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

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Yesterday morning at 9:35, Patrick and I were enjoying a quiet morning, sitting at the table playing a game of Rummikube and drinking coffee. We still had our jammies on and had just started making plans for our day. All around us were piles of clutter and dirty dishes. We have been moving quickly over the last week and it's hard to keep up on cleanliness when you're on passage. Then we heard a dinghy approach our boat and we went out to greet the visitor. It was Marc on s/v Younger Girl. We had met Marc for the first time just a few weeks ago in Melaque an had talked about fifteen minutes.
The first words out of Marc's mouth were, "I've taken the liberty of signing you up for the Race. Here are the start times and the paperwork." To say we were flabbergasted would be putting it mildly. After chatting another minute, Marc zoomed off, presumably to shanghai someone else. That's when we looked at the paperwork and saw our start time was in 30 minutes! After discussing it about 5 minutes we decided to go for it. The race helps raise money for the Sailfest's charity called Por Los Ninos. We've always enjoyed volunteering our time for kids and used to give quite a bit to charities back in the day when we had money to spare, so this looked like a great way to help out.
However, I was still scared. I hadn't even seen a real race! We don't know the rules and how the whole thing works. Of course, the chief thing I needed to remember was that this "race" was more about making money than acutally proving your sailing skills. We began frantically preparing the boat for departure. Then, the call came out over the race channel that they had more paying "crew" who wanted to participate in the race. Landlubbers in Zihua can pay to be placed on the boats. I hadn'r realized before then how the race made money. Oh! The dishes! The bathroom! All three of us kicked it into high gear then. And here come the "crew"!
Thankfully our crew turned out to be a very nice couple (Barb and George) from Minneapolis. And best of all, George had crewed in sailboat races before. With our crew on board, we had our anchor pulled in minutes, motored through the anchored sailboats and then raised the sails. The race had 8 boats entered and we began circling behind the start line. The start times were staggered and the boats had an order to leave in. And then the horn sounded and the first boat approached the line.
Of course, there was very little wind, about 5-6 knots. The race course consisted of a 3.5 mile trip around Roca Negra (Black Rock) which is just outside Bahia Zihuatanejo. Roca Negra is a 40 foot high chunk of rock that rises steeply from the sea. The first half of the race was into the wind, the second half was running with the wind. Prizes for the race were to be given to the 1st, 2nd and 10th place boat.
Just a Minute was the last boat to start the race. Of the eight boats, three total were catamarans, one of which was another Lagoon 380. I'm happy to say that we did just fine.
At this time, I don't have a clue who won the race since the winner is determined in a formula that takes into account the boat's handicap and the time they take to complete the course. However, I do know this, we were the third boat to cross the finish line. I consider that a major victory. I think this race has finally made Patrick and I realize that we actually DO know how to sail our boat, pretty darn well.

Circling behind the start line, waiting for the horn. We are supposed to start behind

s/v 3 hour Tour which you see here looking good under sail.

Enjoying the shade under the spinnaker. This is our light air spinnaker which is .5 ounce. Our other spinnaker is 1.5 oz. We've never flown the light one, or even seen it out of the bag. It was the perfect sail for the super-light winds we had.

Our crew, Barb and George. They were a joy to have on board, and we all had a very nice time. And best of all, George could give us pointers and tips and help us figure out sail tactics since he has actually BEEN in a real race before.

The winds were so light that our speed ranged from 1.0 knot to the high of 4.4 knots per hour. We were usually traveling around 2.0 knots. At one point in the race, Jack jumped off the bow and swam to the back swim steps. We were threatened by the Committe Boat with a penalty for having someone "push" the boat!