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  • Writer's pictureTwo the Horizon

Surviving the Sea: How Mexico Tried to Kill Us

Sometime at the start of November we passed our one year in Mexico anniversary. During that time, I was solo sailing Gemini down the Baja peninsula while Jack was making the epic drive down from SF Bay to meet up with me. Once reunited, we needed some time to decompress from what was a whirlwind 3 months: My client work and Rolex Big Boat Series event in September, Annapolis boat show followed by Jack’s month of travel for his exciting new business ventures (more to share soon, I hope!).

social media team working on computers until late for Rolex Big Boat Series Regatta
MEDIA TEAM PULLING LONG NIGHTS

Reuniting and decompressing was exactly what we needed. We realized that we really had not been this chill and task-free since who knows when. Really, we’d had some big projects to suck our focus and time pretty much since we left Canada and dealt with even more transmission issues (which was not the first time this happened, read about the start here) which sparked the decision to install an electric propulsion system. Jack spent the next 11 months (yeah you heard that right!) researching, planning and purchasing all the components needed to go electric, down to the bolts and plumbing fittings. As we finalized purchases, parts started piling up at my parents house for the eventual trek south to complete the re-power in Mexico. 


We finally set sail to warmer warmers and enjoyed our first couple of months in Mexico, before diving into another massive project we had planned to do in Mexico: replacing our 30 year old chainplates. That was a massive job that was equally as intrusive as it as expensive - but that’s for another post entirely. 


Jack cutting into the fiberglass over our chainplates on our Passport 42 boat project
CHAINPLATE PROJECT IN FULL SWING

We finalized the chainplates with just a couple weeks to spare before sailing across the Sea of Cortez to dive into the next massive project of converting to electric propulsion. This took just over a month to complete and somewhere in that month Mexico cranked up the heat and all of a sudden, Summer was here. We launched in July, just in time for my birthday, realizing that our big projects were done but we were now faced with a different challenge: Summer in Mexico.

boatyard Electric re-power on our Passport 42 sailboat while hauled out in Marine Seca San Carlos, Mexico
BOATYARD DAYS: ELECTRIC REPOWER EDITION

Don’t ask for explicit details on how the summer was (you can read a little about it here!) because it was all a blur of blistering heat, noseeums, attack bees, Chubascos and Hurricane scares. Looking back, we were in pure survival mode for way too long, trying to keep our floating home safe through unpredictable weather while still tending to our multiple businesses and addressing only the most urgent boat projects.

terrifying lightning during a chubasco storm in Baja California Sur
ONE OF MANY CHUBASCO STORMS

We felt privileged and spoiled of us to complain about our circumstances, we were pretty miserable but we still had a our health, safety and a roof over our heads - not to mention the view outside was breathtaking every time we set the hook. We were anchored all alone in some of the most remote and beautiful places we’ve seen, but we couldn’t experience any of it as we were simply trying to not die of heat exhaustion. 


couple sitting in the heat of mexico summer on Passport 42 sailboat
I SWEAR OUR BOAT DOESN'T HAVE A SAUNA!
sitting on deck under boat shades on Passport 42 sailboat
HIDING UNDER OUR BOAT SHADES

By the time Summer’s end was in sight, we finally got to our wits end and broke down and bought an AC unit to install on Gemini. We sailed overnight back to San Carlos, got a slip for a couple days, rented a car, packed up the kitty and drove 4.5hrs to the US border to pick up all the parts we needed to install the AC. Once back onboard, we had the thing installed and pumping cool air within a couple hours (nothing like insane heat to get a project done quickly!). Lucky for us, with our new massive 48V battery bank we could run the AC while at anchor, not relying on shore power or a generator - another plus to our electric conversion! This took the edge off, allowing us to at least get decent rest at night but we couldn’t run it non-stop as it was quite power hungry.


marine AC unit ready to install on our passport 42 sailboat
AC UNIT READY TO INSTALL!

We made it through the rest of the Summer and by September I was ready for a break from the heat as I packed up to head to SF Bay for a month of social media coverage for a variety of different clients. Jack stayed behind with the plan to meet me at the Annapolis Boat Show early October. It was time to make a little money, check up on all our clients and do some family visits in between. The boat show was another whirlwind, ending in Jack flying to do client work in SF Bay while I flew back to Gemini and Fathom in Mexico. 


Meeting patreon crew at Annapolis Boat Show
MEETING PATRONS AT THE BOAT SHOW

Now it was my time to challenge myself to some solo sailing adventures. I wrote a little about my experience to share with our incredible Patreon crew if you want to hear more about what I learned while solo sailing. Phew! By November we finally reunited and were able to ease back into “normal” life onboard.


Solo sailing as a woman for the first time
SOLO SAILING SATISFACTION
mahi mahi or dorado caught on sailboat in Mexico
CAUGHT THE BIGGEST DORADO YET, WHILE SOLO!!

It wasn’t until we were chatting with fellow cruising friends (who we kept having to postpone hanging out with while we had so many massive projects to tackle) who said that they noticed us seemingly relaxed and finally available. It was true, we had so many big things on our plate for the past year that it really hasn’t been until recently that we’ve truly relaxed and felt at ease in our sailing life. It’s not to say that we haven’t enjoyed our past 2 years of cruising, but having so many big daunting tasks underway definitely took up a lot of our brain-space. 

Passport 42 sailboat anchored near Loreto in Sea of Cortez
OUR BELOVED FLOATING HOME

We’ve FINALLY been thoroughly enjoying the Sea of Cortez. Funny enough, when I started writing this post, I started with this simple sentence, immediately realizing I had to backtrack to really paint the full picture. The climate right now is dreamy - pleasant in the sun but cool in the evenings, the water is still warm enough to swim and beautifully clear. We are, of course, gearing up for the next exciting and massive task - crossing the Pacific - but for now we are soaking up every last bit of Mexico and the incredible things this place has to offer. 


We are sharing more about our Pacific crossing prep including provisioning spreadsheets, resources, gear upgrades and more on Patreon. Join us for as little as $5/month (c'mon, you spend more than that on coffee!) and get access to lots of juicy info!



Join our patreon crew photo of Passport 42 sailboat




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