way.
Must sleep. How am I going to meditate tonight without falling asleep??? We’ll see!

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