I feel like I owe Mexico one last post…
Even though we are now 2800 miles and 32 days at sea away from the land of tacos, we spent so much time there over the years that before I bring you all up to speed on ocean crossings, I’ll do a quick recap on our last few months as gringos.
To be honest, most of our time since I last wrote anything, was spent prepping to leave Mexico for the South Pacific… Stocking up on food, drinks, boat spares and any parts I thought I may need in the foreseeable future kept me busy, riding the local suicide shuttles from one end of Banderas bay to the other, returning loaded down with what ever booty I managed to find.
While this was happening, our crew Ted and Stella, were chipping away at some of my long overdue to-do list – re-bedding stanchions and handrails to try and stop the drips, re-lacing the tramps and inspecting the rig, all fun stuff!
We did manage to get away from the anchorage a couple of times too. The first was to clear out of Mexico as our visas were running out, and of course this was no where near as easy as it should have been….
I wanted to clear out and just hang out for the following couple of weeks until it was time to go. But my lovely co-pirate preferred the play by the rules option, keeping our visa current, which was apparently an option if you asked nicely for an extension… we asked nicely and they told us it would cost $$$ and would take 3-4 weeks to process…. not very useful really…. the immigration officer who came to the boat the next morning to clear us out, when we still weren’t sure what exactly we were up to, quietly mentioned that if we went into international waters, and came back, we could re-enter…. only 12 Nm to international waters, plus the 30 odd miles out of Banderas Bay, so an overnight border run it was.
We managed to sail for an hour or so at some point, but for the most part, we motored along slowly, heading straight out to sea and back again, not that the Port Capitan or immigration or even customs asked to see our track on the GPS or anything when we arrived a the crack of dawn the next day… to be honest, we probably could have just gone back to the anchorage in La Cruz for the night and saved the fuel, but thats one of those Capt. Hindsight moments, so lesson learned.
It was useful in other aspects though. I got to double check fuel consumption at lower RPM’s as we were having to go so slow to time our return for daylight again. And, as we sailed back to La Cruz, the mainsail traveller car started spitting ball bearings at us – an easy repair while anchored, not so easy had we been out at sea.
The next weekend, some friends of ours came to visit from Guadalajara. A great excuse to head out to the islands at the beginning of the bay and then spend a couple of days in Punta de Mita just chilling out. It was great to not worry about prep work for a bit and relax, even managed a spot of scurfing (wake-boarding on a surfboard) – well Ted did, I just managed to face plant repeatedly and Fernando had a belly tow that I’m sure must have stretched his arms a few cms!
The prep work wasn’t just about loading up on food and water…. We added a whole mortgage worth of safety and communication equipment to cover our backsides if the shit hit the fan, not that it would, its called the “coconut milk run” for a reason right, and then our friends at Latitude 38, y’know the organizers of the Baja hee-haw, had put together another rally for this crossing “the pacific puddle jump”. But, just to be safe we loaded up a new liferaft, man over board retrieval system, satellite phone, SSB radio, all the pacific charts – both electronic and paper, new lifelines, a hand operated water maker and a huge stash of specially ordered Alma emergency rations!
To be honest, I was really going to miss Mexico, and almost wanted to cancel the whole dealeo and stay. 6 months earlier while in the Sea of Cortez, I couldn’t wait to leave, but after just a few months in La Cruz, my love of Mexico came back! The food was cheaper, the locals friendlier and the boat crowd were a lot more like our kinda people. We really enjoyed the time we got to spend with friends we had made during our time on Sea Raven – from the beginnings in the yard in Napa, the summer in Ensenada, purgatory in La Paz and the new friends we met this year in La Cruz. We’ll miss you all and look forward to meeting up again one day!
VIVA MEXICO CABRONES!!!!!!