This picture was taken back in September and I know all of this people with the exception of myself have lost quite a bit of weight. I’m actually putting it back on thanks to all the delicious Mexican cuisine and improvements in my onboard culinary skills! Bob is the guy on the right side and he’s Rhonda’s boy toy of 9 years. Him and I became fast friends just before I left and he’s due to arrive in Puerto Vallarta to visit his mother and sister on Wed., May 4. I’m really looking forward to seeing him. He’ll be the first friend from home that’s visited since I left the states back in December. He’s bringing me a couple of 12 volt fans thankfully! My cheap ones I bought before I left are starting to fail and air movement is essential to comfort when it’s stifling hot and humid out. I’m not sure how much time I’m going to get to spend with him because there’s a really nice weather window starting on Thursday through Friday and I need to get heading south soon before one of them nasty hurricanes comes rolling in. I’ve experienced bad and I really don’t want to experience worse. The weather has been on the cool side for this time of year but it’s actually been perfect. As we head south it’s going to get hotter and more humid and those fans blowing a gentle breeze caressing me will be much appreciated. Being out on the water really helps due to the breeze and being able to swim in the anchorages but if there is no breeze it’s pretty darn toasty.
The main reason I’ve been holed up in PV is that the weather hasn’t been great, I needed to replace my main outhaul line that had stretched and gotten too small and was slipping in the camlock and not allowing the mainsail to be fully deployed. The other is that my charts on my helm chartplotter have stopped displaying depths since I’ve left Baja. I need maps installed for Southern Mexico and Central America. I’ve got good charts on my iPad and my PC that I use extensively but it’s really nice having the information at the helm. Peter from Amsterdam and married to a Mexican lady is doing the work and the charts are supposed to arrive on Wednesday. Other than meeting up with Bob, reprovisioning the boat, giving her a bath, Desiderata is ready to set sail again for the next phase of the adventure. It’s right at 8 days to get to Chiapas where I’m going to haul the boat out and store it on the hard while I’m staying in Costa Rica. We’ll probably make 3 or 4 stops along the way to break up the trip. We alternate watch every 4 hrs and it starts wearing on you after a while not getting a full sleep on long passages. There are some stunning anchorages along the way not to be missed either. The biggest area of concern is the Gulf of Tehuantepec that we have to cross to get to Chiapas. It takes just over 2 days to cross and is infamous for the high winds and waves that can blow up there. It’s the narrowest point of the Central American Isthmus and it can crank up to 50-60 kts. Great article on the link above on how nasty it can get. Fortunately from what I’ve read, May through late summer is one of the best times to pass.
Once in Chiapas I’ll get the boat ready for dry storage and then fly or bus to Costa Rica. I did research on anchoring or hauling out in Costa Rica and it’s $650 vs $250 a month in Chiapas and not financially viable. Not to mention the documentation required is much more extensive arriving by boat. I anticipate staying with my friends friend in her modest home right on the beach near Playa Hermosa for about 4-5 months. Supposedly there are howler monkeys in the trees behind her house. I really can’t wait to experience that. Also I’ll be completely immersed in the Spanish language since she speaks little or no English and from what I understand total immersion is one of the fastest ways to learn. I anticipate great fun in the process!
I have no healthcare now and unfortunately my carpal tunnel is flaring up in my left hand becoming consistent. I really need to get it addressed before I do permanent nerve damage. I emailed a doctor in Costa Rica to enquire about costs and he almost instantly replied in english stating that the procedure was $1,200 or 2 months worth of premiums in the states. Rolling the dice here in many ways because I can’t even get boat insurance as a single hander. I’m sure a lot of you think I’m crazy but you’ve probably known that for sometime now. I have no regrets and figure I’ll cross all those bridges when or if I get to them. If it’s boat insurance that comes into play it could be fatal and what good would all of those premiums I paid be worth if that were ever the case. I’m not planning on dying but it’s always a possibility. The enriching and unique experiences I’m having are worth every bit of risks I’m taking from my perspective and I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s been the journey of a lifetime so far. I’ve been out of the states for 6 months now and I’m actually starting to forget what life is like in the states.
On a scientific note, expensive tequila is much smoother than cheap tequila! I’m really looking forward to seeing skinny Bob and spending time with him and it’s highly likely there will be a shot or two of tequila consumed!! Until next time. Buenas suertes!