I’m not sure there was a specific moment when we said, “Yes, we are going to leave everything and sail away.” It went straight from a crazy idea, to this IS happening. We wanted an adventure. We wanted to gain perspective and to experience a different kind of life. Our fear was that if we waited until we felt ready, we’d never leave.
It was the moment I hung up the phone that I suddenly realized how small my world had become. Another hour-long conference call with people talking in earnest about scheduling a two-hour conference call. This one was to create a plan for a project that would most likely never begin. Daniel was already done with going into an office everyday. Listening to someone’s idea of profitability. Sitting through meetings about how a blue vs. green banner ad will affect sales. So we traded PP presentations for ocean charts, conference calls for a ham radio. Traffic lights for a compass. The latest restaurant for a fresh ocean catch and PG&E bills for solar panels.
Our boat is a Rawson 30, a thirty-foot, sloop-rigged fiberglass sailboat built in 1963. Glass reinforced plastic was still a mysterious, new technology in the 60’s. So she was somewhat overbuilt compared to modern standards. The result was a sturdy, yet simple family cruiser. She has a nice balance of comfort and seaworthiness. So we saved. Worked on the boat. Put things in storage. Gave up the apartment. And headed for Baja.
We outfitted her with a 200-watt solar array and added refrigeration. We also replaced and upgraded most of the electrical system. We fully insulated the cabin of the boat to help keep things warm in the winter. And cooler in the summer. And we’re happy to report that this is working very well on the hot days we have been experiencing. She also has a self-steering Aries Wind Vane that lets us sit back and enjoy the ride. We use collapsible water containers to increase our water storage capacity. These, along with our solar power, allows us to stay out of marinas and go for the more remote anchorages.
THE SEA OF CORTEZ DREW US IN WITH TALES OF ITS DIVERSE MARINE LIFE (CHECK OUT STEINBECK’S LOGBOOK FROM THE SEA OF CORTEZ, FOR EXAMPLE), RUGGED LANDSCAPE, BEAUTIFUL REMOTE KAYAKING AND SNORKELING OPPORTUNITIES, AND OF COURSE THE WEATHER!
Our plan is to quickly make our way down the rougher and more barren Pacific side of Baja and into the Sea of Cortez. This will take us past small fishing villages like Bahia Tortugas. Around the Cape, past the jet-skis, and loud music of Cabo. And up into the calmer waters and warmer weather of places like La Paz and Loreto. After we’ve spent the spring exploring the Baja side of the Sea of Cortez, we’ll sit down and take another look at that plan of ours and figure out where to go next.