Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Is That Jaime?
Just say NO. No no no!
But um... now I'm going to have to admit that Jaime might be growing up in spite of my state of motherly denial. Captain Uncle Glenn of s/v Beach Access, our buddy boat and fellow Lagoon 380, invited Jaime to crew on the Baja Bash. This is a big deal. The Baja Bash is a hard sail during the best of times. Doing it in mid-June compounds the difficulty with steady northwest winds on the nose and generally mixed, unpleasant seas. Doing it on a fairly tight schedule because Glenn needs to get back to the States to work increases the order of difficulty yet more. And Jaime was not only willing, she was eager to volunteer.
Jaime may or may not grow up to be a merchant marine captain. However, right now she seems quite serious about her desire to grow up and get a captain's license. In mid-June, she packed up a small duffel bag of clothes, her iPod, her Algebra book, and her HAM radio license work book. I'm probably the only one that cried a bit as she climbed on the bus with her father, headed for La Paz and Beach Access. Maybe she sniffled. Maybe it was hay fever. It was hard watching her go.
For two weeks, we received daily reports of their progress. They left La Paz in a bit of a tearing fit hurry in advance of Tropical Cyclone Andres. Their first days were a whirlwind of steady, speedy progress, down the tip of Baja and around to Cabo. At Cabo, they got a nasty taste of the Pacific in the form of four miserable attempts to round Cabo Falso. It was hard waiting for the periodic messages sent via SSB SailMail. At first optimistic, Glenn's messages described a steady series of challenges and set backs. Then after finally rounding the cape, they faced nasty winds for the entire 700 nautical mile trip north.
Jaime's first experience of the Bash was everything that we hear that is horrid about taking your boat north up the outside of the Baja peninsula. The wind was nearly always in their face, the seas were nearly always the consistency of a washing machine, the temperatures were cold and the progress slow, draining and almost entirely motor or motor sailing. They didn't get to stop when they wanted to do so, then they had to stop when they didn't want to, they nearly collapsed on getting to Turtle Bay and again on arriving in Ensenada.
I am sure my daughter wasn't perfect; I have yet to hear many of the details. Yet, Glenn's reports give me reason to hope that my girl acquitted herself well on the journey. She clearly was taking watches, helping with sail trim, and trying to contribute where she could. I was particularly proud when I heard that her first impulse on finally arriving in Ensenada was to invite the captain and other crew member out for a nice steak dinner. Such class and manners were not something we told her to do, nor did we provide the money. Jaime rose to the occasion entirely without our guidance or support. She just did it.
But I can't help it. MY daughter is all that and a bag of chips. MY daughter just completed an offshore passage that would daunt many seasoned cruisers. MY wonderful, capable young woman made good choices, impressed the hell out of everyone, and did a favor for a good friend.
MY daughter is Jaime.