Tag Archives: kid boats

Writing funk…but still adventuring 

I apologize for the delay in an actual blog post. It seems to be more convenient lately to post pictures and videos to our instagram, facebook, and YouTube sites. 

After a few people inquiring about a blog update I decided to throw one together.

When I first returned to the boat December 22, I came back to a very sick husband. We spent the first week together trying to figure out what was ailing him and get proper treatment. After deciding the first doctor was missing something, we found another. He seemed to be on to something and treated Christian for systemic Salmonella tyhoid! After 5 days of IV antibiotics and 10 days of oral antibiotics he did feel better. We were back to surfing and taking day sails and long hikes. But 5 days after the antibiotics were finished he started to feel sick again. He went back to get follow up labs and  one of his levels were increased 3 fold! The doctor recommended taking out his gall bladder, assuming the tyhoid was festering in it and won’t dissipate until it’s removed. Needless to say, we went and got a second opinion, or rather a third one at this point. This doctor stated that Christian did have salmonella in the past, but that’s not what is wrong at the moment. The level that increased was the “proteus ox-19” aka Rickettsia. It resembles salmonella when tested for it. So Christian is now on a 3 day IM (injection/shots) of cephalosporin treatment. We will retest labs on Tuesday and go from there. We are trying to remain optimistic about this. He already feels better, so fingers crossed…

In the meantime, we’ve been on surf trips, hiking trips and lounging by the poolside with fellow cruising families. There are a lot more older kids this year, which is great for Nina. And a few younger ones. Specifically, Zoey on Empyrean, has become Taj’s best buddy. 

I’ve been able to start focusing on my “ship shape” boat fitness workouts and yoga ashore with other cruisers. In fact I was asked to speak about boat fitness at the “women who sail” gathering here in La Cruz on January 13th! I also signed up for a 10k run on the 15th. I’m not much of a runner, but I figured I could pull it off for one day for a good cause (green awareness in Mexico). Thanks Katrina for organizing all of this! 

Boat school Christmas Vacation is ending today. 

Ellamae will be returning to the boat in a week! 

Hopefully Christian will return to full health soon. We’d like a clean bill of health before we set sail southbound from the Puerto Vallarta area. 

Stayed tuned.

In the meantime here are videos we made and some pictures to look at.

Shanti from S/V Shawnigan 

I accidentally spelled Yelapa as “yalapa” on the video. Oops!

Las Posadas celebration

Christmas Eve potluck at Marina La Cruz (Banderas Bay)

Kids camp out, organized by Marina La Cruz

Liam’s (S/V Riki Tiki Tavi) birthday party.

Talent show at the Marina La Cruz amphitheater.

45 peso haircut (2.25 USD)!

Beach day with S/V Luminesce, S/V Mango Mango, S/V Empyrean, S/V Riki Tiki Tavi, S/V Wild Rumpus, S/V Raireva, and S/V Shawnigan 


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.


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)


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. 

Bahia Tenacatita memories: Jan – Mar 2016

Tenacatita is a lovely anchorage situated south of Puerto Vallarta and about 10 miles north of Barra de Navidad, Mexico at WPT 19 17.9’N 104 50.3’W.  This particular spot draws cruisers in for multiple days and for some, becomes an annual home for months during the winter season. 

A few of the long term transient occupants have made Tenacatita into its own unique sailing community. Daily swims to the beach at 1:30, followed by bocci ball on the beach or a stroll  to one end of the beach and back. Afterward a beverage and/or meal at the one and only palapa near the river mouth. Every Friday at 5:30 the “Mayor’s Raft Up”, organized by Robert Gleser aboard SV Harmony, provides the community opportunity to meet each other and learn about one another when otherwise you might not get the chance to. Plus a chance to taste what other cruisers eat. Everyone brings a dish and it gets passed around from dinghy to dinghy!

Provisions are nil at Tenacatita, so one must either land taxi, sail, or take a skiff 2 miles over to La Manzanilla or sail to Barra Navidad. The seclusion is part of what draws cruisers here. It’s worth the extra effort to get supplies.

We hopped in and out of Tenacatita during a two month span. Our first visit was shortly after the New Year and our last was during the second week of March. Our days consisted mostly of a morning 45 ish minute swim for me, a kayak or free dive/spear fishing for Christian, beach going, and mangrove adventures for the kids. We had lots of people to visit including kids boats. At one point we counted 46 boats in the anchorage! 

I put together a little video to show the expierience that we had while we were there. See below.

Here is a list of some of the boats we saw in Tenacatita. If you were there and don’t see your name on the list, or if I misspelled your name, please contact us so we can add you to it!  Also, send me a link for your blog if you’d like me to link you. 

