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

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Border Crossing Bust

Welcome Home!!!Our border crossing was from someplace close to hell, but not all the way there. (no one was arrested.).
Within seconds of pulling up to talk with the border agent, we were asked to pull over to the special inspection area.  We weren't worried, we weren't doing anything wrong.  We had already thrown out all of Rudy's dog food (we got in trouble for that last time), and the bag of almonds we were snacking on. Then the total car unload began  Let me repeat - Total Car Unload.  Did you see the picture of our car?  Every box, bag and storage container opened and gone through.  Engine combed through, car doors tapped and banged.  Things fine until.......the beach combing box is opened.  
Oh ma'am.  No..,...NO, NO, NO, NO and NO!
Hours later.....
Car considerably lighter. 
All bones (44 total) from any and every fish, land or sea mammal, including birds gone.  All feathers gone.  All soft coral gone,  All shells were about to go, but they relented.  I was given a pretty bad time about that, but he let me keep them. Star fish,,, ok.  Paper Nautilus...ok.  Sea urchin shell, ok.  Rocks...okay.  Some driftwood ok.  Absolutely no parts of cactus allowed (any wood with a weave).  Basically they had the right to take everything except the non-cactus wood and the rocks, but they were being nice and let me keep the shells.
The border agents were all very kind.  They crowded around to see all the cool things that they were taking away.  They very politely explained that by allowing animal parts/cactus wood parts in the country, we might be giving the Mexicans ideas that these things had value and then living specimens would be in danger of being harvested for profit.  I totally understand the reasoning - I just had no idea that these things would be illegal to find on a beach and keep.  I would never want to take part in anything that would cause the pointless destruction or harm to any living animal or plant, simply for a trophy.  I was wrong and so are a lot of other cruisers I know.  Consider yourself warned.
Possible fine to be determined later, when the boss gets there and catalogues my confiscated  loot.  Name, address, SS#, car registration,  passport number all written down and recorded.  I realized later that I got my SS # wrong since I haven't used it for so long!  OOps! probably gave them the SS number of some Guantanamo escapee.  Ouch.
Fingers crossed.


  1. Oh, so bummed for you. I have to say I've wondered about all the cool stuff you and several of the other Baja boats had collected. I knew most of it was a no-no on our westward track (we've found and been given some amazing stuff we couldn't keep...) but still very sad. Hopefully the paperwork and possible fine won't find you.

  2. Wow! It's amazing that all of that was confiscated! You criminals, you. :) Mark and I are naturalists at heart and tend the accumulate the same type of mementos. Thanks for passing all of that info on and glad to hear that you crossed over safe and sound.

    Katie and Mark

  3. Yes, I was definitely surprised when they took seagull feathers, the skull of a feral cat, the skull of a dog, and the bones of fish. Especially the fish bones since we had fishing licenses allowing us to fish and we did kill many of those! We just weren't allowed to find their clean bones on beaches and take them with us. Go figure.

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