Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Big News from the crew of Espiritu

                                                              Whoops, we're doing it again.

Me and a friend in Roatan, Honduras

Looks like we've committed the cardinal (yet oh, so human) sin of forgetting all the bad stuff and remembering all the good stuff. That's right. We're sailing south. Again.

                              Double rainbow in Providencia, Colombia

         Turns out Captain Chris has decided that he has one more big adventure under his belt. One more chance to do something crazy before we're too old to do any such thing.

In the two years we've been back in California since our sailing adventure (Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Roatan and Belize), we've worked, maintained Espiritu, saved money and lived simply. 

The truth is that since our home is paid off,  the minute we shove off the dock we lose our biggest expense -- marina fees. Living in Mexico will mean no car insurance, gas, cable, internet and other utilities. 

We'll be mainly living in anchorages. Not marinas. 

Living a simple life in Mexico is very affordable.

Soccer game in El Salvador

Cruising (like parenting, I suppose) was the hardest and most rewarding thing we've ever done. And when Chris said he thought he wasn't really done, of course I knew that I only had one response. 

Yes. Yes, let's do it again. 

Only better this time. Because we're experienced cruisers now. Our anxiety level will be much lower this time 'round. We know what works and what doesn't. 

We're better equipped to handle the tough times that will inevitably come.

Like the famous microburst in El Salvador...
(photo by Zachary Shane Orion Lough)

But then, all of the hardship and work was worth it 
when we arrived at the Las Perlas in Panama, right? 

Fisherman in Costa Rica

Chris drains the dinghy after the latest Costa Rica downpour. 

Central America in the rainy season was much more challenging than we anticipated. We got struck by lightning. We were boarded. But having completed the journey, I'd never regret going. It changed me in ways I'm still trying to comprehend. 

But this time, we're staying in Mexico. Thousands and thousands of sailors only sail Mexico, and never leave her. The weather is generally fine (but we admit El Nino is a wild card -- we'll keep a close watch on the weather reports), there are thousands of beautiful beaches to explore and the people are muy amable. I'll be seeking out orphanages, schools or clinics in which to volunteer.  

Caye Caulker, Belize

Playing with the Kuna children in the San Blas Islands, Panama

Our plan is 18 months, give or take.  And unlike when we were on a tiny island off the coast of Colombia, Mexico is close to home. We can be in California as fast as Speedy Gonzalez.

And this time, we'll do the Sea of Cortez, which we skipped in 2012.

Call us crazy. Lord knows our families probably do 
(with love and a gentle eye roll) just out of earshot.

Traversing the Panama Canal with Howard of Swift Current we go. Our plan is to sail south in mid-November. 

Have you swept the visioned valley with the green stream streaking through it?
Searched the vastness for a something you have lost?
Have you strung your soul to silence?
Then for God's sake, go and do it.
Hear the message, learn the lesson... the cost.

-- The Call of the Wild, by Robert Service