on the horizon line - sailing and traveling blog in mexico

Embrace the Now

Posted on Posted in Fishing, Ocean Tales

on the horizon line - sailing and traveling and fishing blog in mexico

Rob pulled himself into the dinghy. “Man, I sure wish I’d had our GoPro down there,” he told me, pulling off his mask. “How cool would it have been to get video of those sea lions side-swiping us?”

We’d just snorkeled off Los Islotes, a small rock outcropping north of La Partida island where we were anchored on our friend’s boat, Sea Raven. It’s famous for the sea lion colony that lives on the ammonia-scented, guano-stained rocks. And the fame is well-deserved: it was unbelievable to have humongous slippery mammals skyrocketing past us in the sea.

The lions, called lobos del mar or sea wolves in Spanish, honked and barked, blew bubbles when we got too close, and chomped on the millions of tiny bait fish shimmering like a silver wave just beneath the surface. This marine reserve looked like the Sea of Cortez must have looked a century ago – ripe with fish of all colors, shapes and sizes. It was quite a contrast to the more barren underwater scene near the rocks at our anchorage a mile south, where only a handful of smaller fish dodged hungry fishermen’s nets and lines.

on the horizon line - sailing and traveling blog in mexico

We put some distance between ourselves and the clutter of tourist boats at Los Islotes, and snorkeled again at the next rock island. Rob swam around for 20 minutes, then jumped into the dinghy so I could do the same. This time, he didn’t say a word about missed opportunities behind a camera. He was full of stories of the world below: “I saw tons of trigger fish, and a huge surgeon fish! Did you see that sea lion glide in off the rock? This place is seriously awesome.”

That evening, we both stretched on the foredeck as we watched the red light of sunset roll down from the mountains and break across the sea. Rob pointed out turtles as they popped up to breathe (he’s seen approximately 43 turtles this past week, compared to my 2), and we followed a young sea lion that was playing between the catamaran’s hulls.

on the horizon line - sailing and traveling and fishing blog in mexico espiritu santo sunset in baja

“You know,” Rob said, “I’ve been thinking about my time in Madagascar. I didn’t have any of that shit we just lost. I keep thinking it’s a blessing in disguise that our electronics got stolen. If I’d had the GoPro today, I would’ve been fiddling with cameras instead of just enjoying the dive, and I’d probably be inside editing the video right now instead of watching turtles swim in the sunset.”

It definitely still stings a lot that we lost all of the gear we so carefully researched and assembled. Mostly, though, it stings that we made dumb mistakes that led to that occurrence.

That sunset, Rob and I came to agreement that we don’t need to prove how cool and interesting this trip is, to ourselves or others. Sure, it’s natural to want to share our experience, and to capture remarkable moments to enjoy again later. But then you lose the now. The cost of recording those events means we’re behind a computer, camera or recorder, rather than fully experiencing how cool they are. The universe may well have been telling us that it’s our time to embrace the now.

on the horizon line - sailing and traveling and fishing blog in mexico

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5 thoughts on “Embrace the Now

  1. Bri and Rob!

    So psyched to read your post as Bethany is confirming our kayak reservations for going to where you just were next week!! Wow I love, love turtles!! Enjoy you two!


  2. Thanks, Marc! We already feel loads better now that Mexico is behind us. Leaving the scene of the crime makes it feel far away.

  3. Sorry to dump you back into unpleasant memories, Steve! But the upside is that you sent us some good advice. Love the KISS ethos. Can’t wait to make good(er) stories. Good to hear from you.

  4. Bri and Rob,
    Been reading your stuff, and it reminded me of the thrice occasions I’ve been ripped off while traveling…Worst was 20 years ago and I got pissed off again just thinking of it. So thanks for that!

    Now chillin by a fire and getting ready to paddle tomorrow below Bonneville Dam, where sea lions also congregate. Some islands there that harbor the last viable runs of chum salmon in the Columbia above the salt chuck.
    Listening to some bluegrassy rendition of Lay My Burden Down and occurs to me heeding the message of the song ought not to wait until we all go to see Jesus…
    I got taken for $1500 in cash and about three-quarters of everything I owned when I was traveling in my early 20’s in The Czech Republic. Back then you could live well for about $20 a week in Prague, so I discovered the other quarter of my stuff was more than enough. I memorized a Jim Harrison poem back then that I think is a much more eloquent rendition of the Keep it simple stupid ethos:

    Hotei didn’t need a zafu,
    thinking his own ass sufficient
    The head’s a cloud anchor
    The feet must follow
    Travel light
    Or do not travel at all.

    Good stories are way better than good stuff.
    Pleasant dreams with your heads on a comfy zafu.


  5. Bri, you’re a great writer, as I’m sure you’ve heard before. I’m enjoying your blogs. You are heading in a good direction, justifying your adversity and coping with it. So… It can only get better from now on.

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