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ship shape # 7

Hi all my ship shapers,
We’ve been keeping up with our ship shape but not with posting about it. Urg. We’ve been in the Sea Of Cortez enjoying lots of free diving, snorkeling, fishing, and hiking. We have also enjoyed the lack of Internet.

Here’s a few pictures from our satphone (low quality) with a few exercises to do on the boat underway.

Exercise #1 pull ups from the back stay. Not only does this strengthen arms and shoulders, but also gives your hands a good workout.

Exercise #2 chin ups from the Rat lines

Exercise #3 Toes-to-nose using whatever place (back stay for Christian, the dodger for Taj, I like to use the Companion way)

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Toes to nose and chin ups

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Backstay pull-ups

One year ago… we sailed out “The Gate”

We can’t believe that a full year has past since we left San Francisco to start cruising on our sailboat! We’ve experienced so much and all of it so wonderful: The emotions of leaving, the adjustments of boatschool, the adjustments of a life less “connected” but more connected as a family, the growth of world knowledge, the change in marriage dynamic, parenting dynamic, and educator dynamic, adapting to Mexico’s culture and food, meeting new and wonderful sailors/cruisers, and so much more I’m probably leaving out.  All of these had their ups and downs, but all transformed into good experiences and contributed to our lives in such a positive way.

My friend Lara interviewed us for a radio and podcast she does out of Byron Bay, Australia. I feel like it summarizes some questions a lot of people wonder about when pondering what the life of a family of 5 sailing on a 40 foot boat is like.  I posted the link on our blog and Facebook when it aired live and only on Facebook  again when a link was available to the podcast version.

Here is the link to the podcast version below. It will take you to the 30 minute interview. Our 13 year old daughter,  Nina, is interviewed as well and adds a lot flavor to the interview.

https://www.spreaker.com/user/pregnancybirthandbeyond/a-family-afloat

Anchored off of Halfmoon Bay, California (August 21, 2015)

Becalmed off the coast of California (Oct 2015) with Christian’s father, Gene Lauducci, aboard.
Ellamae posing with her polarized #teenytinyoptics glasses

Nina and Taj posing with their polarized #teenytinyoptics glasses

On top of a mountain in Turtle Bay, Baja Mexico (Left to Right: our crew Emma Casey, Taj sleeping on my back, Josie, Christian, Nina, and Ellamae) November 2015

Taj swimming in Chamela, Mexico (January 2016)

Barra de Navidad, Mexico (February, 2016)

Baja, Sea of Cortez, Isla San Francisco (May, 2016)

S/V Shawnigan with a beautiful backdrop of the Sierra Gigante Mountain Range, Baja, Sea of Cortez, Isla San Francisco (May, 2016)

My beautiful kids back in the United States (July 2016) Ellamae (8), Nina (13) Taj (3)

 

Live on the Radio tonight!

We are going to be aired live on the radio tonight 8/7/16! 6pm Pacific Time (11am 8/8 Australia time). Christian, Nina and myself were interviewed by a lovely Aussie lady named Lara for the “Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond” show. She managed to fit all our q’s and a’s into a wonderful 30 minute interview! Check it out live tonight at 6pm! Click in the link below and then click listen now. Not living in Aus or pacific time zone? Find your time by using the world clock.

Click here at 6pm pacific time tonight 8/7/2016 Byron Bay Radio

Refill the kitty in 3 months!

After 10 months of sailing around, it was time to refill the cruising kitty. We spent over our $12,000/year budget in unexpected, yet typical, repairs and replacements. Since we were so close to the US and easy  access to work, we decided to take the hottest time in Mexico (July, August, September) off of the boat and head to The States to refill our hungry cruising kitty.

If you haven’t read the “about me” part of our blog, then you may need to be informed of my profession. I’m a Registered Nurse, specifically a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse. If you’re saying to yourself “what’s that?”, I take care of premature and very sick babies. I’ve been doing this for over 12 years now and I still haven’t lost my passion for it. In fact, it was actually hard to put in my notice at UCSF 11 months ago so that we could sail away.

In mid May, of this year,when I was able to check my email from La Paz, I found out that my old Unit at UCSF was hiring Travel Nurses for June 28 start date. I checked in with the management team and they said that they would love to have me return for a 13 week assignment! It was too good to be true! June 28 was a little sooner than we wanted, and 13 weeks was a little longer then we wanted, but really, its perfect.

