Meet High Climber and A New Voyage!

3/22/2017  

It’s been some time since I have logged on to give an update and now that our plans are falling into place I thought I’d spend some time catching up and introducing the next journey. In September, about a month into our Solvi venture down the Mississippi River, we spoke with our friend Max on the phone. During that phone conversation we discussed helping him deliver his 40’ Dufour Aluminum Sailboat from St. Petersburg, Florida to San Fransisco, California via the Panama Canal. At the time it was just a small seed in the back of our minds, similar to the idea that we had when we first came up with the Solvi plan. But just as with Solvi, the small seed took roots and blossomed into reality. On April 1st (give or take a few days for weather windows) Max, Kyle, myself, and Max’s father will leave Blind Pass Marina in St. Pete Beach, Florida and head Southwest towards Isla Mujeres, Mexico- our first stop in this 4 month 6,000 mile journey. The tentative plan from Isla Mujeres is as follows: we will sail to Cozumel before making a 250 mile hop to Rhoatan Honduras. From there we will visit a small island in Columbia before heading to the Panama Canal entrance. Once through the canal and in Panama City we will be changing crew- although Kyle, Max, and myself will stay on for the journey’s entirety. From Panama City we will slowly but surely make our way North towards California, participating in what many sailors call the “Baja Bash”. The predominant wind pattern on the West coast is North, therefore attempting to head North into an oncoming wind can be very challenging and a bit uncomfortable due to pounding into wind and waves for days on end. Fortunately we planned somewhat accordingly and the months we will spend on that coast will have fairly less wind than the rest of the year. Arriving in Cabo by mid-late June is necessary due to Hurricane season. If we make that date then we will explore the Sea of Cortez in the Baja of California before making the last stretch to San Francisco.  

 As I am sure is clear, this is a fairly major journey we have set out for ourselves and not one tidbit has been taken lightly. From every square inch of the boat, engine, hull, rigging, and sails being checked, cared for, rebuilt, or replaced to countless hours of research on documentation, customs, routes, and weather patterns we have spent the last 3 months since returning from Solvi preparing for the trip. At this point Kyle and I have been living aboard full time for over a month! Documentation, paperwork, and provisioning has been my forte while also working as much as possible to make money to fund this trip. As a full time team Kyle and Max have spent hundreds of hours making sure the boat, High Climber, is ready for the passage. Other hours have been spent making sure the crew gets along, getting awful vaccinations, gathering first aid items, and organizing the boat so that every aspect is efficient and clean. I could spend pages describing the preparations we have and are taking to prepare for the voyage, but the underlying point is that we want this to be an adventure full of challenge, joy, excitement, and growth. Therefore the three of us are taking every action necessary to ensure our safety and enjoyment along the way.

With the leave date approaching we are beginning to get real excited for the upcoming adventure. Below are some photos of High Climber, Max’s 40’ aluminum Defour A9000 sailboat we will be traveling in. As I will update the blog with some regularity it will not be quite as in depth as our Solvi adventure. But stay tuned for some pictures and stories of our first leg of the voyage to Mexico. Onward!

Max and High Climber!