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"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." -- Sir Winston Churchill
|48--Mexico: Being on a Mistress is Never Lonely|
@ Where`s Cherie?
Aug 05 2002 - 09:47 PST
cherie writes: From the Baja Ha Ha Cruiser's Rally 2001
Ray isn't sure what to do with six beers and two girls. First Ray doesn't drink, and second he is happily married with children!
Jean and Cherie with our favorite tequila. The secret to any good margarita is the tequila...it has to be 100% agave!
Rennie and Anne two of our most feared competitors racing against us on their 65 ft Swan "Cassiopeia". They look like serious racers, don't they. Seriously, their only concern was making sure they had the most fun! (They should have been on "Mistress".
I'll begin with the:Top 20 Common Boating Expressions Which Sound Sexual But Aren't
1. Is this the position that you want to be in?
2. I'm running a broad reach.
3. How many people can your boat berth?
4. Hold on, I'm coming up!
5. Should I go down?
6. Blow the sheet!
7. Lube the stick!
8. Wrap the winch!
9. Screw that hose again!
10. That's a tight hatch.
11. His dinghy is always full of seaman.
12. How deep is her draft?
13. Will you pump the boom vang?
14. Those are nice cans.
15. How are your bumpers hanging?
16. Blow the guy!
17. I gave her a good bottom cleaning this morning!
18. I hope I can get it up tonight! (The spinnaker)
19. Go down, go down, go down now!
20. Grind it harder!
The second leg of the Baja Haha Race ended in Santa Maria where we had another Lobster Beach Party to celebrate. This group pretty much celebrates breathing. This time the party was $10 bucks, but that was okay because it was twice as good as the last one. The organizers even had a live band that really knew how to get things going, with hip-hop grooves like the theme to Titanic by Celine Dion.
Wally (from Learjet) was introducing himself to everyone of the female persuasion (all 8 of them) by saying 'I'm six foot two and two hundred forty pounds.' Can you imagine a woman saying that? 'Hi, I'm Cherie, I am 5 foot 8 inches and 139 pounds.' Overall the Lobster-Fest had quite an eclectic crowd--Rennie from Cassiopeia was wearing his Cod-piece (slang for Speedo), Mike from Synergy was walking around with a purple Wizard hat on, and our own Joe was carrying around neon flippers. I would have been wearing my zebra pants, but they were still waving from the Mistress's mast acting as our 'battle flag.'
Wally has kept up his smile and his good humor, even through the continuous torment of Jean and I. One occasion, when Wally was 'going in for the kill' with a lovely blonde, I interrupted and introduced myself as his wife. This was the first time I heard Wally stutter and choke (when not involved in a beer guzzling contest.) I excused myself with a dirty look (the type only a real wife can give) and told my story to Jean. We turned into two giggling Marlin. Then Jean got serious.
Her eyes flickered as her mind hatched an even greater evil idea. Jean went over to Wally (who had surprisingly saved himself and was still putting his smooth moves on the blonde.) Jean tapped Wally's shoulder and said, 'Dad, when can we go home?' Wally stopped buying us beers after that. Some people just can't take a joke.
Good thing that the roof wasn't on fire at the Lobster Beach Party because a large part of the Baja Fleet was dancing on it. There were about five roofs in all of Santa Maria, and we danced on all of them. The word 'roofs' may be a stretch, let's just call them thatched hay-covers that manage to keep out the sun and keep in the heat.
The Baja Haha racers, who weren't dancing on the roof, were in the ocean playing full tackle water-football. It seemed like a good way to cool down, but I wanted to try something a little more dangerous--like a shot of tequila. I bought as much beer and tequila that I could hold. Each of my fingers was soaking in two-ounce thimbles of Jose Cuervo, while my pockets were stuffed with Mexican beer.
After my generosity (the only money I have spent in a week), I realized I ran out of pesos. That may be a bigger comment about the size of my bank account than the cost of the beers. And you know what they say in Mexico 'No pesos, No besos!' (No money, no kisses!)
'Tom' I asked, 'Do you think you could buy me lunch?' After all, he owns the Mistress. When you own a boat your crewmembers will always assume that you are rich. Good thing that in Tom's case, it's true.
'I've been buying you lunch all week.' Tom exclaimed.'Oh, that's right, I forgot you paid for all the food on the boat, too.' I said.
