Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Two Decades Gone
By Michael

Windy hanging laundry aboard the first
Del Viento, parked in the under-
construction Marina Mazatlán for
It was twenty years ago today. St. Pepper may have been busy somewhere teaching musicians, but Windy and I were nowhere near that scene. Earlier that December we’d cast off the dock lines in Ventura, California, and turned left. It was just the two of us—both in our 20s—aboard my little Newport 27, that was also named Del Viento. We barely knew each other, but before our 8-month voyage from Southern California to Southern Florida was over, I knew I wanted to marry her.

Last week, as we prepared for bed in this little house in Ajo—the one we’re camping in because, as of now, it has no appliances, no heat, no hot water, few doors, non-functional windows that are spray-painted over, and a broken cement swan fountain in the front yard—I thought to ask Windy what she’d have done on that crisp Friday morning 20 years ago if she could have seen the future.

“Not how the future played out from then to now, just a snapshot of this moment. You'd get to see the mattress on the floor we sleep on, this truck we’re driving that was already 8 years old way back then, and the gaping holes in the ceilings and walls.”

“I’d have run like hell.”

“Yeah, me too.”

Cabo, New Years Eve, 1996, us with the
crews of Principia and Mimosa (both couples are still
good friends of ours)

Windy rowing away from some curious sperm whales
in the middle of Mexico's Sea of Cortez.

At a café in Mazatlán.

On the beach in Zihuatanejo.

Entering Acapulco.

Windy pointing out a howler monkey to my dad somewhere
in the Panama Canal.

With our dear friend Tim, still in the Canal. There were
five of us living aboard little Del Viento for our 2-day transit.

Playing in Columbia.

Me carrying the dinghy along a Cuban beach.
Our old Avon Redcrest rowed so poorly that it was
easier to carry it along the shore to the closest point
of approach.

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