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Was that a Dream?

petting a whale shark



Whale sharks can be 40 feet long!  Do you ever see them that big?  As long as the ever-cheerful, multi-tasking naturalist and photographer Carlos is there to propel me, I want to do that again — with a bigger one! I confess to the fans here that I had a death grip on Carlos, but the confidence it allowed me made it possible to focus on that awesome creature in sheer wonder. I am so grateful.

a group of oranges in a bowlMy “gratefuls for” to all of the crew go on and on. Carlos was so patient with me and my endless questions. Patient with us all actually, for various reasons. What a gifted and knowledgeable guy he is. I think of him every day looking at my shells, my beach treasures. Our granddaughters haven’t had a viewing yet, but our grandsons chose one each and I gave others away, particularly the “mahogany” (chocolate) clams Carlos scooped up while we snorkeled. They come with a funny story and are perfect for housing earrings on the bureau, earrings made by Clara on El Pardito.

We returned from our trip in staggeringly good health. I haven’t the faintest idea about weight — we don’t own a scale — but I know how I felt thanks to Tracie’s superbly nutritious, varied, and yummy meals. The visual feast alone was the stuff of museums! Beautiful! Behind all that was impeccable planning, storage, timing, prepping for precision presentation with clock-setting timing. That was just the food — to include the garden in the whaler (which ingenuity melted me): there was “housekeeping,” the deck work, her knowledge of the boat — what else? What couldn’t she do? It was a lot of work all day long. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to see Tracie sit at the table each night, finally relaxing, and smiling her beautiful smile. Day well done. Again and again.

a large building with a mountain in the backgroundCaptain Bill was a wizard, one with his beautiful boat that is so perfectly equipped and ship-shape that his guests probably forgot to see responsibilities, lots and lots of love and tinkering all day long. Bill is wonderfully easy going and generous with his time, his stories, the boat. He knows the Sea so well. His and Carlos’s familiarity with the local people impressed me, too, and certainly enriched our understanding of the area. Just providing water — that elemental factor of life — to the locals on El Pardito said a lot in terms of how engaged Westward is with her environment. With gentle wit and sense of humor, Bill taught us how to do our part and invited us to enjoy the boat and equipment while respecting it, the work of the crew, the area conditions (it’s a plan until it’s not), the islands. I think we settled in comfy and cozy quite quickly as a result. Loved the read-aloud and movie touches after dinner. The whole Steinbeck book was wonderful and the El Pardito film prepared us well for our visit to that unique island.

I could tumble on having left out a lot of other joys and admired aspects of our cruise,  but will stop with a thanks to three talented individuals and dynamite team for a very wonderful week. Now we are thinking of Alaska with a whole new eye that does not include several generations of our own family, at least first time.

Stand by. Which trip to do?

Author: Bridget S.