We finally got across the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan and down the coast to La Cruz and home . Buster yelled at us a lot for having left him for so long, but behind all the complaining I'm pretty sure he was happy to have us back.
The ferry that brought us across was the small Mazatlan Star. I was told by one of the passengers that it was in it's first week of service with Baja Ferries. Not that it was new, far from it. Apparently it had been used in France somewhere because many of the onboard placards were in French plus all the art on the walls was of European scenes. Unfortunately the only seating for people who did not have a cabin was in the bar or cafeteria on very unsuitable chairs, but they were making the best of it. The booze was flowing, the large screen TV was blasting cartoons at full volume and the bar, full of mostly men was rocking.
As we were waiting for our drink order a young Japanese woman approached us, asking if we spoke English. The bar was to noisey for a conversation so we went outside and she was able to ask us if there were any other seating options. We didn't know, so we went to the reception area where we recieved our cabin key and asked. Nope, what you see is what you get. Iku, we had made introductions by then, was clearly distressed at the prospect of spending the night in the middle of a party zone, but resignatedly returned to her seat in the bar. Judy and I finished our drink, feeling relief that we could escape to the peace and quiet of our cabin. Passing Iku on the way out, it occurred to us that we could let her use the third bunk in our cabin. Judy asked if she would care to join us, and with great happiness Iku agreed.
Iku is a university graduate in her late 20's who has been travelling the world, seeing Asia, Europe, northern Africa, and the U.S. She is now heading south to Peru, Chili and Argentina. She's got a lot of guts travelling alone and kind of making it up as she goes. Not many young women from any culture would do this, but for a Japanese gal, she is extraordinary.