Clark March 17th, 2007
To give the blow-by-blow, here is the whole voyage:
Condesa left Balboa Island, California, on January 10, 1999, amid great fanfare and tears. It was raining.
Over the first four months we cruised down the Mexican coast, with frequent side trips to Mexico City, where I used to live. After that, a few weeks in Guatemala, four months in Costa Rica, a few months in Panama, then off to Ecuador. At this point I had decided I wasn’t coming home and was going to sail across the Pacific.
In 2000, Condesa crossed the Pacific via the Milk Run: Galapagos, Marquesas, Tuamotus, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia, and finally Australia.
I fell in love with Sydney, made some dear friends, and stayed until the authorities kicked me out, a year and a half in total.
From Sydney I sailed to New Zealand across the Tasman Sea (see SAIL Magazine, August 2002, My Worst Passage Ever). Spent about a year in New Zealand, during which I did a major refit on the boat including a complete blister job on the bottom (over 1200 blisters, damned old fiberglass boat). I had a lot of help from friends Ian and Attila. The three of us rewarded ourselves by sailing to Vanuatu, where Condesa spent three months. This was the middle of 2003.
Back to the Land Down Under, but the Top End, to Darwin. Condesa then sailed through Indonesia to Singapore, then to Thailand, arriving just before Christmas 2003. A year went by in a flash going back and forth between Thailand and Malaysia, as Thailand only gives a 30-day visa. On December 26, 2004 the tsunami hit, and we were right in the middle of it. You can read about this in On Being in the December 2004 Tsunami on this website.
In March 2005 we set sail from Malaysia to India, where I got very sick with my ankylosing spondylitis, then got dysentery, and lost 40 pounds. This delayed things for months, and I was too late to sail up the Red Sea.
Instead we sailed to the Maldives, then to Chagos, where we spent two months, Seychelles, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa.
In early 2006 Condesa left Capetown, stopping at St. Helena and Trinidade, then made a glorious landfall in Rio. Around this time I got the notion to sail someplace cold with glaciers.
Down the Brazilian coast, got run over by a container ship, yada yada, on to Buenos Aires, where I lived in an apartment in the heart of a throbbing city for five months during repairs. God I love that city.
From Buenos Aires, down the Patagonian coast to Tierra del Fuego, around Cape Horn, to Antarctica and back, and up the Chilean coast via the Patagonian channels to Peru and Ecuador. On January 10, 2008, exactly nine years to the day after leaving Balboa Island, Condesa crossed her path at Isla de la Plata, Ecuador, thus completing her circumnavigation.
From Ecuador I sailed to Colombia, then retraced my steps through Panama and Costa Rica. I visited Nicaragua for the first time, then through Mexico and back to the US. On May 14, 2008 Condesa cleared customs in San Diego and on May 15 she returned to her starting point on Balboa Island, and tied up in front of the Beek house.
Condesa and I now live in San Francisco.