Welcome to our mid-life crisis! These are the chronicles of Laura and Patrick, their young son Jack, and their goofball Labrador Retriever named Evinrude (Rudy), as they travelled the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific coast of mainland Mexico in their catamaran. We went cruising in search of a change of pace, a closer knit family, and peace of mind. We found all three and more. The fun all started in October, 2008 and nearly four years later the Mexican adventure came to an end August 3rd, 2012. With our mid-life crisis cured in Mexico, we are excited to start a new adventure - life back in America.

Patrick has since joined the Sales Team of Marine Servicenter as a boat broker. Whether you are looking to make your dream of sailing away come true, or ready to sell your boat he can help. He can be reached at http://marinesc.com/about/crew/patrick-harrigan

Candeleros Chico

Candeleros Chico
Just another beautiful day at anchor on the Baja. 2010

Dolphins at play in the bow wake 2011

Dolphins at play in the bow wake  2011

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Language Barrier Strikes Again

We left Barra de Navidad yesterday at high tide, just to make sure we would get out without grounding. During our days there, we saw about seven boats get stuck in the mud, and I even ran our dinghy aground (much to Jack's dismay) so there is good reason to be cautious when entering or exiting the Lagoon in any vehicle.

The trip to Manzanillo Bay was a long one for Jack. He is still pretty fragile, and the motion of the ocean was not good for him. We were very excited to get into the Las Hadas anchorage and find a spot right up in the best area. The anchorage was so full, that very little room was left anywhere else, so it was doubly great to blunder into the premier spot. It wasn't until after we had the anchor set that we learned the reason for our luck. We were told by fellow cruisers that there was a big wedding happening that night in the resort and that a fireworks show was planned for the event. The reason the premier spot was open was because the harbor master was advising boats to move further out to avoid possibly being hit by falling embers. JaM had set up at the very front of the anchorage, closest to the fireworks launching zone.

Well, we thought about it. Should we move, or not? Between the facts that Jack was feeling pretty ill and needed to stop moving and the premier spot had no wave action and was very calm, and that we had done such a great job anchoring close to everything (but safe), and that the "possibility" of some embers hitting the boat wasn't that frightening, we decided to stick it out and just see what happened. The fireworks were planned for 9:30 that evening, so we had plenty of time to think about it. Of course, through the afternoon, six more boats showed up adding to the already packed anchorage, and short of leaving the anchorage, there really wasn't anywhere else to go.

So we filled some buckets with water, got the water sprayer out and primed, and closed all the hatches to wait for the show. 9:30 p.m. came and went, then 10:30, and still no fireworks show. At 11 p.m., the harbor master contacted JaM and warned us that the fireworks would be happening any minute and that we should be ready in case an ember hit us, since we were so close to the show. We told him we were ready and he signed off. Just to be extra safe, I jumped up on the cabin roof and sprayed water over the bimini cover and sail bag. But an hour later, still no fireworks. By this time, Patrick figured that they must have decided to cancel it. At 12:30 a.m. a musician with a beautiful voice began a concert for the wedding goers. By this time, everyone on JaM was in bed, fully clothed, but trying to sleep through the excellent sound system the wedding had. The musician sounded like he was at the foot of our bed.

Then at 1:30 a.m., after an hour of playing the musician stopped, and without any other warning we were under attack! Evidently what the harbor master had been saying was that it was not just a "possibility" but an "absolute surety" that our boats would be burned up since the fireworks were AIMED directly at the anchorage. And they were set very low, probably around 120 to 160 feet up. With the first body shaking shock wave, we raced from our beds to the deck. Directly over our heads fireworks were blasting. We were so close to the explosions that we could feel each shock wave. Rudy was panicked and raced around the boat twice before he ran for cover in his trusty bunker under the table. The explosions were so low that not just embers were falling into the water, but fully lit, still sparkling firework flowers were raining down among the boats at anchor. The funny thing was that since we were anchored SO close, the fireworks passed by us and were raining down among the boats that had anchored further out in the "safe" zone."

From the first blast, this fireworks show was a new experience for me. I was so terrified that all I could do was stand with my jaw dropped open, and my heart pounding, watching every explosion closely - not to see the pretty colors, but to see where the sparks would land. I had a camera ready to take video, but never even got it out of my pocket. Thankfully JaM only had two hits. One piece of firework casing landed on deck, and one small ember landed on our bimini cover. But in true JaM lucky style, the ember landed exactly in the middle of a small pool of water left over from when I sprayed down the cover!

After a terrifying ten minutes, the show was over. Thankfully this bride had not reserved a huge chunk of her budget for a bigger fireworks show. After the last ember hit the water, the wedding continued on. By 4:30 a.m., one drunken reveler had found the mike and the excellent sound system was still plugged in, so we were serenaded by a bad rendition of a Cold Play song. I was happy when someone took the mike away from the singer, until the real reason became evident. The new guy wasn't worried about keeping anyone up - he was just upset that the guy was singing in English. And so began a lovely tune in Spanish, well it might have been lovely with a trained voice. After a few songs, they evidently were distracted and finally quiet settled over the resort.

Another Mexican wedding. Truly this country knows how to celebrate.

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