Leaving by Staying

Today (Wednesday) started and ended with two similar, silly and unfortunate events which bothered me a lot.

Yes, I am whining, and this is not even the main theme of this post …

I woke up, tired from the last many nights of dinners in company of great cruising friends, prepared breakfast and sat to listen the local morning radio net. The radio net here in Barra de Navidad has this positive vibe, and I enjoy listening to it every morning. It was then with bitter surprise that I heard some dude come in at the end of it and suggest that all kid-boats let the other (non-kid) boats know where they are going out for dinner, so that the non-kid boats could avoid these places. The guy may have been a jerk, or it was just bad humor, and it was a silly thing one way or the other, but I was very bothered with it.

Fast forward to the evening. It was a special dinner, a nice restaurant. We were in three families, the adults on one table and the kids on another. I woke to their table to help Raquel and Paulo order their meals when a gentleman called me on the side and said “can you give us some space?”. I moved Paulo as far away as I could from the gentleman’s table, came back to ours, but the bitterness of that moment persisted for the rest of the night.


Back home and reminiscing over these two events I realized: as much as they coincided on the same day, that’s all it was – a coincidence. The reason for my discomfort was something much different than this.

But let me go back a little.

Back on Christmas time, upon our arrival to La Cruz, we quickly immersed on a community of cruisers. Existing friendships were amalgamated and new ones were built. It all happened very fast, and we could hardly appreciate how strong these ties were at the time.

Then Pesto went to the yard and we were sucked into a frenzy of projects. And 48 hours after she had touched water again, off we went to Barra de Navidad, some 120 miles away to the south of La Cruz.

Over the last two weeks, most of our fiends started to arrive to Barra de Navidad as well, and soon we were 8-10 families having a great time together. Talking about plans, the lack thereof, or just plain nonsense – the joy of being in great company, in a great place, at a great time.

And then the weather played its card. Boats intending to move North would have to do so within the next day, and boats aiming South would have their chance after that. Today (Wednesday) these families were frantically sourcing their provisions in town, preparing their boats, having their laundry done, the kids running up and down the docks exchanging emails and whatsapp addresses (or whatever they use these days). Tomorrow, most of them will be gone. Agamere and Enough are headed North, while Coastal Drifter, Yolo, Terrapin and Cape D will continue down south.

And Pesto – well, Pesto is staying.

Last week we decided that we wouldn’t sail back to La Cruz, and would depart for the Puddle Jump from Barra de Navidad instead. We felt that the time it would take us waiting for the right weather window and sailing back to La Cruz could be better spent here on our final preparations. Personally, I also believed that the departure from La Cruz, where many friends would be, could also become emotionally intense. And today I had a taste of it.

All along the day our friends came here to bid farewell, and we closed the night having dinner with our dear friends of Coastal Drifter, whom we shall only see agin next year in French Polynesia. It was intense, hard for me, and even harder for the kids. As the hours passed, the broad laughter was gradually replaced by a tense grin, a feeling of awkwardness settled, words were getting harder to find.

When we gave our last hugs and bid the last farewell on the dewy dock tonight, Raquel and Paulo came to me for comfort, hurt as they were. I told them the story of a late Brazilian poet, who used to say on his songs that “those who don’t suffer never knew what love was really about”.

But I was feeling the same way as well – happy for having met such great folks, and sad for seeing them leave.

And hurt the way I was, those two very silly events blew way out of proportions and bothered me so disproportionately.


Tomorrow we will see these boats leaving the marina, soon after the French Baker’s tour. We will wave to them, content for knowing that they are headed to some new great cruising place, fulfilling this dream that we all share. As we watch them go, to me at least it shall also feel that we are leaving. Leaving by staying. From now on, every day some activity will be crossed off our remaining list. It will get frantic again, almost mechanic Time will fly. This is the beginning of the end. The end of a great chapter of our journey which started here in Mexico almost exactly one year ago. One which surprised us in so many ways, and left us memories that have become part of us for ever.

Today it may be hurting, but it’s only because it’s been a great, great time.

I’m feeling thankful. And now I can go to sleep. Good night.

6 Replies to “Leaving by Staying”

  1. Oh Pesto, ?, it hurts our heart to not be with you on these next adventures. I wish you all the best and will look through your eyes to see how wonderful it will be. We will rejoin you all in a year. Till then fair winds, and following seas my friends. Hugs.

  2. Ah, heart strings. There is a Mayan shaman named Martin Prechtel. He sometimes travels and lectures. In his lecture “Grief and Praise” he describes that the Mayan language does not have those two words, that it has only one word that means both of them together. They ARE the same thing. If you do not praise a thing, you will not grieve it. And if you grieve something, it’s only because you praised it.
    “Meeting and being met feels too good to let you go so soon. But i will not leave you. Broken heart opened, i send a piece with each of you.” (titled: Hearts are not meant for staying intact).

  3. Ale, maravilhosas estorias e experiencias !!! Pro resto da vida memoraveis lembranças !!! Adoro acompanhar as estorias !! Bjs pra toda suainda familia !! Monica

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