Sailors United: A Flotilla Adventure

I know, I know, it’s been way too long since the last blog post. Shame on us. We’ve slacked off a bit, but there are good reasons for that – at least I think so. But where did we leave off? Right, we sailed south from Isla Coronados to meet sailors from our time at Cabrales Boatyard in Puerto Peñasco.

As luck (more or less) would have it, we all arrived at the agreed meeting point around the same time. On our AIS (Automatic Identification System), we could see well in advance how we were all sailing towards our destination. In the flotilla approaching from the south were SV Cavu, SV Alegría, and SV Small World. We knew the first two boats well from our Cabrales boatyard days. Small World Craig had helped us launch Milagros back then. This time, his wife Krystle and their little dog Louise were also with him.

Reunion Joy

As soon as had we set our anchor we saw Alegría Mike paddling over on his paddleboard. The joy of reunion was great, and in no time, we updated each other with brief versions of the latest news. Much and yet not much had happened since we last saw each other almost two years ago. Later, we all met for sunset drinks on Alegría. And although a lot of time had passed, it felt like we had just seen each other recently.

Reason to Celebrate

Aside from the fact that we were all in the same area and wanted to meet on this occasion, there were also two reasons to celebrate. Dr. Cavu Dave and Island Fox Travis both had birthdays on the same day. And after the super fun boat crawl two years ago on Cavu Dave’s 40th birthday, nothing stood in the way of a repeat. But more on that later.

The Rehearsal

As more boats (SV Island Fox, SV Ayala, and SV Remedy, whom we all didn’t know (yet)) made their way to the party venue, we grabbed our shopping cart and marched together to the nearby mini market to stock up for the party.

In the evening, we invited the entire flotilla for sunset drinks on Milagros. This was the rehearsal for the upcoming party. And we found that 14 people fit in our cockpit. Good to know.

A New Game

The days leading up to the party were spent snorkelling, fishing, preparing, and chilling. The large, flat beach also invited us to linger. In the afternoons, tents were sometimes set up, blankets spread out, and coolers brought along. And we were introduced to a game unknown to us: Beersbee (beer frisbee). Two teams try to hit a sand-filled beer can placed on sticks in front of the opponents with a frisbee, all while holding a drink. If the can and frisbee fall to the ground on a hit, the opponent gets points. If the can and/or frisbee are caught – one-handed, of course – before they hit the ground, it reduces the points. At least that’s how we understood it. It’s a social and entertaining game, even if it wasn’t always clear how the points were counted. In any case, one team eventually reached 15 points and won.

Party Time

And then the party day – you literally cannot call it anything else – had arrived. Seven boats, seven signature drinks, seven snacks, 15 participants (or 1000kg / 2200lbs of people), and one hour per boat, starting at noon. Following the moustache theme, all willing male participants got “dressed up.” Moustache or not, it’s a matter of taste, but the unusual faces caused a lot of laughter. See for yourself:

Island Fox

We started the boat crawl on SV Island Fox with birthday boy number one, Travis, Elana, and little dog Tails. We were greeted with a rum-berry smoothie and homemade muffins. The nearly one tonne of extra weight on the 38-footer (11.5m) was noticeable as the stern sat low in the water. During the boat tour, my gaze lingered on the tool corner. Hanging on several magnetic strips along a wall about 2 meters long were all kinds of tools: pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, saws, hammers – sorted by size and type. A dream! Suddenly, the alarm went off on Small World Craig’s wrist: He had set a one-hour timer on his watch – it was time to move on. Chop chop.

Small World

Next, we visited Crystal, Crack, and Chihuahua mix Louise on Small World, a 42-foot (12.5m) ketch, where hibiscus mezcalitas were served. It is always exciting to check out other boats, so I naturally took part in the small, guided tour. I was most fascinated by the spacious engine room with meticulous labelling. Every single cable had a label with a number, and devices had their operating instructions right next to them. I was very impressed!


Afterward, we were guests on SV Remedy with Baron and Heather. The 42-foot Hans Christian ketch impressed below deck with its spaciousness and immaculate varnish. It also had a refrigerator with a regular door that opened forward. David and I were a bit envious, as our refrigerator opens from the top. So, if you want something at the bottom, you either must rummage or take everything out above it. Energy-wise, it’s good because not all the cold air “falls out” when you open it, but it’s not so convenient. We were served sausage-cheese crackers and Bloody Marias with an ingredient I never expected in a drink: fried bacon bits. Although I’m not a fan of the salty tomato juice drink, this bacon twist was something special. If I ever order a Bloody Maria again, it’ll be with bacon, bacon, and bacon.


