|Eric and Meagan|
We cannot believe that it has been 16 months since we first arrived in Mexico and over that time our opinion of the country has changed significantly. The stories of crime and the unscrupulous I am sure exist but we have met nothing but lovely, friendly, fun-loving people on our travels who will go out of their way to help you. The countryside that we have seen is spectacular, from the arid desert landscapes of the Baja peninsula to the spectacular high mountains of the interior and back down to the tropical jungles of the mainland coast.
|Kids science club on the dock|
We could definitely stay here in Mexico longer and explore more of the southern and interior parts of this country but we have to depart on our epic adventure across the Pacific Ocean to Australia. I know that when we leave we will all shed a tear for the wonderful people we have met, both cruisers and locals. We have formed relationships that will last over the years and hope that many of these people will visit us in Australia or we might bump into them in another foreign port.
|Kids Club smoothie making for the orphanage|
The Pacific calling
|Drying the fruit and veg after steralizing|
Our final preparations for the crossing are complete. We have purchased enough food that should last us many months and every conceivable space of the boat is crammed with provisions. The task of provisioning, which is thankfully Jude’s responsibility, is a challenging one. How can you buy enough provisions to take you through the Pacific islands without going off? What items do you place space priority on? What items can you buy along the way and are they even financially viable? What is the best way to store the items to maximize their life-span. We only have limited space and even more limited fridge and freezer space so these decisions are important. We have garnered advice from seasoned cruisers and reading other cruisers blogs who have gone before us and we believe we have enough provisions to last us but you always want more.
|A small part of our provisions|
So we have checked out of Mexico with the officials from immigration and Customs boarding Sarita, stamping passports and checking the boat with dogs for drugs and stowaways. It was a painless task and the complete opposite of crossing the border into our out of the US. These people are human!
Now we are just watching the weather for departure out of the bay. The 2700 nautical mile journey is made up of 4 major legs, the first being the leg from Banderas bay to the NE trade winds. Winds are predicted to be light, somewhere in the 7-10 knot range on the beam so we will probably be flying the spinnaker until the winds exceed 10 knots. The second leg runs through the northern equator trade winds and we hope these are in the 15-20 knot range but as we near the equator we expect clouds and squalls to develop with possible thunder storms. The next leg is the tricky one and that is choosing a place to cross the ITCZ, inter tropical convergence zone, sometimes known as the doldrums which is an area potentially light winds and squalls. If we are lucky we might be able to motor across this section in a day but some boats have known to have taken 5 days. As we cross the equator we move into the 4 leg which sees the winds shifting to the south east and will hopefully take us to our first destination, the Marquesas islands, which are some of the remotest islands in the world.
We hope to provide short position reports as we cross but as this has to be done with a primitive short-wave radio and some clever technology they might be sporadic. You should be able to track our position as we cross by clicking the “where are we” link at the top right of the home page.