Sunday, April 20, 2008

The tradition of 'Sundays at Sea'

La Manzanilla, Jalisco, Mexico

I sailed around the world in 1970 and 1971 aboard the SS Ryndam as part of a university program called World Campus Afloat. Thirty-six countries in less than a year –– it was a mind-opening experience for any 18-year-old –– as we circumnavigated the globe as a first experience out of the United States.

I made good friends aboard the ship who challenged my comfort zone –– camping out in Stonehenge in England in case we could figure out the secret of the stones, hiking in the Japanese Alps in the middle of winter, exploring the Seychelle Islands off East Africa long before they built a jetport. And an incredible week in Tanzania as we rented cars and traveled inland for our own version of a photo safari (the rental agent's only advice? Don't get out and push the car in the bush because of the lions!).

It was a fabulous but exhausting year and certainly the foundation for the life Michael and I have chosen, in a small fishing/agricultural/surf village on the west coast of Mexico where we now live.

Today I was reminded of one of our ship's tradition on board the SS Ryndam from more than 30 years ago.

We were required to take university classes on board the ship every day at sea as we traveled to the next port, the next country. So we pushed hard every day at sea, then pushed 24/7 when we were unleashed in the next country, the next continent.

The only respite was a 'Sunday at Sea'.

It was the only day we were allowed to sleep in, hang by the pool, read a book or stare into the sea while we sat on foredeck. One day of rest, down time, then BAM! –– another Monday of classes or travel.

Today Michael and I had what might be our first 'Sunday at Sea' in Mexico.

Our good friends and great vacation buddies Jennifer and Scott Noble left yesterday after a fun-filled and exhausting week careening up to Arroyo Seco to fish, build, direct, or off to La Huerta to pay the taxes and look for huaraches, or to Melaque to the bank and lunch. Or....


But today Michael and I leisurely rolled out of bed, stuffed the fishing pole and a beach chair in the car and headed to our lot in Tenacatita.


Hunger drove us back to La Manzanilla for brunch with friends on the beach. And because I took a minute to get to the beach, I stumbled across the most fantastic musicians from Guadalajara jamming at one of the beach restaurants. I just stopped, sat and listened.

I definitely need to do that more often.

It was followed by a great siesta, then another walk on the beach where we ran into a few more friendly hellos. Now we're fixing dinner at home (great tamales from the great tamale party in Arroyo Seco --- see Michael's blog for that), some fiddle playing and maybe even a movie.

Even as I write this, I consider that perhaps this doesn't sound as relaxing to you as it does to me. But for someone who probably needs to slow down but has a low tolerance for it, I'm thinking I did pretty dang good.

We're going to continue to jam pack every minute of the remaining five weeks here before we careen off to Seneca Lake, where we will start a new chore list, party list, boating list.

Hopefully, we'll take the 'Sundays at Sea' tradition with us.

Beach fishing in the Pacific Ocean at Tenacatita

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