[NOMADE DES MERS] Adiós México, Hola Nicaragua : a sailing story
Date de publication : 21 janvier 2021
Auteurs : Corentin de Chatelperron
Localisation : Océan Pacifique
28th December 2020. We release the moorings of the old pontoon that has held Nomade des Mers for months in the bay of Huatulco… for the misfortune of all the fauna that has developed under the hull, but for the happiness of the crew who are becoming impatient to move forward on the planisphere. Because this morning we set sail. Direction Nicaragua!
The maritime border is open, the weather forecast are good. We have a few days to pass the Tehuantepec, a violent wind that frequently blocks the route to the East. Sidonie and Guénolé have just left for France with the images of the tutorials we filmed in their luggage. Caroline and I are going to make the crossing alone.
At sea, the memories come back
We are heading out to sea with a downwind breeze. In front of us, new exciting low-tech discoveries await us in Central America. And behind us, a strange year, made up of incessant replanning, improvisations and twists and turns. A year spent in Mexico and Guatemala when we were only planning to stay there for a few months! We remember the boat’s refit yard, the study of many low-tech things: mushroom growing, permaculture and wood-saving stoves in the remote mountains of Chiapas, the making of wind turbines in the agroecology centre of Oaxaca, cooking and solar dehydration in Huatulco Bay, pedal machines, fog nets and water filters in Guatemala. And our stomachs will long remember tacos, guacamole and huevos rancheros!
Organization of life on board
When there are only two crewmembers on board, we have to keep a watch every 2 hours. This is to keep an eye on the boat to make sure that the sails are well trimmed and that there is no risk of collision with other boats. At night we pass each other, one wakes up when the other goes to bed. During the day we take care of the boat and continue the low-tech experiments. Our culinary revolution is the discovery that we can use the grain mill as a juice extractor. The option increases the meal options tenfold. Caroline tries out recipes that prove - sometimes - delicious. Her favourite: a sip of apple-beetroot-ginger juice. Enough to wake the dead. We dehydrate the extracted fibre for future soups. I take advantage of the navigation to take care of the crickets, spirulina and plants. From time to time dolphins or rays jump around the boat. For the past few days a school of fish has been following the starboard hull. Followers!
January 8th 2021. The wind is light but favourable. We enter a magnificent arm of wild mangrove. In the distance, a chain of volcanoes, some of them spitting smoke. Here we are in Nicaragua!
Nomade des Mers is one of the first sailing boats to enter the country since the beginning of the pandemic. The region where we stop over is a priori little touched by the virus. Shops are open and the inhabitants are free to move around. We are going to take advantage of this stopover to prepare for the year, before setting off on the roads to discover promising low-tech!