*Update: added some pertinent videos to this post.
In the chaos of preparing for our trip to Rosarito, Transit Antenna forgot to fill in some blanks about our adventure on the high seas of Salton. As you know from our daily blogs, we set out to build a boat made of materials salvaged from Bombay Beach, things abandoned or left for trash. Word got around town about what we were up to. The day before we set sail, we posted notices around town, inviting people to see us off.
The next morning we were met with scores of cheerful residents of Bombay Beach. They watched as we christened our boat, a catamaran of sorts named “Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst,” for its maiden voyage and helped us push off into the uncharted waters. People waved from the shore as we rowed out and out, in search of that westerly wind that would carry us across the sea. We could hear their car horns beeping good wishes our way as we swiftly took course.
Not being a sailor myself, I had many reservations about our ship sinking in the middle of the sea, irrational fears, since our boat was floating just fine and we had plenty of paddles to help us navigate to safety. It was a beautiful day. Pelicans circled overhead and seagulls investigated our cardinal, named Napalm by Taylor, perched atop our mast. The birds were probably confused at the sight of our little junkit, moving along at a snail’s clip. The mountains north of us never seemed to get any closer, and as the fog settled in among them, they looked like sleeping giants in the clouds.
We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and drank water and gatorade. Bob and I spent the first half of our trip in the big boat, and it was taking on a little water. Dawn and Seth got a good laugh as we bailed the water out inch by inch. Soon Dawn and I switched sides so that we could row with both arms evenly. I was pleased to find the little boat dry.
The shore shrank behind us. We could see the trains coming for miles and miles heading from north to south, south to north, like little ants in a line. The coast vanished into the water, forming what looked like peninsulas. Instead, what we saw was the land going on and on along the falling curvature of the earth, beyond where we could see. What a wonder to see the shape of the earth. Before moving toward land, we floated a little and thousands of sea gulls swarmed us, flying wild circles around our heads, their wings flapping like millions of flags fluttering in the wind.
Sometime before sunset, the boat landed on another shore, a new frontier. No marinas to pull into and only avian life as far as we could see. Getting to shore would prove challenging, for we were not even one hundred yards from land and already floating in shoals with giant muddy ridges right under the surface. We would have to push the boat with our paddles through the muck and then pull her the rest of the way. We climbed wearily out and, with some heaving and ho-ing, pulled the boat through the mud until she was beached. During our efforts, only one of bottom of a crew member met with the slippery sea bed.
We walked through the mud in our socks, through fish bones that sliced tiny cuts in our feet. Our journey home was only half done. A highway in the distance showed us where to go, so we gathered our things and headed back toward civilization. Soon we would find our way back to Walter and make preparations for our next adventure, Mexico.
Now cozy we sit in Rosarito, waking up each morning to the roaring Pacific right below our feet, eating way too much, including some delicious fresh red snapper and sea bass, and relaxing as the New Year draws nigh. What will 2009 bring for Transit Antenna? Canoe trips down the Amazon? Treasure hunts in Teotihuacan? Stay tuned.Show on map