Next was Milagros’ turn. On the 44-foot sloop with a center cockpit, I particularly noticed the beautifully shiny freeboard and deck. It looked freshly painted. It was also festively decorated – with silver Christmas tinsel. I was especially impressed by the bright interior and the spacious engine room, though not as well labelled ;). The hosts, Patricia and David, without a dog but with Pokémon Wobuffet, served coffee and cake, and a Swiss cherry liquor. Opinions about the schnapps were divided. Those who wanted could alternatively have a Tequila Sunrise or try a mouthwash shot. The shot was an impulse buy at the mini market, which we initially laughed at: a light blue liquid in a PET bottle. Water with colouring, blueberry flavour, and 5% vodka. It wasn’t as bad as it looked and sounded.


With the ringing of the Craig alarm, we moved to the next boat, the all-electric sloop Ayala with Charles, Nora, and crew Mehul aboard. We snacked on Nora’s homemade bean pirogues and drank Micheladas – beer with Clamato (according to Wikipedia, Clamato is a commercial drink made from reconstituted tomato juice concentrate and sugar, flavoured with spices, dried clam broth, and monosodium glutamate). You can think of it as beer with red-coloured broth. It’s a popular refreshment here. Not so much for David and me. We were deep in conversations about how we finance the sailing life when it was time to move again. The schedule was tight, and Craig ensured it was adhered to. Perhaps he has German or Swiss roots?


The sun was setting as we gathered at Mike, Katie, and dog Rosco on Alegría, a 50-foot Gulfstar and thus the largest boat in the flotilla. The snack potatoes with homemade Mexican salsas were devoured as if we hadn’t eaten for days and not had snacks on every previous boat. There were also coconut-strawberry margaritas, not quite my taste but still tasty. Dave and I received a small tour of the latest upgrades Alegría had received since we last saw her.


Last but not least, we moved to Cavu, the boat (a 37 Tartan) of birthday boy number two, Dave, and Marla with dog Gomez. They served pizza rolls with tomato sauce for dipping and birthday cake, with (finally) regular beer. The highlight came from the Alegría crew: black light lamps and neon markers. Once someone started, the patterns and drawings on arms, hands, legs, feet, and faces became increasingly wild. Much painting and drawing was going on. Even days later, we still found traces of these surprisingly persistent markers. Especially on finger- and toenails, the stuff seemed to be water-, salt-, and sandproof. We celebrated the two birthdays until well after midnight in the best company. With countless unforgettable impressions from the celebration, we headed home.

Check out the party vibes yourself:

A Kind Gesture

The days after the party were spent snorkelling, fishing, and chilling on the beach, once even with a campfire. We regretted it a bit afterward, as everything, really everything, smelled like acrid smoke for days. We also met a small family camping on the beach with their RV and interested in boat life. For them, our little flotilla was a stroke of luck because they could visit and see the advantages and disadvantages of each boat from 37 to 50 feet, aft cockpit and center cockpit to sloop and ketch. As a thank you, the family brought us a huge load of vegetables from the nearest town, which we shared among us all.

Star Wars

Gradually, Island Fox, Ayala, and Remedy left the flotilla, and the days turned quieter. David and I had originally planned to watch all six Star Wars movies from May 1 to 6 (the international Star Wars Day is on May 4 as one should know). We ended up only watching one movie (Episode V, for those interested), which we watched with Cavu and lasagna in our cockpit. At least we did that.

An Unusual Find

On a final shopping trip before we all planned to move on, we discovered something very unusual on the beach. An animal, quite a large one at that, lay half in the water. Upon closer inspection, we found it was a mountain lion. With its head under water, we were pretty sure it was dead. But not for long, as it hadn’t been there the day before. It had no visible injuries, and we could see its tracks in the sand. It must have walked along the beach, then turned to the water and died. We suspected it was poisoned. Very sad for such a beautiful animal.

Time to Go

Eventually, it was time for us to move on. Not that we had to leave – it was wonderful in our little spot, and the weather was perfect. However, we were eager to discover new anchorages, and the others felt the same way. So, we set off for the next destination and the next adventure. But more on that next time.

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PS: Picture credits for most of the pictures in this post go to Island Fox, Small World, Cavu, Ayala and Alegría.

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