THE NON-PLAN FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS

Long Term (Written in summer 2006 while living in Tacoma, WA)

After cruising in Western Mexico for three years we know that we do enjoy the full time tropical cruising life.  Our problem now is that Arlene is very worried about the cost of living and in particular; the cost of medical insurance and care as we age.  I am now 59 and can begin to appreciate her concerns.  At this time Arlene is continuing to work, increasing her retirement benefits and providing us with comprehensive medical, dental, and vision insurance.  Arlene really wants to go sailing again but is also overly worried about finances.  Until she can resolve that issue we'll stay in Tacoma and sail Mirador around the Northwest. 

Our three long term goals remain the same as listed below but our sailing plans are really unknown.  I have lost most of my interest in transoceanic passages and would be content to spend several years in Western Mexico.  We would then slowly work our way south, thru the Panama Canal and northward to the US East Coast.  

Once we reach Florida we might even consider a trawler so we can easily and comfortably cruise the Intercoastal Waterway and the Great Lakes. 

One thing we do know is that we want a shore side place to live for several months at a time.  That will probably be a motor home that we can use to travel in when we are not on the boat.

Long Term (Written in 2003 while still cruising in Mexico)

We have three primary objectives for the next decade or so:

1) See the sights in warm weather from a good boat

2) Stay healthy while living cheaply

3) Visit all the places where we might want to purchase a shore side home

We have sold our home so we will eventually need to find a place to live on shore, unless of course, we decide to live permanently on a boat. We want to cruise through most of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Florida, and the US East Coast while looking for a shore side home. This process will take five to ten years if we move as slow during the next few years as we do when we've cruised in the past.

We also want to spend several years touring Spain, southern France, Italy, and Greece on our bicycles. We plan to use Mirador as a mobile base of operations while we spend several weeks at a time doing "credit card" bicycle tours. A credit card tour means we eat most meals in a restaurant and sleep in hotels each night. If we spend one summer touring in each country we will be in the Med for at least four years.

Jerry's parents have lived in the Cape Coral-Ft. Meyers area of SW Florida for about 15 years. One of Jerry's main clients was based in Sarasota, Florida. Consequently, we have spent several months a year in the Tampa to Ft. Meyers area and have found it to be very comfortable, and affordable. At this point in our cruising life we expect to purchase a smaller home with a dock for Mirador somewhere in SW Florida sometime during the next ten years.

SHORT TERM PLANS

NOTE: The following entries are in reverse chronological order so you can see how frequently our plans change and how often we fail to do any of the things we planned to do. But, THATS CRUISING!

Summer - Fall 2006

We will cruise around Puget Sound, the San Juan and Canadian Gulf islands.  Arlene will try to decide if she wants to keep working or go sailing again.  We may take off for Southern California in late August but more likely will spend another winter in Tacoma.

Summer - Fall 2004

Mirador will spend June and part of July tied to a mooring in Puerto Escondido while Jerry helps take a 55' trawler from La Paz to San Diego.  He will then spend a month or so in Tacoma while trying to convince Arlene to quit work and go cruising again.  Mirador will be in the Sea of Cortez north of Santa Rosalia from late July thru October.   I hope that Arlene and I will then take Mirador south along the Mexican mainland to Zihuatenenjo.  After that - NO SE!

May 2003 – Spring 2004

I will head north from Mazatlan toward Isla San Francisco which is about 45 miles north of La Paz on the Baja side of the Sea of Cortez.  From there I’ll move further north in a fairly rapid fashion.  I want to be in Santa Rosalia (420  nautical miles NW of Mazatlan) by early July and Bahia San Francisquito by late July.  I’ll spend August thru early November in the Bahia de Los Angles and Puerto Refugio area. 

I think I will start south again in mid-November and try to get to Tenacatita (950 nautical miles) before Christmas.   I’ll probably spend a couple months in Tenacatita and then head south for Zihuatenejo where I’ll spend the rest of the winter.

