Decision made – back to Canada

We hung out at Los Muertos for a week, waiting for weather. It’s a nice place, but us and the other eight or so boats in the bay were all rather on edge, waiting to hear what would happen. The morning HF net brought more news of closures every day, so we were getting worried in case we got stuck there.

On about the fourth day I got a message – my old company was offering me a summer position again, for a really decent wage and for four months.

The day before we left, a sailboat tried to get towards La Paz but got intercepted by a Navel vessel and told to head back to Los Muertos bay. This later turned out to be for the long holiday weekend (which is HUGE in Mexico, so much travel) but you can imagine it didn’t do much to reassure everyone.

Two days later we decided to give it a go, and headed off (after switching off our AIS, just in case). We got about halfway up the channel, and then had a chat about what to do next. My great job offer, combined with the fact we were both a bit worried about being stuck in a foreign country during a pandemic that would case widespread food insecurity and pain to the local communities (a lot of the economy is based on tourism) and with some news of the odd boat being attacked, we decided the best thing to do would be to head back to Canada, Liz to Victoria where her friends and job prospects were, and me to Ottawa, where my job was.

With the decision finally made, we made reservations at a boatyard and cranked on the engine to get to the La Paz area before dark and got into a nearby anchorage before dark.

The next day we got up early and got hauled out – a process involving driving the boat ONTO a submerged trailer, helped by a man in a snorkel and then being pulled up a hill by an old tractor.

Pretty nerve-racking to say the least.

We were then manoeuvred into position, a very very tight squeeze, with around an inch on both sides. Gulp.

And there we were left.

I went with being hauled out rather than leaving in a marina because my bottom paint (2 year old PNW paint) is NOT doing great as you can see. The green is the previous coat, where the black has worn off. The rudder is even worse, it’s down to the base coat in a lot of areas! By hauling out now, I get to save some money when I return.

We had booked a guy to take us to Los Cabo airport (the only place flights were still leaving from) the day after tomorrow, so that gave us one and a half days to get everything sorted. I had a mild panic the next day when my flight got cancelled, but I managed to rebook to Montreal instead, which is a 2 hour drive from Ottawa.

The next day was a TON of work, involving getting rid of anything that wasn’t in a can (we gave it to the dockyard workers who were super happy to have it – they haven’t had much work recently and it’s getting harder to feed their families – pretty humbling and I feel very lucky), taking the canned goods, putting them in plastic and then in either the hammocks or other raised surfaces to prevent rust, removing all the sails, removing a lot of the expensive lines, etc etc etc.

Finally we were done, and the next day got picked up and driven to the airport. I slept a lot of the way – I was so tired.

Cabo airport was eery, with virtually no one in it.

My flight out of Cabo had 3 other people on it, so I got to sit in the emergency exit row. Score.

I had to change at LA, and had a 6 hour wait. Luckily Liz, although on a different flight was also changing there so we got to hang out a bit more before I had to get on my flight which wasn’t very full, so I got a row seat all to myself.

LA also didn’t have many people there

The next change was at Philadelphia and another long layover – another six hours. This was a bit busier than the other two airports but still pretty deserted.

Finally I arrived at Montreal and had to wait three hours for the greyhound bus to take me to Ottawa. Again, it wasn’t busy and there was enough room to make sure everyone was separated by a row in between each person. I made it to my AirBNB (there is a mandatory 2 week quarantine for new arrivals to Canada) after 30 hours of travelling, and jumped in the shower and then bed.

I’ll be in Ottawa for at least the next four months and I’m not sure what will happen after that so this blog is going to slow down for the next while – I’ll suspend Patreon payments as well, as you won’t be getting your monies worth!

It feels good to be back in Canada, and I hope everyone is staying safe! I’m going to be climbing the walls for the next two weeks – maybe I’ll even get around to editing some videos that I always talk about doing!



  1. Man, that sounds like some exhausting boat prep and travel. How does the 2-week quarantine work? Are you allowed to leave the Airbnb for exercise, or to get groceries?

    • It was exhausting! Nope, not allowed to leave for ANYTHING. Luckily I have a friend bringing me food but…. Ugh

  2. I also did the same, left my boat on the hard in… Thailand and came back to Montreal with my dog. Feels good but at a dire price… 😳

    Day 8 of 14 now, enjoy!

    • Right? Probably the right thing to do but it’s like a lost year almost…. And the cost! Glad you got back safely

  3. Ottawa! Here I was hoping we could catch up if and when I ever make it to my boat. But it was probably the best choice. Work and temporary security are a increasingly rare commodity. Supply chains are gonna take a hit at some point and it’s a pretty unpredictable future at this point. 😉

    I see you got a dodger cover made…good thinking ahead. And now you have plenty of time to shop online and dream up new projects.

    Let me know if you want any help with any video projects. I am resorting to inventing coding projects because I suck at it and it keeps me occupied for hours on end.

    • Kind of my thinking. After this contract I’ll actually be really setup money-wise so even if I can’t find a job for a while afterwards, at least I don’t have to worry for a while.

      The dodger is great – hard top and I removed all the canvas sides and stored them inside. Definitely have a couple of projects, but not too many – actually managed to nail most of them before we left for French Poly! Though it’ll be nice to get a life-raft re-certified and the gooseneck replaced. Those are the main ones.

      The other thing I’m thinking about is selling Gudge, either down there or bringing her up here and then selling. I have a laundry list of items I want on my next boat, and this seems like a fairly decent time to switch over. Gudge has been great, but I know so so much more than I did when I bought her. Maybe I can make a post on that.

      And I have a couple of hours of snorkelling footage I could probably make something of – I just find video editing fairly uninteresting unfortunately. Let me know if you want to take a crack.

      • Glad you got situated! Sounds like an exhausting trip back but nothing that 2 weeks of isolation won’t cure. I would read a post on Gudge vs other wants with much interest, do it! That’d be worth another month of Patreonage. I’m sailing my boat around tomorrow and hauling it on Friday for some bottom paint and thru hull replacement. Hopefully they don’t have to place me an inch from my neighbours. Welcome back Matt.

        • I will probably write one at some point – not like I have much else going on now! Are the boatyards still working then? I heard they closed down. Hope it all goes well!

          • The boatyards seem to have figured out how to continue working under the covid guidelines. Things might be a little slower but they’ve halved daily storage rates to compensate and entice customers. So, I’m saving a little to spend a lot and do my part to keep the economy going.

            Hopefully your friend is delivering good groceries to ya! Stay sane.

      • Definitely work up a post on what you’ve learned. We are in the same boat (lol) and thinking of trading sideways or even down—finding something more suited but older. I would love to hear your thoughts on what might make any future travel plans more comfortable/practical.

        And if you want me to play with your footage, drop me an email or text and we will work out file transfer details.

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