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Thursday, June 18, 2009

An American in Baja: Brett

by Audrey Coffman

Brett loves boats. Yes, I know. Everybody loves boats. But, Brett LOVES boats. He owns three, and I had the ride of a lifetime in the Nauti Too, a high-performance, big-water 38-footer. Now, I’m more mechanically uninformed than just about anyone, and so an engines cc’s and horsepower are pretty much yadda yadda to me. Miles per hour I understand, especially when I’m rocketing over water one gorgeous, sunny morning. Brett estimated we were cruising along at 70 miles per hour. It felt like we were flying.

When you see Brett around town, he probably will not be alone. Carlos is his friend, co-pilot and sidekick, and their friendship was born out of their mutual love and respect for the Sea of Cortez. Think “Batman and Robin” in shorts, flip-flops and baseball caps. Maintaining and operating a small fleet of powerful sea craft takes a massive amount of hard work and energy, and these two friends understand and rely on one another. Brett’s finding Carlos was serendipity, but his being here in the Baja was “divine intervention,” as Brett describes it.

For some reason, he reminds me of Tom Selleck. A little shorter, more compact, with a little bit of Huckleberry Finn behind the mile. He’s fun to talk to (or shout at when you’re doing 70 on the open water). As a So-Cal “surfer dude,” he shared with many of his contemporaries a passion for the water along with a fascination with the Baja. Back in the1970s he made a “misguided trip” to San Felipe, which he describes as “nightmarish” and never expected to return. The U.S. Navy grabbed him up and utilized his talents as a diver specializing in underwater recovery and pilot rescue. Following his stint with the navy and a resort venture-project in Colorado, he looked around and asked, “What now?”

It was 2007, and he swears that a voice in his head told him to go to San Felipe. It was here that he sensed, as many of us have, the specialness, the vibe, the energy that washes over anyone who stops here to breathe it in. It was the sea that showed him the way, that gave him the idea that there was a need for him to be here and that others needed his understanding of how to use power and speed to enhance our lives here on the water’s edge. Once he did extensive research, he determined that a trio of boats with differing size, power capability and speed would meet his needs, his passengers’ comfort equirements and the rapidly changing conditions on the open water.

Brett is a spiritual guy, one who believes that many of us are led to do what we do, to be where we are, by a force greater than ourselves. The trick is to listen to that voice trying to give you direction, do all the research you can to now how to do it, then check with your mom.

If you’re looking for a water adventure with speed, comfort and safety, call Brett at (686)116-6977 or
check out www.captntolkensbaja.com.