Woke up: Santiago, Colima, Mexico
Went to sleep: Las Hadas, Colima, Mexico
Today marks six months Peter and I have been on this voyage. It seems like forever. In fact, I can’t remember life before “cruising”.
On the one hand, it is wonderful not to have to get up every morning and go to work but it also feels (for me, at least) a little empty. Like I don’t have a value or a purpose.
We have a predictable routine. Typically, we start our day with strong, hot percolator coffee. No half and half here, Carnation evaporated milk. We sit together, waking up, and plan our day. We usually find a way to get some exercise. After exercise, we work on the boat or perform household chores.
New people are just a short dinghy ride to the next boat in the bay. We meet new people every day and often connect with others we already know. We try to connect with the locals as much as possible.
Everyday we learn from other cruisers. Where to go. What to do. What to expect. What to watch out for. We sift through the information and decide for ourselves what to accept and what to reject.
We have not been in a marina since Thanksgiving which means we have been at anchor every night. We are completely dependent on the dinghy to leave the boat. We have to make sure we can get to shore and not get pummeled by the surf. We have to feel comfortable the dinghy is secure and will be there when we return. We don’t have a car, of course. If it’s too far to walk we depend on a city bus or a taxi, both of which are abundant and inexpensive.
Every day we monitor our power consumption. Depending on the amount of wind and solar we may have to run the diesel engine to charge the battery bank. This isn’t necessary too often. Every day we monitor our water supply and decide if it’s a good day to make water based on our available electricity.
We keep Penelope’s diesel tanks topped off and have found diesel is good quality if not expensive ($4 per gallon). We keep the dinghy’s gas tank topped off, too. We have four 5-gallon jugs strapped to the hand rail. Two contain diesel, one contains gas and one potable water. These are available in the event we are unable to secure any one of these at any time.
We wash our vegetables in a dilute Clorox solution and have found vegetables to be cheap and abundant. We’ve been lucky with the food. Peter had an upset stomach one time for a couple of days, but, none of the feared Montezuma’s revenge you hear about.
Penelope has performed flawlessly, although, due to salt, humidity and wind, she looks as if she’s been ridden hard and put away wet. Peter takes incredibly good care of her. Just today he changed the engine oil and transmission fluid, plus the oil in the windlas and the dinghy motor.
I can’t say enough good things about the Mexican people. They are friendly, hardworking, happy, courteous, respectful and willing to go far, far out of their way to be helpful. I have not heard a harsh word or received a negative look since we’ve been here.
Peter and I have been together 24/7 except for a brief couple hours here and there. We are completely dependent on each other for our safety and companionship. It’s been extremely easy to negotiate and to compromise each next step of our adventure. It seems when I’ve had enough of an area and am ready to leave, he is too. When I am excited about a new place, he is too. When I want to socialize and see friends, he does too. When I want to hunker down and stay at home, he feels the same way. It’s been very easy.
In the evening we reminisce about the day, the places we’ve been, the people we’ve met. We usually read until bed. Nine pm is known as “cruiser’s midnight” around here. Unless it’s a rocky anchorage or a full moon we usually sleep like the dead and wake up ready to do it again.
It’s been a blast. We look to the mountains, the bay, the ocean, the sun rises and the sunsets and can’t believe the beauty surrounding us. We remember the places we’ve been, the people we’ve spent time with, the conversations and the good times and have to pinch ourselves to believe this is really our good fortune and our lives.
They say a cruiser’s plans are written in the sand at low tide. It’ll be interesting to see what the tide brings in over the next six months.