Friday, March 19, 2010

cruising community

La cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico

“How much chain do you have out?“

“All right, that will keep you from swinging into us. Have a good day.“

The cruising community seems to me like the Korean extended family: They’re all in your business, but also there to help you out. You cannot have one without the other.

How did the quote go…“I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.“ That is how I feel about memberships, especially those requiring plastic cards, usernames, and passwords. But we are amidst the Pacific Puddle Jump group and the level of energy and support right now is quite amazing.

In my late teens and early twenties, backpacking trips to Europe done by so many friends and acquaintances seemed too typical and trendy. The same pictures taken in front of the same church buildings seemed no different than those life-size cardboard stands with the “insert face here“ hole. In my rebellion against any uniform culture, I guess I had failed to see the unique nature of each person’s travel details.

Now that I start thinking of my life in decades (feeling old today, hyo?), I see that starting with the times of girl scouts, there is something special about belonging to a community. Whether it be climbing, yoga, or science, there are friendships, exchange of resources, mental support, and pride that might even have a touch of self-righteousness.

I will never forget the heartwarming brief encounter we had with a fellow boat after we rounded Point Conception. The red and white navigation lights in the thick of the night were the only visual features giving a “face“ to the friendly deep voice heard over the VHF radio. As we exchanged information on weather and sea conditions we’d each experienced and said our good-byes, I felt my energy renewed.

People refer to the Pacific crossing and subsequent routes as the ”coconut milk run”. But who cares? There are so many unique stories to be told. Like seashells on a beach, one can pick up a handful of the same species, but each shell will have a slightly different feature. Ours is simply unique and special to us.


1 comment:

  1. My favorite related realization "just because it is in a Hallmark card or a self-help book doesn't automatically mean it isn't true"