Ever since Cabo San Lucas, there has been this sense of having "made it" which has been growing for us with each anchorage. Sailing to California and crossing into Mexico both caused a sense of accomplishment which Cabo San Lucas did not, but prior to Cabo San Lucas, we still felt like we hadn't "arrived South" in our Southbound journey.
Not every boat feels like they've made it yet. A number of our friends are less impressed with the desert landscape, or wish for more heat, or still feel like they are missing that elusive something that will make them feel like they have finally arrived. It's an interesting diversity that reminds us of how differently each person sees each anchorage.
Some of it is the circumstances of course (weather and wind contribute to the comfort of the anchorage and its temperature), but I think a lot of the contentedness (or lack thereof) is each boat coming to terms with what it is that they are looking for in their new cruising life. What do we want out of an anchorage? Out of a country? How hot is good hot? How hot is bad hot? It's a time of transition for a lot of the people we meet and for ourselves and it is interesting to watch each of us find ourselves in the midst of it.
We were looking, it seems, for the amount of heat that would make outdoor activities fun all of the time...for our personal heat-comfort levels. We want to hike in comfort, to swim in comfort, etc. For now, we have it. The winter in the Sea of Cortez will become cooler, hopefully not too much cooler this year as it varies from year to year. Our bodies will acclimate and we expect that we'll crave more heat at some point soon, just in time to head into the inferno that is the South Pacific.
In addition to emotional transitions, there has recently been a divergence of paths among boats that have been traveling within hailing distance for months. Many of the boats that were Southbound from WA/BC/OR met up with boats in California, and continued down with them into Mexico, yo-yo'ing with each other around the tip of the Baja and up to La Paz. Now, some boats are headed to the mainland, some staying in the Sea of Cortez. Some plan an extended or permanent stay in Mexico. Some are heading South to S America and/or the Panama Canal and some, like us, plan to head West. The packs are splitting up.
We said a particularly sad "farewell" to Aaron and Nicole on Bella Star (although, with all of our plans in transition we may very well see them again for another farewell – hopefully my liver will have recovered by then). It was our first painful cruising farewell, to fast friends whom we will watch carefully as they choose a different cruising path. From Little Star to Beautiful Star, fair winds and following seas.