Christian took a trip down from San Francisco to the boat in Mexico this past week. The mission: to do some repairs on the boat from the hurricane and add some gear that we wanted before we cross The Pacific this coming season. The damage that we thought was going to need a haul-out and a paint job, ended up being only minor “Do it Yourself” fixes!!! So one major hurdle out of the way! The rest are add-ons since we were able to work and refill the cruising kitty.
We finally got our Hydrovane hooked up! Having a efficient self steering system was a must for us before making the crossing. We can’t wait to get some use out of it!
A new Standard Horizon VHF: that way we can talk from the cockpit with a strong signal. Before, our handheld wasn’t strong enough for some of the areas we were in, so we had to go down below to talk on the ship’s radio.
Weather Station: AcuRite 00589 Pro Color Weather Station with Wind Speed, Temperature and Humidity. Yay, accurate temperature, humidity, pressure readings. The wind speed is a bonus, but we’ve always preferred our own senses when monitoring the wind and our sails. Sometimes knowing the exact wind speed can freak you out instead of trusting your skills and your boat.
A FREEZER!!! Engel MB40V-H 12/24V DC drop-in fridge-freezer – with attached compressor We are soooooo excited to put this fridge/freezer in. Its one of those “we don’t need this, but we have the perfect place for it, the money, and the solar power to run it, so why not?”
Can’t wait to catch some fish and store extra in our freezer, prep meals before crossing to pull out underway, and freeze some vegetables for when we run out towards the end of the crossing. We might even make ice cream for the equator crossing! Luxury hahahaha!
Some other gear we stocked up on:
Spear fishing equipment and trolling gear.
Replaced damage GoPro.
New external hard drives for saving photo and video memories.
Boatschool supplies mostly from Oakmeadow Waldorf curriculum for the year.
We are very proud to be ambassadors for Mantus Anchors. As long as we put the proper scope out, our anchor grabs so fast and holds strong. That is why we call it our sleeping pill. We are posting this video because is gives a good demonstration of that. We have a lot of experience with others and so far our Mantus is “THE ONE”!
Year ago, August 20, 2015 we left San Francisco to head to Mexico via our Steven’s 40 sailboat. I added this video to the last post a little late, so I’m posting it again by itself because I feel like it deserves its own post. Our family of 5 plus Nina’s best friend Ava and Ellamae’s biological father, Jason joined us for the first leg from Horseshoe Cove San Francisco to Halfmoon Bay, California.
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.
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
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”!
Then use my trusty Brompton Folding bike to get to work. Here my “brommie” is sitting pretty on the Bay Area CalTrain.
This post was delayed due to lack of Internet, YAY!
A few weeks back, May 11-15:
We had a fantastic sail off the hook in Puerto Ballandra and a downwind run under jib alone in to La Paz on the Morning of the 11th. We anchored just west of Marina de La Paz. First thing we did, of course, walked the Malicon to find the ice cream shop.
Over the next few days we walked around town a lot. We discovered that the bus and taxi system here is nowhere near like it is on the mainland. The streets were busy with people in their privately owned cars, and the buses were few and far between. The benefit to that was getting some mileage under our feet. We also discovered that food was about twice as expensive as it was in Barra de Navidad. Thankfully our first dinner out was “Dia de los Madres”. (Mother’s day), so we didn’t feel as bad for spending the money on a special occasion. But over the next few days, we found ourselves wanting to leave before we spent more money. Even reprovisioning at the Chidraui (a govt subsidized store) was more expensive than any other town we’ve been to.
We stayed through till Monday, knowing that we had a few cruising friends coming in and wanting to celebrate my Birthday on the 15th with other cruising boats. So we made the best of our time, as always. We walked the town, did the historical sites walk and played with other kid boats. Overall, we were not too impressed with La Paz as a town, but the company of cruisers was nice. And it was sure nice to celebrate my birthday with awesome people and have a good potluck. I even had a surprise breakfast delivered via dinghy by SV Spanish Stroll for my birthday!
We highly recommend the Museo de Ballena (whale museum). It is very well presented and the staff is very knowledgeable. They even changed some of the screens to English for us. Worth every peso!
Here are some picture: