Friday, January 7, 2022

Swimmer’s Ear

Vinnie came down the beach leaning on a walking stick with his dog circling him as he stumped along. He looked to me a bit like Ben Gunn of Treasure Island fame, a retired Navy baseball cap on his head, a dark tan torso with tattoos and wispy white hair all over the place and a long white beard reaching down all over the place almost to his reggae striped shorts. “You people are mad,” he said as he stopped on the beach in front of us as we trod water in the cold Sea of Cortez.

Layne had decided yesterday was her day to try swimming in water we estimated was around 65 degrees. I had surprised her by saying how much I enjoyed swimming in cold water and I wanted to do it again. Our neighbor Ron had come by with a pound of fresh maize tortillas he didn’t need and offered to go swimming. So we did.

That was how Vinnie came across us and threw a stick for his shaggy retrieving dog and checked our sanity for cracks as we enjoyed the cold. Layne was totally into it. I was so comfortable I felt no need to get out. But Ron was taking his van into town and layne had begged a lift to do snd shopping so we had to stop swimming. “You must be from
Canada!” Vinnie said leaning his short wiry frame on his walking stick. He looked to be in his seventies maybe, a beach bum through and through. 

No, I said and told him we were from Key West. “The waters warm there” he said reminiscing about the Naval Air Station at Boca Chica. Originally Vinnie was from Boston he said. He doesn’t swim in cold water. Later Ron told us he has seen Vinnie on the beach for years. He sold some land in California and moved to Mexico.  As you do.
We walked back to our vans and got ready for Layne and Ron to go into San Carlos to do some shopping. We had prepared our pressure solar shower earlier heating it in the sun. We were ready to shower and feel clean though neither of us was cold getting out of the sea. True enough we stepped onto warm sand on a 75 degree afternoon.
Rusty had come down to the beach with us and after surprising us by splashing into the water he had run up and down the beach a bit before hearing over the dunes and out of sight. He was back at the van when we ambled back guarding his camp. Funnily enough when Ron had come  round he alerted us by barking and confronting him until he recognized him. Apparently Rusty feels quite at home here in the wilderness .
Ron drove his van over and picked Layne up for a little light shopping which means we may be able to hold out for a few more days without moving. We have powdered milk when the fresh runs out and Layne has a carton of soy milk for her chai so our middle class existence need not suffer too many ripples. The salads gone and laundry is piling up after our mud bath. Trash is holding out, the orange bag in the photo is where we store the filled trash bags from our very small can. Most importantly Rusty has all the food and treats he needs for a long stay.

We’ve ordered 15 gallons of drinking water for delivery by Saturday so now we have figured out how to enjoy swimming, the urgency to go south has abated. Slightly. I think we might see Mazatlan next week. I say that but I’m not certain even what day it is today…