Jun 8, 2009

Alicia and Alfredo

Friends Alicia and Alfredo on the dock at the Singlar Marina in Puerto Escondido

One of the great joys of cruising is meeting truly interesting people who have some amazing sea stories of their own. Well, at this point, Alicia and Alfredo are right at the top of that list! This is a couple who didn't even speak the same language when they met at the remote Chagos Archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean seven years ago. Alicia is an American from New Orleans, and Alfredo is an Italian from Milano.

Their boat, On Verra, was berthed next to me at the Police Dock in San Diego when I stopped on my way south this year. We soon got acquainted, and I found they were also headed for la Paz and some exploring in the Sea of Cortez. In Alicia's case, this was a case of re-visiting, since she had spent some time cruising in this area more than fifteen years earlier. After a couple of evenings over dinner, wine and recollected adventures, I quickly realized this was a truly remarkable couple. Their adventures span the globe, and include famous storms, shipwreck off the coast of South America and an admirable ability to subsist largely from what they are able to take from the sea.

When I met them again in la Paz, and yet again in Escondido, they were finalizing their plan for leaving their boat in Mexico to spend the summer hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada! The plan required that they get the boat to Guaymas, on the mainland side of the Sea of Cortez, before the end of April, so they could start the trek the first of May before the southern, desert sections of the trail got too hot for hiking.

Well, the long walk north is now into it's second month, and I've been getting regular emails detailing yet another remarkable Alicia and Alfredo adventure. With their permission, I'm going to copy those emails here, so the next several entrys will detail a little different variation of "sea story."

Here are the first two emails, shortly before and right after they began this hugely ambitious undertaking:

Monday, 4/20/09


As most of you know, we have been planning to walk the PCT, a trail from Mexico to Canada, for some time now. The last worry was trying to get Alfredo back into the US without a visa but all went well. We took the bus from Guaymas to Tucson and simply got a visa waiver at the border. From Tucson we caught a flight to SD and bought the ticket half an hour before boarding. Good price on Southwest.As for On Verra, we left her on the hard in Singlar marina seca in Guaymas totally stripped in case of a hurricane.We are staying with some friends while doing the last minute preparations here in SD. We will start on Thurs. We decided against sending us mail drops of food for the moment, we will just go with the flow of things and scavenger for food when necessary.We will try to keep you posted when we can.Would also love to here from you.Thinking of all of you.

Best wishes,
Alicia and Alfredo

Saturday, 5/2/09

hello to all you couchpotatoes,

we have just walked our first 110 miles and are presently in Warner Springs, Ca. We started on thurs. of last week, thanks to Caryn of Windflower,who gave us a ride out to the trailhead. The first day was a killer, 20 miles of desert hiking with no water, I arrived dehydrated. Alfredo was feeling the beginnings of a cold. On that first day about 60 people were walking. But the surprise came when we arrived at Lake Morena to the kick off party with organized booths and check ins. About 700 people showed up, some who have walked it in previous years and others who just love to help and support us hikers, we call those trail angels. We also happen to meet hikers that we met on the AT 5 years ago. So about 175 people are hiking this year. The PCTA and ADZOPCTKO organizers feed us all weekend. Unfortunately Afredo came down with a bad bug which led to a throat infection and then a fever. With all the trail angels looking after us he recovered quickly. On monday we walked 17 miles. The problem with this section is the lack of water, it is hot and dry. We camped at Long canyon, Pioneer Mail, Scissors Crossings which was a 25 mile day by accident( we missed the water so we had to continue), and then 4th Gate. Highlights: Had a near encounter with a rattlesnake, not smart, got blown out of the tent, and had people who drove up from San Diego looking for us to make sure we were ok. Then we walk into Warner Springs Post Office and a stranger gives us $100 to stay at the fancy ranch with hot springs, I guess he thought we really needed a shower. We were filthy dirty after 6 days on trail, the dirt was caked on us and I know we smelled. So after a wonderful shower and soak and clean clothes we are ready to hit the trail agian this afternoon. This next section is up to 9000 ft mountains and snow. I hope we dont freeze since we dont have any warm clothes. Lastly I want to let people know that this section would almost be impossible to do without the help of trail angels who actually carry gallons of water up mountains to the trail so us hikers dont die of dehydration. We thank them.So far we are having a great time and will send email at next opportunity!!!!!

Alicia and Alfredotrail names sailor and pasta alfredo

For more information on the Pacific Crest Trail, check: http://www.fs.fed.us/pct/


james and penelope said...

Jerry it's good to see you're still out there on the California-Baja circuit. I just finished three months in the Abacos, Bahamas, and put the boat in a slip in Daytona Beach while I travel to California and other destinations for a couple of months. Planning to do the Chesapeake in Sept-October. Cheers,

ladyfish this milkjug said...

Alicia and Alfredo

It's captainteacup from pxt 2008. We didn't walk together but you met me at the kickoff party. Last time I was in vivas I got malaria and ( costa rica Atlantic) and came back without cruising. It is a 30 Sagitta sloop . Anyways, I am currently in bishop mtn climbing and wondered where you were??

Sv lady fish
Aka....Todd Kapp.