We made it to San Carlos, Mexico, by June 14th with plenty time to put away the boat in Marina Real for a 3 months detour to the US. It took about 3 full days to complete the check list of things to do. This included, but not limited to:

  • pickling the water maker
  • fresh water flush through the engine
  • taking down the sails and stowing them down below
  • Putting up the sun shades
  • Cleaning and leaving the heads (toilets) filled with fresh water and vinegar
  • fresh water washing as much salt waterlogged gear as we could
  • laundry and getting rid of clothes
  • eating and cleaning out the perishable food (we did leave cans of tomato sauce, so hopefully we don’t arrive back to the boat with exploded cans of tomato everywhere. Apparently this happens when it gets too hot.)
  • Placing Bay Leaves in almost all of our bulk food containers. Apparently the Bay Leaf helps keep the Weevils at bay (no pun intended). Thanks Deb on SV Coastal Drifter for that tip.
  • Packing clothes (REAL shoes, socks, pants AND A BELT, sweaters, and WORK CLOTHES!) , oops I forgot a beanie!
  • And a couple more odds and ends stuff.

Our pile of stuff to bring back to the US was huge. Mostly because we had to pack for 3 months of on the road adventures. I say “we” but I really mean Christian and the kids. My list of things to bring was small: work clothes, 2 pairs of pants, 2 shorts, and one “nice outfit”, flip flops and my work shoes. Oh and my awesome Brompton folding bike, that we store in our aft shower, for my San Francisco commuting, yay!

Our 10 hour bus ride on the Tufesa bus line ended up being more like 11 hours, but it still wasn’t bad. Reclining seats, AC, 2 bathrooms, 1 check point and 1 border check, and 5 movies  later(3 of them, very inappropriate for kids), we made it to Phoenix, AZ for a nominal $80 fee.


After a few days at Christian’s sister’s house in Phoenix, I flew off to start my 3 months of work, leaving behind the family to road trip their way around The States visiting friends and family.

“Was it hard to leave?”, you ask.

EXTREMELY !!!  After being so close with each other the last 10 months I’m finding myself really missing their company. But I also know it’s only a short time in the grand sceme of things and totally worth it !

So now I’m here in San Francisco. Christian is on super land nomad dad duty. Boat school is out for summer break and we’ll be doing this up through late September. After all is said and done, we should have overfilled (wishful thinking) our cruising kitty with enough $$$ to get us to New Zealand by our (Northern hemisphere) fall 2017. But you know how cruising works… “We’ll see as we go”!


Yummy grub next to (Cerca de) the bus station in Guaymas. Missing me some good Mexican food !
Christian visits the Grand Canyon while I meet Travel Nurses


Then use my trusty Brompton Folding bike to get to work. Here my “brommie” is sitting pretty on the Bay Area CalTrain. 

Isla Danzante to Bahia Concepción

June 1 -13, 2016

From Candaleros, we sailed to Danzante Island, to a cove called Honeymoon Cove. The anchorage is steep, the depth is about 30 feet up to 20 feet off the shore, and quickly drops to 50 feet and deeper. It’s a beautiful cove, but hard to safely fit more than a few boats in there. Honeymoon Cove on Isla Danzante: we anchored a little too close to Cielo Grande at one point. “Excuse me sir, will you pass the Grey Poupon?” So, we re-anchored.

Puerto Escondido: the girls finally slept on deck, pool time at Fonatur and Tripui, coffee delivery via Ethan on S/V Coastal Drifter.

Loreto: mission, Papa Jason and Ellamae in a panga with Coastal Drifter in the background, Nina doing her first Net Controller for the Amigo Net, and monkey boy Taj helping with cookies.


Isla Coronado: impromptu “cookie and cocktails” potluck on the beach with other cruisers, a good few hour hike up the volcano with Coastal Drifter crew.


La Ramada/San Juanico hike: Coastal Drifter flying “the kite”, our additions to the cruiser’s shrine in San Juanico, Cielo Grande and Shawnigan (Coastal Drifter not visible) sitting pretty in La Ramada. Some amazing Apache Tears too! See Nina’s post.


