1000 Magical Miles2023-02-01
The lagoon 52 is my dream house.
Sorry, the boat of my dreams.
Or rather, the houseboat of my dreams.
It is at the same time a real boat: a masterpiece of technology, modernity, design, I won't go into technical details, everything is on the sales sheet if you need.
And a real house: a bedroom and a bathroom for everyone, a perfectly equipped kitchen (two fridges, two freezers!), a cozy saloon, a heavenly front deck and a cockpit like a rooftop, with an infinite view of the sunrises and sunsets, guaranteed without neighbors. That is not on the commercial leaflet, but it should be.
When I was offered to deliver the boat from LA to Cabo San José in Baja California in mid-November, I found it hard to refuse.
But there was a problem: I can't sail. But I can write, I am a writer. It’s not very useful on a boat, I get it.
So I wondered why I was offered such an opportunity, since I would be of no use on board, except to tell stories and admire the others, those who know how, those who maneuver the boat.
I said yes, too bad for them, they shouldn't have offered.
It's only once I was on board that I understood why they did it.
This boat is exactly made for that: to listen to stories, to invent them, to dream. And to sail. There is room for everyone, comfortably, with no one stepping on each other.
Everyone comes to find what they are made for: sailing, dreaming, cooking, writing, swimming or fishing. So we left Los Angeles, the 5 of us, under a fresh November sun. The seals of the marina greeted us, and we started on the sea. Next stop, Ensenada.
All sails out, wind at 15-18 knots, and already the magic was happening. Just the sound of the water cracked by the hulls, the slamming of the sails, the ropes running in the slides. The captain, peaceful at the helm. A few pelicans flying over us, a school of dolphins surrounding us, then just the wind in the sails again.
The wind rises a little more, we put on our oilskins and hats, the sun sets, and in this unheard-of tranquility, a Moroccan couscous is simmering. As if it were normal, easy, obvious. The kitchen is so well thought out that you can peel, cut, wash, season, and cook without almost realizing that all around you is the open sea, with whales and seaweed just below... houseboat, they say...
Passing through customs in Ensenada and the second half of our trip.
We disembark, all the administrative papers take a good half day. We fill up, and there begins the real departure. 4 nights without touching land. 4 fiery sunsets, 4 dazzling sunrises, 5 days of rolling, sailing, stories, wind, sea, swell.
On the second day, taking advantage of a lull, the captain cast fishing lines. It wasn't long before we heard the sound of the line harpooning. We slowed down the engine, and we recovered a yellowtail weighing 8 kg. The next day, it will be a big eyes tuna at least as big. We clean them on the spot in the cockpit sink reserved for this task, then we freeze them. The following days, they will be eaten as sashimi and steak. Fresh from the sea.
At night, the boat continues to set its course. We organize the night watches. There is the one that starts after dinner, the easiest because it leaves us almost the whole night to sleep afterwards. The second one, the hardest, because we have to wake up at one o'clock in the morning and hold on until 4 o'clock, eyes riveted on the radar screen, on the lookout for a liner or a boat that would cross our path. The silence in the cockpit that nothing seems to break, the thickness of the night, the shooting stars, the moon. It's magic beyond words. Time stands still, except that we have to sleep... The last quarter, the most beautiful one, because it is when we see the sun rising, the sky turning pink, the birds coming back.
After 5 days at sea, San Jose del Cabo appears almost with regret, we would have liked the trip to last a lifetime. The borders of time have faded, the days melt in a fog of happiness. It is necessary to disembark, and to return to reality.