Offshore: Sailing with Karaka from Costa Rica to Mexico with No Engine

For pics from this section please see my flickr album of photos mostly by Alex from karaka because my camera died. You can see them by clicking here.

So as of December 16th, 2010 we were heading off shore with land slowly disapearing on the horizon until there was nothing left but blue connecting the sky to the water and the water to the sky.

At first I was a little nervous about the fact that we were not going to be touching land again for 30+ days but as the days went by i couldn’t be any happier out there on the open ocean.

Life is so simple while at sea. You can engage in a philosphical conservation about how we came to be as humans and where we will end up and then go read a novel about the adventures of Huckleberry Fin.

Time sometimes just flew by and sometimes just too forever. A morning tuna or dorodo can be a highlight of the day and then the time it takes to prepare, eat it and clean everything up would mean its time to sleep. We caught a few fish but not too many since our speed was kind of slow considering we were sailing close hauled into the wind most of the time against a current. Even in a solid 15-20knot+ wind traveling at a spend of 4.5kt would have been good

We also played a lot of a card game called “Canasta” which beans basket in spanish that occupied us between our watches. Many evenings we gathered around a lap top and watched a movie.

In terms of watched we had six of us so we had a nice even # and would do the same two hours in the PM and AM and we rotated every week.

Some days we had wind and some winds we didn’t. I even went paddling and said hello to a sea turtle in the kayak

In terms of out food. We bought a lot of it and it cost a pretty penny… more than we expected but eating good and healthy was definitely important to us.

We bought a lot of things in cans: corn, chickpeas, beans, mixed veggies, spinach, mushrooms, chicken and tuna. We also got canned fruit of peaches and pineapple. I think we bought 3 large 2.5kg bags of cereal with lots of UHT(Ulta high Temperature) Milk that didn’t need to be refrigerated but needed to be consumed that day after opening each morning. Eventually our giant stash of the UHT Milk ran out and we resorted to milk powder which i don’t mind at all… ofcourse the cereal didn’t last the whole time either and we also ate oatmeal or had pancakes, crackers or just cooked a big pasta earlier…

We ate incredible amounts of pasta with tomato paste and whipping cream with an assortment of the above listed cans. We also had rice stir-fry on occasion but i found we ate a ton of pasta meals. We usually cooked one big meal in the mid-late afternoon for everyone and then either made instant noodle soup, left overs, ate crackers and tunawe all took turns cooking and cleaning. We occasionally had home-made tortillas which were excellent. Crack-attack was also a great snack (this is crackers, tuna and usually corn mixed with mayo).

We caught a few good sized Dorado which fed us for many meals until we just couldn’t stomach anymore… We also caught a variety of tuna… skipjack, bonito, and yellow fin. Yellow fin was by far the finest… eat it fresh right off the fish and it just melted in your mouth. We also accidentally caught a shark and a sea turtle… once or twice we had a giant marlin eat the tuna right off the line or just take the lure with them.

We ate pretty good all around but definitely too much sugar and wheat… i got my blood tested upon return and it scared me to find that i had an unhealthy acidic level in my red blood cells… this scared me and since i am limited my sugar and wheat intake…


So after about 30 days we arrived at Isla Clarion in the Revillagigedo Archipelago went and anchored in the bay on the south shore. Upon arrival we caught a glimpse of some humpback whales. The geology of this volcanically formed remote island was just spectacular.

We met these exceptionally nice mexican people  who were stationed at the island as well as some fishermen who gave us lots of beef. The stationed men were very nice to us giving us fresh water, eggs,vegetables and candy. They also took us fishing for lobster and octopus.
The reefs are so abundant with life here… so pure… We actually were not allowed to wander around the island but the nice people made an exception and let us go for a short walk on the beach to stretch our legs after being at sea for close to 30 days.
We ate so much lobster and beef and great food here i think we all gained like 10 pounds… We spent a little less than a week at this beuutiful anchorage and then continue on. We made this little memento below for the great people who were stationed on this island.
We saw tons of dolphins on this route and caught a really nice yellowfin tuna.
We arrived to the ridiculousness of Cabo San Lucas and anchored for the night. The next day when we woke up we were in the shadow of 3 monstrous cruise ships who were constantly shuttling tourists into the town to shop around etc.
tried to check into mexico but was too expensive to dock boat and was just too crazy. Alex and I had to change our flights as the crossing took much longer than expected but thats the way it goes when your sailing.IMG_2307

We left and on our way out we saw a few humpback whales and watch the sunset or el arco on the most southern tip of the Baja peninsula. We were on route to La Paz. My flight was changed to fly out of Cabo on the 7th of February so i had plenty of time to relax and enjoy a few more weeks in Mexico.

