Patting Ourselves on the Back

Ready for Splash, La Cruz Shipyard, Mexico

The summer weather here is like being in a sauna. It didn’t stop us working on the boat, nonstop for three weeks. I started my day with a bug-spray shower. I quickly found applying sunblock lotion is useless as my sweat immediately washes it off. My main struggle was not the heat nor physical work. It was dealing with bug bites as it made me crazily itch.

An episode happened when the boat was back in the water. Somehow, the propeller of the boat was installed backwards. Driving the boat backward goes forward and vice versa.

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Macho Solo

Tool “Macho Solo” (A pair of Pliers) according to a worker when we were in Colombia

It is normal to paint the boat bottom every two to three years, in order to prevent marine growth. We have the boat hauled out in La Cruz shipyard in Mexico. The mast has been removed for corrosion/repaint work. Sails are being inspected and repaired by “North Sails” loft in Puerto Vallarta. For other projects, we hired contractors. The rest including the bottom paint, we do on our own. Strangely, I am enjoying doing physical work. It feels rewarding when a task is done.

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Boat Maintenance Time in La Cruz Marina Shipyard in Mexico

Possible heavy rain this afternoon and tonight, June 19th, 2021. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

“Sailing around the World” is still our dream. I have been sailing for last 7 years. However, just looking at the circumnavigation route on the globe, we, so far, sailed from Florida to Pacific side Mexico. We enjoyed sailing the Caribbean and two Atlantic Ocean crossing there and back, but this is not a part of our original route. We still need to sail the South Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and the South Atlantic Ocean, about 95% to go of our plan. Pandemic seems to be delaying us 2-3 years here.

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Traveling by sailboat from Chiapas to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico

Empty Cruise Ship Terminal in Puerto Vallarta (Mexico Riviera) during COVID Time in Mexico

Puerto Vallarta in Mexico! I didn’t know much about this place until we arrived. During non-COVID times, many cruise ships stopped here. There are beautiful condo buildings and houses all over. The area looks similar to the best parts of South Florida, a combined retiree town of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. Most commercial places have three flags flying at the entrance: Mexican, USA, and Canadian flags. It made me realize Mexico is a part of the North American Continent. The marina resort area is very clean and looks like a tiny Disney world with sculptured gardens and beautiful flowers.

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Traveling to San Cristobal, Chiapas State in Mexico

Agua Azul Waterfall View from Upper Area, Chiapas State, Mexico

Mexico is about three times the size of Texas, WAY bigger than I had ever imagined. There are 31 states and the Capital Mexico City; that, makes 32 Federal entities. Chiapas State is the southernmost state. It is very beautiful, huge mountains and lots of farmland. There are some ginormous mango farms near the marina and also a mango factory.

Once settled in Marina Chiapas and finding a cat-sitter, we took off for land travel by buses. Driving in a foreign country can be stressful. While taking buses enjoying the view of mountains,

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Eleven Days Traveling in Nicaragua

Active Volcano Crater, Masaya Volcano near Granada, Nicaragua

The bus system in Nicaragua is great, it goes everywhere, but can be crowded. We took buses and taxis for our 11-day trip excluding a group tour by a company. We have been very impressed by the road conditions in Nicaragua. Not knowing much about the history of Nicaragua, I once wondered if the head of the country studied in Civil Engineering.

Bus rides in foreign countries, is sometimes challenging especially when a conductor packs as many passengers as he can. Knowing a huge holiday week (Semana Santa, Easter Weekend) is coming,

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Traveling in Nicaragua, the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes

View from the rooftop of Cathedral, the largest cathedral in Central America, Leon, Nicaragua

The CIA world factbook says Nicaragua is the second poorest country (after Haiti) in the Western Hemisphere. I saw some areas with poverty but life here is the same as many other places I have visited. People eat, study/work, sleep, and socialize with others. Money helps but I try not to judge people by their money.

After being in strict COVID enforcement in Panama, we enjoyed travelling freely in Nicaragua. I am convinced that the COVID problem is bigger in rich countries, especially with high obesity rate.

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Sailing from Costa Rica to Nicaragua on the Way to the Sea of Cortez

(February 22 to March 2, 2021) Each night, we stopped at a different anchorage in Costa Rica, leaving after sunrise and arriving in mid-afternoon at a new place. One day, we had to leave at 4 AM at dark (no moonlit) from Bahia Ballena (Whale Bay). Luckily, when I flashed the light on the water and John noticed water breaking on the surface, we quickly steered the wheel not to go over the barely visible rocks. These rocks were not on the chart.

On the day approaching Tamarindo anchorage, we started getting flies. After anchoring, we were immediately swamped by countless flies.

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Sailing from Panama to Costa Rica on the Way to the Sea of Cortez

Approaching Naranjo Cove Near Cerro Hoya National Park in Panama

(February 11 to 22, 2021) The beauty of sailing is moving by wind power along. When all is under control and the wind takes us to a place, I feel fortunate. The other night, I saw five shooting stars and wished my dreams on each!

When we crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Cabo Verde off of Africa to French Guiana in South America (about 2,000 nautical miles), we used a total of 30 gallons of Diesel. The trade winds guided us.

COVID has changed the world as much in sailing world.

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Preparing for Sailing to Sea of Cortez, Mexico

Free Fish from Ocean, Fishermen, Our Neighboring Boat! Our cats were happy!!!

(January 15, 2021) We are back to the marina. A month long get-away in Las Perlas, was a reboot of our dreams which were fading during this COVID lockdown. Most of the islands/countries in South Pacific and New Zealand are still closed. Now, we know where to sail this year. It is going to be the Sea of Cortez/Baja California in Mexico. We thought about sailing to Chile from Panama but it is extremely challenging and a long way to go for an unknown reception.

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