Exactly one year ago today we untied our dock lines at the Stockton Sailing Club and set sail on our cruise. We had some idea what it would be like because we had cruised a little back in the dark ages (before chartplotters), but it has been so much more rewarding this time. We have been gone longer, traveled much further (5100 miles), and seen so much more of the world this time. Please join us as we recall some of the beautiful places, experiences, surprises, cruisers, and nature we have seen this past year.
We have seen so many beautiful places: Isla Espiritu Santo in the Sea of Cortez, Isla Isabel with its huge bird colonies, Bahia Careyes with its colorful condos marching up the hill, the Guna Yala with its gentle people and stunning islands.
|Blue Footed Boobies on Isla Isabel|
|Typical beach in Guna Yala|
We have also had so many amazing experiences: some exhilarating like riding the buffaloes, hitting a whale, crossing the bar at Bahia del Sol, going through the Panama Canal, getting hit by lightning;
|Surfing while crossing the bar at Bahia del Sol|
|Transiting the Panama Canal|
|Riding the Buffaloes in the Sea of Cortez|
and some humbling like watching dolphins at the bow, meeting the Guna people, snorkeling, the midnight dolphin show in Bahia Santa Elena; and some just downright hilarious like the bongo bus ride in Manzanillo, being a Boy Band Groupie in Zihuatanejo, and creating our own cruisers' net in Bahia Santa Elena.
|Venancio the Mola Seller|
And we have had several very pleasant surprises: the French Baker in Barra de Navidad ringing his bell as he approaches the yachts to sell fresh croissants and pastries, the Fish Market in La Cruz with its abundance of seafood and fresh vegetables, our absolutely smooth crossing of the Tehuantepec, and the sophistication and friendliness of Cartagena.
|Centenario Parque in Cartagena|
|Sea turtle in smooth water in the Gulf of Tehuantepec|
|The "Salty Bay" gang|
But of course the best part about cruising is the other cruisers. We have met so many wonderful people out cruising: Don & Crystal on Brown Sugar, Jim & Betty on Flibbertigibbet, Mike & Linda on Aquavit, Phil & Desley on Wind Dancer, Steve & Debbie on Delphinia, Mark and Rey on Cockpit, Steve, Tina, Billie & Grace on Seahorse V, Scott, Cindy & Bucket on Velvet Sky, Russ & Anne on Mohini, Rita and Antoon on Albatross, Wayne & Sheila on WaySheGoes 2, Rob & Lauren on Southern Comfort, Barb & EW on La Luna, Cris & Jim on Ullr, Steve & Rachel on Il Giro, the list goes on and on. Cruisers are always ready to lend a hand, help out in a crisis, offer advice, share food and tools, and offer a shoulder to cry on when necessary. They are some of the nicest and most down-to-earth people in the world.
|Phil & Desley|
|Stockton Sailing Club get together in El Salvador|
Living in and on the water as we do, we have a ring side seat to the many wonders of nature from thunderstorms (which I now hate), to sealife, clouds, birds, sunsets, and even bugs. We can't help but examine the world around us with wonder and delight because every day presents a new perspective.
|Stowaway near Golfito|