A visit from my brother

Since mid way through our summer in Penasco, we added only one thing on our schedule (other then getting ourselves back on the water); a visit from my brother (Tobias) and his wife (Beth). They had both been on Meriwether back in Monterey, as we passed through the area on our way South, but only while tied to a dock. This time they would spend five days with us out on the water, and in an extremely beautiful and natural place.

Kerri and I shared concern over having two more people on the boat for that length of time. Neither of us are accustomed to socializing for such a length of time, continuous, without the possibility of a break. I had countless conversations with Tobias in the weeks leading up to the visit about our composting toilet, lack of shower, lack of privacy, and the need to show up without a hard suitcase (no place to store something like that on a boat). Ironically, one of the big stressors for me was the possibility that one or both may use perfume/cologne regularly, and not be able to break that habit while onboard. Kerri and I are both extremely sensitive to such odors, and we were thankful that neither of our guests were heavy users.

Finally the day had come. They had arrived in Loreto, spent a night there, and took a long-haul taxi ride to Playa Santispac, in the Bay of Conception, where we were anchored awaiting their arrival. We chose a meetup here due to the beauty of the Bay of Conception. You can’t go wrong coming out here as the first experiences of Mexico. I was already on the beach – at the local watering hole – as their taxi pulled up and we stayed put sharing a few Tecate on the beach before anything else. It took a couple trips in the little dinghy, but eventually we all got on Meriwether to started their vacation properly.

The next two days were spent without moving Meriwether. The afternoon North winds would make any other anchorage uncomfortable, so we just hung out and did nothing, just as they requested. With nine to five jobs, both rarely get the opportunity to do nothing for a day, let alone a week of them. It was a vacation for me as well, with no boat projects on my schedule during their visit. We were all content to just sit around eating, drinking, talking, and laughing. These days are the first days in my adult life that I have sat with my younger brother and just talked, and I was happy to soak it in. He and I are very alike, as it turns out, with Beth and Kerri repeating “He does that too!” at just about every revelation. I gave up fighting against the unified front from the two newest wives in our family – Beth and Tobias were married only two years prior.

Eventually the weather allowed us to go anchor Meriwether in the small bay of Coyote Island. It is a picturesque little bay, with room for one or two boats, stern anchored. Although the island is close enough for the SUP boarders and kayakers to pay a visit, we mostly had the island to ourselves. Our own SUP boards made it into the water for an afternoon of fun. Kerri even took a board on an unannounced and unplanned (read; risky!) circumnavigation of the island, while the three of us napped on the boat. 

We were lucky to have already begun to pickup anchor when the tour pangas arrived the following morning. Four of them were steaming into the bay, each with their own wake and a half dozen tourists in bright clothing. The tourists pay well to come out to a secluded island like Coyote to spend a few hours picnicking and swimming. We were happy to escape and set sail for the next anchorage a few miles south. 

Playa Requison was the location, with it’s two shallow bays surrounding a sand spit that connects a small island to Baja proper. Camping RVs line the bank, but the waters belonged to us. Somehow, after another outing on the SUPs, they returned with a bucket full of clams. This pleased Kerri. Dinner for the three was set for that night, while I ate something else. Once again, and as we had done the three nights prior, we stayed up late enjoying conversation, laughter, and even a few tears. 

The time with my brother and Beth was great. Kerri and I both agreed, surprising as this may sound, that the two of them were the easiest people to have onboard for this length of time. There was just a click between us all. Beth’s infectious laughter still echoes in my head to this day, and it is welcome to continue. 

Early the final morning we all took the dinghy to shore (multiple trips again) and walked the quarter mile up the cobblestone road to meet the Mulege taxi guy on the highway. His timeliness was mind blowing, both times arriving within 2 minutes of our agreed upon schedule. Hugs and good-byes given, we went them on their way back to Loreto. There they had one more night in a hotel – and a hot shower for the first time in 5 days – before boarding their flight back to “civilization” and their 9 to 5s.

Only in my older age have I begun to know my family a bit. I was always the black sheep of us six kids, pretty much doing my own thing since I was a teenager and having little communications with my mother or siblings through my 20s and 30s. It wasn’t until 2010 that I begun to get to know my Mother, who traveled with my a few times early on. She turned out to be a ton of fun to hang out with, and we paired well together camping and traveling. My sister I have gotten to know over the past 15 years because Mom lives with her and her saintly husband, Rod, who takes care of this entire family in so many ways. But my brothers I had neglected, even to this day I admit. We know each other only from the once-every-five-years-or-so BBQ that might get planned by who knows. So, to have Tobias for five days, and to start learning who this man is (we are both in our 50s now), I will cherish. I do think it is amazing how similar we are to each other, especially considering we never really hung out together after our early teens.

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1 Response

  1. Ian Wilson says:

    So glad it went well with your brother!

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