Following the Tao Te Ching is something I've tried to do most of my life. Understanding the Tao is easier "Done than Said". I guess in the purest and simplest form it's described as The Way. I like to think of it as the Way or Path of Life, and the best way to follow it for me is to just be and follow the flow. Having said that I will share this story with you. We came back to the marina for Carnival and had a blast. It was really cool to see all that goes on for Carnival in La Paz. Nothing comes alive until night time and then the town goes crazy. The parade was great. We ended watching it with Vicky (S/V Inspiration at Sea) and Shawn and Heather ( S/V Om Shanti). Shawn and Heather just wrote a new cruising guide book for the Sea of Cortez (check out the button... Mexico Cruising Book). We all went to this great little restaurant and got a table on the second floor so we could see the parade. Great spot, great restaurant, great company. A couple of days after Carnival we headed back out to the Islands. We spent the night in Ensenada Grande, a great little cove, then headed for Isle San Francisco which is one of our favorite Islands. It's only about 20 miles away but in a boat that's a 4 hour cruise ( isn't that what they said on Gilligan's Island?). Well about 5 miles out we got hit with a northerly that was coming in and it wasn't any fun. Big blocky square waves coming at us. I call them refrigerator waves cuz that's what they look like and that's what they feel like your hitting. It started to get rough and it looked like we were going to lose our kayaks. So while we we're plowing into these waves I ran up to the bow to try to secure them better. Needless to say a couple waves completely soaked me. Laura was doing her best to keep us at the right angle to the waves and making sure I stayed on the boat. Gnarly Dude! We made it through and found our spot in the anchorage. At about 10 pm I had just got to sleep when I heard what every sailor dreads, the sound of 2 boats colliding, one of them being ours. I jumped out of bed screaming every profanity word I knew thinking our anchor had dragged and we hit another boat. When I went out to see what happened the boat we were next to was fine so I looked on the other side of the boat and saw a panga. In case you don't know a panga is a Mexican fishing boat. About the time I realized the panga had just slammed into us Laura came running out saying we're taking on water. My heart stopped. I was thinking I'd beach the boat so it wouldn't sink. We ran up to the bow to look for damage but couldn't find any, so we went below and as it turned out we weren't taking on water. We figured when the boat got hit Laura heard the water slapping on the hull which sounded like it was coming in. At this point we weren't sure what happened we even thought maybe a whale hit us. After looking some more we saw that our bow sprit was cracked and our bow roller was bent. We watched the panga go over to another boat but got no response. The rest of the night was pretty sleepless for us. In the morning we found a little more damage from the panga. Our friend Dario (S/V Ballena) had helped the other boat earlier that day so he called the captain and that captain called the panga captain who admitted hitting us. The boats belong to a university here so this story will have to be continued. Just before we left Lake Tahoe to come to our boat our friends Roy and Stacy gave us a copy of The Alchemist. If you haven't read it you should. The story is about a young man searching for his path in life and what happens along the way. He meets an Alchemist who tells him, "There will always be obstacles on your path. They are tests. Some people turn back at these points, some find a way to keep going. If you go on there will be signs or people to help you continue on your path". Several times on our journey to go sailing we've had obstacles, but we've always managed to find our way back to our path of sailing. This time we had some things happen that could have stopped us. But always the miracle showed itself and an answer came. If the panga had hit us 2-4 inches in either direction it could have damaged our boat enough to stop this journey. I told Roy I was going to wait to read The Alchemist until I got to our boat. When I read it it reminded me of the Tao. It reminded me of the obstacles that always fall in all of our paths to stop us. Of the many people who give up on their dreams because something got in their way and they didn't think they could keep going. In all our situations we chose to keep going and then someone or something was there to guide us. These three men Sal, Denny, and Dario went out of their way to help us keep sailing. All of the people we've met sailing are following their dreams, and they have all truly been an inspiration to us. I thank them all. But mostly I would like to thank Roy for giving us a copy of his favorite book. It helped me to see The Tao of Sailing.
Carnival in La Paz. Here's some photos of the carnival, we went a couple of nights. The first night with Emrick and Claudia, then we went with Shawn, Heather and Vicky the second night.