Finding the Light: Chacala, part 1

by Guest Crew, Pierre Littée & Lianna Giancola

Pierre and Lianna in Chacala

“Meet us at the little concrete pier in Chacala on 1pm”, wrote my sister Sabrina through email.  The plans for rendezvous had changed twice already, but in Mexico you go with the flow.  A wise surfer and friend once told me: “You can’t rush Mexico”.  The clocks keeping time in Grand Central Terminal in NY would have frozen with jealousy had they seen how impeccable the Green Coconut Run runs.  This photo was taken as the Aldebarán is anchoring, 13 hundred hours.

It’s quite remarkable being on a boat in the the Pacific with no clue or care.  It’s even more incredible that I was able to have Lianna join me on this adventure.  

So that the reader may understand who we are, please enjoy this little character background: 

Pierre: I am Sabrina’s older brother, though I often wonder if it’s not the other way around.  She had me join the Aldebaran Co-op upon my insistence on going beyond the horizon of Smallville, USA, to come lend a hand at sailing a leg or two of the Green Coconut Run.  I’d been tending a local bar for the last 5 years, barely keeping my head afloat while simultaneously trying to earn a teaching credential and assisting my mother in aiding my father’s medical conditions.  My life was nearly dreamless, practically predictable, routine and missing je ne sais quoi.  I had ended a long term relationship that was going nowhere, and was searching for meaning like others who look past the surface.  Soon I met Lianna, we started to date (I think), and before we knew it we were in Mexico aboard Aldebarán.

Lianna: I was born and raised in the Bay Area.  I moved all over Cali trying to find the perfect place.  A few years later moved back home.  Decided to go back to school. I attended Le Mélange Academy in the beautiful wine country (Napa). Shortly after getting my cosmetology license I was injured in an accident.  I started working in a couple of restaurants as a server and bartender.  Ended a relationship of 3 years and I met an incredible guy (Pierre).  One thing led to another…and then I lost my brother in a tragic car accident.  I became a lost soul and so confused about life. Pierre asked me to go to Mexico and 2 weeks later there we were in paradise.   

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You may be wondering… How did Pierre convince Lianna to go to Mexico on a sailing trip? Excellent question!

Perhaps this short skit will offer insight, see below.

{Begin Scene. Man is slightly awkward, but finds his stride quickly. Woman pretends to be non-chalant.}

Pierre: “Hey Lianna?”

Lianna: “Yessum?”

Pierre: “Will you go out with me?”

Lianna: “Yes.”

Pierre: “Cool!”

Lianna: “Where do you want to go for our date?”

Pierre: “How about Mexico?”

Lianna: “Sounds amazing.”

Pierre: (thinking to himself) KEEPER!!

Lianna: (thinking to herself) To be decided.

{Next Scene. One week later, Lianna is talking with her parents while packing her bag.}

Lianna: “Hey mom.  Hey dad.  I met this guy.  I don’t know much about him.  I kind of like him.  I’m going to go to Mexico with him. Yes, I said Mexico.  No, I don’t know where.  What are we going to do there?  Well, drink Coronas and hang out on the beach, for starters!  Sure, he easily could be taking me to Mexico to take advantage of me, for all I know! Just kidding…I hope.   Don’t worry…his sister is on a ship and started this new startup company with her boyfriend the captain.  It’s called the Pink Piña Colada I think.  It’s a sailboat… I think… surfing and fishing and stuff like that.  I know I’m afraid of the ocean!  Thanks for reminding me.  Rude!  Ciao!!  I mean Adios!!!”

{End of Act. Begin voyage on Green Coconut Run.}


Once upon a time…

in the realm of Astronomy, Aldebarán reigned high.  It was considered a royal star by the Persians, who believed the sky was divided into four districts, with each quarter of the sky guarded by a royal star. 


Aldebarán was “the watcher in the East”. The others were Antares in the constellation Scorpio, the Western Royal Star; Fomalhaut in the constellation Pisces, the Southern Royal Star; and Regulus in the constellation Leo, the Northern Royal Star (see this Wikipedia link for background info)

The Jews called the star Aleph, meaning God’s Eye in Hebrew.  Aleph is also the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet, associating this star with knowledge.  As Christianity was born, this Royal star became associated with the Archangel Michael.  In Buddhism, Aldebarán is considered the Eye of Illumination, or Buddha’s star.orion and aldebaran

The root and meaning of Aldebaran’s name is Arabic (“the follower”) because it rises near the Pleiades (Seven Sisters). 

As the thirteenth brightest star in the night sky, Aldebarán is a red giant star that lives in the constellation of Taurus.  It is the fiery eye of the bull, whose constellation is one of the oldest in recorded history.  Through the ages Taurus has been associated with divinity and divine power. 


Similar to the bullseye, Aldebarán is that Grand Prize, the Perfect Location, the most sought after goal, the Eye of Divinity and/or the Light in the Head.  Therefore, it couldn’t be more epic for my Lianna and I to be sitting comfortably in the quaint Mexican town of Chacala and see the mast of Aldebarán slowly enter the cove from the North while the sun was in transit through the constellation Taurus. 

Green Coconut crew for Nayarit, Mexico leg

Over-packed and under love’s spell from Mexico’s calming charm, we were about to come aboard the Green Coconut Run to search for the grand prize, to find “the Light” that shines freshness into our lives… what shape it would take, we didn’t yet know.

The moment we came aboard the beautiful trimaran we were greeted warmly by the crew, in the spirit of the co-op adventure that is the Green Coconut Run. I felt the mystique and magic of old-time maritime adventure envelope us like eagle’s wings.  The feeling of serendipity was a gentle hint to the incredible adventures that awaited us around the bend for the next 10 days. With stories and songs and tales to tell afterwards that even Peter Pan would find hard to conceive, we settled into the ship. 

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To appease Fate and Fortune, we came aboard bearing gifts.  Christmas came early for Aldebarán as we unloaded the duffel bag replete with new oil filters, o-rings, space bags, and tupperware.  For the crew we distributed dried fruit, Cajun spices, breakfast goodies, a bottle of tequila and one pound chocolate bars. 

The true “golden ticket” was Lianna herself.  The sailors hadn’t seen another woman aside from my sister since the last moon cycle and some, and therefore her presence was palpable to seeing a mermaid.  Smiling from ear to ear, Michael and Ryan flexed muscles and hoisted anchor.

Kristian set Aldebarán’s bow South, and as a Mother’s Day sun slowly made its journey over the Pacific, Sabrina steered us out of view from land.

….and so began our 12 day ocean adventure, where we went into a deep, dark tunnel before Finding the Light, and finally saying “this is absolutely awesome” more times than I ever had in my life. 

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