Isla San Benedicto – Day 8…..

Dear F&F,
December 24, 2008

Last night about 1 am we awakened to rain coming down on us. We leave the roof hatch open. It stays warm enough at night to use only a sheet or no covering. Certainly no blanket needed. We are actually south of the Hawaiian Islands latitude, so we are truly in \”The Tropics\”. We scurried up, closing hatches all over the boat as fast as we could. We have 20. All of them must be closed to keep the inside of the boat dry when it rains. Wouldn\’t you know, the rain only lasted all of 15 minutes.

I didn\’t sleep that well afterwards so was a bit slow moving this morning – up at 6:50 am instead of my usual 6:30. Scott hailed Chuck & Linda s/v \”Jacaranda\” on the VHF radio. They have been en route to join us here for 3 days & nights. They were close by & about an hour later we saw them sailing into the anchorage. We let them get their anchor down then buzzed over in our dinghy to welcome them. We knew they would just want to go take a nap so didn\’t visit long.

We met Chuck & Linda once in the spring when we were at Tenacatita, in coastal central Mexico. Scott has talked to & emailed Chuck a lot since he is sometimes the net controller for the Amigo Net (boaters radio network). We look forward to getting more acquainted. I always enjoy hearing people\’s stories, what led them to pursue this lifestyle. Their boat is a 39 foot monohull & they don\’t carry much diesel which is why they were so slow getting here. They had very light wind for sailing & barely used their engine in order to conserve their fuel. They are hoping to buy some off the dive boats when they return in a few days. The commercial dive boats were so friendly to us, we are sure they will help them out with that if they can.

Chuck gave us a book on the Revillagigedos with good photos & information about this island, published 1971. There is a great shot of the volcano erupting in 1952 – a fishing boat m/v \”Challenger\” was here to see it! We enjoyed looking at the book over breakfast of scrambled eggs with bacon & the last of my banana/pecan muffins, toasted with cream cheese & jam. Yum!

We hung the laundry on the outdoor lines, filled dive tanks & were getting ready to start loading the dinghy for our first dive when the sky darkened & the rain came pouring down again. We did the Chinese fire drill, closing all 20 hatches. We decided the laundry could have another fresh water rinse so left it hanging. It is kind of fun to be snug inside, listening & watching the rain pouring. It lasted about an hour. The sun came out a bit, but there are a lot of dark clouds & it is pretty windy still. The underwater visibility is not good during & after rain so we are not diving for the first time since we have been here: 1 week.

We invited Chuck & Linda for Christmas eve dinner. Linda brought guacamole & crispy tostadas that we used as chips. I\’d had some broccoli that was a bit beyond solo presentation, so made it into soup. Linda\’s wild rice with almonds was a great accompaniment to our steaks.

The after dinner entertainment was a showing of \”his & her\” manta riding videos. They were inspired & eager to get in the water tomorrow.

Yesterday, since I knew they were coming, I baked a cake. Yellow cake mix with addition of canned pineapple & toasted coconut. Quite moist & sweet, no frosting needed. They brought a tequila liqueur we\’d never tried & enjoyed sips with dessert.

The timing of things has really worked out beautifully since we arrived here. It was great that the commercial dive boats were here the first 2 days to give us information about the dive sites. Then it has been wonderful having several days here all alone. And now it seems festive to have company for the holiday. I used my red brocade tablecloth, otherwise I don\’t really have any decorations. Just being together is a celebration.

It is raining again! Somehow most of my laundry got dry between squalls. How wonderful to have clean sheets & with genuine \”ocean breeze\” smell.

Scott & Cindy