Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Eight Bells for Alex II

During our time in Mexico we have met many, many other cruisers.  Most meetings consist of a brief exchange of names, home ports, destinations, and a sea story or two quickly followed by a going of our separate ways.  Once in a while, we meet someone or some couple where there is a better connection and we invest energy in making plans, spending time together, and getting to know one another.  When we’re lucky, these relationships evolve into true friendships.  The couples on Endeavor, Tension Reliever, Pura Vida, and Espiritu are great examples of great friends.  Then there is Kevan, the Kiwi single-hander on Alex II.
On our crossing from La Cruz to Mazatlan
We first met Kevan on the dock at Marina La Cruz where Alex II was practically our next door neighbor.  He was quick to engage us in conversation and took on a supervisory role in trouble-shooting our lethargic windlass.  A few days later, the sailing world proved to be a small one once again when we learned that Kevan would be buddy boating with our old friends Darrell and Sarah on El Tiburon.  The weather window opened and Alex II and El Tiburon headed south.

Late evening two days later we were surprised to hear El Tiburon on the radio.  Their engine was out and they were being helped into the anchorage.  The next day we learned that Alex II had spent twelve hours towing El Tiburon back to La Cruz.  That’s what we call buddy boating.  The next day, we bumped into Kevan walking around the marina and got the full story.  He said he was now planning to head north.  We told him that we also planned to head north and asked if he would like to buddy boat with us.

In the weeks leading up to our departure, we spent a great deal of time getting to know Kevan.  We dined on each other’s boats, went out for street tacos together, shared tips on boat projects, and watched for a suitable weather window.  In addition, since this was Kevan’s second season in Mexico he was a great mentor.  Kevan also became a close friend.

Out of the blue one day, Kevan tells us that Alex II has been on the market for over a year and now she has a buyer.  The news was disappointing.  We had hoped to spend much more time with Kevan including a summer in the Sea of Cortez.  He and the buyer agreed that the sale would be completed in Mazatlan, and we felt fortunate to be joining Kevan and Alex II on their last passage together. 
Trisha and Kevan on the morning of his departure
Kevan has now returned to New Zealand to spend time with his daughter Alexandra (Alex I) and to work on his golf game.  Only time will tell if and when he will buy another boat and rejoin his cruising friends in Mexico.  One thing is for sure, Kevan will be missed.  He could always be counted on for a good story, some juicy gossip, a joke or two, and a general good time.  We went to say goodbye the morning of his flight home.  The three of us and the buyer of his boat had coffee together.  The buyer, observing our familiar banter, asked us “how long have you been friends?” Trisha and Kevan looked at each other then Trisha answered “we’ve known each other forever, it’s been about seven weeks”. 

The end of a watch is marked by eight bells.  This post marks the postponement of good times with our dear friend Kevan, the Kiwi single-hander.

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