SV Pandion

Cruising the Sea of Cortez

Before and After Covid-19

After sailing for seven months with distance goals along Baja and Mexico Mainland we have slowed our roll. In the first seven months we accumulated about 3500 nautical miles under our belts. Yes I’m counting, I’m excited to earn my swallow tattoo! We sailed to La Paz and enjoyed a month there for Christmas time. We then crossed to Mazatlan on New Years day just in time to miss some bad weather and enjoy the best shrimp of our lives at La Palapa restaurant. Following down the coast we finally made it to Zihuatanejo and enjoyed Guitarfest with some of our best Canadian friends… and then there was Covid-19. We said goodbye to our guests and as they safely, and in good health, traveled back to British Columbia we realized that everything was going to be different. No more open mic nights, no more restaurant experiences and daily walks through cool towns and cities exploring culture and practicing Spanish. It became a process of careful and efficient provisioning trips to the least amount of shops possible. Finding local groups we could support to help feed the newly unemployed. Deciphering the most recent rules, restrictions and access points for beaches, towns and anchorages. All in all though we have been insanely lucky to be on a boat, in a beautiful part of the world and with each other.

Our last outing to the bar! A fun St Patrick's Day Party. We always celebrate Patrick!

What Stayed the Same

We still met other boats and made new friends. Most often this meant dinghy meet-ups and Everest played some concerts off the back of the boat so we could minimize contact but still share music and good vibes. We made even closer relationships with the couple of boats who became our quarantine circle. We buddy-boated safely with a couple boats, this way we could help each other stay mentally sane, celebrate each other and help each other provision. Our total contact to others was low while our relationships with those we did have contact with was high. I think this really helped keep a positive perspective  and our enjoyment up! We are able to enjoy amazing anchorages, beaches and fish. We have traveled slowly north from Bara De Navidad to Isla Isabel, then we crossed to La Paz in May. We have taken our time at each location to ensure that we could snorkel or swim or hike at the next location and stay within any local restrictions. By the time we came up into the Sea of Cortez north of La Paz we have been able to hike and snorkel in a number of beautiful bays like Caleta Partida, Isla San Francisco, Isla San Jose, Candaleros, Honeymoon Cove, Ballandra Bay and Coronados.

You can follow our path on NoForeignland or our Garmin inReach.

Cruiser Family
Cruiser fun in the desert.

What Changed

More cooking on the boat! We will be posting recipes of things we have really liked that we make now. I can tell you first hand that Patrick’s pizza is better than any restaurant and we enjoy pretty great curry on the regular. It’s been fun experimenting more. We try to find local vendors and merchants who are staying afloat by providing provisioning items for cruisers. Often we can place orders with a local who does the shopping and delivers to a local dock or sometimes, even right to the boat! We spend a lot more time on the boat as hanging out on shore isn’t allowed beyond exercise, so we have all tried to up our boat workout strategies! We’ll be sharing more on boat workouts soon as we are learning a lot about what each of us is finding the most or least success with. We also have some great intel to share from other cruisers. Once we left La Paz we have had stable internet signal much less often. We spent 10 days with no signal at all on our initial cruise up towards Candaleros. It was terribly wonderful actually. I didn’t realize how much attention I was giving my phone and the information coming in. We went offline not sure if the world would even still be in one piece when we connected again. Covid-19 was still highly contentious and the Black Lives Matter Protests were in full swing. Ten days later… very little had changed. I’m hopeful that Covid will lose steam and #BLM will gain more strength with time, but we will see.

Hike on Isla San Francisco

We are reading more books! We will share some book reviews soon too! For now I’ll say that Where the Forest Meets the Stars was good until it wasn’t, and Little Fires Everywhere was FANTASTIC! I consumed three books by Taylor Jenkins Reid without even being sure I loved any of them, but I’m not sorry I read them. Book recommendations WELCOME! We are re-watching all of Dr. Who new series. If you are as obsessed with this show as we are LET US KNOW! Let’s discuss! Pretty sure watching this show helps you be the best human you can be. For example we try to understand and empathize with the bees and not hurt them as we shoo them away. Mosquitos are still the Daleks of the boat and can eat it.

Candaleros
Candaleros Bay

What’s Next

We are going to share a lot more about where we are, where we’ve been and generally catch you all up. Since we’ve been out cruising for 9 months now we feel a shift happening. We spent many months hand wringing details of the boat, the routes, the weather, the towns etc. We feel much more confident and capable now. We have more ease and experience to lean on. There was a time where it felt right to float and do little. To rest. To just absorb and be here. All of us now feel ready to share more, connect more and spend some real energy on writing and photography and coding. So now here we go diving into something new again. Evolution of being on a boat I guess!

Today we paddled with dolphins in the bay and dipped into clear teal waters. I did some sewing, tried to figure out how to eat a pumpkin that’s way to big for three people and played cards. So from Coronados Bay, I say welcome back to us and to you!

Ballandra Bay
Honeymoon Cove
Author image
About Tara Franz
A sailor, UX Researcher, and master of the canvas.
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