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

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to Make the Leap

We recently received a very nice comment on our blog that I've been thinking about since I read it. I started a private email back to them, but then thought to turn it into a blog post. The comment read: 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 I never really blogged about our jump into this life since we did it on hyperspeed over six months and we barely had time to breathe, let alone blog about it. Our blog starts out on our trip south on our boat. There are a couple blogs I follow right now that deal extensively with all the decisions and steps to disentangle yourself from your present life. I'll give the links here to the stories of one couple who is out now doing it on Zero to Cruising and the other who is a family working toward leaving on Del Viento. You might find those interesting. The biggest thing you need is the guts to jump and will to do it. It's scary and everyone you know is going to be telling you that you are NUTS. Don't believe them. There are lots of people living this life all over the world and they aren't (for the most part) millionaires. Once you have the guts and will, the rest is easy. Well, relatively. It is hard to try to figure out what you will need to be happy in this life when it is so hard to even conceptualize what the life is like. We've been out 2 1/2 years now and we finally know what we need to be happy living on a boat. It's different for everyone. But there are a few bites of wisdom I can tell you that will help you figure out how much money you will need to be happy out here living this life. You need a boat, obviously. The boat you choose has a big impact on your cruise. Keep it simple or you will be sorry. Sailboats are cheaper to run since they sip fuel and wind is free. Buy the smallest sail boat that you will be comfortable on. Two people who like each other don't need a lot of space. If you follow that rule, then you save in several ways. Most importantly, the boat will be more affordable. It will be cheaper to place in marinas. It will have fewer components (heads and the like). Therefore you have less maintenance. Which also means you have more time to play and less time and money spent maintaining. Try as best as you can to own your boat outright. You will make your life much more enjoyable. The simpler you keep your boat, the easier/cheaper/less time it is to maintain. Beyond that bit of advice, the rest is just too dependent on you and what kind of cruising you want to do. Some people love being in marinas and so they will need a lot more money. Some people want to travel the world which is going to be more expensive than hanging around in a relatively cheap area to live. The longer we spend in Mexico the more we figure out how to save money. Right now we are very comfortably living on about $1500 per month. There are several sailing families who publish detailed info on their budgets. One is our friends on Hotspur and the other is our friends on Third Day. I can tell you this with certainty. There are LOTS of retired couples living this life and having a great time. It is completely possible that you and your wife can finagle your way out here and have a great time, if you want to. Save your money, cut back now on your silly expenditures and save, save, save. Stay focused. One of my favorite quotes is "Chance favors the prepared mind."


  1. Thanks for your blog. I've enjoyed reading it for some time now as we also are getting ready to leave (in the next 12 months). We're 4 years into our 5 year plan and are exactly on track which is amazing to me! Your reader is welcome to follow our blog as well, www.theretirementproject.blogspot.com

    Thanks again for all the good info!

    S/V Nomad

  2. Congratulations on your progress! I wish you the best. You must be getting pretty excited to be getting so close to the finish line.

  3. Thank you so much for responding to our questions. I assume that you meant 1500.00 USD per month, which is less then I expected. It gives me much more hope that this is more easily obtainable then originally thought. Especially considering the fact that we pay that much right now in house payment each month. I have also switched my thought of the need to circumnavigate to more of a laid back approach that maybe we can choose great places that are cheap to stay in that area and stretch out our dollar. Not worrying about if we ever make it around the globe takes a lot of pressure off for me. The only last catch would be the constant need for internet to keep our internet businesses going and my wife's need for a cat....She gets sea sick fairly easy and having a cat while on the hook would probably greatly increase her comfort level I would think. I appreciate the links and we will check them out, as well as Deb's blog. Can't wait to make friends I can finally relate to, out on the sea :) Happy Sailing
    Jason and Patty

  4. Yes, I meant $1500 USD. I am glad you are thinking about simplifying your plan. Sometimes we set the goal too high and then fail to reach it when we could have met a more manageable goal. It's much less dauting to think, "I'll just get out there and see where I end up." It's a lot more fun too, since you are open to letting life happen. Internet in Mexico is becoming more and more available every year. By the time you get out here it probably won't be a problem.