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.

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

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rudy, The Huichol God Wanna-Be

We are now in La Paz on the Baja Peninsula, awaiting the arrival of my sister for a visit. Our crossing from Mazatlan on the mainland to La Paz, was very good, we even had a light south wind to push us along instead of the north winds that have been dominating for the last few months. The crossing covered 225 miles and it took about 36 hours before we were anchoring on Isla Partida near La Paz.

Our crossing was also great since we saw two new sights. First, we are pretty dang sure that we spotted a blue whale on the crossing, close to the boat. Blues are very rare and are the biggest animal on the planet. At 110 feet average adult, they outsize the other whales by tens of feet. The back of the whale was about 20-25 feet across and he had the correct medium grey/blue color. We grabbed our whale identification book and saw that his dorsal fin was also correctly sized and placed in the right spot to be a blue whale. If they were any less rare, we would say we had definitely seen one, but it's like winning the Lotto. Some people do it, but your chances are pretty slim. Truly, it was an amazingly big whale!

And then, Patrick was on morning watch before anyone else was up. The seas were oily, flat calm and he noticed a large lump floating in the water, with birds hovering over it. He was curious and pointed the boat in that direction, but didn't slow the engines since that immediately brings everyone up on deck to see what's happening. Alongside the lump, he realized it was a floating hunk of flesh about four feet by five feet with large suckers on it - a giant squid piece? Then slowly rising to the surface under our boat toward the flesh was the snout and back of a HUGE shark. Patrick said the back was about four to five feet across for as far as he could see. He couldn't see the end of the shark because it disappeared into the blue, under the boat. We don't have a shark identification book, but I don't think many species get that big. Maybe a Great White? Patrick said his knees turned to jelly and then the boat had moved past since it was traveling at 6 knots. Can you believe he didn't wake me???? And he didn't turn around???? I gave him a bad time for that one, let me tell you! I would have loved to have seen that!

But back to the story of the Huichol God Wanna-Be. The Nayarit state which includes San Blas, has a very large population of indigenous Huichol people. The Huichols live in the distant mountains, but they travel down to the lowlands to sell their crafts and go on pilgrimages. The Huichols have their own language and religious beliefs. They are treated like second-class citizens in Mexico. In San Blas, there is a fairly small island (or a large rock) that the Huichol believe to be sacred. The island can be seen from the beach that is on the other side of the sand spit that creates the estuary. Since Rudy loves a good romp on the beach in the surf, one day Patrick grabbed Rudy, Jack and 3rd Day's Jason to go to the beach.

As Patrick's group was crossing over the sand spit from the estuary side to the beach side, they passed a group of Huichols moving in the other direction. They were pristinely dressed in their traditional clothing. They exchanged greetings and went on their separate ways. When Patrick got to the beach he let Rudy off leash and threw the ball. But Rudy went in the other direction, racing down the beach. Patrick followed in time to see him snarfing down bananas in the surf. Rudy adores everything about bananas - even the peel. All around Rudy bananas, oranges and other fruit were floating in the surf along with beautiful candles that had obviously only burned a short time. The Huichol had performed a ceremony and these were their offerings! Oh, the embarrassment! Thank (my) God that the Huichols did not see our idiotic, pure-bred Flabador Eater scarfing up their God offerings! It's just mortifying. After gobbling up all but the last banana, Rudy sat his butt down and waited for Patrick.


  1. Love your blog! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience. I spend most of my free time dreaming about what you are doing. My family of 5, me being 38 and no where near retirement makes this seem so far away. Maybe you can tell us/me what my wife and I would need financially to get rid of everything and sail away like you? We have agreed that in 10 years when the kids are gone we will sell everything but that doesn't tell us how much residual income we need to have each year to stay "afloat". I am concerned we'll never save enough for this. Any thoughts? Jay and Patty jezell@worldwideoptimize.com

  2. Oh my goodness.....does the love of Rudy ever stop allowing you to be, um, humbled and humored? This blog reminded me of being on the Pacific beach of San Blas, with Jason (Third Day)....also washed ashore were the offerings of oranges....oranges everywhere and within 2.8 seconds Zada and I were running and ducking for our lives as he belted us with over-hand thrown oranges. Laughing and screaming at the same time for him to stop, Zada hid behind me and yelled out "hey you leave my mom alone you mean boy" which only had him flinging more at us with greater speed. Yes I eventually got hit HARD in the back as I turned away from them and soon after he ran out of oranges he started using....cow pies. Love the stories....love the memories that it brings up and it's so good to hear how you all are.....xoxo EYONI

  3. Hi Nancy!
    I have been thinking of you and sending healing thoughts your way. Hope your knee starts healing quickly. You would have loved seeing Jason launch himself off the bow of our dinghy toward the shore, trying not to get his feet wet. Instead he did a full body belly flop, face in the mud. I was trying so hard not to laugh and act concerned. It was classic! That kid busts me up.