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

Friday, September 2, 2011

2 Days Out and I Find a Lump...

Dolphins playing in front of our boat underway

Yeah, I know I said you wouldn't be hearing from me for many weeks, but here I am. Just when you think you know where your life is headed, you get handed a surprise.

Finally our summer had started when we left Santa Rosalia on August 28th and headed north for the remainder of the hurricane season. Our first day started out great with a couple different pods of dolphins providing escort and we had amazing fishing. We caught and released several dorado on barbless hooks, had numerous strikes that got off (since the barbless hooks don't dig into their flesh and hold on). We also saw two hammerheads swimming by the boat (an unusual experience) and just had beautiful weather with a slight southern breeze pushing our boat along.

The second day dawned gorgeous also and the fishing remained hot with us bringing in and releasing 5 dorados and again losing many more when they shook off the hook before we got them to the boat. Life was good. Then that night I discovered a lump in my breast. It just didn't seem real, but it was there every time I checked. Being the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, there was no way I could ignore it. I wasn't too worried, but I couldn't wait two months for the hurricane season to end before getting a doctor's opinion. Of course, there was a hurricane brewing and it was hard to turn the boat around and head back closer to the danger, but what's a possible hurricane compared to possible cancer?

So the next day, we turned the boat back south and began our 1,000 mile roundtrip journey to get to a doctor with a mammogram handy. Of course, we kept fishing and caught and released another five dorados and finally took the hook off and just trolled the jig and still had strikes that made the pole sing! We motored into the wind for 8 hours that day and tied the boat at the dock in Santa Rosalia that night. We made several phone calls and found out the closest place to get a mammogram on the Baja was in La Paz. So we lined up a doctor's appointment for the following evening and went to bed. The next morning we began the 8 hour trip to La Paz in our car. Patrick drove like a demon and we made it to La Paz in 6 1/2 hours and in plenty of time for my appointment. The doctor is a sweet woman who pulls out a long needle and sticks it into the lump to see what comes out. Thankfully the lump was filled with a clear liquid and the doctor tells me this is a very good sign. The doctor told me to bring the mammogram films back to her the next evening and she would read them for me.

The following morning's mammogram was an exercise in embarrassment caused by my extremely bad command of the Spanish language which is completely the result of how easily flustered I can get when I am trying to speak, let alone speak in a different language than English, especially when I am anxious. Truly it was embarrassing and involved lots of really bad charade moves. Monte Python should consider it for a possible skit idea. At the end, the doctor who oversees the mammogram clinic handed me the films and said a little speech in which I caught the word "Bueno." I took this as a good sign and left feeling hopeful. Later that evening, my doctor confirmed that the results for all tests had come out perfectly fine. I had a benign cyst and there was no other treatment necessary.

We woke up this morning and started our 8 hour trip back to Santa Rosalia and arrived back at the boat just an hour before dark. And tomorrow morning, weathing permitting, we will begin again our summer in the Sea.


  1. So glad all is well--and that you got checked out. A great lesson for us all--that even when it isn't terribly convenient we need to take care of ourselves...

  2. We are happy your results turned out well. We were reading your post with tremendous apprehension, until the end. We're happy for you and your family...

  3. Been there done that so I'm really glad you're OK. If you drink a lot of caffeine, drop it for a while. I once had 14 of those cysts at the same time and within a month of dropping caffeine they were all gone.

    Take care and thanks for the blog. We appreciate your insight.

    S/V Kintala

  4. You scared us, thankfully all is well. Enjoy life!