Live Free 2 Sail Fast

La Cruz: So Much More Than I Expected

From Tulum V’s HelmsMistress…for your reading pleasure:

I knew La Cruz would be a stop for us and had heard of this “famed cruiser hub” with an incredible live music scene, but I had no idea how much I would enjoy all that it has to offer.  La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, one of many towns along Banderas Bay, is proving to be my favorite place yet.  Despite the seasonal influx of visitors from the US, Canada, Europe and other cold places, La Cruz maintains its small town appeal.  From the marina, I awaken to the bells from the small church on the square and numerous roosters reminding us all it’s time to rise – much better than any alarm bellowing from my phone.  We’re now in the anchorage where I awaken early just for the off chance of spotting a whale (actually, I’m waking up most mornings due to the rolling and creaking of every bone in this ol’ boat – but still the thought of a whale in the anchorage is motivating!)  We stop by the carniceria to pick up the best thick cuts of meat for the Big Green Egg or the fish market for fresh dorado to make ceviche.  After a short walk up the town’s cobblestone streets, for about $1US we catch the bus or vanpool (let’s call it that) to the neighboring towns should you need an ATM or large scale American provisioning in nearby Puerto Vallarta.  Vibrant live music emerges nightly from a few tiny open air venues around town and disperses to every vessel and villa.  For the most part, minus an ATM, everything you need and more can be found in this little town.  And the best part is…we walk everywhere!  I compare this with moments back home where I drove competitively around parking lots, seeking rockstar parking as if I didn’t need the exercise….walking, so underrated….

My newest pastime with the girls is iguana spotting.  We look way up in the trees for their orange and black striped tails and have to be cautious in getting too close to the lush green shrubs covering the ground – the green iguanas are everywhere, guided by instinct.  These guys are amazing to watch as they scale straight up a palm tree, chase a fellow male iguana out of their territory, or swim under the dock to evade us 2 legged creatures.

The first Friday we were in town we went to the dancing horse show held in the cobblestone road off the town square….wait, What? Dancing horses?  This suburbanite clearly needed some schooling – see below for the visual.  The best part was during each intermission, the riders were given their round of tequila shots to quench their thirst-my kinda performers.  A close second was the moment when they hoisted my kids on a horse to ride up and down the street (mind you there were still cars coming by – Can’t you see there’s a show going on here?!!!).  My kids ran around with fellow cruising kids and find iguanas and coconuts while playing tag and the floor is lava as we sipped margaritas and watched these amazing horses move with precision back and forth down the road in front of us – this is Friday night in Mexico.

Sundays the marina hosts an artisan/farmers market like I’ve never seen.  It stretches half the perimeter of the marina and includes some of the most intricate and diverse craftsmanship as well as food.  Warning; Bring your extra stomach – this is a gastronomic experience that cannot be missed, but it is tough to decide which delicacy to eat.  We purposely spent our second market with a limited amount of pesos – call it self-restraint.

When I envisioned cruising, I pictured always looking ahead to the next port and only staying in a location for a short period of time before moving on.  I’m realizing that the beauty of cruising is that you can find a place that you like and get this….STAY.  We have amazing social outlets for the kids thanks to Kat and the robust La Cruz kids club and are surrounded by some intriguing people in a beautiful location – why leave?  I’m noticing my prior hesitancy has turned to a more definitive “Si” when I’m asked if I live here.  Sometimes I offer further explanation, but sometimes it is unnecessary.  Where you are from is becoming less important than where you are going.  Weather windows will open and those departing to cross the Pacific will leave as we head back up to the Sea of Cortez, but for now, I’m thoroughly enjoying this place we call home. (more…)

Getting Out Of the Slip

After a week sucking fiberglass in the boatyard and doing smaller boat projects….we headed back to the slip to recharge batteries and fill up fresh water tanks.  More than anything we wanted out of the slip for awhile….so we took off over the weekend to head out to the La Cuz anchorage for a change of scenery.  It didn’t disappoint as the “Blessing of the Boats” is going on this month (read:  parties, fireworks, folks on vacation) and the anchorage decided to have little wind…meaning the swell coming into the boat was broadside.  Not nearly as bad as we’ve had in other places, but it made for a bit of a rolly anchorage.  Not to worry though….we love being at anchor and Michelle snapped this cool picture to share with all of you- 

LF2SF is an independent website run by me with my wife, children and dog as guest writers.  We’re a family cruising on a sailboat in Mexico with a Great Dane and a Big Green Egg on board…so you never know what you might read about on this website.  We’re not so much into fluff as genuine, raw and real writing.  If you want to support us…first and foremost follow our website.  If you ever feel the need to do more than that….check out our Patreon site to buy Quincy some dog food and me a beer. 

