Monday, February 13, 2012

Acrobats on a Boat? You must be kidding!

No, actually we are not kidding!

A young, athletic and very talented French couple is earning their way around the world on their small boat  with their two young daughters by performing amazing acrobatic skits on the deck of their sailboat.  The free-will offerings are split with local charities - a smart strategy which, of course, means translates to more pesos generously dropped into the "tin cans".

The couple tied their snug yellow boat "sideways", securing with her with lines to the dock and several other boats next to the small patio at Marina de La Paz, a cruisers' hangout for coffee and chat, and peformed two skits for a large crowd of cruisers and a handful of locals, too.
Pre-show:  Do you see their daughters clowning around mid-ships?
We attended the early comedy skit as we are not fond of returning to "Chamisa" after dark, even though it's an easy dinghy ride of about ten minutes. (The late performance was "romantic" and something we should have stayed to watch, too, after hearing from others who did.) The performance was a delighful pantomimed comedy reminiscent of early Hollywood antics of those from the era of Laurel & Hardy/Buster Keaton/Keystone Cops.  It was the story of a sailing couple trying to leave the dock and nearly drowning each other many times throughout the process.

They were decked out in matching yellow nylon jackets/white bell bottom sailor pants and began by leaving the dock in their dinghy, then climbing aboard and prepping to sail away.  Their crazy stunts as they pulled/pushed and nearly drowned each other while running up and down the deck, swinging crazily everywhere from the rails, lines, sails and mast were just amazing and drew huge laughs, startled "ooh's/aah's" and much applause throughout the skit.
Opposing ideas about where to start!
Saved from certain death by a "hair"!
Finally the couple manages to get things nearly set up to sail away, with raising these beautiful translucent sails - just props, don't worry as these would never really work - and she manages to do perform some graceful "high-flying" ballet reminiscent of the best acts in any circus, ballet or "Cirque du Soleil" performance anywhere!
Oops..she is saved once again as he grabs her "line"!
She prepares to spin herself gracefully into the grand finale!
Hope you enjoy the photos we took above.  Oddly, the last one is a near-duplicate of a photo from their performance last fall in San Francisco which is online in "Latitude 38", the sailing magazine from San Diego.  If you are interested in more information about the couple and a link to their website with upcoming performances as they sail onward, try this link:

Remember when I mentioned above that we are not fond of returning in the dark to "Chamisa"?  Well, here's the main reason shown below - when back aboard, we have a superb view of the magnificent sunsets!  We love having a leisurely "sundowner" (sometimes iced tea, and sometimes a gin/tonic) together watching Mother Nature at her best.  After the sun sets, the afterglow disappears and the anchorage lights appear, we wage a "Hillbilly Rummy" tournament to determine who really pays attention to the discard pile.  Some nights we read to appreciate the quiet, and other nights we watch one of our well-worn DVDs. Most of all, we reflect on how lucky we are to be here.  Who would have thought this would happen to either of us, growing up in the Midwest where sailing was not the most obvious choice for a retirement adventure?

The next excitement coming our way is the week-long celebration that marks the beginning of Lent -  "Carnaval"!  Starting this Thursday evening along the waterfront we will witness the local "mini Mardi Gras", complete with parades, free outdoor musical concerts by major Latino artists, street vendors selling everything - food, clothes, toys, CDs - you name it!  Also, there are many theatrical performances, art gallery showings and other special attractions scheduled daily throughout the city, so we plan to take in at least a few of these to share with you.

If we are fortunate, we also hope to log a few hours of decent sleep each night with moving to a different spot in the anchorage (we like our neighbors here), but that will be a challenge.  The tourists and locals already party on weekends (and even some week-nights) into the wee, wee hours without the added attractions of "Carnaval"!  Earplugs, anyone?


  1. That's incredible. know I was actually thinking something like that would be possible because of all the halyards.

    1. Hi Dani,
      good to "meet" you...I know you follow Steve's blog - isn't he amazing? His writing intimidates me a bit, so good to know someone (you) is reading ours!

      We were impressed by the acrobats until I heard a story about their fee in Seattle so I guess someone here (the marinas) certainly underwrote their visit - they can't subsist on the "free will" offering they took and split with a local charity. Amazing talent, regardless. And, thanks for your comment. k