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Fred W. Gibson’s Mexico Sailing Adventure

From Fred:

I spent 2 weeks in Mexico recently visiting my sister and brother-in-law (from Breckenridge, CO) at their casita above Cabo San Lucas on the Gulf of California. Their patio is about 80 feet from the water with a seawall in between. Weather was great and the ocean was about 80 degrees. They have kayaks and a small sailboat and a nearby reef for snorkeling. All in all, a beautiful getaway and the town they are in, El Cardonal, has only 250 residents. Nightlife is nil but outside activities abound. Actually, there is “nightlife” twice a week and it consists of a taco stand in the middle of town which we walk to with our libations and sit under the stars with neighbors and residents. The price is right – like 12 pesos a taco! Just don’t add the Habanero sauce as that is really, really hot but does justify having more cerveza.

The highlight of the South of the Border trip was meeting up with John Aldous (another TIYC member) in La Paz (about 1 hour from the casita). John had let me know that he would be arriving while I was there so we planned on getting together. He had gone on the Baja Ha Ha race last year from San Diego and liked it so much in the La Paz area that
he decided to use that as his base. When home in England, he puts Coral Rose (a 34 foot Aloha in beautiful condition) on the hard near the marina and he had just launched it a few days before we got there. Great timing.

John invited us to help in a race ( a number of the boats had just finished the Baja Ha Ha ) on a Cal 39, Gitana, owned by Pat Mitchell of South Shore Tahoe the next day in the bay there. It’s been a number of years since I have raced so I couldn’t pass it up.

There were five crew and the skipper. One of the crew, my sister Anne Marie, was the Rah Rah girl! Not much of a sailor but she sure can yell loudly to cheer us on! It must have worked because we came in 2nd physically but not sure of the overall placing as it is based on PHRF ratings. The Gitana is a fast boat for its size and very responsive.

We flew the A-sail and did many jibes on the downwind course. John was handling the preventer on the boom and helping David (another South Shore Tahoe guest) get the spinnaker to the correct side during the jibe maneuver and it sure kept them busy. My brother-in-law, Dayton, handled the main sheet trimming and I “managed” the spinnaker
sheets and kept the big sail full most of the time. Pat is quite a competitive skipper and really never lets up the pressure on the other boats and, because of that, we did well. It was a great day with a fun loving group and will be remembered for a long time! The Pacifica Cerveza at the end was a good way to celebrate. Thanks to John and Pat for
making that happen!!!

I look forward to maybe heading down there again for “fun in the sun”. Hasta la vista!

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