Quincy’s Corner: A Day In The Life Of A Boat Dane

Quincy is a six year old Great Dane living on a cruising sailboat in Mexico….where she leads a strenuous life.  Although her people are not frivolous, they tend to try to spoil her when near land and take the best care possible when at sea.  Having just gotten back from a stay in a doggy hotel….Quincy had to settle in the life on the boat again.  So…here’s her first full day back on the boat to show you her stressful and strained life. (more…)

LF2SF Makes Top 25 List From “The Adventure Junkies”

LF2SF has been named one of the Top 25 Sailing Blogs of 2019 by the adventure and travel Site…The Adventure Junkies.  The site does have impressive hiking, travel and adventure content as well as great high resolution color photos I love.  What an honor to be on the same list as some of these other sites….including Sailing Totem, 59 North, and Sailing Britican.  While some of the sites on the Top 25 Sailing list may not even know they made the list…but LF2SF thinks it’s really damn cool to be included with some of these other prestigious sites.

Please click on the links provided to see the list on the Adventure Junkies website and make sure to check out all their other great content.  The story below is reblogged from their site:

This list is an attempt to highlight some of the best blogs about sailing; that can be found on the web. The ranking was compiled tracking hundreds of sailing blogs. The top sailing sites that made this list are ranked according to Alexa (33.3%), Domain Authority (33.3%), Page Authority (33.3%) indicators. The list doesn’t involve our personal opinion in any way.  The ranking is updated once every year with new blogs and up-to-dated scores. The data was collected on November 7th, 2019 for the current list.  To all who made it to the list, a big congratulations!

Read More Here:

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Kids Corner: MineCraft Musings

Good Morning.  The following writing is done entirely by a 10-year old on board a cruising sailboat in Mexico.  These are her words and thoughts (and spelling) which are published every Friday on our website (when we have connectivity).

hello, everyone!!! Hey, I know I’m supposed to wright about sailing, and stuff…but today I REALLY want to write about Minecraft, and that is TOTALLY what I am gonna do today(after all, dad did tell me to write about whatever I want). Minecraft is basically this game where, you can either play in survival, or creative. My personal fav is creative, where you have never ending reasources, you can fly, and the monsters don’t come after you. The purpose of creative is to find something that you really want to build, and then to set your mind to it, and eventually, you will have a beautiful, hand made creation, that you can either enjoy in survival, or with your friends, or both! Survival now, that one is equally pretty cool. You spawn in someplace around the world, usually with a village nearby, and you basically, well, survive. You kill animals for food, build a shelter, and craft a bed, or else, you won’t make it through the night. Cause ya see, at night, monsters spawn. Zombies(witch burn in daylight), skeletons(they have bows and arrows, so be carefall), creepers(these silent green guys are so quiet, and they don’t burn in daylight, AND they explode when they get near you!), and many more monsters of the night. My fiercest rival is the endermen, a tall black monster with purple eyes. All you have to do to get their attention is make eye contact with them, and the suddenly, WHAM! They teleport to you and start hurting you, and are very hard to kill. Luckily, they hate the rain, so all you have to do is go swimming in a pond, or something, and they’ll go away. These so called “Endermen” are said to have built the “world”. I have no idea what exactly that means, but if you find an abandand mineshaft, you know who built it. they can also pick up blocks, and put them down, although, I have not seen this very much. As a matter of fact, if you build a portal the right way(I’m not gonna tell you, although, you can probably find it online), you can visit the end, an eirie world of floating islands, with dozens of endermen, and you’ll probably spawn next to the largest island, with the evil ENDER DRAGON. And yes, I said DRAGON. Unfortunately, it cannot be tamed, but must be defeated, by one ready to face it. You get TONS of xp(experience points), and a dragon egg. No, you cannot hatch it, but rather use it as a trophy. The best part is, when the dragon dies, its body rises up into the air, and explodes, raining xp everywhere!!! Well, I think that’s big enough for today. SAILOR(and gamer)TEAGAN UP AND OUT!

