Missing tools? No problem. Morale is low? Here’s a cold one. Evening entertainment? Off to the Friday fire pit. Don’t know exactly how the next project should work? 3 people explain it at the same time. Ship almost sinking? Here comes ice cream from Dairy Queen! People who live on boats are there for each other. They’re always helpful and generally a great bunch of people to be around. The cruising community is the best community.
In all the books, videos, documentaries and films that we have studied about life aboard a sailboat, one thing especially caught our eye: The cruising community seemed to be a tightly woven society that lives in its own little bubble. But in this bubble, help and knowledge is being exchanged, experience and stories are being shared. Parties are being celebrated. People are there for each other and support each other wherever and with whichever they can. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? We were about to experience first hand big time!
Already long before owning Milagros and moving aboard, we had started to investigate what our future life would look like. What really impressed me about the cruising community right from the beginning was a very specific video from SV Delos, one of the most famous sailing channels on YouTube. In the video, several cruisers selflessly gather to free a boat. It had run aground on a reef together with its not quite sober owners. What I saw in that video stuck with me. I was extremely impressed to see how the cruisers gathered, organized, and mastered a potentially dangerous situation with skill, will and commitment. This completely selflessly and without ulterior motives. Just for the sake of it, and because it was the right thing to do in that situation.
Our experiences with the cruising community
Is the cruising community as we had imagined? Short answer is yes. When I reflect on what we have already experienced and how many great people from the cruising community we have already met, so many memories pop up in my head. In the short time that we have spent on Milagros, we have met so much goodwill and positive vibes. Everybody is literally in the same boat, shares the same great and not so great experiences.
Help is just around the corner
Anyone who has been reading our blog for a little longer was with us when we visited Milagros for the first time in December 2019. Two complete and utter greenhorns from Switzerland are sitting in their huge sailboat in Mexico and don’t even know what is happening to them. What to do with this colossus? A few days later the world looked very different. Various great people from the cruising community in the Cruiseport Marina in Ensenada took time to take all of Milagros’ systems apart with us. So a puzzle was put together, which at first seemed much too big. We probably wouldn’t have been able to do it alone at that time.
It’s how the cruising community works
And that’s exactly how it continued a year later. During our preparations for the transfer of Milagros from Ensenada to the Cabrales Boatyard in Puerto Peñasco, coffee time with Captain Max and Sofia turned into a daily ritual. We got to know an American liveaboard family with whom we partied a lot and way too hard at one point. As Patricia unfortunately could not take part in the sail to Puerto Peñasco due to various delays, she was allowed to move on the boat of our good friends Steve and Susanne until she returned back home to Switzerland. Cruising community at its best. With many great experiences and memories we sailed towards Cabrales Boatyard in Puerto Peñasco.
The Cabrales Boatyard
Last but not least, we decided on the long journey to the very north of Baja California, because we had read of a bunch of super positive experiences in other blogs. Salvador Cabrales, the owner of the yard, takes pleasure in the people here at the Boatyard and in his work. He helps wherever he can and has a whole network of people, useful tips and tricks in and around Puerto Peñasco. In addition, year in and year out Cabrales Boatyard is occupied by cruisers who work on their boats. The Cabrales cruising community takes care of one another, if anyone has a problem, help is there immediately. Hanging out at the fire pit on Friday evenings is a weekly ritual.
Cabrales Cruising Community
This cannot be taken for granted. We have heard of very different experiences on other boatyards. Pati and I are both still beginners, so we decided to do our refit at Cabrales Boatyard. We hoped we could find all the help we needed here. And oh boy, did we get help. The cruising community here is great. Every time we get stuck in a project, a little walk around the boatyard helps. Someone here has always done any of our projects before, or is right in the middle of it. Tons of experience, great and exciting stories everywhere. A little chat quickly turns into an evening meal.
The cruising community is there
We are still doing fiberglass work on our underwater hull. Last week we went through a tough couple of days. The project seemed way too big and endless. That also affected the mood and so there was one or the other harsh word. We knew this was bound to happen at some point. But also this is where the cruising community kicks in: When your day is all shitty, there will always someone there who will motivate you and cheer you up. Always with a helping hand and a few motivating words. People who live on boats just seem to see everything with different eyes and approach their lives with a lot more positivity. Thank you for that, dear Cabralianos, dear cruising community!
Apart from all the positive experiences with the local sailing community, we are moving forward. We reinforce the hull of Milagros day in and day out and are sticky from all the epoxy. Blister after blister is being wiped out. Everything has an end, only a sausage has two (no idea if that one works in english). We have to move fast. Summer is approaching, it is slowly but surely getting warmer. And the Cabrales sailing community tells horror stories about summer here in the Sea of Cortez. We’ll see what happens. We just hope our shoes won’t melt below our feet. Has actually happened to one or the other cruiser here…
Did you like to read about our adventures with the cruising community? You can contribute by clicking the button below (no account needed!) or become a monthly supporter on Patreon. Thank you so much!