SV Adagio, SV Agamère, SV Banyan (misspelled in the video, sorry!), SV Believe, SV Cake, SV Cadenza, SV Carmanah, SV Chae Mi, SV Cielo Grande, SV Dazzler, SV Finte, SV Flight, SV Fools Gold,  SV, Fukngivr, SV Gitana, SV Gene Butler, SV Gia, SV Harmony, SV Komaru, SV Kiwi III, SV Overheated, SV Magic Lady, SV Mambo, SV Mango Mango, SV Moonshadow, SV Nalu 4, SV Penelope, SV Putachieside, SV Ravens Dance, SV Seychelles, SV Sea Boa, SV Speakeasy, SV St. Leger, SV Tigress, SV Voila,  MV Voyager, SV Wild Rumpus, SV Woody, SV Worth Waiting For

Shenanigans on Shawnigan 01/27/2016

A day or week on Shawnigan with all its shenanigans anchored in Bahia Tenacatita:

We usually wake up with the sun, which lately occurs around 7:30 am. We seem to drag getting out of bed until 8:00 am. Tenacatita is a great anchorage for swimming, so I’ve been going for a swim first thing. Christian is left in charge of breakfast, coffee and getting the kids started with boat school. 

I hop in the water with just my suit and a rash guard to keep the jelly stings to a minimum. Lately I’ve been using my mask and snorkel instead of cap and goggles in order to admire the underwater scene more as I swim along and keep and eye out for sharks. I also enjoy being able to get my heart rate up and breath whenever I want.  Sometimes I prefer cap and goggles to get me into a more meditative swim. I notice that when I swim with cap and goggles I hold my breath with a meditative rhythm, with obvious benifits as well.  Yesterday, I swam over a school of 9 Southern Stingrays as well as multiple large Jacks and various other beautiful colored fish. My morning swim averages about 45 minutes. 

I make sure to return to the boat in time to catch “the net”. The Net is the morning VHF radio check in that occurs in popular cruising ports. Six days a week people alternate who takes the Net Controller roll. The last 5 days that we spent in Tenacatita the Net Controller position has been filled by various kids on boats. Nina did it twice! The Net is usually over by 9:30 and the kids are well into boat school. If there are other kid boats around like Tenacatita has been, our girls like to start school early, before Christian and I are out of bed, so that they can be ready to play by lunch time. Math and English and art are in the daily lesson plan. Science, history, foreign language and music are placed in on different days during the week. We have the kids alternate weeks on helping cook meals and they each have various boat cleaning duties that are completed before play time with other boat kids. 

Christian gets out for his time alone/exercise sometime after his coffee and breakfast. Tenacatita is lacking in surfing opportunities, so he’s been going free diving and spear fishing. One day he helped lead a class on knots for a group boat schooling lesson. He’s also been our coconut retriever. Coco frio is a favorite on our boat, especially a fresh picked one on a hot sunny day on the beach. What a rough life.  

We anchored in Tenacatita a few weeks ago, went to Barra Navidad for a week then returned to Tenacatita after hearing about all the kid boats that were reportedly anchored. Sure enough there were four other kid boats when we arrived and at one point a total of 13 kids! We also had a day were we counted 46 boats in the anchorage. Fun times! And thanks to the Mayor and his wife (Robert and Virginia Gleser), there are activities and raft ups to bring the boating community together. 

We met many wonderful sailors and a few that have already circumnavigated the world. One in particular just finished a 25 year circumnavigation, a couple named  Doreen and Michael Ferguson on SV St. Leger. Another couple, Monica and Jack, on junk rigged SV Bella Via turned out to know Christian’s dad Gene Lauducci. Gene had repaired their sails about 30 years ago when they sailed through Sausalito. They had so many great stories to share about Christian’s dad. I mentioned before “The Mayor” Robert and Virginia Gleser.  They also have a interesting story and a few books written (Harmony on the High Seas, and Tie-dye!, the How to Book)I was happy to have an extensive conversation with Virginia about “The Farm“, with which they helped form and worked closely with Ina May Gaskin, the midwife guru! Virginia wrote books about the farm as well as sailing. The couple also make beautiful tie-dyed pieces that they sell. One day, Virginia had a tie-dye workshop on the beach. The kids loved it. The sailing community can make the world seem small sometimes. We met a John and Donna on SV Carmanah (aka “The Tin Man). Turns out that he was the swim coach in Bainbridge Island and remembers my older cousin Joy Archer in the swim team. He also know Joy’s daughter Shayla, as she is quite a swimmer as well. Upon making the connection, John stated, “I see family resemblance! And watching you swim out in the anchorage, swimming must run in the family genes as well!” Small world! 

Other than that, we made daily trips to the beach and dinghy rides up the mangroves and a group trip to La Manzanilla to re-provision and hike to a water hole. That pretty much sums up our time in Bahia Tenacatita. We’re now back in Barra de Navidad, where wifi is more abundant and street tamales and tacos are amazing. Hopefully we can add a little more surf activity to our agenda. 


 Tie Dye with Virginia Gleser   



 Virginia and William from SV Agamére

Knot tying class:



  Casey on Chae Mi teaching knots


 SV Banyon girls


 Nina learning through leading



 Tenacatita The Mayor’s Dinghy Raft Up      

  Wild Rumpus, Agamere, Shawnigan 

 Kiwi 3


Bocce ball with coconuts  

 Full moon over Tenacatita