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

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tha-tha-tha That's All, Folks!

Yesterday, we pulled into our old home town north of Seattle 2,448 miles from La Paz, completing the giant circle of our travels and bringing the end to our Mexican adventure.

Which makes this the last post -  nearly four years worth of experiences summed up in 246 posts from beginning to end.  Writing this blog has given me much joy.  I really appreciate all the people who took time out of their lives to read about ours.   We've had over 60,000 views from places including, but not limited to, Serbia, India, Russia, the Philippines, Japan, Ethiopia, France, South Africa, Brazil, Switzerland, and China!  Simply amazing.

For those of  you who helped get this dream afloat, a heartfelt thanks - namely Mark Schrader and Herb McCormick.  Both of you played major roles in starting this thing off right.  And Herb, your advice to buy a catamaran was invaluable!  I don't think we would have been able to sell a mono hull, in this market, for $10,000 less than what we paid for it, in three months.  Wow!  Not to mention, it's the only reason we stayed out for four years - we were very comfortable.

Our adventure couldn't have happened without a lot of help from our friends.  First, an enormous thank you to all the people who helped us troubleshoot breakdowns or improvements  - namely Dave on s/v Juniata, Total Yacht Works of Mazatlan - Rafa and Bob) and Rick of s/v Hotel California.   You Guys (and quite of few others) Rock.  God bless the cruiser mentality of happily lending a hand, without expecting anything in return.  It's getting harder to find it seems, but it is still there.

A huge thank you to our very patient and loving extended family  Our absence has meant all of our sibs have done extra duty.  An extra big kudos goes to my parents.  It would have been so much harder to do this without your help.  Mom and Dad acted as our mail drop, appointed banking representative, and yearly hotel, all while being deprived of access to their grandson.

A  heartfelt thank you to Ben for spending every Tuesday night for several years with Patrick's dad.
A very big thanks to Tom for taking excellent care of our rental/renters in our absence.

A big apology to every Mexican whom I made suffer through my horrendous "Spanish". It was too embarrassing.   I'll do better next time, I promise.

And last, an enormous hug to all the amazing cruisers out there that we have met and befriended along the way, some still cruising, and others now dirt dwellers like us.  You made our trip so special.  To name a few - Hotel California, Third Day, Juniata, Eyoni, Hotspur, Summerwings, Mamabird, Sunbaby, Jacaranda, Adios 3, Evergreen, Jake, Overheated, Masquerade, V'ger, Frances Lee,  Full Shell, Dealmaker....there's just too many to name.  We are so happy to have spent time with you.

For those of you now looking for new Sea of Cortez blogs to follow, check out a couple from this year's fresh crop of cruisers headed into the far north for their first hurricane season -  two we've enjoyed meeting are Trisha and Derek on  Interabang and Tom and Jeanne on Eagle.

As we head in to the arms of America to be lost in the anonymous shuffle, I have just one request.  Go have your own adventure, and I'll read about yours!  

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.