OUR CRUISING PLAN
Left Seattle in late August and to sail down the coast to Mexico. Prevailing winds and hurricane seasons largely dictate our itinerary and schedule.
August 2000: Seattle to San Francisco
September 2000: San Francisco
October 2000: Monterey Bay and the Channel Islands
November 2000: Dana Point, San Diego and end of hurricane season, allowing us to enter Mexico. We left San Diego on Thanksgiving.
December 2000: Coast of Baja and Isla Isabella
January to April 2001: Puerto Vallarta, Tenacatita (Mexico)
May to July 2001: Moved up into the Sea of Cortez and left the boat in San Carlos for the summer. We went to the us to beat the heat and are now (October) in Boston.
End of November 2001: We will be going back to the boat and will spend a large part of December painting the bottom and re-varnishing the wood (with a modern wood treatment product which is supposed to last longer than varnish). We will start moving down through the sea of Cortez in late December or January.
During January, February and March, we expect to sail down the Mexican mainland coast, stopping in Mazatlan,Puerto Vallarta, Tenacatita, Zihuatenejo, Acapulco and Puerto Madero, and many coves and harbors in between. The big challenge of this trip is crossing the gulf of Tehuantepec between Huatalo and Puerto Madero (200 miles) where sudden gales lasting several days can do serious damage to a sailboat. The gales, called the Tehuantepec’ers, start suddenly with wind increasing from nothing to 40 to 60 knots in minutes and waves increasing to 15 feet. They happen 140 days of the year on average. We expect to have to wait up to 2 weeks to get a weather window to cross this gulf.
By end of March, we hope to sail by Guatemala and stop in one friendly marina in El Salvador. We may leave the boat there for a visit by bus to Antigua Guatemala.
The next sail, past Nicaragua, is another challenge due to the Papayeyos which are sudden gusty gale force winds which occur when reinforced trade winds blow in the Caribbean. They affect about 300 miles of coastline. However, the worst of the Papageyos is supposed to be over by end of March, allowing us to enter Costa Rica in April.
April, May and June 2002: Cruising Costa Rica and Panama
Summer 2002: We will probably leave the boat in Panama and come back to the United States for a few months.
We have decided to skip the South Pacific and pass through the Panama Canal and back to the United States (east coast somehere) for a few years. Anyone have a suggestion where we should land? We are looking for good weather and a nice place to live and keep a boat? We found that we have had enough of waves. We had a hard crossing to Hawaii a few years ago and have been rolling a lot on the west coast of Mexico. We also might be a bit young for this life. Birgitta is missing work and I am getting a bit bored myself. Maybe we should have waited another 10 years or so. Now, after the September 11th terrorist attacks, we are extra glad we made this decision. Doing the South Pacific means either putting the boat on a ship and sending it back or going all the way around the world. This could mean dealing with the Suez Canal and I don’t really want to be in that part of the world for the next several years.