Friday, October 31, 2014 Beach Party
Woke up: Bahia Tortugas, Mexico
Went to sleep: Bahia Tortugas, Mexico
Each morning, the Grand PooBah begins roll call at 7:00 am. First question, does anyone have a medical emergency? A woman with a recent knee replacement was concerned of pain and inflammation. A registered nurse, a paramedic and our friend/crew, Krista, a Physician’s Assistant, stepped forward to assist. The woman’s vital signs were recorded to establish a baseline and monitor her for infection. No other medical issues were identified.
Second question, does anyone have a mechanical emergency? There were numerous concerns including problems with alternators, battery banks, and an auto pilot. Others in the fleet came forward, one by one, to present their ideas and opinions and spare parts or tools as needed.
Throughout the morning, local men came by our boat in their “pongas” to offer fuel, water, taxi service, or to dispose of our garbage. Prices were variable. The first man wanted $3 to take away a bag of garbage. We said, “Too much!” He accepted $2. Our first taxi ride into town cost $1 for each of us but later in the afternoon they were asking $2 each. Supply and demand influences cost.
A long pier extends about 500 yards into the bay. The pongas running people back and forth between shore and their boats tie up to a rickety old stairway/ladder extending about 20 feet from the water to the pier above. Our first day in Turtle Bay there was fuel available at this pier – $5 per gallon. Peter and Alex filled Penelope’s fuel tanks 10 gallons at a time running the dinghy back and forth from our anchorage.
The beach party was scheduled to begin at 12:30 pm at a south west facing beach, located about a quarter mile from the pier on the other side of a point. About 300 people arrived either in their own dinghies or aboard the pongas. The only way to get to the party was by boat.
It was a potluck. Dozens of American style pot luck dishes arrived. Green salad, pasta salad, coleslaw, baked chicken, pork chops, ham and beans. Many crews, including this one, brought Mahi Mahi or Yellow Fin caught on the first leg of our trip. Barbeque briskets and steel grills were placed between small piles of rocks and the fresh fish was barbequed on the beach.
People hiked the nearby hill to see what they could see. Music played, people ate and talked and laughed the day away. The locals set up a beer stand and sold ice cold Corona, Tecate and Pacifico with lime for $2.00 per bottle.
For entertainment we watched the crews landing their dingys on the shore with more or less success. Some came right in without a problem, others took a bath.
We had a tug-o-war. Seven women to each man. The women won. Later the children were given a chance to throw water balloons at the Grand PooBah.
As I get to know the others, I find the majority of them are a lot like Peter and me. Most are married couples, late 50s to early 60s, grown children and aging parents. Most have worked a lifetime and accumulated a medium to moderate amount of assets. Most have worked toward this goal of escaping the rat race to live as gypsies upon the open ocean for many years. Perhaps Peter and I are not so unique after all.