Weather Helmed

an adventure in renewing the spirit and living the dream…on a sailboat

Weather Helmed

And on the fourth day, she rested.

March 18th, 2010 · 3 Comments · First Mates, Funny, Mexico, Our Route

Today was the first day since we arrived in La Cruz that we had no plans, decided to do NO WORK on the boat, and had no reason to be anywhere other than where we were at the moment.  And oh, it was BLISS.

We left the boat around 11 and headed straight to the beach, books and snacks in hand.  Smothered in sunscreen, we spent four glorious hours lounging in the sun.  Matt got ambitious and went into the water to give a gaggle of Mexican teenagers a lesson on how to successfully get up on their windsurfing set-up.  It was hilarious watching him march out into the water, especially seeing as how he doesn’t really know how to windsurf.  He’s smart and has some clue as to how it works, but, nevertheless, here’s this gringo out there, surrounded by 10 screeching, hollering Mexican kids, standing up on the board, pulling up the sail and then promptly losing his balance and falling off.  The kids all hoot and holler and laugh and then Matt tries again and manages to go a couple of feet.  The kids burst into applause, slugging each other on the shoulder, challenging one another to do the same.  Matt comes back to me, dripping wet and grinning, sits down for a half hour and then gets back up to head out for another attempt.  He’s got a decent grip on Spanish and has been making friends wherever we go  🙂  I thought about getting out the video camera to document his windsurfing lesson, but I didn’t want to get sunscreen on the camera………… or maybe I was just feeling luxuriously lazy.

I think we’re doing this again tomorrow.  🙂

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Ankitha

    What an awesome day, especially after all the trouble you’ve been through with the boat and weather!

    As I was reading your posting, I had another question – how does immigration and customs work when you’re crossing international boundaries in a boat?

  • Karen

    hi kita~ yeah, the customs thing is strange, and it’s different and/or more complicated in each country. For Mexico, it was mostly just going to a few places and paying a bunch of fees. we had to buy boat insurance first, then take that documentation to the harbor master where they checked our passports, our boat documentation (ownership info, etc) and our “temporary import permit” for the boat, we gave them a crew list, and paid various fees for all these services. We were not searched nor asked for any other details about the boat. To enter French Polynesia, we pay some money to an agent and send him copies of essentially all the above documents and then he will fax that information to the port authorities in the first island we get to. At some point, though, we have to go to Tahiti for him to clear us through in person. That’s ok because that is probably where we will go to “check out” of the country as well. Most of these places are concerned with making sure you’re not going to stay in their country indefinitely. For example, if we weren’t part of this “puddle jump” group and using an agent, we would have to pay a bond the equivalent of a plane ticket home before they would let us hang out in FP for a while. Maybe Mexico doesn’t care that much because they like rich gringos spending their money here, but places like FP don’t have the resources available for just anybody to stay on their islands permanently. i think it may be a bit more rigorous for NZ and Australia. we’ve heard that they actually board your boat and will confiscate certain types of food, grains, etc. but we haven’t done a lot of research on that yet….

  • Christie of s/v Kaleo

    Hi Karen,

    We don’t know each other but we have a lot in common.

    My husband, Matt, and I are in full preparations for throwing off the bowlines in pursuit of our own dream of cruising about the world within the next year.

    It’s encouraging to see other young, successful cruisers out there living this dream. You have no idea how much I appreciate YOUR perspective on the first few weeks of setting sail.

    We admire your drive, tenacity, and resourcefulness along this journey and are learning from your experiences. Thank you for sharing them here.

    Would you mind if we listed your site as “other cruisers we follow” on our site?

    Fair winds,
    Christie and Matt Butcher of s/v Kaleo

    P.S. A book that I’m finding tremendously insightful as we prepare is “Changing Course : A Woman’s Guide to Choosing the Cruising Life”. Just thought I’d share in case you haven’t checked it out.

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