My plans after that really depend on when Arlene decides to quit working and start sailing again.

I’m starting to think about a trip to Hawaii next spring and from there, who knows?

October 2002 – April  2003

Arlene is back to work in Tacoma and I am single handing Mirador.

I plan to be back in La Paz by the end of October where I will put Mirador in dry storage for a month or so andl return to the States to visit family. Sometime in late November or early December I will put Mirador back in the water and head Southeast for Puerto Vallarta and the Mexican Gold Coast. I plan to spend January 2003 thru April or mid-May 2003cruising between La Cruz, (Bandaras Bay), and Ixtapa which is about 400 miles Southeast of Puerto Vallarta. My brother, Jim, may join me for some or all of the Gold Coast Crusing. Jim spent the winter of 2000 cruising the Gold Coast on Caretta, his Tartan 42.

I need to be back in La Paz by mid-May 2003 to renew my FM3 visa.

I think I will spend the summer of 2003 in the North Sea of Cortez. I have really enjoyed the area north of Santa Rosalia and am planning to be back up here by mid-July 2003. I will spend July thru October exploring the Midriff Islands, Isla Guarda and Bahia de Los Angeles.

That means that I will spend at least the first part of 2004 again cruising south from La Paz to Ixtapa.

The plans for the period following March 2004 really depend on whether Arlene decides to quit work and return to cruising. I would still like to head south to Costa Rica, thru the Panama Canal and then visit the Western Caribbean on the way to southwest Florida.

 

June 2002 - November 2002 Replaced on October 32002 by October 2002-March 2004

We will spend June thru September or October cruising in the North Sea of Cortez from Puerto Escondido to San Felipe. We have no definite plans for the summer, other than to try and stay cool and out of the way of hurricanes. Our travels this summer will be determined by our need for supplies and the tropical storm situation.

There is limited grocery shopping available after we get north of La Paz. The only major grocery stores are in Loreto, Santa Rosalia, and San Carlos which is on the east side of the Sea of Cortez. We can easily carry enough supplies for a month away from stores so we will plan to be near one of the three bigger towns at least once a month.

The threat of tropical storms and hurricanes reaching us in the Central and North Sea of Cortez is pretty low until mid-August and then gets fairly serious, reaching it's peak in late September. A hurricane reaches North of Puerto Escondido about once every three years. We will probably try to stay within 120 miles of a good hurricane anchorage from late July until mid-October. We can easily motor 150 miles a day and the weather forecasting system can almost always give us 48 hours warning about serious storms.

Some of the anchorages and towns we want to visit are:

El Gato
Aqua Verde
Puerto Escondido (the best hurricane anchorage in the Sea if it is not too crowded)
Loreto
The Islands in the Mexican National Park between Escondido and Loreto
Santa Rosalia
Bahia Concepcion
Bahia Los Angles
San Carlos

We know that we move pretty slowly and usually stay in an anchorage for a week or so. We'll just move along as the mood strikes us and see what we see.

Read our weekly logs to find out where we decide to drop anchor.

October 2001 - May 2002 Replaced on May 16 2002 by June 2002-November 2002

We will spend the remainder of October in the Chula Vista Marina continuing to prepare Mirador for the trip south and a winter in the Sea of Cortez.  Our biggest project will be to get rid of much of the “stuff” we brought down here from our house in Tacoma.  We have kept and accumulated way too much junk while sitting idly at the dock in Chula Vista.

We will leave here on or before November 1 because the marina has a new tenant for our slip beginning November 1.  We plan to make a very slow passage to Cabo San Lucas and then the Sea of Cortez.  Our tentative stops along the Baja California West Coast as we head south from San Diego will be:

Coronado Island
Ensenada (clear into Mexico and get all our paper work done)
Cabo Colnett
Cabo San Quintin
Punta San Carlos
Isla Cedros
Turtle Bay
Bahia Asuncion
Punta Abrejeos
Bahia San Juanico
Bahia Santa Maria
Cabo San Lucas

The only overnight trip on all the way to Cabo is from Bahia Santa Maria to Cabo, about 180 nautical miles.

