We stayed in Zihuatanejo for Guitarfest. It was a weeklong celebration of all that is possible with a guitar. Acts as diverse as classical guitar, Native Mexican guitar, blues, rock and even a Japanese artist with a 16-string guitar. All of it taking place in venues that ranged from small intimate clubs to beach side resorts and the main beach stage. Quite literally something for every musical taste. We volunteered with Guitarfest (working at the kids’ concert) and that gave us passes for all but the Gala events. We took full advantage of this and attended a different venue every day. Unfortunately we had to depart at the end of Guitarfest and did not have a chance to take in Carnival which started the following day.
Barb’s sister and our brother in law (Sandy and Marc) came down to join us for the last few days of Guitarfest and the sail back to Nuevo Vallarta. We spent a couple of days working our way back up the coast. At one point we came across a group of what looked like 6 bleach bottles all tied together. We swung by for a closer inspection and discovered it was a sea turtle entangled in some discarded long line fishing equipment. Time to build the karma bank. We launched the dinghy and Marc and I went over and were able to cut the netting away. It was deeply inbedded in the right front flipper. I think he was so exhausted, he let us work away with the knife, cutting away all the wraps until it was free. His buddy kept a close eye on the situation nearby.
While we are enjoying our time sailing back towards Puerto Vallarta the rest of the world is shutting down due to the Covid- 19 outbreak. We are listening to the different forms of radio we have for all the information we can gather and of course when cell service or Wi-Fi is available we are on the web trying to understand what options are available to us.
Sandy and Marc headed back home on one of the last flights out of Puerto Vallarta. (Yes, they will be self quarantining for 14 days upon their arrival) We have decided we will stay with the boat.
Being on the boat and working our way north in the Sea of Cortez, arriving in Puerto Penasco and hauling the boat out for hurricane season in June, was the original plan and the one we have decided to stick with. If we are not able to do that we will spend a hot summer in the Sea of Cortez. There have been several others we have considered but all had us in Canada or the US where, according to news reports, conditions seemed worse and reported instances of the virus remained higher.
We believe we are fairly self sufficient on the boat. We can make our own fresh water and electricity. We are currently busy provisioning and we should have enough food on board for a few months. I’d like to say we could live on the fish we catch but based on our experience it’s best we purchase food before we go. Currently in Mexico the store shelves are still stocked. Hand sanitizer sometimes is a challenge to find though.
We have been speaking with many cruisers who’s plans have changed radically. Many were looking at heading to the South Pacific or points south of Mexico and have had to hold up or turn around. Some have had their extended medical insurance cancelled and had to head back home. Many chose to park their boats in a marina and fly home. Others have written off the season or plan to return when things get better. Some have even elected to sail back up to the Pacific North West.
All of us are trying to make long term decisions based on news that changes daily, is often from questionable sources and requires input from multiple jurisdictions. It’s impossible to know if you are making the right decision. We second guess and “what if” ourselves all day but in the end, we need some plan. So social distancing and self isolating on a boat it is.
It has always been customary that guests on a boat were offered alcohol. In the past it was in the form of a drink. Currently it is hand sanitizer.
We are very aware that our situation may be far better than what many may be facing. We wish everyone good health and safe passage in this crazy time.