COVID-19 reality forces us to carefully start to change cruising plans so we can bug out!

As the HelmsMistress commented on during her story yesterday, we left our winter staging ground in La Cruz, Mexico a week ago to slowly cruise up the coast in order to jump back to La Paz, Baja Mexico.  We’ve been to La Paz before and liked the area, having found a great kennel for Quincy Dog and a safe marina for Tulum.  Our purposes there were to reprovision and get our rigging and chainplates fixed; as well as do a roadtrip up Baja and into Southern California to see family and friends and do taxes.  Just a week after leaving La Cruz, we ducked into the old Harbor in Mazatlan to wait out a Norther (read: high winds and wind waves- not something we want to be caught in with a suspect rig).  Upon entering Mazatlan and getting back into cell service range, we were overcome with information; the world had changed and our plans would quickly change with it.

Both me and Michelle have talked through our current plan and changes to our plan…especially as we have skills from prior employment that lend themselves to these times.  We were still planning on finding a way to go home to visit family during these trying times until California went on lockdown and we talked to family, who said to stay in place and not visit…as it would probably be more dangerous than staying put.  We were also validated when we read Behan Gifford’s Article on “Provisioning for a Pandemic”; a starkly different tone than we had heard just a week before from the community (getting ready to cross oceans) that was based in La Cruz…where we had just come from.  Information that the PuddleJump may not be happening at all this year was an early admission that life had changed dramatically, even for those expats like us who are watching history unfold from a different point of view…(we’re not in the US and life on a boat here in Mexico has a very different rhythm).

Before Covid-19…our plan was to return to the Sea of Cortez for the summer and fall months (hurricane season) to slowly see Baja.  While still in La Cruz we had a rig inspection that told us our standing rigging and chainplates needed attention soon…so we were going to La Paz to get those fixes done in addition to our plans to road trip up Baja to see family, get some retail therapy and do taxes.  Skip to now…just a week since we HAD the plans I mentioned above:  In assessing our finances (we just took a huge financial hit), places we can go to “bug” out and places we need to be in order to be hurricane safe…we think we’re left with two options that we’ve discussed in detail between us.  La Cruz (where we just came from) is on the Mexican Gold Coast and is the safest hurricane option on that coast, not taking many direct hurricane hits but it’s in close proximity to a large city (Puerto Vallarta) with lots of international visitors.  Probably not a great way to socially distance ourselves and we would have to be very careful about where we went all summer (hurricanes)…and probably have to stay in an expensive Marina most of the time.  And, the Mexican Gold Coast does take direct hurricane hits.  This is not a great option…and we’re already left the area to start our trek back to Baja.

We think through major plans in a format our brains are conditioned to call Courses of Action (COA’s).  The first option (COA) I thought through was taking off DOWN the coast of Mexico to Central America to get to Costa Rica before hurricane season (June).  This option seems to be a non-starter from the beginning because we wanted our rig and chainplates worked on in La Paz, we wanted to be within driving distance to relatives during these challenging times and we wanted familiar cruising areas where we can go to ground and be within a few days of a few safe hurricane holes.  Baja has these options…Central America has a few but not all.  The next COA I thought through was simply tweaking our original cruising plans and continuing those as we went along.  So here’s what we came up with:

What’s not changed-

  • Still going back to Baja for Hurricane Season.
  • Still need to file taxes
  • Still going back to La Paz for additional rig and chainplate inspection

What’s changed-

  • Due to encouragement from our parents, we’re no longer going back to the US (anytime soon) to see relatives.
  • While in La Paz, we may not get our entire standing rigging and chainplates redone immediately. This is due to a strong desire to have Tulum stay mobile.  Getting rigging and chainplates done all at once will strap us to the dock for a month or more, making us take far more chances than we’re willing to take right now.
  • Our stay in La Paz may be shorter than we had originally planned, as Baja now has documented COVID-19 cases.
  • We’ve looked at the possibility of being off the grid in Baja for an extended amount of time…coming up with a hefty shopping list that Mr. Amazon was happily able to fill for us.
  • Hurricane season lasts until early November…we were planning on leaving Baja in early November to start our trek down the Mexican and Central American coast for the next part of our trip.  But if the situation in the world is worse or no better, if Central American countries close their borders or family health is an issue…we may stay in Baja through the next winter season in order to keep some isolation while still having contact with family. Note:  It’s been reported on the PuddleJump Website that Panama has closed all Marina’s and is no longer issuing Zarpe’s. 

We’re flexible, mobile and alert, with some prepper skills that feed into a Boy Scout mindset.  We’ll change plans as needed but have already shown that we’re going to go our own way for the safety and security of our family and boat.  We’re babying Tulum to La Paz to get the rig looked at again…but like I said above, we may need to make the difficult decision to delay a full rig and chainplate job until the current drama is over.  We’re ok with these things…we make big-boy decisions based on the best info we have at the time balanced against our own unique life experiences and skill sets.  We have a myriad of friends sending us info not found on Fox or CNN that are spelling out the reality of the current outbreak…ie: it’s going to be longer and more complex in the US and other free industrialized nations than we imagine.  Here’s a few of the sites sent to us that we’ve taken a look through,,,with information and analysis: Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance and  We have no connections to these websites and have not verified information sources.  

We are live on a cruising sailboat with two kids and a Great Dane.  We’re living through these extraordinary times outside the US on our boat in Mexico and don’t feel we have a choice to return to the US right now.  We know that folks are struggling back home as many services and industries have shut down so we’re trying to be empathetic and stay positive for family, friends and followers but we know we’re detached and in a different reality than those back home.  Please understand, we’re simply presenting changes to our own reality as alternate reality unfolds around us.  Please stick with us and if you’re at home and bored…follow our site!

This next page is for Jason from the blog.  Don’t read if you’re taking things too seriously. 

Sorry there’s no TP back there in the US…here’s something that might help.








2 Responses

  1. Hi guys……we woke this morning and wondered what you would be thinking of the world today. Your mum and dad have been writing to us about the situation over your way….. I do believe your mum and dad were with us in SE Asia for SARS and Bird Flu….this is exponentially much worse we believe. Here in Australia, it’s getting worse everyday. Lockdown is inevitable, no TP on the shelves……in fact up here in the north, not much on the grocery shelves at all, and what there is, is only bought in rationed amounts. We know your backgrounds, and we know you will do what you need to, and what is possible. Your lifestyle, as you have already discovered brings with it, its own unique problems.
    PS….our old yachting days did leave us with a habit we’ve found hard to discard, it goes like this “When the lockers are chockers you have enough”……so we do have a few rolls of TP in the cupboard……
    Be focused, thinking of you all, Quincy included……
    Cheers Lloyd and Lynelle

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