Man Sails to Mexico for a ‘See’ Journey

When Hal Crum cast off on his 42-foot sailboat last week, he was setting out on a mission of mercy.

Devoted to what he describes as a calling, the Seal Beach resident set off for Mexico on a personal quest to provide much-needed eye examinations and spectacles to some of that country’s most impoverished citizens.

“I had a calling to help people with their eyes,” said Crum, an optometrist with a practice in Whittier. “There’s something inside of me making me do it.”

The 44-year-old Crum gave up a Thanksgiving feast with his family this year to reach out to Mexico’s poor, and he won’t return to the United States for three more weeks. He said he hopes to make another, longer trip sometime next year.

Crum and his family traveled to Mexico last year on a seven-month journey to take glasses and eye care to residents there. The family lived aboard the sailboat and they traveled to ports along the Mexican coast.


Crum’s wife, Angie, and the couple’s children helped to set up makeshift clinics in shops, restaurants and even on the beach and in the streets. Angie Crum estimated that her husband saw more than 500 people during the trip.

“It was very rewarding to sit and watch people being so grateful for this American guy giving them something they really needed,” she said.