What To Do Next?
Our trip out of Cabo San Lucas to Puerto Los Cabos was short and easy. We started without good sailing wind so we motored to our destination in about 3.5 hours.The ride was a bit choppy due to a swell coming from South and wind waves from the East but the sun was shining and we were on the move. The coastline was spotted all along the way with hotels and golf courses. We wondered how busy they might be given the current global health crisis. We pondered what was to come.
Our goal for this stopover is to reorganize ourselves so we can head into the Sea of Cortez and explore the islands outside of La Paz. Most importantly we need some cruising guide books to help navigate Gypsy through the area. The Sea apparently has many small islands, emerged and submerged rocks and boulders that we will need to watch out for. The only bookstore we could find is closed so we have to rely on Amazon. In order to do this we need a shipping address. On our way into this marina we decided we better get the slip for a month so we can figure it all out, including what will unfold here in Mexico concerning the pandemic.
That was 15 days ago when the Mexican population was not yet given the directive of social distancing. As we have all experienced during this trying time, things change daily. Social distancing was recommended over a week ago and now all non-essential businesses and activities have been directed to suspend operations. What does this mean for us? Day by day we try to make sense of it all, try to prepare ourselves the best we can for the unknown future and try to enjoy our surroundings.
A good portion of this marina is filled with large yachts that seem to be permanent fixtures. Our "C" dock is mostly visiting sailboats with a couple local power boats. When we arrived here there were only a few vessels in C dock but within a few days it suddenly filled up. Many of the incoming were just passing through on their way back to the States. A couple of boats from the San Diego to Puerto Vallarta 2020 race came through, like Snoopy who stayed next to us for a week waiting for a good weather window to travel north. Then there were other Puddle Jumpers who, like us, decided this was not the right time to sail to French Polynesia (more on that in a bit). A few other sailboats were headed back to the States due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus. Although right now the US is in much worse condition than Mexico some predictions for what might happen down here are not promising.
Many of our friends have contacted us regarding the news of the Austin Spring Break group who were in Cabo San Lucas and are now testing positive for the virus. Yes, we were there at the same time. They arrived after the first wave of college students had left. I was a bit surprised that more American tourists were showing up as everything was starting to get intense in the States. It wasn't just young kids though, I saw families and older Americans too. There will always be people of all ages that don't heed warnings. We stayed away from the tourist scene as best we could. As I mentioned earlier, we have been at our new marina for two weeks now and are feeling fine. We got news about Cabo San Lucas from our old marina neighbor. He has moved his boat over to this marina for a couple of months. He says the whole harbor is shut down. It's a ghost town for the time being.
As for French Polynesia (FP)? We have been getting reports from the Puddle Jumpers who were on their way before this global crisis escalated. Some have made it to the Marquesas where they have been greeted kindly but must either sail to Tahiti, 800 miles away, or sail somewhere else. FP closed their ports and doors to travelers a few weeks back. They told all non-residents that they must leave. Newly arriving cruisers could refuel, re-provision and then leave, with or without your boat. The islands where we were headed, the Marquesas, are even closed to inter-island hopping. Essentially, even if you are allowed to stay there, if you are on a boat you must remain in harbor and not move around. The news from there today is that they are now restricted from even taking a swim. Needless to say, I am happy to be in Mexico.
Sorting through information regarding boating activity has been quite a challenge. Daily the news changes depending on the source. Can we come and go or do we need to stay put? This week the directive from this marina is that all commercial boating is suspended but pleasure crafts can still move about. This may vary from marina to marina. It seems the governor of Baja California Sur has a more restrictive directive but we are not sure how it applies to us since this marina is our home now. Does "stay at home" mean I can't go kayaking or paddle boarding? It is, after all, a very solitary sport and I need to exercise.
In the meantime, getting those cruising and reference guides has been very challenging. The first shipment we had to pick up at the DHL office in town, 2 miles away, because they couldn't find the marina address. At least they have an office where we could retrieve the package. UPS cancelled the second shipment altogether because they couldn't find the address. Those were our cruising guides. Good thing we decided to stay a month. Just getting these books will take at least that.