New year, new luck! Actually, I wanted to go from La Paz to Mazatlán with a sailboat at the beginning of January to continue my tour on the mainland. At the Marina La Paz, even before Susanne came to visit, I met a man from Alaska who promised to take me on his sailboat. We exchanged our numbers and agreed to contact each other again by phone at the beginning of the new year to make final plans. Despite several calls and messages, he did not get back to me in the new year, so I had to reschedule. OK, no issue, because still the original option, the ferry crossing to Mazatlán would have been possible…
Somewhat disappointed, I already wanted to buy a ferry ticket for the next few days, when I got a call without further ado from another cyclist who also wanted to take the ferry. In the news it was reported that in Sinaloa, the state in which Mazatlán is located, there would be big problems between the police and the drug cartel there. One of the main drug kingpins was caught by the police and the cartel tried to free him by force, so the police and the military cordoned everything off. There was a similar incident a few years earlier in another town that was reduced to rubble by the cartel until the police, released the drug lord to avoid further damage.
For this reason, the ferry crossing was suspended for several days.
Fortunately, my former classmate Marco and his wife Mayra, who run a business at the marina in Cabo San Lucas, were able to help me organize an alternative through their contacts. I thought it was ironic when Mayra informed me that she knew a captain who might be able to take me on a rather luxurious boat. Never in my life would I have thought of being taken on a luxury yacht.
Arriving at the marina in Cabo San Lucas with my bicycle, there were countless luxury yachts. The Serenity, which is already a stately ship with its almost 40 meters, seemed almost tiny behind a mega yacht of a Mexican billionaire that was over a hundred meters long.
These are worlds that one can hardly imagine as a normal mortal.
When my bicycle was lifted on board by Captain Brook and the mate with the ship’s own crane, I was glad that I didn’t have to carry it and possibly still accidentally cause a scratch worth millions.
After a starry dinner with the crew, everything was prepared for the approximately 36-hour crossing. The Serenity which belongs in the luxury yacht segment to the somewhat smaller ships, has a crew of 6. The captain Brook, the mate Jessy, the engineer Matt, the cook Gillian and the two stewardesses Jeanine and Karina. During the days of my crossing, it was pretty relaxed for everyone, but when there are up to 8 guests on board, everyone has to work between 14-16 hours.
Since Serenity is often rented out as a charter boat, the crew had less relaxing days. The salary on such a boat is very attractive, but in return there are few vacation days and little flexibility.
The yacht was on its way to its next stop in Costa Rica to once again meet the owners, a very wealthy elderly couple and other guests. Brook was kind enough to take me all the way to Barra de Navidad, a still quite unknown paradisiacal place, just south of Puerto Vallarta. On the crossing to Costa Rica they had to be refueled here, so it was a good idea to take me along as a temporary crew member.
And so it went with the fancy boat over 600 km southwest to the Mexican mainland. We had a 36-hour “hard” crossing, during which I “HAD” to play board games with the crew, dine on cucumber food and test out the sun deck. As you can see, I got harnessed right away.
In Barra de Navidad, I spent another day with the crew on the boat, went stand up paddling, enjoyed the pool as well as the warm sea at the beach of the resort and could have stayed a little longer on board….
I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to sail on such a luxurious boat, as such a thing is usually not common. I am even more grateful to Brook for taking on the bureaucracy of registering me as a crew member, but also to Marco and Mayra who organized everything in the background for my crossing.
Many thanks to the great crew who welcomed me so well, Brook and especially Marco and Mayra for your commitment!