Sea of Cortez Memoirs: Midnight Chubasco


We made it back to port from our aborted treasure hunt and filled up with gas, and since we had a few spare days left on the vacation, my parents decided to go out and explore some of the nearby sea coast. It was only a few hours before sunset when we came across a beautiful cove and anchored off shore. This was an area of dramatic ocean bluffs, but beyond some jagged rocks there was a secluded sand beach that was lush and picturesque. We had to go ashore in my little boat because of the rocks, and we didn’t spend a lot of time there. I can picture it all in my mind, illuminated by the “beauty light” of oncoming sunset. Soon it was time to go back to the TI-KA II for dinner. After dinner I spent some time fishing, and caught some strange rockfish which we let go, then it was bedtime and soon the lights were out and I went to sleep.

In the middle of the night a storm came up, and the swells reached lord-knows-how-big (the way my father tells it, there were 40-foot whitecaps).The size of the swells pulled the anchors right off the bottom and sent the TI-KA II adrift toward the rocks, which would have smashed the boat to pieces and quickly killed us all. My dad started the engines and backed the boat away from the rocks while my mom pulled up the stern anchor, but with the waves and the turning of the boat, the anchor line got caught in the propeller. The engine went dead. The boat was dead, adrift, and heading for disaster.

So with a steak knife clenched in his teeth, my father dove overboard in the dark, in a storm, and swam under the boat and cut the anchor line away from the propeller. My mom said she watched the rocks get closer and closer, and by the time my dad climbed back onboard she thought it was too late. But he scrambled up to the helm, started the engine and threw it into reverse, backing away as waves broke over the stern and sent water streaming into the boat. When he had a chance he turned the boat into the waves and headed back toward port.

I’d gone to sleep out in the cove, and woke up – disoriented – back at a berth in Guaymas. I was somewhat upset because I was looking forward to more exploring and maybe some lizard hunting. I couldn’t understand why we were back at the dock. My parents thought this was hilarious, and they told me they couldn’t believe what I’d slept through. When they told me this story, I was glad I had slept through it.

 

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5 thoughts on “Sea of Cortez Memoirs: Midnight Chubasco

  1. It sounds like your dad was a regular Errol Flynn that night and that’s something I would have liked to sleep through too. A boat trip is something I’ve always wanted to do, but only after I boosted my swimming skills a bit.

  2. Your Dad is a true hero!!! I bet your parents were really happy you slept through all of that, too!RYComments: Thank you for always saying such nice and encouraging things to me.  I really appreciate it.  You’re one of my best Xanga friends!

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