From my family to yours, I want to take this time to say “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays” wherever you are in the world and whatever faith you might be. I want to apologize for not getting the Whale Shark post and YouTube video prepped in time for today, we’ve been working hard to get the boat ready for the Southern Crossing. We’re sitting in Baja California, Mexico where we’ve been for several weeks effecting repairs on the boat and of course, prepping for Christmas. In the next few days, we’re taking off to make the “Southern Crossing” to the mainland of Mexico…cause Northerly’s are happening all too frequently at this end of December and it’s cold here. Seriously, I’ve had to start wearing a hoodie to walk Quincy in the mornings and evenings. Below is a Christmas Letter sent to friends and family describing our travels so far.
Happy Holidays from Baja!
We hope this finds you all doing well. 2019 has the Family in the long anticipated, complete 180-degree course correction in lifestyle. After retirement we cast off the docklines on our 1977 Aleutian ketch sailboat, Tulum V, and headed south for warmer weather. We left with 130 other boats on a rally known appropriately as the Baja Ha-Ha (still laughing) that travels from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas in 11 days…it took us 16 days. We had a forecasted tropical storm that would hit Cabo around the time we would arrive and be sitting at anchor which was not what we were looking for. Therefore, we did something we haven’t done in a while…..we slowed down. We had 5 marvelous days in Man-O-War Cove, Bahia Magdalena with about 20 other cruising boats all doing the same thing – waiting out the weather. The fishing village has nothing more than a small tienda, some hit & miss cell service and a tiny restaurant. The rest of the bay was amazing for beach exploration – from beaches covered in humongous shells (which we later painted while waiting out the storm), to soft white sand beaches with turtle bones (you never know what will excite your kids in the middle of nowhere), to an eco-resort with 2 full whale skeletons reconstructed, to mobula (jumping) rays – we were anything but sad to be “stuck” in Mag Bay.
We spent the first month underway or at anchor in various bays, trekking south along the Pacific side of Baja California and into the Sea of Cortez, all the while experiencing some of the most remote and beautiful anchorages before entering La Paz where we will spend Christmas. We found ourselves in culture shock after being able to take our first conventional hot showers after bathing for a month by jumping off the back of the boat and rinsing with a sun shower! The kids have adapted so well to living on a sailboat in a foreign country. They love their limonadas, taquerias and what they wouldn’t give for a visit to any of the wonderful panaderias that draw you in with the aroma of fresh pan dulce (sweet bread). We stay in touch with “kid boats” for joint beach exploration or movie nights and when we’re not around them, they seem to find something to giggle about with kids their ages on the playgrounds and out and about in La Paz despite the language barrier. Homeschooling was on hold as we all transitioned to this new lifestyle and without regret, focused on the safety of overnight passages, conserving power, managing provisions and making water – you know, the basics! I am happy to say the kids and I are happy to have a routine with homeschool and I am grateful for the resources and mentoring I received from their school in San Diego as well as the many fellow homeschooling parents I’ve met along the way. Quincy has also surpassed all expectations and seems to be much happier: fresh air, new smells, and always with her pack. It turns out she is very content with an occasional sprint on the beach and then jumping back in the dinghy to go back to her compound aboard Tulum V. She is also highly intrigued by dolphins surfing off the bow and crabs she finds on the beach.
Jaques Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez the world’s aquarium and we couldn’t agree more. We wish you all peace and happiness as you bring in the New Year. You can follow our travels here on the website at http://www.LIVEFREE2SAILFAST.COM.
Many wishes for you happiness in this season of giving- the LF2SF Family-