JoshFlorDeCaña

A Coast With No Water

All I can see are breaking waves. I stand up on the lazarette and lean onto the dodger to steady the binoculars. There is supposed to be a channel clearly marked with lighted buoys, our first entrance to Nicaragua. We left Honduras early and had a favorable current pushing us south from the Gulf of […]

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Honduras and the Hurricane

Under full sail, we enter the only bay in the world shared by three countries. It’s first light, and a stiff breeze disperses the overnight storms. A thunderstorm guarded the mouth of the bay last night, flashing and stomping but breaking up with the sunrise wind. When I take the helm and Josh goes below […]

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The Brewing Storm: Coffee Steeped in Climate Change

I walk into the cabin and have to suppress a gasp. My friend Jon sits on the bed, his entire body covered in lumpy, bright red hives. “My lips feel weird. They’re all swollen.” “I gave him the allergy pill already,” Shannon, his partner, is unnecessarily tidying, something I have noticed she does when she […]

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Proud Cande.

Why They Stay: A Town On the Edge

On a windswept knuckle of land that juts proudly from Mexico’s Pacific coast, a tiny town perches between cliff and sea. With a smattering of artisanal fishers and restauranteurs, Tehuamixtle has tucked into a precarious edge, protected only slightly by the jagged black headlands of Punta Ipala. To get to the town by land requires […]

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Luis.

Wings to Nowhere – Birds, Land Use, and Climate

Luis whips his head around so quickly that a drop of water flies out of his nose. He’s mid-sentence, trudging through the heavy sand and talking about community-based management for his town, when he stops abruptly. His eyes grow wide behind his square-ish glasses, and the skin on his thin face pushes back into an […]

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Oleada heels in a gust as the rain pelts the cockpit.

Into the Wind

Three weeks ago and a few days before the US election, we faced a building storm in one of the most remote areas of Caribbean Panama. Totally alone out on the ocean, our transmission died just as I was hoisting the main sail as we departed from an offshore island. We were leaving an anchorage […]

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Any sunset on the water is a good one.

The Truth About Researching by Sail

This blog could also be called ‘Why Sailboats Are the Slowest Possible Way to Get Anywhere.’ Or maybe ‘Research is Tough Enough Without Doing it From a Sailboat.’ Or perhaps ‘How a Sailboat Teaches Me What It Really Means to Learn.’ Let me explain. After we pulled up the hook in Chacala, we made our […]

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Shannon and I test the water and we think it will do just fine.

The Unfinished Path: Yoga for the People in Chacala

When we sailed into a little bay in the center of Mexico’s Pacific coast, we came to meet old friends. But because we stayed in this town for a couple weeks, I found myself facing some of the uneasy questions of development in Mexico. I didn’t figure it out until much later, but this little […]

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Blue-footed Boobies at the edge of the sea.

What Can a National Park Do?

“Mexico has many good laws.” Professor Martín Soto leans back from behind a clump of papers on his desk and sighs. “It’s the enforcement that lacks.” I’m sitting in Martin’s office on the second story of the Marine Science and Limnology Institute in Mazatlán, Mexico. The building hangs on the edge of a cliff above […]

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Mazatlán and the rising tide just outside of the marina. The breakwater becomes impassable with bigger swells.

Getting It Wrong: Fear and Learning in Mazatlán

I love giving presentations. It’s sick, I know. But I used to fear it deeply. I have a friend who is a professional street performer, and I have always admired his ability to withstand the potentially saucy, unforgiving, or worst of all, bored crowd. But as the result of training and good advice during my […]

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