Of course, Tom bought everyone lunch (again). Good thing I was there, because I suggested he should 'write it off' as employee compensation. As a seasoned business traveler I can attest that this Baja Haha junket has been a fairly typical business trip.
Scott and I left the Lobster-Fest last because Scott's pink skin turned such a violent red I thought people were going to start dipping him in clarified butter. We rode home on a 'ponga,' which contrary to popular belief is not Pokeman's little brother. A ponga is a small boat usually with a guy named Jose or Juan driving. If you are super lucky, you might get Jesus at the helm. The only way you can be certain to get home is if Jesus is leading the way. We didn't have the guidance of Jesus, so we got lost.
We saw one yacht that looked just like ours, but it had a really funky strobe light at the top. 'Our Mistress doesn't have a strobe,' I said. So we meandered around the harbor a few hours along with the rest of the Baja Fleet that couldn't find their boats.'Which boat is yours?' asked Juan or Jose.'The white one with the tall mast.' Scott and I said together.Eventually, after trying to board a few other boats, Scott and I found the Mistress. Tom was on deck shaking his head. He had a flashlight with a beam strong enough to alert the Mir Space Station.
'What took you so long?' Tom said. 'I put the strobe lights on so you could find us!'
Turns out the lights were also on because Ray had tried to abandon ship. Apparently Ray couldn't wait to sail to Cabo so he tried to float there.
Ray was trying to disassemble our zodiac by himself. After he took the engine off, Ray stood up in the dinghy and found he was holding both ends of the rope that tethered him to the Mistress. As he floated out into the blackness, he remembered Rule #1 of Disassembling Dinghy School×remove the oars last! With no engine, no oars and no smile, Ray seeped into the starless night. He held his arms up theatrically and yelled, 'I don't know what to do.' For dramatic effect, his voice trailed off as it was swallowed by the blackness of the night. This earned him a 'best actor' nomination from the rest of the crew. Matt from Little Wing (a Perry 52 ft Catamaran) saved Ray. Matt just happened to be another guy in a dinghy floating around the harbor looking for his boat. 'I'm not even going to ask,' Matt said to Ray. Surprisingly, Ray was OK with that.
Dustin was glad to see Scott and I. But, after so many drinks, perhaps Dustin was grateful to be able to focus and see anything. As punishment for missing dinner, he grabbed my arm and shaved it. (Yeah the Mistress Crew practices 'tough love.') I squirmed and flopped around like the tuna he caught earlier. I learned the valuable lesson: Don't sit next to Dustin after he's had a few Margaritas. But, perhaps it was Tom who learned the greatest lesson: Don't leave your razor out. People like us always have to learn the hard way.
Other than being shaved when you don't want to be, being a woman in the Baja Haha is great. First, there are about five times as many men as women. Sailing is amazing, so where are all the ladies? To address this problem, I have conducted a completely accurate scientific survey and asked at least 5 other women: 'Where are all of our sailing sisters?' So men, pay attention, because I am going to expose the secret of why there are very little women that like to sail.
It's not sailing that we don't like; it's the toilet situation. Someone needs to design a 'head', so that when you have to go, you don't have to flush someone else's present first. Attention men--us ladies have this little saying that we scribble on the bathroom walls. It goes like this:'If you sprinkle when you tinkle,Be a sweetie and wipe the seatie.'
Everyone on our boat has their 'thing' that they are in charge of lecturing everyone else about. Jean's critical issue is food placement in the refrigerator. Joe thinks all fruit has a half-life--especially bananas. It doesn't matter if the banana is as brown as a log of poo Joe will still eat it. Ray is always on 'propane' watch, while I offer daily 'how to flush the toilet courses.' And Tom's deal is the teak floors. (Here is an actual snippet of a conversation Tom and I had.)
Tom: 'That sound is driving me crazy, what is it?'Cherie making no attempt to help figure it out says, 'I don't know.''Click, click, click, clack, clack, clack.' (It sounded like an expensive problem.)
Was the generator about to go again? It was hard to tell. What was that annoying sound?Tom (the problem solver) lifted up all the teak floors and started tinkering with mechanical stuff. Dustin came down to help because he knew Tom was about to make 'the clicking problem' worse.
