When Friends Come to Visit

Cynthia and Cal Wagstaff rolled into Casa de Catalina late Saturday morning.  They’d been making their way down Mex 1 through missing asphalt, torn up roads, water filled arroyos, and detours in the wake of Hurricane Paul.  The drive from Hailey, Idaho is part of their annual re-migration their beautiful casa in San Juanico.  I’d worried about their drive – and was glad to see their smiling faces on arrival.  Chica Bonita and Pancho piled out of the car behind their owners.

Cal wasn’t as convinced that they should stay – he was pretty much about ‘let’s get home,’ but Cynthia prevailed.  We swam, SUPd, laughed, we played with dogs, ate and enjoyed cocktails in the patio.  Love my friends – and all the spontaneity that seems to be what Baja is about.

Morning SUP with Friends

Morning SUP in post-Hurricane Paul waters with Kama Dean and Samuel Young. Paddled down to the Kinninger’s Rancho Jaral to ‘pick them up’ and headed north up the Loreto coastline. Fun to be with friends on a crisp bright morning. Hard to imagine that a mere 36 hours earlier we’d been hunkered down to weather out the storm. The Sea of Cortez – tranquil, if not loaded with lots of floater palms, cactus parts and bits of broken tree trunks.

A small swimming eel-like creature was very attracted to my board – and I thought he might want to hitch-hike, but kept swimming along head up and searching. Identification anyone?

Swimming with Paul

Swimming with Paul


“This is an invitation to go swimming,” my friend Al Jordan said when he phoned in the early afternoon.

I began to laugh so hard I could hardly speak.

“If the waves are too small for you,” he continued, “we could wait until after 5PM when the storm should be stronger… or even after dark!” I kept laughing, looking out my window at the frothy waters and the hurricane driven waves in our usually tranquil Sea of Cortez.

Al had swum the Picazone-Isla Coronado Race three days ago while I had SUP’d the distance. While we’d both thought those conditions were ridiculous, the turbulent sea outside framed our earlier experience in a different light. Now, while the wind blasted at 37 mph, gusts above 40, and the trees bent low to the ground, his idea was such a delightful counterpoint to the storm, I had to thank him over and over for the invitation.

Hurricane Paul

Hurricane Paul approaches Baja 16 October 2012

Good morning Paul : woke to change in plans – or at least change in track. Paul’s now headed directly to my treasured surf spot – San Juanico – and then across to pay a visit to the east coast. Batten down the hatches, Dorothy. We’re not quite ready to head to Kansas.

Hurricane Paul