When we tell folks we spent three and a half years cruising our Hunter 44DS Groovy in Pacific Mexico, more times than not they say, “Wow, that’s my dream!” There’s something about the idea of sailing off over the horizon to tropical destinations that makes everyone get excited.
But is the reality of cruising anything like the dream?
For us, there was a bit of a gap. We loved our cruise and our lives would not have been complete without doing it, but it was nothing like we expected. The fantasy of endless umbrella drinks in the cockpit, calm, clear anchorages teeming with colorful reef fish and balmy nights of sound sleep listening to little wavelets lapping at the hull were just that: a fantasy.
Living aboard a sailboat, especially bobbing around at anchor, is like no other lifestyle. Sometimes it’s heavenly, sometimes it’s uncomfortable, and often it’s very funny. Living as an ex-pat in Mexico aboard a sailboat adds a whole other dimension. And in the end, it was the living in Mexico part that left the deepest impression on us after our cruise was over.
The following pages are brief snapshots of what this life of cruising in Mexico is like. If you are considering untying the dock lines and heading out on an extended cruise, I hope these posts will help give you an idea of what cruising is like, especially cruising in Mexico.
Getting the boat ready to go is a relatively easy process. Just open your wallet and roll up your sleeves. But getting prepared emotionally for a new life on a boat in a foreign country is something that is easy to overlook. I hope that these posts will paint a vivid picture of what it is like to take your boat on a cruise to Mexico and help ease your adjustment once you get there.
- Mexican Dentists – Finding Affordable Dental Care in Mexico 02/12/16 Finding affordable dental care in Mexico isn’t hard and the quality of Mexican dentists is terrific. Here are our experiences.
- Life on the Hook in Mexico – What do you do all day when you’re cruising in the tropics? 11/17/14 Sailing off into the sunset on a cruising boat is a dream for many, but life afloat is not just umbrella drinks and suntanning in the cockpit.
- World Cruising Done Right – Paid to Visit the World’s Most Exotic Ports! 04/04/14 “Cruising” does truly mean “Fixing your boat in exotic places,” but there’s another way to live the cruising dream…
- Untying The Lines – A nautical send-off 01/02/14 A mysterious round stone helps us untie our lines to Groovy
- On the Road to your Dreams, Stay the Course! 10/14/13 When starting a life of full-time travel, by RV or sailboat or other means, the transition can be rocky. Just remember: stay the course!
- Leaky Batteries = Ruined Gear… Arghhh!!!! 08/05/13 Oops – Don’t repeat our mistake! We left cheap batteries in our portable electronics in the tropics for a few months…what a mess!
- Living, Loving and Perfecting “The Dream” 06/29/13 After 3.5 years of cruising Mexico, we are taking Groovy to San Diego to end our cruising lifestyle and begin a new chapter.
- Oh, That’s Just Swell! – Life on a Boat that ROLLS At Anchor!! 05/17/13 Swell is the name of the game when cruising Mexico’s Pacific coast on your own sailboat!!
- Go Fish! – Some wild ways to catch dinner – It’s for the birds!! 04/24/13 One of the joys of cruising Mexico is watching the wildlife, especially the seabirds, and the many wild ways they catch dinner.
- Snap, Crackle, Pop – Fishy Sounds from Deep Under Our Boat! 04/17/13 No matter how remote the anchorage, Groovy is never alone in the water, and we are always amazed by how noisy it gets at night!!
- Showering on the hook = A carnival ride with your eyes closed! 03/28/13 Even something simple like taking a shower becomes an all new experience when done at anchor in cruising sailboat!
- Surfing the dinghy = Crash landings on the beach! 03/18/13 We often have to surf our dinghy onto the beach in Mexico, and sometimes this can make for a wet ride and a crash landing!
- Swabbing the decks underway! 03/16/13 Keeping the boat clean while living at anchor is hard, but we’ve found some good techniques for swabbing the decks while on passage.
- Cruising = Fixing your boat in exotic places! 03/02/13 Anchored in Zihuatanejo, we needed to get our outboard propellor repaired. So off to the welder we went on another wacky excursion.
- Divorced Eggs…?! 07/28/13 Mexico travelers know about yummy “carne tacos,” but what the heck are those “Divorced Eggs” on the breakfast menu?
- Is Mexico Safe? 07/21/13 Lots of people ask us “Is Mexico safe?” and our answer, after 3.5 years of living and traveling throughout Mexico, is “Absolutely YES!”
- Quinceañera – Sailboat “Groovy” Helps Celebrate a Mexican 15th Birthday 07/14/13 Groovy provided an elegant backdrop for a quinceañera (15th birthday) photo shoot, and we got swept up in the family party!
- It’s Not About the Hair! 06/19/13 A simple haircut gives us intriguing cultural insights in La Manzanilla.
- The Tourist Tangle – All tied up in knots! 04/09/13 Sun hat, cameras, sunglasses, reading glasses: they all get hung around our necks for easy access, but what a web those straps make!!
- Shipwreck in Paradise – A unique ship hits the beach! 04/02/13 What a surprise to find an old wooden ship beached in front of the swimming pools of Paradise Village Resort in Puerto Vallarta!
- And God said: “Let the Beer Flow” 03/30/13 Holiday weeks in Mexico, especially Easter, bring out the hot beer models who always have cool promotions for selling beer.
- Red sky at morning… should sailors take warning? 03/12/13 The sunrises in Manzanillo’s Santiago Bay are sensational, but there’s a reason, and it lies at the south end of the bay…
- Shhh!! Bootleg DVDs are like a box of chocolates… 03/11/13 Bootleg DVDs are common in Mexico, but because the titles differ their English counterparts, you never know what you’re buying!
- La Tia Hot Sauce – The best among millions! 03/06/13 In our travels we often find yummy things and special places, but sometimes on a return visit they are no longer there…
- Generosity and friendliness are the hallmarks of Mexico! 02/28/13 While entering a store in ZIhuatanejo we noticed a fancy motorcycle -what a surprise when the owner offered us the keys for a ride!
To help you plan your cruise and get you inspired, we created the video series, "Cruising Mexico Off the Beaten Path - Volumes 1-3," shown below. This is a fun-to-watch and easy-to-digest introduction to Mexico from a cruiser's perspective, giving you lots of valuable information that isn't covered by the cruising guides. Each video is available individually at Amazon, either as a DVD or as a download. For discount package pricing on the whole series, visit our page Cruising Mexico Video Series.
Volume 1 (left) reviews the geography, weather and seasons in Mexico and shows you what the best anchorages between Ensenada and Manzanillo are like.
Volume 2 (middle) gives detailed info that can't be found in any of the guidebooks about the glorious cruising ground between Manzanillo and the Guatemala border.
Volume 3 (right) provides all the info you need to get off the boat for an adventure-filled trip to Oaxaca.Our Gear Store also has a boatload of ideas for your cruise!