Man crossing the Atlantic in a sailboat alone, ends up stranded in El Cuyo, Yucatán

Carlos Balderas, who is 78 years old, admits that the sea is "like a disease", because he is really passionate about it, so he decided to travel with Jocker, his 48-foot boat, with whom he toured almost the entire Atlantic Ocean. (Photo: El Universal)

One year and eight months ago, sailor Carlos Balderas Ramírez Garrido, who considers himself a globetrotter, began his journey on the high seas when leaving on his sailboat out of the Canary Islands, Spain, with the aim of venturing into solitude. However, in its passage through the Caribbean, his path was diverted by a tropical storm onto Yucatecan waters, and he ended up by “accident” in El Cuyo, Municipality of Tizimin, located in the eastern part of the state of Yucatan.

Carlos Balderas, who is 78 years old, admits that the sea is “like a disease”, because he is really passionate about it, so he decided to travel aboard Joker, his 48-foot boat, with which he has toured almost the entire Atlantic Ocean.

“I was coming from Cancun, and from there to the port of Progreso, because there I was thinking of painting my sailboat. The engine has long since stopped working, I´ve been only using the sails (…) the weather was calm, everything was fine, but suddenly the wind stopped blowing, “says Don Carlos about his rugged sea crossing.

The incident, which occurred a week ago, he says, forced him into the sea, as the current caught the boat and he could no longer control the ship.

“I threw myself into the sea”, he says, “it was not a good decision, as it was on the verge of sinking because of the strong current”.

Don Carlos threw himself into the sea at some point, and he almost died in that current. However, seeing that he was getting closer to the beach, he climbed back on to the Joker, which ended up stranded in the Yucatan community of El Cuyo.

At his arrival on the island, the fishermen of the region did not hesitate to offer him help, offering him first roof and food, and then offering themselves to help the sailor to repair the ship, which the blows suffered in his last trip left him a hole in the bottom.

“I am impressed by their support. They help me because they are men of the sea like me, they are dedicated to fishing, and together we will repair my boat, so that I can float again, “said the navigator, who was welcomed by Damaso Ferreira Gómez and his family.

The life of Carlos Balderas has always been between danger and the sea, his greatest passion. In Venezuelan waters, remember, a wave the size of an elephant hit his sailboat and severely affected the engine. Some fishermen found him later, already dehydrated.

When he ran out of something to drink, recalls the native of Mexico City, he had to hydrate with his own urine. Today, he remembers with gratitude a group of Venezuelans, who rescued him and took him to Isla Margarita.

On another occasion, off the coast of Colombia, recalls the man, four pirates arrived in speedboats, got on the sailboat, beat him and without consideration stole the little money and food he had.


The goal of Balderas is to reach the Panama Canal. cross to the Pacific Ocean, having as final destination Baja California Sur, where his wife Martina awaits for him, who works there and whom he has not seen for almost two years.

While the Ferreira family shelters the castaway, the Joker is guarded by soldiers of the Navy of Mexico, who take care of the ship and enjoy listening to the stories of its owner, who one day sailed out of the Canary Islands.

“I am a Mexican sailor, I adore the sea and I am a lousy husband, because I found myself a mistress: my boat,” declares Don Carlos, who has not been hindered or prevented from continuing fighting the fury of the waters and the passage of time. in his adventure with the greatest of his loves: the sea.





Mexico Travel Care