'Click, click, click, clack, clack, clack.'Cherie helped by offering some expert engine advice from the hammock.Tom, after a minor engine overhaul, pulled up a few coated candies and says 'Alright, who opened the M&M's?'Then Tom got rid of the problem by eating it. The 35-cent little chocolates were clicking and clacking around the $50,000 teak floor. (Warning: in a situation like this, when the owner asks, 'Do you know how much these floors are worth?' It is always better to give a low-ball estimate. Random Note: It is also helpful to lowball on guesses of women's ages. So when I estimated the floors were worth $200,000 it just pissed Tom off more. Tom shook his head, sat me down, and gave me a very informative teak floor talk. I took it very seriously. Notice To All The Mistress Crew: The big 'lets smash grapes into wine on the teak floor of the Mistress event' has to be rescheduled for when Tom isn't here.
Joe, Scott and I decided to take the dingy out and make our social rounds. Scott (who has secretly wanted to give me a shower this whole trip) decided that this would be the best time to enact his fantasy. In a clear display of passive-aggressive zodiac behavior, Scott drenched me. Joe must have also smelled because he got a bath, too.
When Scott is not bathing his fellow crewmembers, he is dreaming about the owner.Scott had a dream about Tom, which doesn't say much about Jean and I. After I gave Scott my Freudian analysis of his dream (which had to do with the first part of the word analysis) Scott wished he hadn't told me the dream. He dreamed that Tom had this secret cabin on the Mistress that he kept only to himself. In this hush-hush compartment were all the coolest gadgets like a DVD player and a plasma big screen TV. Tom, after hearing the dream, did admit to having a clandestine place. But instead of a big cabin, it was a big hole. The same hole that is present in every boat. (It's the one that all the money goes into.)
There are moments, when sailing, which are so spectacular, they simply can't be described. One of these is a 'green flash.' It is when the sun ends its day by dripping into the sea and then a huge green flash illuminates the sky. I would describe it better, but I haven't seen it myself. Everyone else has seen it, and it appears to be a phenomenon that only occurs when I am napping, and everyone wants to be courteous and let me sleep. Then BOOM!
'Oh, it happened again! Wasn't that incredible, too bad Cherie missed it!'
The only green flash I have been witness to is the banana green flash. There is only a two-hour window in which Ray will eat a banana. The moment when the banana changes from green to yellow is also called the 'green flash'. You have to watch Ray because he is known to chuck perfectly good bananas overboard as soon as they get one little freckle. Joe (brown log lover) has been heading up the 'save the bananas' campaign.
One thing about living on a boat is that you sleep like a baby. In other words, you wake up every three hours. It is on these very night watches (the ones that break up your sleep into convenient three hour segments) that some of the most amazing things occur. You watch glitter stream of the crest of waves in brilliant display of phosphorescence. Then, your sails eclipse the moon as your boat heels over and dumps a sleeping passenger out of her bed.
Cherie: 'Should I go down and wake them up for their night-watch?'Ray: 'No, I can do that from here. Jibe ho!'Jean emerges with two lumps in her coffee and three lumps on her head. 'Thanks for waking me up, guys!'Ray: 'No problem!'
Here are some notes anyone who wants to become future Mistress crew.1. When there are 8 foot swells in 20 knots of wind, don't try to give yourself a pedicure.2. If you ask Tom for rubber bands, you should tell him what they are for before he scours the boat for them. Because he gets mad when he finds out they are for the braids in your hair.3. Obviously the best way to get a quick chill on a hot day is to open the refrigerator and just stand there. But my experience is that boat owners tend to frown on this action. Even though this is an extremely effective cooling method, the owner is likely to tell you to 'go take a flying leap (into the ocean.)' It is a good idea to leap off the bow, as to give the owner time to 'cool off' and realize that they shouldn't get so angry about such petty things.4. If you store the can of Macadamia nuts under the sink (with all the cleaning equipment) they last a lot longer.5. When Tom runs out of epoxy (which is a mathematical certainty) you should recommend oatmeal as a comparable substitute. (It bonds to breakfast bowls with amazing resolve.)Stay tuned as we sail the third and final leg of the Baja Haha Race where we realize that the term 'three sheets to the wind' is a sailing term that comes from following the 'rum line' too closely.
Click on each picture to see it full size.
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