22 February, 2006

still cabo

The frappaccino is just too good here (at the little joint where they have free wireless).
Matt and Tilikum and Herbert won't let me leave, or I am trying to not leave before them.  Tonight I go.
Los Frailes tomorrow afternoon.
La Paz or Mazatlan depending on wind---La Pa, 6 days; Mazatlan 6 days
I feel like I am on vacation.  It is so relaxing to have friends about.

20 February, 2006

Cabo San Lucas

I made Cabo.  Yeehaa
check it out:

Jonah Manning
128 Holliday Rd
Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Phone - (415) 377.3985 - expires 1/14
Online Journal - www.freejonah.blogspot.com
Email - bellyofthewhale.gmail.com

Cabo San Lucas



Well, here we are.  I am gone at last.  It took a while.   Are you surprised.  One could spend a lifetime in preparation to leave and never get nowhere.

But at least I got out.

The trip down was great, the best so far.  Tilikum was delightful as crew.   She must be one of the most thoughtful and generous people I've ever met.

We laughed more than our share but enjoyed a comfortable silence when the mood suited it.  The watches went smoothly—we both preferred four hour shifts over the three.   The last hour was a bit harder, but the resting was far superior with four hours off.


We saw pilot whales, pacific white-sided dolphin (I could get within an inch of touching them under the bow), seals—and albatross.   I had never seen these giant, magnificent birds before.  Wow. 

We went out over a hundred miles and they were everywhere.  We ran over a poor sea turtle too.   Oh well.  We heard a bonk and saw him alongside.  He lifted his fin at us as to flick us the bird.  That part was funny.


Again and as always, much time spent becalmed.  This time, finally, I resisted the d-sail (diesel).   Very proud of myself in this regard.

Everything went so well.  The navigation, the decision making.  Safety was good.


So we pulled into Cabo San Lucas as a first port.  It was on the way to Mazatlan and here we could wait for Matt if he was just behind us.

Change of plan though:  a) I am now going to La Paz first, and b) I'm going alone.

Matt needed help and Til left to go help him bring the boat to La Paz.  So we will all meet up there.


Tonight I will set out for Los Frailes about 45 miles to the northeast, likely anchor there for a night before heading to La Paz which is another 150 miles north, but will take maybe 5 days because it is all up wind.

I may have some strong winds to deal with, so I have to play it by ear.

I plan to stay in La Paz for a week or so.  Dan and Sonya from Lift are there and no telling who else.


All is well.  I am feeling good, happy but with a lot on my mind.  I can't decide whether to go down the coast for a couple of months before crossing to the Marquesas—or maybe even finding somewhere to live in S. America for a year until this time next year and then cross.   ??????  What to do?

Things work themselves out.  I feel like I have a few loose strings that need tying before heading far west and away.   Also, I am enjoying speaking Spanish so much.


Best to all,

Namaste  and

Hasta luego


thoughts on what lies behind

Days and days have passed by and I have said nothing.  I have written nothing.   My mind has moved in circles, wheeling around and around, and yet expanding nowhere.

And yet time has passed all the same.  Life hasn't stopped at all.

In spite of myself seeds are sprouting and what fruit may come seems full

Of promise.


I sit now at anchor far from anything familiar.  I have atlast stepped outside myself and my boundaries into. . .   what?  Dream?

What do we call it when what has been asked for, what has been seeked out, carved into being, what do we call it when we find ourselves a step beyond the brink?

Everything known behind, everything fearful yet desired just ahead lurking in shadowy possibility?  What is that place?   I can't name it, but I am there, there at last.


[I remember finishing the AT.  You would think it would be this exhilarating feeling, but it wasn't.   It was too many conflicting emotions negating each other.  The result was blaise, a sort of lacking of emotion.]


Years have seen my questing for this place.  I've come to the edge several times (Spain when my Mom died, Venezuela the next year).

What is there to save me back this time?  With trepidation I accept that there doesn't feel to be any hindrance before me,

Any device to deflect me from my purpose.


I admit now, now that I am enrapt in it, that I am nervous—is that the word—what, scared? 

