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Bay Area Sailors Return to Mexico

Over the past several weeks we’ve been sharing stories from sailors who have remained in or journeyed to Mexico during the COVID-19 pandemic. This week we received a letter from Petaluma-based sailors Rich and Laura Brazil, who have spent several seasons in Mexico aboard their Nauticat 43, Tally Ho. Here’s how they describe a recent trip down south. 

Laura and I made a quick trip to Paradise Village Marina, Puerto Vallarta (PV), to check on Tally Ho. It had been seven months, and naturally, we were a bit apprehensive. I’m happy to say we were pleasantly surprised! The San Francisco Airport COVID protocols were strictly enforced and our airport experience felt safe. There were very few travelers. Our flight to Los Angeles (LAX) had 21 passengers.

Rich and Laura wearing masks
Who are those masked sailors?
© 2020 Rich Brazil

The airplane was another story. Why on earth do some people wear their mask UNDER their nose? It drives me crazy! I kept my mouth shut and mask on. The passenger count from LAX to PV was 50, with plenty of space to feel safe. (Except for the morons wearing chin masks.)

Arriving in Puerto Vallarta was a breeze. Temperature checks and hand sanitizer are more prevalent in Mexico than in the US. I chuckled when our dock neighbor said he had heard nothing but COVID horror stories about the US, while we hear nothing but the same about Mexico.

Rich and Laura on the beach in Mexico
These two are making Mexico look like a pretty good place to be right now.
© 2020 Rich Brazil

Our Uber from the airport had a very polite masked driver with hand sanitizer, and the marina staff followed suit. We went to several local restaurants, including lunch on the well-spaced beach. The beaches in PV are open but heavily regulated, which is surprising for Mexico. We were escorted to our designated palapa and given specific instructions. Each time out, we observed everyone doing the right thing, making us feel very safe. I hope this helps for would-be travelers.

Mexico, view from the beach
With winter approaching, more sailors are thinking about Mexico. Will you join them?
© 2020 Rich Brazil


  1. Avatar
    Tim Dick 6 months ago

    I call out “chin guards” – “hey, nice chin guard!” – people immediately fix it.

  2. Avatar
    C. Simpson 6 months ago

    Hi folks.
    I have 12 years of science in my background.
    When approached why I don’t wear one (I’ve had a medical condition since the age of 8. The military wouldn’t take me.) I kindly explain that to the person demanding I wear mask why I can’t wear one. But, here’s my question back to the person who had a demand. Can you SHOW/prove to me they work? As a person very familiar with these masks, I CAN show/prove they don’t work.
    Now, I know I’m going to get a lot of crapola about that statement but…instead of everyone climbing on their high horse to disagree (or attack me!) with me, please try and find evidence for your beliefs. I could tell you where to look to confirm my statement but, I think a little homework on the part of the folks that wear masks, is in order.
    I’ll check in next month…unless I’ve been jailed for not wearing one. Not too worried about that…I live in Texas. This state is a tad more in tuned in than a lot of states. Thank God.

  3. Avatar
    barry spanier 6 months ago

    jaw strap

  4. Avatar
    Winston Donahue 6 months ago

    I cover nose and mouth but people that only cover their mouth doesn’t bother me. Germs come from coughing and I don’t know anyone who coughs thru their nose. I’m protected they’re not what am I missing?

    • Avatar
      DKS 6 months ago

      Guess you don’t breath through your nose or sneeze? Or know anyone who does? You don’t have to cough to spread germs. Exhaling is enough. I’m not even going to touch C. Simpson’s comment.. Just hope he stays in Texas.

  5. Avatar
    Catherine Callahan 6 months ago

    To the gentleman saying masks don’t help. Have you noticed what the experts say or hiding under a large rock?

  6. Avatar
    Don Cavers 6 months ago

    There is a LOT of evidence that paper and cotton masks greatly reduce droplets and Covid spread. Synthetic masks and ones with vents are a lot less effective. The problem is that the people not wearing masks are protected from me, because I am keeping my germs to myself, but they are putting me and others at risk. The research is pretty clear if you go to the actual scientific studies that have been done instead of listening to some of the BS on some airwaves.

  7. Avatar
    Phil A 6 months ago

    Funny how the real story is about your return to your boat in PV. Good for you for making that part of your adventurous lifestyle. Will be in San Pancho for New Years. Would prefer sailing through from the North but I’ll live it through other’s fine tales !

  8. Avatar
    J Reid 6 months ago

    Do you mean the same “experts” that claimed masks won’t help in the beginning of the pandemic then changed their statement weeks later? Or the experts that say they work but you never see them wearing one? Or my favorite.. the one that pulls his mask off to cough then puts it back on

  9. Avatar
    Kent 6 months ago

    BTW, I’m an ‘essential worker’, haven’t had one day off due to pandemic. Deal with people every day, been going to the stores on average twice a week, etc. I’m past 60, have asthma, arguably in an elevated risk category. I wear a mask or gaiter where and when required, because it is required.

  10. John Arndt
    John Arndt 6 months ago

    “It ain’t what you believe that gets you in trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Mark Twain

    While an opinion on COVID precautions was expressed in this story we’d like to ask that the mask / COVID debates happen in other forums. The thrust of this story, like all our stories, is sailing, cruising to Mexico, etc.

    For kicks we Googled COVID-19 and Google returned 7,130,000,000 ‘result’s which represents a lot of opinions. We also Googled the population of the earth which was 7,594,000,000 which means there’s about one story on the internet per human on earth or one for each nose or chin on earth.

    Most conversations we have had about COVID start with something like, “I read an article….” and then you can fill in the blank with whatever opinion you already hold. The dialogue and science are important and meaningful but we’ll suggest there are better places than Latitude 38 to work out the best path forward for the pandemic and how we better care for each other and the earth.

    But, now back to our regularly scheduled program, what do you think about cruising Mexico this year? Are you in? Worried? Can’t wait? Puerto Vallarta sounds pretty good to us.

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