Considering a sailing adventure to Mexico? Just look at how engrossed that guy is in the book! Grab a copy of the Unauthorized Guide to Sailing in Mexico, and you too can find yourself sitting on a Mexican dock with an oversized (but very attractive) hat.

Unauthorized Guide to Sailing in Mexico

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Saturday
Feb012014

last night in the you-ess-of-ay

It's been a little... interesting... here on our blog. With all the talk of child molesters and abuse, my regular banal contributions to the Internet have seemed slightly out of place. But perhaps no one is looking and I can squeak out a nice mundane blog post that is not emotional, gripping, or even that interesting to be honest. 

Today is February which has special signifigance in our household (or boathold?) because we're planning on leaving in March. That means we have roughly a month and some change to get ready to cross three thousand miles of open ocean, spending perhaps thirty days underway. With two small children. 

What we're waiting for, basically, is for the area inside the black circle to look more like the area inside the red circle. Those hockey-stick looking things are the wind, with the handle (the long part) being the direction the wind is going towards. The blades on the end indicate the strength. One long blade is 10 knots, a half a blade is 5 knots. So a long blade with a short blade is 15 knots, two long blades is 20 knots, five long blades is 50 knots, etc. 

These are the trade winds and they strengthen in the spring, but it's not an exact science. Some years they start early, some years they're stronger, and some years they're weaker. Some years (el Nino), they're backwards. 

(above: my day job. conference is over, business clothes packed, waiting for a car and subsequent flight to another city)

It's funny because I have the same disbelief about leaving for the South Pacific that I did before we left for Mexico almost a year and a half ago. I don't really believe it will happen, but I make a list of things that need to get done and I start doing them. Then, you turn around and they're all done, or more likely, done-ish. The weather is good, the provisioned are packed, and there's not much else to do but slip the lines and take off. 

30-45 days to go. I've been up in the USA for a week on business and it's a really weird feeling to know that the next time I come back it will probably be on jet airplane that has to cross over the Pacific.

Reader Comments (4)

I'm sure the winds will be favorable for you and your family in good time, Eric. And once you reach the trades, you'll be Gardner McKay - living the "Adventures in Paradise" dream.

I'm glad your vessel was not swept up in the shockingly inept actions of AGACE in late November. The embargoed boats in PV, I understand, have now been liberated, but SAT has stated that no one should assume that they won't conduct further raids and place more vessels in "embargo precautionario."

I hope you guys are well-out of their reach in the event they follow through on that boast.

TJ

February 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTaoJones

Good luck Eric with the final prep and the passage...Hoping for winds and water in your favor...we will be awaiting your tales of the Pacific!

February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGretchen

Hi, I've had this question for a long time, might as well ask on this post... Do you do online banking in Mexico? Do you connect to your bank over a public wifi connection, maybe even with a g-protocol antenna I remember reading you use?
I understand that a public wifi connection is not secure because your login can be captured. What are the rules you use in practice? Like use public wifi to connect to your email, but not the bank, perhaps? Thanks.

February 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteranon

re banking:

I connect over all kinds of wifi, secured or unsecured. I know a lot of security guys might roll their eyes at that, but I'm pretty careful about checking for accurate certificates and making sure that I don't drop out of SSL mode. I know it's possible to man-in-the-middle attack, but I honestly think the odds of that are pretty tiny. It's up there with being robbed at the ATM: you can practice good safety but ultimately if someone is *really* serious about getting your money, you're probably going to part ways with it.

If you really want to be secure you should get a VPN service (and client) which will then encrypt all of your data between your computer and a network router in, say, San Francisco, so you can feel pretty comfortable that no one is snooping on your line.

If you simply ensure that you are always on an SSL connection when entering private data, and are extremely wary of certificate errors, that's not a lot of work and will result in a rather hardened profile.

Regarding ATM machines, I'd only recommend using the ones in a bank or a major store (Mega, Chedraui, Wal Mart, etc). The ATM machines to be really wary of are the little no-name machines sitting in a dusty corner of a local tienda. Also, anything that issues US dollars should be viewed as suspect.

Cashback from a purchase with your ATM card (major stores) is another pretty slick way to get cash and minimize per-transaction fees that most banks will charge (Charles Schwabb is a notable exception).

It's worth noting that the biggest banking fraud problems recently have resulted from American companies, with American datacenters, having some of their customer's payment information breached by classic hackers. It's just worth putting that in context since, by the numbers, you were far more likely to suffer bank fraud using Target.com than online banking on an unsecured wireless in some dusty Mexican town.

- Go with SSL connections, buy a VPN service if you're really concerned. Additionally you can skate around geographical restrictions with one of these although they are terrible on shotty connections (typical in Mexico).

- Don't use your ATM card in a place that doesn't have a security guard a few feet away.

February 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterEric

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