I am uncomfortable.

It isn't failure.  I don't know what that would be.  But the loneliness, isolation, separation, rejection, the slow fading from the the awareness of those whom I love, and whom I depend upon for support.

To lose you to slow desiccation, to be forgotten owing to non or sparse contact, for the dusty, rusty relationship to be deemed not worth the effort.

This is hard for me to bare.


But more, it is selfish and personal—the daily loneliness.  No phone, no intimate knowledge of your recent events, no contact, no hugs or smiles,

Only strangers and tenuous conversation in garbled, mangled Spanish or French or what have you.

And I chose this life; I relish it.  And I fear it.

I have to go forward.  I will not retreat no-matter-what.  How much will I have to bare?

How much will the pleasure of crystal seas and brisk breezes repay the debt?

The spirit repays the body.


Now I am in Mexico.  The time has come at last.  I am here.   It has started.  I have two more phone calls to make: Wendy and my Pops.  Then the voices will be gone, only reiterations in my memory.

I don't even know when I will see Ben and Moriah again.


But I know that I really don't know anything.  I could hit a reef and sink and be home soon.   I could fall in love and never return.  I could find brothers, like Ben, along the path as I have done along this stretch so far.

The fear keeps me sane and balanced, aware.  This isn't a hedonistic foray as it may naively appear.   (There is the possibility that I will sail across the Pacific solo—a month, alone, on a small boat—30 days without a word, without a change.  Fun is hardly the word.   It drives men mad.)


Today I have crew.  And she is wonderful, a true delight.  So generous I can't purvey with words—a rare gem of a woman.   I am blessed beyond my rank to have had her aboard at all.  I don't know how long it will be before she flies away.   (Actually, by this reading, she already has.  Haha.)

But she sailed with me from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas.  Much light air and fluttering, much lazing and ease, much cocoa and late nights.

The windvane was a miracle—it opens a new world.  I can fathom long distances now in a new way.   It steered us the whole way.  (It's name is Herbert.)


We saw whales and dolphins, albatross, seals—ran over a sea turtle, poor guy.  I could get within a half inch of touching the dauphines.   So amazing how they dance beneath the bow and peer up at you with a smile, a curious knowing glance.

We read some good poetry and laughed a fair deal.



So be it.

Tonight I head out for Los Frailes and La Paz.  It should be some five days or more.   Worry after 12 days.  From Tuesday, 20th.


Love you all.

16 February, 2006

Cabo San Lucas

Two weeks at sea.  Lots of light wind - what else! - but beautiful skies and warm days.
The stars were as bright as I can ever remember seeing.  And the windvane!  What a joy!  It
did such service.  They live up to their lofty reputation.
Tilikum was great.   She loves being at the helm.  She was so generous and helpful,
always doing a bit more than was needed--I can't tell you how many cups
of hot cocoa she made me--enough to make Willy Wonka proud.
So we made Cabo and are in the process of checking in, which is why we stopped.  It is a bit
of a jungle here and I won't be sad to move on to more quaint locals on the mainland.
It was a safe and comfortable passage, love but without trouble.  We were becalmed regularly
and only twice had winds gusting over twenty.
Most of the trip was spent running down wind under the genny and trysle.  I like the combo--easy sailing.
More tomorrow perhaps.  We are tired.  Sailed all night, the both of us, and have been messing around today
trying to clear in through customs, ect.
I miss everyone.

04 February, 2006

my crew

If you want to know anything about Tilikum, my crew, check out this website.
You've got to see her boat.
It is one of my little, but wild, dreams to sail this boat across the Pacific. 
I wish.

03 February, 2006

Mexico bound and on

The day is nigh.
Tomorrow Tilikum and I leave out for the south and the west.
We head for mainland Mexico, maybe Mazatlan.  We may leave Puerto Vallarta for the trip across the Pacific
to the Marquesas.
The windvane is on.
The boat is stocked, but there is still plenty to do before departure.  Therefore, this must be brief.
Love you all.  Wish us well.
No more phone.  Only email from here out.  At last the time has come.