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The Sea of Cortez Nine Years Later… By Guest Blogger Elias Terman

Elias May 14th, 2008

What a difference nine years make. When Clark and I first crossed the Sea of Cortez in February, 1999, I was living in Mexico City, running one business and starting two others. My life couldn’t have been more hectic. The dot com boom was in full force and I was engrossed in my own Internet venture (I eventually sold it to a public company which, like so many other tech companies during that era, fizzled out during the subsequent dot com bust). It was a roller coaster. Anyway, I decided to take a break from the mayhem and flew to Cabo. Clark had only recently embarked on what he thought was going to be a 6 to 12 month sailing adventure down the coast of Mexico. Diesel was about $1 a gallon.

From left: Clark, Yours Truly, Carl and Steve during that first crossing of the Sea of Cortez in 1999. Carl still lives in Mexico City and just became the father of a beautiful baby girl. Steve lives in Hong Kong and is a VP at an investment bank.

Clark, Yours Truly, Carl and Steve during that first crossing of the Sea of Cortez in 1999. Carl still lives in Mexico City and just became the father of a beautiful baby girl. Steve lives in Hong Kong and is a VP at an investment bank.

Fast forward nine years later. Having “gone corporate,” I took three days of paid vacation and flew from San Francisco to Mazatlan, arriving on a sunbaked, Friday afternoon. Clark met me at the airport and after getting settled back on Condesa we ferried to a nearby island where we had fresh fish and beers on the beach. I couldn’t help but notice that both Clark and Condesa are in even better shape today than they were nine years ago. Clark had rebuilt the entire galley according to own exacting design.

The trip took about two days and we motored more than half the time as there wasn’t much wind. On a boat, someone always has to be on watch to avoid getting run over by a container ship. My nightly 2 to 5AM shifts passed surprisingly fast, gliding across the sea in my floating planetarium. I watched the moon rise out of the Pacific on both nights.

We caught four Bonito (which we threw back) and caught a huge Mahi Mahi a mile off the coast of Cabo. I guess there’s a reason why they call it the sport fishing capital of the world.

This is the largest animal I’ve ever killed. I gaffed him (yes it was a male), pulled him onto the boat, and then Clark beat his head in with a winch handle. Good times.

This is the largest animal I\'ve ever killed. I gaffed him (yes it was a male), pulled him onto the boat, and then Clark beat his head in with a winch handle. Good times.

I stood in awe as Clark filleted him in 6 minutes flat:

This is the largest animal I\\\'ve ever killed. I gaffed him (yes it was a male), pulled him onto the boat, and then Clark beat his head in with a winch handle. Good times.


Clark
made an amazing Peruvian Ceviche and Fish Tacos with fresh Pico de Gallo and JalapeƱo Salsa. After lunch, Clark and I lowered the dinghy into the water and headed towards Los Arcos. We landed on a protected sandy cove, then ventured to the other side of the peninsula where five foot waves were crashing on the beach. I started body surfing and Clark followed suit. We drew a crowd as most folks don’t body surf that break.

Anchored off Cabo, we took the dinghy to Los Arcos:

Anchored off Cabo, we took the dinghy to Los Arcos.

I was in and out of the water a lot that weekend and the only sour note of the trip was that I got stung by a Jelly Fish during one of my dips. Maybe the ghost of that Mahi Mahi came back to get me!

Over the last nine years, Clark has treated me to sailing adventures in Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand and Australia. Later this summer he will end his circumnavigation in San Francisco. I look forward to helping him acclimate to life in the Bay Area. I wonder what new adventures we’ll be reminiscing about nine years from today…

Elias Terman is a marketing executive at Acteva and lives in San Francisco.