We will spend several months, (December & January?), cruising the south part of the Sea of Cortez.  Then we will have to decide about heading south to Puerto Vallarta and the Mexican Gold Coast, or continuing to cruise in the Sea. 

Our problem is that our boat insurer says we have to be north of the Mazatlan/Cabo San Lucas line ( about 23 degrees North) by June 1, 2002 if we want to continue to have insurance coverage.  Or, we can go south during the spring of ’02 and spent the hurricane season in Costa Rica.  The problem with heading south is that our boat insurer will not provide coverage south of Acapulco. If we change insurance companies in April or May ’02, as we head south of Acapulco, we will lose all the premiums we paid to our current insurer for the May – October ‘02 time period because they will not refund any premium after they provide six months coverage.  The insurer that will cover us south of Acapulco wants $2800 per year for coverage, as opposed to $2200 for coverage if we use our current company. 

We will make the decision about where to go sometime after the first of the year. Our choices will be to sail back to San Diego, put the boat in dry storage in Guaymas (about $150/month), put it in a slip at Puerto Vallarta, (about $700/month), get to Costa Rica, or forget about insurance and cruise the Gold Coast. We have friends that have tried each one of the options and there seems to be no best answer.

OR - we have been talking about sailing to Hawaii during the late spring next year and spending a couple years in Hawaiian waters. We have spent lot of time in Hawaii and very much enjoy the islands. The big consideration for taking a boat over is the cost and lack of moorage or anchorage on Ohau.

You'll just have to keep reading about the Voyages of Mirador to find out what we decide to do.

August 2001 - May 2002 Replaced on October 3, 2001 by October 2001 – May 2002

We will spend August thru October cruising from San Diego to San Francisco. In the fall of 2000 we had planned to spend several months cruising this area. However after we had been in Monterrey for a while; (see our log Mirador Log Tacoma to San Diego.htm - MOnterrey), we figured out that the house in Tacoma was not going to sell. We then had to find a place to park Mirador for at least several months. The only long-term moorage we could find was south of Santa Barbara so we did not spend as much time in this area as we wanted.

We will leave Chula Vista Marina in the San Diego South Bay, where Mirador has lived since October 2000, during late July or early August. We want to explore all the Channel Islands and to spend at least another week in Santa Barbara. When the prevailing NW winds allow us to go North in comfort we will sail to Monterrey and maybe Half Moon Bay. We hope to spend at least two weeks in Monterrey and a week in Half Moon Bay.

We will try to get back to San Diego by mid-October so we can provision the boat for an extended cruise down the Baja California Coast and into the Sea of Cortez. Our insurance company will not provide coverage south of Ensenada until after November 1 which is normally the end of the Northeastern Pacific hurricane season. Therefore, we will leave San Diego for Ensenada in late October and plan to be in La Paz, which is on the SW coast of the Sea of Cortez, by Thanksgiving.

Our plans after La Paz are pretty indefinite. We want to spend several months in the Sea of Cortez but we also want to see the Mexican Gold Coast south of Puerto Vallarta. Again, insurance is a real consideration because we have to be north of Guaymas, (about 28 degrees North on the east coast of the Sea of Cortez), or south of the Panama/Costa Rica border (about 8 degrees North) by late May. Maybe you noticed that on May 28, 2001 there was a Category IV Hurricane 250 miles southwest of Acapulco. Not so nice for cruisers!

By early April 2002 we'll need to decide what to do with the boat during the Mexican hurricane season. Our choices will be to sail back to San Diego, put the boat in dry storage in Guaymas (about $150/month), put it in a slip at Puerto Vallarta, (about $700/month), get to Panama, or forget about insurance and stay in the Sea of Cortez. We have friends that have tried each one of the options and there seems to be no best answer.