Bahia Concepción : Playa Stanispac Ice Cream truck, Taj can now climb to the highest ratline.
June 13: we left at 1100 from Playa Stanispac to cross over the Sea of Cortez to San Carlos.

9 month Tally 

I’m not sure what’s going on, but a few of my posts didn’t post:

May 20th, 2016 marks our 9 months of being out cruising. We can’t believe so much time has past already. We are currently making our way up the Sea of Cortez with plans to leave the boat in Guaymas or San Carlos for the hottest three months of the summer. During that time we will be heading back to the United States as land nomads to travel around visiting friends and family. I will, however, be working as a Travel Nurse during that time to cover the expenses we manage to summon over the last few months. Here’s the latest and greatest….

9 months out tally count/costs for days anchored, days moored, days docked, and how much we’ve spent on each of those. And the good old unexpected expenses, yippee:
230 days anchored (all free except the days spent in Morro Bay)
4 days moored 
28 days Docked (14 of which were free with our YC reciprocal) 
Paid $: Mooring $40 (Morro Bay YC)
              Docked $105 (Ensenada’s Baja Naval Marina), $96 (La Cruz for furler work), $235        (Marina Mazatlán- see post)
              Dingy Dock: $15 (Cabo San Lucas), $4 (La Cruz), $4 (La Paz)

              Anchored $159 (Morro Bay Guest Anchorge) 

Fuel consumption for 9 months (85 gal diesel for Shawnigan and 6 gal of gas for dinghy) = ~    $360 
Mexico check in expenses in Ensenada: $105 for passport/tourists cards, $256 for Port Captain fees, $60 for TIP card, and $45 for fishing license.
I still haven’t been too good with figuring how much we spend on food. I’m guessing we spend around $500 a month. We’re not eating out all the time, but we aren’t living on beans and rice either. I will say that Costco in Mexico is not much cheaper than it is in The States. 

Big ticket items that were not anticipated: 
replacing our windvane with a new hydrovane. Let’s just say >$5,000 . 

replacing our windlass. Another $2500! (See our 6 month tally post for more on this)

Switching over to a harken furling set up from our previous Hank-On. $2,300 plus $550 in sail work to go with the furler. 

Plus another $275 for me to fly the old windvane up to the states to try to sell from there vs down in Mexico.

Then another $400 for emergency haul out and engine intake repairs in Mazatlán. 

Yikes! Seriously….that’s over our yearly budget of $12,000! Thank god for tax returns and an upcoming Travel job! Hopefully that will hold us over for a while as far as big ticket projects on the boat go. Oh and while I’m at it, we still have our previous Aries Windvane for sale… Contact us if interested! 



Above: Isla San Francisco with the Sierra de la Gigante range of Baja California Sur in the background

Summer in the States: Impending doom and excitedness all at once!

We are crossing the Sea of Cortez again, heading over to San Carlos, to find a spot for our boat during the summer. 

Yes, we are leaving the boat for the summer. After all the unexpected expenses and the close proximity to the US for income, we chose to take the opportunity to escape the summer heat of Mexico and land travel to the states. 

I recently lined up a Travel Nurse position at UCSF for 13 weeks. I start at the end of June. This pushed our time in the Sea of Cortez a little faster than we hoped for, but you gotta take what you can get. Once we get to San Carlos, we’ll get the boat packed up and ready to leave it alone for a few months. 

Our plan is to take the 10-12 hour bus up to Phoenix from San Carlos. From there, I’ll fly out to San Francisco to get myself situated for work. The rest of the family will hang out with Christian’s sister in Phoenix and start road tripping around to visit family and friends. 

The plan is for Christian to be back at the boat in early September, to start prepping her for our Southern voyage down Baja and then across to Central America. I’ll finish up work and meet him there with the kids. Hopefully we can start sailing again by October 1st. 

Although we are excited to visit friends and family, we don’t feel ready to leave the boat. We love this life. I do look forward to working as well, but not to being away from the family. I know it’s worth it, to keep us sailing, but after so much time together, it’s hard to imagine time apart.  I’m hoping Christian and the kids can visit San Francisco often enough to get my fix in. 

I’ll be posting more about the last few weeks soon, but wanted to get this out. 

Talk soon.