The Starting Point


We’ve finally determined a few important parts of the journey including where we’re starting, where we’re going and when.

(Our families take a collective sigh of relief now.)

Below is the ‘current’ plan, although there are still some interesting parts yet to decide…




1) Starting Point: San Carlos, Mexico on the Sea of Cortez

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We went through an extensive process of elimination to determine our starting point that revolved around many factors.  We considered starting in Bellingham, WA, the Florida Keys, the Caribbean, San Diego, the Virgin Islands and about every other locale in between. We eventually chose the Sea of Cortez based on our time frame, our budget, the fact that we were traveling with our 4 legged child, Wylie, and our desire to sail and explore a land that is still a bit lonely.


2) Time Frame:
Arriving in Mexico ~July 1st, 2012

After a wedding in Montana, and a wedding celebration in Austin, Texas we will be driving to San Carlos with an estimated arrival date of July 1st, 2012.  We’re anticipating at least a month (or two?) of minor boat projects while renting a small apartment in the greater San Carlos area.  (Anyone have any leads on a house sitting gig?)


3) Post-Refit Plans:
August 2012 – June 2013?

The summers in the Sea of Cortez present a few interesting hurdles:  it’s hot, (really hot), and, oh yeah, it’s hurricane season.  After the minor boat re-fit our options include:
Plan A:  Sailing the boat north to Bahia de los Angeles and Puerto Don Juan to spend hurricane season in and around this hurricane hole.
Plan B:  Keeping the boat in dry storage, taking the ferry to Baja and spending a few months camping, surfing and fishing in the Pacific.
Plan C:  Staying in San Carlos, day sailing whenever possible and exploring the mainland side of Mexico.

Anyone have experience, tips or words of wisdom about spending the summers in the Sea of Cortez?  We’d love to hear them!

Previous Posts in Determining our Starting Location:

We plan to spend July – November at this location to work, familiarize ourselves with the new boat, finish any boat refitting projects and wait for hurricane season to pass.  From there, we plan to sail until the kitty gets low, probably 4 to 6 months.  If we love the cruising life we hope to find jobs and rebuild the kitty.  If we’re ready to go back to the mountains, our home will be waiting for us.  Here are our thoughts at this point.  We welcome suggestions and comments!

               Plan in October 2011:                                                                    Revised Plan in December 2011:

    Well, we’ve been narrowing it down a bit.

What started as a search that basically included anywhere in coastal US, Caribbean, or Central America, has now been refined to either Southern California, the Sea of Cortez, or the Pacific coast of Mexico.

We scratched the Pacific Northwest.  With our final destination being loosely defined as “somewhere warm”, this would mean a passage down the coast of Washington and Oregon in late Fall, a stormy place that we didn’t really want to sail for our first major passage.

We scratched the East coast of the US, partly because it wasn’t exotic enough, but mostly because of the high expenses and vast number of people.

The Caribbean didn’t make the cut because most countries down in the region have very strict regulations concerning dogs.  When posed with quarantines, fees and general rigmarole at every port, we decided that El Caribe will be an adventure for another day.

The Florida Keys were abandoned due to the fact that we didn’t want to live in Florida, combined with the aforementioned dog issues we would have encountered once we headed South from the Sunshine State.

So by default, we are posed with the choice of Southern California or the Western portion of Mexico.

Southern California:


  • It’s not in the hurricane zone, so we would in theory encounter less severe storms from June 1-Oct 31.
  • Finding temporary work might be easier than in Mexico (although I hear they got that recession on in California)
  • Lots of boats to choose from between San Francisco and San Diego


  • Too many people
  • Cruising ground not terribly interesting
  • Expensive



  • It’s exotic!  Living there during hurricane season would be a great adventure in itself, as opposed to San Diego.  And the hurricane season time-frame looks to be a substantial portion of the whole voyage.
  • Dogs are welcomed (hopefully they’re not just being nice because they have an eye on fattening him up, if you know what I mean)
  • Cruising waters look great (of course this would depend on what city we end up in)
  • Less expensive than the states
  • Northern Sea of Cortez is less likely to get hit with severe storms during hurricane season


  • Job opportunities and wages will be slimmer
  • It is technically in the hurricane zone
  • Fewer boats to choose from