'Crystal Wind' as seen nearly 30 years ago on San Francisco Bay shortly after Martin bought her from Herb Madden.
long and into the next day we went, doing a steady seven knots. You know how when you're going into the seas there is a hesitation at the crest of a wave before you race down the other side? Well, when you're being towed by a warship the size of a destroyer, there is no hesitation. The Crystal Wind's 22 tons went straight through the waves like a torpedo, rose briefly, then surfed right into the next wave. There was no rock and roll. The ride was quite nice — exciting in a satisfying way. God, I was proud of Crystal Wind. With three of us now aboard, I asked about night-watches. "No need," they repled, "as there are two men on the warship watching us from the fantail." The ship's floodlights were on us all well, so I started thinking about what I would serve my mates for supper. Paella! While in Mazatlan, I'd found this huge tin of paella, with shrimp in the shell and
everything. All you had to do was heat it up. I dug a bag of chicken wings out of the freezer and saturated them in a lot of olive oil and garlic. I put them in the wok with the paella and baked some rolls made from Krusteeze Quick Bread Mix. My two crew looked at each other and thought, "He's making paella in these seas!" Later I heard one of the officers check in with the captain of the ship. The captain must have asked what we'd had for dinner because I heard the officer say, "Paella." Then he started to laugh. When I asked him what was so funny, he said, "The captain says he should have come aboard!" After dinner, I left the oven on to keep the boat warm. The officers
and I settled down for a long, steady night. I gratefully slept in the aft cabin for the first time since Isla Cedros. In the morning we enjoyed fresh-squeezed orange juice, buttermilk blueberry pancakes, and hand-ground Starbucks coffee for breakfast. That's what I call being a gentleman at sea. Finally, San Quintin lazily came into view. It was flat, calm and quite beautiful. My new navy friends towed me into the inner bay with their longboat. At long last, I dropped the anchor, safe and sound. After handshakes and many hugs, they left to go back on patrol. The point that I want to get across is that the Mexican Navy was truly fantastic. They were not only efficient, but had full command of the situation from the moment they arrived until the moment they ever so gently dropped me at San Quintin. The captain and crew were the best, I'll never forget them! It took me another three weeks to get to Ensenada, and finally to San Diego, where I am now cooling my heels on my private mooring in the bay. — martin 03/10/07 Readers — The Mexican Navy — like a lot of other government agencies in Mexico — is a much more professional organization that it was just a few years ago. It's great to see. Now that Martin, who is 76, is back in San Diego, what's he going to do? Get ready for more cruising, of course. You can read about it in Cruise Notes. Mico Verde — Westsail 32 Warren Johnson and Stephanie Parry-Johnson (Seattle, WA) We bought our Westsail 32 in San Warren and Stephanie and the volcano. Beautiful Tanna Island also has cargo cults, hot water springs and wonderful people. COURTESY MICO VERDE
COURTESY CRYSTAL WIND
The April 2007 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.