With our new window mounted we were more than ready to get out of the bingo and water aerobics community that is El Cid. Waiting on a new window and a raging norther kept us in Mazatlan for a grand total of 14 days. Anxious to make up some time we opted to skip Isla Isabella as well as San Blas and head straight for La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. With the winds subsiding and our route set, we cast off.
Once passed the dredge and the breakwater beyond, you could tell that there had been a wild wind not long ago. The sea was gray, the waves lumpy and the sky was hidden. The clouds and barometer said “Go back and play some bingo, you remember the sea of Cortez, right?” Our weather window is solid, I thought to myself, and to hell with it if I’m wrong, we need to get out of Mazatlan.
The whole first day was uneventful and we did little but read and nap. The highlight of the day was a group of spotted dolphins leading us toward warmer waters. Nothing was broken, no one was injured and the lifejackets were only brought out to be used as pillows. The hardest part was making sure we both didn’t fall asleep as the wind-vane tirelessly kept us on course.
As night fell the clouds began to part and the stars came out. There was no moon this night and the city light had long since been swallowed up by the horizon. No words nor any photo you have seen will ever do justice to the unbelievable and overwhelming quantity of stars that burn in the heavens beyond our reach. They fill the night sky so densely that darkness has all but been pushed aside. This is the old night sky. The sky of our ancestors, where philosophy and religion were born. The sky that guided travelers and captured the minds of men since the beginning of time. The Milky Way, now unseen and forgotten, another casualty in the name of progress.
The next morning brought by far the warmest day we have had at sea to date. The jackets were stowed and the sun hats came out. The seas lay flat and the wind pushed us effortlessly but not forcefully. Throughout the day we spotted sea turtles sunning themselves on the water’s surface as we dangled our legs over the toe-rail. It felt as though we could have been a million miles from anything. In reality we were probably 20 miles or so from Islas Marias, an island used as a federal prison colony in Mexico. When I look back on it now it seems a strange contrast. There we were, enjoying the boundless freedoms the ocean has to offer while just over the horizon 30,000 men were imprisoned by it.
Sunlight gave way to starlight as our hull painted a bioluminescent line across the sea. The slightest disturbance set the waters aglow; stars in the sky and stars in the sea. Staring off, mesmerized by the dream-like quality of the night, I spotted a pod of dolphins racing towards us, leaving an iridescent trail 100 yards long. As they played in the wake of our bow, Josie and I went forward to have a better look. Laying on deck looking down in to the water you could see every detail highlighted and every movement exaggerated. It was like the dolphins were bathed in millions of jewels more beautiful than man has ever laid his hands on. It is a brief glimpse into another world; a temporary window to a show that goes on and on unseen, only able to be captured by memory. A gift to those who wander beyond horizons and into the darkness.
We passed Las Tres Marietas just as the dawn began to break and La Cruz was just beyond. There was a humpback just off in the distance as we neared the breakwater. We pulled in that morning just as the sleepy village starting to come to life. A farmers market was being set up on the far side of the marina under a hundred or so brightly colored umbrellas. We tied off and went into town.