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

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Everett Bound!

Well, it's amazing how things transpire. Jack and I were planning a quiet Christmas by ourselves in La Paz since there was no way we could leave Rudy in Mexico while we flew home for Grandma's funeral. And there was no way I was going to bring him with us after the adventure getting him here! But fate or providence or Grandma stepped in. Monday, when we came back from the pool, we were surprised to see Summerwings back in her slip across from us. Poor Kim's foot had become infected from the stingray sting and they had to return for medical care. When they offered to take care of Rudy so we could leave, we jumped on it. We are so happy that we are able to celebrate Grandma's life with all those who love her.
We have been having a heck of a time finding a spot on a plane, and making sure we could land at SeaTac, but it looks like we are set to go. We leave tomorrow on the 24th. I hear there is more snow expected tomorrow so keep us in your thoughts. Meanwhile I am digging out the few winter clothes we own. I think we are going to freeze.
Looking forward to seeing everyone,
Laura and Jack

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sad, Sad News

Patrick's mother died this morning in the hospital. Patrick is still in Everett at this time and will remain through the funeral which will be after Christmas.

Keep us in your thoughts.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How to Win Friends.... and other stories

Well, Jack and I are now alone, but not lonely. Jack plays in the pool for hours every afternoon with a boy who is here from Seattle. They are getting to be good friends. Last night we enjoyed dinner on another friend's boat and every day we enjoy conversations with so many new people.

Tom flew home on Wednesday the 17th. Patrick should be arriving here on the 21st. We are soooo happy that Patrick will be home for Christmas. Despite the 80 degree weather and relentless sunshine (hee hee hee) we have tried to decorate for Christmas. We've strung lights, borrowed a tree and cut out paper snowflakes. It still doesn't seem like Christmas though. In all of the restaurants and grocery stores, Mexican voices are singing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and other holiday classics. The first time I heard that tune, with Spanish words, I couldn't place it for a few minutes. I was walking through the Mexican Costco and just about lost it when I recognized it. You can run, but you can't hide from American commercialism.

Our friends Kim and Ken arrived unexpectedly back at Marina Palmira just a day after Patrick left. Kim had stepped on a stingray (you've got to shuffle those feet!) and wanted to be back to recuperate. Tom enjoyed them as much as we do. On his last night in town, Tom took Kim, Ken, Jack and I out for dinner. My nighttime vision is not very good and I panicked when I heard long nails scrabbling along the pavement. I looked down and saw a black furry little thing running towards me in the shadows. I screamed and grabbed Kim's hands. (If I could have jumped in to her arms I would have, but she is a lot taller than me!). Right about then the little dog's owner picked him up and walked away in a huff as I explained, "I thought it was a rat!" No new friends there.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The first week of Tom's visit has gone by so quickly. The first few days Tom was here, we stayed at the dock, hanging out with friends and getting some projects done. We waved goodbye to Kim and Ken on Summerwings, but we hope to see them again maybe later this season, or next year. It was sad to see the first of our friends leave, to start their cruising fun.

We decided that it was time to head to Mazatlan. We had made plans to buddy boat with Bill and Sue on Sunbaby for the crossing. They were not ready to leave just yet, so we decided to hang out in the islands for a little while as we waited for them. We went to Ballandra Bay on Sunday. We spent a rolly night at anchorage and woke at 2 a.m. to find out that the wind had completely changed direction and was gusting to 20 knots. That's not really a problem except our anchor bridle had slipped and we were 30 feet closer to a big rock cliff than we ever wanted to be! And we were in 6 feet of water, which is not necessarily a bad thing in a catamaran. Thankfully the anchor never budged and we rode out the night easily. The next day we snorkeled and beach combed for hours (poor Patrick stayed on the boat since he can't swim until his finger is healed.)

Later on Monday, we moved anchor to a more sheltered harbor and spent another night on the hook. Unfortunately, we are still working out kinks in our systems, and we had problems with our propane. That, added to the fact that a large wind storm system was moving in to the area on Tuesday, helped us decide to head back to Marina Palmira instead of heading over to Mazatlan. It was a good thing we did since shortly after making it back to Palmira, we learned that Patrick's mother was in the hospital. We decided that Patrick should go home to tie up some loose ends and see his mom. His flight left Thursday afternoon. He will be gone about five days.

On his last night in town, we all went out to dinner at The Bismarck. It's a funky little restaurant which pays tribute to the German battleship which was sunk in the early 1900's (why it pays tribute, I don't know) Patrick and I had first eaten at the Bismarck fifteen years ago when we were here for our honeymoon. It was a hoot to be there again. Nothing had changed, not even the menus. One whole wall is covered with an underwater scene of the boat sinking to its death.

So poor Tom is stuck with me, Jack and Rudy tied to the dock at Marina Palmira while we watch the mass exodus of boaters. Now that the storm is over, the weathermen are calling for at least one week of beautiful sunny weather and light winds - perfect weather for crossing. Tomorrow morning Sunbaby heads off with a couple other boats. It will be sad to see them go. I am so glad that Tom will be here to keep me and Jack company while Patrick is in the States.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lots of stuff and Nothing

Well, it seems like lots of stuff has been happening, but we have nothing to report! We are in a holding pattern right now as things get sorted out.
We have a great group of friends on the dock and our time here has been a lot of fun and very social (sometimes exhausting!) There are two other catamarans close to us and we have all become good friends. However, we all didn't come down here to sit at the dock and it looks like this weekend, our friends are departing. Bill and Sue are heading to Puerto Vallarta and Kim and Ken are heading north into the Sea. It is going to be very strange without them.
Our sail drive issue has become a problem. After hours of phone calls and emails, Patrick has determined that the only Yanmar dealer with the capability to pull our catamaran out of the water to fix the sail drive is in Mazatlan, which is across the Sea of Cortez and south. It is a 30 hour crossing. We were not planning to cross to the mainland for many, many months, but all plans are carved in jello when you are sailing. We were hoping to have a nice slow introduction to sailing life but now we have a pretty big crossing in front of us, first thing out of the gate. Fortunately for us, it flows right into the next item which is.....
Today our friend Tom Flake arrives for a two week visit. We are all very excited to see him and Bill and Sue have planned a get-together tonight which will welcome him to boating life. He may never leave. So when we found out Tom was coming, we decided to Shanghai Tom and make him cross to Mazatlan with us so we have an extra hand on deck. It's good to have another adult to help take watches.
Patrick is recovering from his injury, but the medication is really affecting him. He has been sleeping about 16-18 hours per day. Needless to say, he has not been getting any projects done, to prepare the boat for cruising. We are hoping he is feeling well enough to Captain us across the Sea sometime early next week, weather permitting.
So all in all, things are great. How else could they be when we are living in Paradise? But life can never be completely trouble free, even here. We'll let you know more later.