Kate’s Blog #12

Family Christmas aboard Samsara.

Clearly, we got a teensy bit behind on our posting,  but we are determined to play catch up because life aboard Samsara, honestly, keeps getting better and better.  Our motivation for posting sometimes gets swept under the rug in light of time spent exploring new places, the tedious process of navigating our website ( we have to relearn every time we do it, it seems), recovery from overnight passages, making repairs….. major and minor which ever seem to end (don’t get me started), reading, day dreaming, dedicating time and effort to getting more proficient at the whole process, and preparing for the next leg of the adventure of our lives.

After our awesome trip to the Copper Canyon, we left San Carlos and headed west back to the Baja side of the Sea of Cortez to Loreto in time to meet our family Christmas guests, Janet and Ron Sauls from Greenwood, Ca ( my sister and brother in law). How we convinced them to leave their 30 acre ranch in the low Sierras with multiple horses, a full kennel of dogs and puppies  and a multitude of daily ranch chores, not to mention their own kin, is beyond me, but we were extraordinarily excited to have them on board as well as humbled that they chose to spend the coveted holidays with a couple of lonely sailors.

We greeted our holiday crew at the airport at Loreto, but not before the customs officials nabbed Ron, rifled through his backpack and luggage, and made him pay import taxes for the many parts and gadgets he was carrying in his suitcase for us (i.e.  marine parts, a new radio, foldable beach chairs and table, to name a few) and headed to Samsara.  After getting all their gear sufficiently stowed, we untied from the dock and headed to one of our favorite places….San Juancio, where we would all kiss under the mistletoe and celebrate the season together on December 25.  We stopped for a night at Isla Coronado with its crystal-clear water and white white sand, did a little hike on the island, watched the birds, made dinner, had more tequila, and got rocked to sleep in the beautiful bay swaying from Samsara’s anchor.  Well rested the next morning , we pointed Samsara  toward San Juanico….FISHING LINES IN THE WATER AT ALL TIMES….for a full day of sailing the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

San Juanico was quiet, but not totally deserted, and after we arrived, anchored and had a margarita (or four), we engaged in some fun.   Ron unveiled an early Christmas gift he’d brought for Jeff: a veritable plethora of colorful sparkly fishing tackle and gear of all kinds….like tons of it! (Check out the related photograph).  So, off the two of them went in the dinghy “likety split” to see what, if anything, might be coerced to bite the colorful, shiny, shaggy objects in their tackle boxes.  Janet and l had our fingers crossed for a nice Mahi Mahi, or a silvery tuna as we waved them good bye.

Meanwhile, my sister and I took the opportunity to cuddle up on the boat and catch up on family news including our individual adventures.  Janet runs a thriving business breeding Rocky Mountain horses ( she’s on the cover of HORSE Magazine in Dec 2022), and gorgeous Labrador Retrievers, and devours books faster than the speed of light.  We chatted about our favorite reads and took notes only to text or email later about the ones we loved best. She is an ultimate resource for my reading pleasure, and I love that about her (along with lots of other things.  She’s the baby of 7 kids, and I am the middle, but we have always found rich common ground.   She’s a huge part of my soul.

The guys eventually returned with no fish this time but huge smiles on their faces , the value of which is immeasurable, and I think we ate chicken that night.

 In San Juancio a couple months earlier, Jeff and I had hiked to a lovely little local organic farm because we heard through the “kelp vine” that one could buy fresh herbs, vegetables, lettuce, eggs, and fresh goat cheese from Jose, the owner of the farm.   While the goat cheese didn’t materialize (the goats seemed more interested in feeding their babies than making chevre), we did make a plan in very broken English (in fact, sign language might have been more effective) with Jose to take us on a horseback trip on Christmas Eve day, 2 months away.  Have you heard the term “fat chance”?

So, the time had come and here we were, the four of us hiking up to Jose’s farm for cheese, veggies and our pre-arranged horseback ride.   As we approached the ranch, we were cautiously optimistic but realistically leery that we would find Jose there and not a note saying sorry, he had gone to Loreto for a traditional Christmas dinner with his family of homemade tamales. But lo and behold, we rounded the corner after a mile walk and there they were, 5 donkeys all tricked out in hand tooled genuine leather saddles chomping on a bit of grass waiting for their charges.  Off we went on a tour of the bay and down to the water’s edge.  

Our Christmas Eve was a lovely barbeque on the beach with Sonora Prime steaks, and all the other festive fixings while sitting comfortably on our new beach chairs on the sand around a campfire with two of our favorite humans drinking a fantastic magnum of Harlan that I’d been saving for years, laughing and feeling damn lucky.  Bit by bit, San Juanico was also celebrating the holiday by delivering a gift of a mind blowingly beautiful sunset in her signature electric pinks and oranges.  Eventually, the colors dissipated, and the night sky grew dark illuminated only by the fanciful patterns of twinkling constellations overhead.   It was a magical night not to be forgotten.

Before we left the bay, we did an obligatory excavation of “Indian tears” from the cliffs….that’s what the locals call the round beads of obsidian that are imbedded into the rock surrounding the bay.  With a little muscle, some can be chipped out with a strong fingertip, but others need a little help from a small screwdriver.  From our two visits, I have a small jar of tears that I someday will have an artist forge into a cool piece of jewelry.

Janet and Ron’s ETD was sadly fast approaching so we pulled up anchor, slithered out of beautiful San Juanico and headed back to Puerto Escondio.   Nearly every day on Samsara is a treat, but the one thing that leaves an empty feeling in our gut in spite of the joy of our adventure is that we don‘t get to share it with others enough.  We speak about missing friends and family often, but being so far away much of the time remains the absolute hardest part of our lives at sea.

Our holiday crew packed up their bags and left us feeling pretty sad and lonely, but enriched knowing we had just shared a uniquely extraordinary space in time with special loved ones.

After a few days in Puerto Escondido, by far the nicest marina we’ve every stayed, we headed back to the Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay to wrap up our preparations for our long awaited ( thanks to Covid)  journey across the Pacific Ocean.  It was going to be EPIC!

3 thoughts on “Kate’s Blog #12

  1. Beautifully described Katie. I feel I’m participating through a skilled writer. Clear skies and fair winds. By

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Ahhhh! More wonderful tales to tell! Thank you so much for sharing your lives with us. What a glorious adventure you are having!!!


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