When we sailed from Galapagos we were a boat without a country.
When you check out of Galapagos, you don’t have a country until you check in to your next destination.
In the Covid 19 pandemic, we didn’t know for sure whether we would be allowed to check in to another country when we arrived there.
French Polynesia did not want sailors arriving across the Pacific. Sailors were personna non grata in Polynesia and in the rest of the Pacific islands as well.
We decided to sail north into the monsoon trough and on to Mexico.
Choosing a place to enter Mexico was a difficult decision.
Some people enter at Chiapas just past the Guatemala border, but they are faced with motoring for 1200 miles along the Mexican mainland to reach La Paz in the Sea of Cortez.
The prevailing winds come out of the northwest, and moving up the coast is against the dominant winds. You have to motor into a headwind 40 miles each day, and it's a very long and slow trip to north.
We stayed offshore for 2100 miles to escape the headwinds, and to have a shorter distance to sail to reach the Sea of Cortez.
Although it was tempting to stop at Acapulco, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlan, it would have significantly increased the length of our trip both in time and distance.
You never know what winds you will encounter along the way.
We have Iridium to pull down grib files that give us wind speed and direction for the next several days, and 90% of the time, the grib files get the wind direction and speed right.
When you sail offshore, you have lots of room to vary your course to get to your destination. Tacking is not a problem offshore.
Some people feel safer when they sail close to land. We feel safer when we are far offshore.
More boats are lost by hitting reefs and rocks than will ever be lost offshore.
When you sail close to land, you can get in trouble quickly if the wind turns in an unfavorable direction, or if a crew member falls asleep on watch and the boat runs up on a reef.
Offshore things are safer.
If a crew member falls asleep on watch, it’s rare for something bad to happen.
It may be an embarrassment to fall asleep when you are responsible for the yacht, but since the autopilot is doing the steering, you won’t lose the boat during your slumber.
Now that we have AIS to alert us to the presence of ships, there is even less risk to sailing offshore day or night.
We were told that Mexican navigational charts are notoriously inaccurate close to shore, and that was another reason we sailed offshore for three weeks on the way to the Sea of Cortez.
When we arrived in Mexico, we had no trouble checking in.
We were no longer a boat without a country.
Mexico has been very good to us, and the Mexican people have been awesome.
Awesome music video that captures the essence of what it's like to sail offshore in a catamaran around the world when conditions are less than perfect. David Abbott from Too Many Drummers sings the vocals, and he also edited the footage from our Red Sea adventures. This is the theme song from the Red Sea Chronicles.
Sailing up the Red Sea is not for the faint of heart. From the Bab al Mandeb to the Suez Canal, adventures and adversity are in abundance. If you take things too seriously, you just might get the Red Sea Blues.
If you like drum beats, and you like adventure, then have a listen to the Red Sea Chronicles Trailer.
Flying fish assault Exit Only in the middle of the night as we sail through the Arabian Gulf from the Maldives to Oman. And so begins our Red Sea adventures.
Sailing through Pirate Alley between Yemen and Somalia involves calculated risk. It may not be Russian Roulette, but it is a bit of a worry. Follow Team Maxing Out as they navigate through Pirate Alley.
Stopping in Yemen was just what the doctor ordered. We refueled, repaired our alternator, and we made friends with our gracious Yemeni hosts. We also went to Baskins Robbins as a reward for surviving Pirate Alley.
After you survive Pirate Alley, you must sail through the Gate of Sorrows (Bab Al Mandab) at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The Gate of Sorrows lived up to its name with fifty knots of wind and a sandstorm that pummeled Exit Only for two days. Life is good.
Although I like the feel of a paper book in my hand, I love trees even more. When people purchase an eBook, they actually save trees and save money as well. Ebooks are less expensive and have no negative impact on the environment. All of Dr. Dave's books are available at Save A Tree Bookstore. Visit the bookstore today and start putting good things into your mind. It's easy to fill your mind with positive things using eBooks. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you can pull out your smart phone or tablet and start reading. You can even use electronic highlighters and make annotations in your eBooks just like paper books.