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
Just another beautiful day at anchor on the Baja. 2010
Dolphins at play in the bow wake 2011
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
The Luck of the Irish, Baja Style
Jack and I went into the FerreMar store in Loreto and they had a decent assortment of small cables, too small for us. They told us to try another place down the dirt road, past the cow on the right, just before the river. So we did..
We followed the directions and found a semi-trailer with an old Mercury sign hanging on it, all locked up. I went around the back, through the goats, chickens and dogs and found a very nice lady doing her laundry. Have you ever noticed how some Mexicans don't speak English a lot worse than others? Sometimes they mean it, and sometimes they are just being modest. Well, we spent the next half hour convincing her to let us into the trailer. Finally in, it was very hot inside the trailer but Jack and I found piles of cables to dig through. All too small. After another half hour, I was ready to give up when a Mexican man came in and started talking to the lady as if we were not there. He started digging through the cables as well. It was all very strange. He finally looked at me, and in perfect English said, "How long is it?". I said 28 ft. He replied, "Oh, I have one of those."
He then marched past me, out the door. We followed him around back, past the goats and chickens and into a Mercury engine graveyard and then into a large shop with brand-new, shrink-wrapped Mercury 200 outboards lying on pallets and lots of other boat stuff. He reached up on the wall and took down one gray cable and handed it to me. Volvo Penta 28' was stamped on the side of it. Used, but for 200 pesos I couldn't pass it up!
Our cruise lasted almost four years, even though it was only planned to last two. Over the years we learned some good lessons and figured out a few things. Below are some pictures of lessons we have learned. If you see something you're interested in, simply look through the blogs posted around that date, for more information.
Flying the Spinnaker, 12/2011
In our evolution as sailors, learning to use another sail is a big accomplishment for us. What a great way to sail!
Spear fishing, Isla Angel de la Guarda 10/2011
Patrick and Jack have been learning how to spear fish for the last couple years, but this summer, Patrick made big leaps in his skill. Here he is with his record Leopard grouper for the season - one of our favorite fish to eat. We've stuffed ourselves with fish this summer.
Careened! Puerto Don Juan LA Bay 09/2010
After hauling out in boat yards five times in the last two years at $700 to $1000 each time, we are very excited to learn that careening is so easy.
Our First Race, LA Bay 09/2010
A group of five family cruising boats decided to have a race back to the village from La Gringa. Learning to sail our boat has been a long process. Being highly optimistic people we were sure we could figure it out and we were right. Having 20+ years of previous salt water (power) boating experience had taught us all the things we needed to know to stay alive on the water, it was just the intricacies of the sail we needed to learn. To those out there dreaming - don't sweat the small stuff.
Zoologico Puerto Vallarta, 04/2010
An experience like no other. We were allowed to be close enough to feed the animals from our fingers (even the black bear) and to play with the baby black panther.
A Fisherman is Born, 12/2009
Landed enroute from La Paz to Mazatlan.
Steinbeck Canyon, near Puerto Escondido 11/2009
One of our favorite discoveries to date. So wild, beautiful and untouched. Cactus and tropical flowering plants existing side by side in this unique environment. Water and shade in the desert, creating a beautiful oasis..
Boat kids, Willard Bay 08/2009
The best part about being a boat kid is having the time to come up with your own games. Here the kids from Windfall, Third Day and JaM collaborated efforts, bedsheets, dinghies and kayaks to make a flotilla of small sailing craft for races across Willard Bay. It was a hilarious excersize and kept everyone busy for hours.
Endless boat chores send you from the bottom of the keel to the top of the mast....
But as Patrick said one day after snorkeling to scrape the barnacles and seaweed off the hull, "It beats mowing the lawn."
Los Arcos, Isla San Marcos 06/2009
Fantastic snorkeling, crystal clear waters, lots of life - another beautiful anchorage
Rudy, Super Dog 05/2009
After months of practice, Rudy has learned to jump off the boat, swim and climb back up using the swim ladder. There's hope for him yet.
Teacapan waterfront, 04/2009
Only about one cruiser a year comes to this anchorage - no navigation buoys, no channel markers, no dredging. Our depth reader read 3.6 at one point. The exact depth of our keel. It was exciting, but many of our favorite places are the ones that aren't listed in cruiser guides.
On the nets with Ru, Isla Isabel 03/2009
This island is a bird sanctuary and so no dogs allowed. It was Rudy's first time staying on the boat for several days without land breaks. He was a little confused the first time we threw him off the boat to swim for excercise, but he got used to it pretty quickly.
La Paz, 12/2008
This picture was taken in our first weeks on the boat in La Paz. Now over 3 years later, I am amazed at how young Jack looks. Wow, how quickly time with your children flies by. I am so glad we came out here together as a family..
Passage CA to Cabo, 11/2008
The Baconator nabbed this one
Golden Gate Bridge, 10/25/2008
Despite being berthed in SF harbor for seven years, this was Just a Minute's (fka Vive tu Vida) first time under the bridge on her own power and the beginning of our adventure, too!
Just a Minute is a 2001 Lagoon 380 catamaran, hull # 65. She's 38 feet long, 22 feet wide, with three staterooms and 2 heads. Picture taken by Third Day