March 26 – May 15, 2020
Welp, we left Zihua in the rear view mirror and returned to a very quiet Barra de Navidad; the COVID-19 pandemic was casting a wide net over the globe, the world was locking down, ports and borders were closing, we continued to self-isolate aboard Free Luff, and the bustling little Barra that we know and love was like a ghost town – no Rinconcito, no Pastorcito, or Miriam’s (i.e., no street taco love). By the time we returned here from Zihua, there was to be no migration; we were all in hunker-down mode. If there was any movement at all, it was to discreetly visit nearby anchorages, venture out into the bay to make water, or take care of other “housekeeping.” So, we stayed put on the Costalegre – finally “going everywhere…very slowly.”
There’s not a lot to tell about our isolation activities. There was lots of cooking (Capt. Cooks-a-lot), lots of dishes (Jody), exercising in the cockpit, sailing around in CD, surfing at Tenacatita and Chamela (Rand), visiting with our sailing friends via VHF or hanging off the end of each other’s boats in our dinghies to chat, and most importantly, video chatting with our friends and families back home. It’s funny, we’ve been gone from the U.S. for nearly 4 years, and it took the pandemic to hit for us to finally take full advantage of the video capabilities of Zoom, Messenger, and Skype. Our data usage has taken a big jump, but it’s so worth it.
How is our mental health, you ask? Well, like many others, we’re missing our people, but our normal lives aren’t that different from before the pandemic lockdowns. The biggest difference is the uncertainty surrounding travel to see our people, various port closures in Mexico (and how they’re enforced or not), and whether or not we will be welcome in some of the small towns that we intend to visit this summer. So, this first couple of months under isolation weren’t too bad. Going ashore was weird. Being in the presence of people was weird. Wearing a mask was hot and uncomfortable, but again, so worth it. We simply can’t get sick in Mexico; the health care infrastructure throughout the country, with the exception of some of the larger cities, like Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Puerto Vallarta, for instance, is woefully inadequate to deal with a global pandemic. Therefore, we are hyper-vigilant in our efforts to protect ourselves and the locals when we do have to go into town.
And we’re managing. We are privileged (more on this in a future post). We can get food, make water and power off the grid, get laundry done either on da boat or in town, and we have multiple terabytes of movies, TV series, and books. We have cribbage, Baja rummy, and scrabble. Rand has to work. Our visitor visas expire soon, so we’ll have to figure that part out. Normally, we would travel to the U.S. to get this done, and to see our people, but that’s not likely going to happen. Ask me about my mental health when that time rolls around. For now, we’re taking it day by day, figuring out summer/storm season options, and trying not to worry too much about everything, despite the news from home. We’ll see how it goes.
COVID-19 Virtual Socializing Gallery