Traffic increased over the past few weeks which can only mean one thing…the snowbirds are migrating south to San Carlos. By month’s end I anticipate it will take me seven long minutes to drive to a location that up until this mass influx of residents took a mere five. It’s interesting observing neighbors who lived here long before us return, open up their homes, dust off their balconies and begin to enjoy the beautiful weather. People have rolled in from Canada, other parts of Mexico, Phoenix, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and even the great state of Texas. I’ve met so many people over the past two weeks I honestly wish name badges were required for this period of transition.
Along with the snowbirds there are other noticeable changes as well. Restaurants are rotating menus and updating nightly entertainment schedules. Various shops are adjusting their door signs extending their hours to sell their wares. The “spa” doesn’t have quite as many awesome special deals as their appointment book has less availability. Several charitable organizations including those supporting free animal clinics and adoptions, ending domestic violence, or seeking high school and university scholarships for local children are posting “kick off” events. Overall, the rhythm of the town has quickened its pulse. But, San Carlos is still the friendly, get to know your neighbor kind of place. This was evidenced by the free, “Welcome Back Snowbirds Sunset Cruise”.
Last week I ran into a friend who asked if we were going on the free sunset cruise. Considering I had no idea what he was talking about I asked him for the details. What I learned was that every year a couple who has lived in San Carlos for years and own several fishing charter boats offer free cruises to residents on a first come, first served basis. Just sign-up and show up. The first 18 persons to respond to the “all call” receive the “golden ticket” go ahead. All they ask is that cruisers “take care of the crew”. This BYOB/BYOS (snacks) cruise sounded great and might even provide an opportunity to meet a few new faces. So we signed up and arrived promptly at Dock D at 4:45 pm where we were welcomed aboard by the hospitable crew of the Shady Lady. Aboard we quickly discovered a smattering of people from all walks of life. Mike started chatting it up with a proud, Italian guy who had lived in four different houses in San Carlos before settling on just the right place. His wife, an artist, relishes the solitude of the area. I sought out four women from Arizona who had with them a cute and extremely well behaved little schnauzer that appeared to be wrapped in an orange, Christmas stocking of sorts. After some small talk about how long we’d all been coming down to San Carlos and what drove each of us to land in this little place on the map, I commented on the wonderful behavior of the little pup. The response was, “Well, his backend is completely paralyzed so that helps.” I honestly have no recollection of my murmured verbal response but I am fairly certain my expression said it all. I escaped the socially awkward situation by gabbing Mike and climbing up to the top of the boat for bird’s-eye-view seats. Gathered around the helm we found two American men, both of whom discovered the loves of their lives south of the border. One lovely lady was from Mexico. We quickly learned she was taking English lessons from our Spanish instructor. The second gringo’s Columbian sweetheart is one of the most delightful people we’ve met in this small town. They live right around the corner from us. Full disclosure, he is originally from Oklahoma and cheers for the wrong Big 12 college football team but he’s been forgiven for that little indiscretion.
The captain blasted the horn and eighteen almost strangers ventured out for what would become a beautiful evening. We quickly pulled away from the dock, out of the harbor and into the open water. The attentive Shady Lady crew not only provided a pleasant voyage on the Sea of Cortez but they kicked up the tunes and poured unexpected and delicious margaritas to anyone who was interested. From the water below we saw the jagged cliffs that were homes to plants clinging for their lives and watched the waves crash into caves eroded overtime by the strong, continuous waves. The sun reflected a tangerine glow off of the rock formations just waiting for the moment to dip below the horizon of the water.
The captain held the boat steady and allowed the Earth to spin just enough to make us believe it was the sun that was sinking rather than San Carlos turning away for the night. Within moments the real show began with rich colors exploding and bouncing off of the scattered clouds. Journeying back to the marina with new found friends we were able to take in the sights and catch the sliver of the moon peeking through the clouds as if it had just arrived.
The kindness of longtime boat owners, Jon and Jen, resulted in a special evening for all, the companionship of new acquaintances and a little extra spending money for a hard working crew. This generosity is not something that finds itself on the front page of the paper or the headline story of the evening news. However, it is exactly what drew us to this lovely location.
October 24, 2019
“What a beautiful place to be with friends.”Dobby the House Elf – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows