The Crossing

March 10_Thursday Mazatlan to March 12_La Paz

March 10 – Mazatlan departure
I spent the afternoon in the old club building publishing back issues of my blog (to remain true to my nine faithful readers), and returned to RD in time to have a full meal before my sunset departure.

The El Faro Lighthouse

Soon I rounded the guiding light of La Faro







Mazatlan seen from one-mile offshore

and the lights of Mazatlan spread across the horizon in my wake.   For the next hour I contemplated the enormous size of the city from my offshore position.





March 11 _ Friday
0311_LaPaz_6693-1I awoke from a cat nap to isolated solitude and the rising sun and flat seas. I have not seen another vessel all night. The predicted winds and sea state were no where to be found.



0311_LaPaz_6657-1Just a glassy light blue sea that melted into the light blue sky without the usual interruption of a horizon line. I have been watching without success for usable wind.




0311_LaPaz_6687-1A zephyr is making cat scratches on patches of water among the glass. What does it portend?




The engine drones on (thank goodness) – displacing 38.000 pounds of water to make headway at 5 knots.   The distance from Mazatlan to La Paz is 225 nautical miles (or about 45 hours at 5 knots speed). At sunrise I have made 60 NM in glassy seas, so the predicted weather has plenty of my time to show up. But it doesn’t.0311_LaPaz_6688 0311_LaPaz_6687-1 0311_LaPaz_6686 0311_LaPaz_6681-1

I am laughing at my mind for yesterday’s misplaced angst about a rough crossing.   My reptilian brain kicked in, allegedly to keep me from danger. I value rehearsing several scenarios for the purpose of better preparedness. However I can not act on the wild fantasies of my mind projections.   Someday I hope to be able to be calm in ALL circumstances and simply respond to what shows up in the moment — without the delusional mind projections that take me out of reality and destroy my joy.

“The eternal present is the space within which your whole life unfolds, the one factor that remains constant. Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.”                   Eckart Tolle

March 12 Saturday
0311_LaPaz_6669-1 0311_LaPaz_6676

I am two thirds through my uneventful crossing, and I’ve seen precious few signs of natural or man-made life.



0311_LaPaz_6694-1Night turns to daylight and I give thanks that all of RD’s  boat systems are in the green.




0311_LaPaz_6628I shake off the sleepies with a good breakfast.
0311_LaPaz_6661In the afternoon some usable wind shows up and I squeeze what I can out of it to reduce my fuel burn.




0312_LaPaz_6650-1 Gradually land appears on my horizon and ever so slowly detail shows up.




The AIS warns me of a pending collision with the ferry, the La Paz Star. The unstated Rule of the Road is simple and intuitively obvious: if it’s a big vessel, stay out of its way. I contact the captain on the radio and he politely suggests I alter course to port; and I agree.

And the last hour both my excitement and activity increase. I feel the gratification of a success coming on.

Success is simply achieving a goal you’ve set for yourself. And this one is marked by he anchor splash and the sun set in the same minute. I audibly cheer: I smile with elation; no ticker tape parade (is that because ticker tape is no more?), and no one notices. But I feel the glow of job well done. After setting switches, coiling lines and tidying up the details I mix myself a double margarita and recline on the deck, sip slowly and revel in my good fortune.

I confess that exactly mid way across the Sea of Cortez,  I “parked” RD and went for a swim au natural in crystal clear blue waters.  There are no pictures and no witnesses, but it kept me refreshed for several hours.



3 thoughts on “The Crossing

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