We arrived in La Paz around on the 23rd of January after a cold and windy sail in the sea of cortez around the safe harbour in La Paz.
Our plan was to stay in La Paz for a little while, check into mexico officially and relax and enjoy the beauties of life on shore. We anchored as close as we could to the malicon (waterfront) of La Paz. It is a fantastic city and a very active couch surfing community. We decided to host a party to celebrate our arrival and my birthday on January 26th. We had a fantastic turn out of local couchsurfers and travelers. Matiss actually was back in Baja to visit his lady friend we surfed with back in November… craziness… so he was hanging out with us and staying on Karaka quite a bit. We immediately became friends with a great crew of people and hung out every day with them. We hung around the town a lot, checking out nice bars and restaurants… eating and drinking a lot, going on some side trips to beaches and an overnight sailing to out to nearby Isla Espirito Santo…  was truly awesome… time just flew by and it was very hard to leave…

On route to take the bus to the airport my wallet was stolen! but i met a really nice guy who worked for NOLS and knew Ramon who we got our sea kayaks from from our kayak trip in November. He let me use is phone to call my folks and credit card companies… I also had a nice couple from Edmonton give me some money for food so it wasn’t so bad.

I was excited to see Natalie and my folks after so long.

Karaka is continuously up to more adventures… hard to keep up with them but check out their blog on their website for updates… I think their plan is now to buy another boat and sailing it to Australia to sell it. Wish i could go but life is pretty good right now!

Los Cabos… Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo… Adventures in Baja begin!

We have now spent a week in both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo. A crazy over developed place… just ridiculous and they keep building more… despite the development it was still very beautiful and we did our best to enjoy it.


We spent our first night in the Cabo Inn Hotel (hostel) which was nice after a long flight… we met our future couchsurfer Anna who was from the Spanish Islands known as the Canary Islands… her english was exceptional aswell as her friend Ilse from Mexico. We met them at the hostel that evening and went out for our first genuine tacos… a little overwhelming being in the crazy tourist city of Cabo San Lucas… The hostel treated us well for a great night sleep in the heat. We moved to Annas house the next day and checked out Playa Medano, the famous beach in Cabo… It was nice but so many mexicans trying to sell your stuff constantly… we felt bed but that was their way of life… It took some getting used to but we found our way around the city…

November 3rd… learning some spanish we ecalante el montagne grande (climb the big mountain) went to some gorgeous beaches and made it to the top after a long walk (see below for view, click photo for link to more photos).


We later made our way to lovers beach, famous beach near the Lands end Arch… the southern most point of Baja where the Pacific Ocean meets the Gulf of California.

We had fun and went out for a night on the town experiencing some wild but expensive night-life Cabo San Lucas is known for.

We got into a good pattern of siesta and sleeping in… our stomachs are sensitive to all the different mexican food we have been eating… We went for a very nice sunset back at the Solmar Beach where another CS named Salina happened to work… we were able to just go into the resort and chill in the pool whenever so we did a few times and ordered smoothies at the pool bar…

We had a really nice jersey girl named Mary give us some left over alcohol and food who was flying out the next day… We enjoyed a nice sunset on the pacific that evening with Mary and another CS named Salina who worked at the resort.

Mary was really awesome but It was crazy to think how many people like her just fly down here for a week or two and stay in these fancy resorts… completely different experience from what Matiss and I were up to…

Our last day in Cabo San Lucas we felt we had a bunch of things to do and unfortunatlely had to miss the spanish lesson Salina offered to us. Later we went to the Medano Beach where there were a ton of sailboats anchored and partying on the beach…


we heard the loud speaker come on and say… ¨Who is looking for crew?¨ I immediately went over and found a great captain of a forty foot sloop looking for crew too La Paz… Matiss, myself and Anna all hope to meet him tomorrow… Anna is able to come because she just quite her dreadful job selling diamonds…

We decided to leave Anna for some space to think as she had hosted us and another guy (Brian) who biked from Buffalo, NY to Cabo San Lucas and was going to take the ferry across the mainland mexico and bike down to Panama then bike back… craziness but awesome. He was such a happy man! that evening (friday Nov 5th) we bused with all our stuff to San Jose del Cabo… 45min bus away to meet up with our next CS named Nayeli. We went out for drinks and dinner in San Jose… something we ate left us all feeling not too well… and this was not the first time… We rested today (Saturday Nov 6th) went to an organic Market, met JC one of the couchsurfing ambassadors for Los Cabos Area who makes a living gardening and juggling… quite the awesome fellow! Below you can find a view from the roof of his apartment in San Jose del Cabo.


Nayeli was so great to us… she even let us use her car to go shopping and get things we needed for our sailing trip… now i have time to update this blog so i hope you enjoy!

Also see Matiss’s blog by clicking here