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Swimming With Giants: Whale Sharks At Breakfast


Prior to having kids me and Michelle had been to La Paz to snorkel at Los Islotes with the Sea Lions and had done a very quick swim with Whale Sharks.  But at that time there was no regulations nor was there any visibility in the late afternoon, so we were disappointed by this initial experience.  I’m sooo glad we tried again, this time in the hands of an experienced guide and a great company to work with.  To get on this particular adventure, we went through Cortez Expeditions in La Paz and were not disappointed.

Before adventures and EVERY day on the boat, the tattoo and face get some Raw Elements


Weds Post Warning


Tomorrow (Weds) we’re publishing our Whale Shark Story with TWO cool new videos on YouTube.  Make sure to check it out!

Yard Time- Check Your Attitude Mate

We’re back in the yard – Can I get three cheers for the fourth time in a year of boatyard dwelling?  Woot Woot Woot!!!  This time I must say the surrounding scenery is much nicer;  we didn’t have to travel very far or better yet, be towed to get here; and we’re not living aboard 13 feet in the air with a precarious ladder between us and solid ground.  Landlubbers we be!

This is our boggle but was not anticipated for Tulum V and it all started during our southern crossing when we found water- (salt water to be specific), where we wouldn’t like to see it.  Not gushing, just something that warranted some monitoring and further attention once we reached La Cruz.  Internal inspection yielded no source of the water, so our next step was a haulout to inspect the integrity of the hull.  As you can see by the photo below, our girl is less than satisfied to be out of water…again (perhaps her beard of bottom growth is further compounding her frustration – spa day is coming!).

Time in the yard is a necessary evolution for any boat, however you hope that it happens on your terms and not due to whatever recent dysfunction has reared its ugly head.  This time it was not anticipated as we had just hauled less than a year ago and thoroughly inspected and refit everything we anticipated for our trip.  I learned from last summer when we had no engine for 3 months and little optimism that we would make the HaHa that attitude is everything.  It is what you can control and it is so critical, especially when you have kids.  We don’t sugarcoat things in our family, but we also don’t steal hope.  There are times we just embrace the suck (can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that since we’ve been cruising), and realize perhaps we’re being spared from a future disaster with the timing of certain events in this journey of boat ownership.  I wasted too much time last summer choosing to be victim to circumstance: my boat’s state of dysfunction.  Every conversation seemed to surround the damn boat engine because it was standing between us and our next chapter: When will it be fixed?  Will insurance cover any of it?  How much will it cost and can we reasonably afford it?  What caused it?  Will we be able to leave on the Baja-Haha?…all unknowns at the time.  Guess what?  Time marches on.  All I did with my “woe is me” state was contribute to my kids state of apprehension and doubt about what we had been selling to them as an “amazing opportunity” and “exciting new lifestyle”.  Buck up camper, I can’t make that mistake this time.

So, we are staying in a beautiful tropical location near the boatyard, in close proximity to friends and the many incredible activities the La Cruz Marina has to offer.  The show must go on!  Homeschooling under a beautiful palapa with an occasional visit from our new student and feisty feathered friend, Cruz – done!  Shifting our lesson plan because someone left behind an entire volume of Horrible History books in the cruising lounge – done and thank you!  Walking a bit further to yoga and sailing presentations– I need the exercise!  Taking time to explore this tiny authentic Mexican village and hopefully improve my Spanish – por supuesto!  There is opportunity in every life event.  Sometimes it is more challenging and painful to see, but it is there, waiting for those who seek it.  We took this trip in part with hopes of teaching our kids resilience in the face of adversity.  If I can’t model a positive outlook with a minor setback like this, what behavior am I teaching my kids for future, more critical life events?

Enjoying Home School with the new student

Many thanks to Kat of the Marina La Cruz and Mike of PV Sailing who have provided a wealth of resources, support and allowed the kids to thoroughly enjoy their menagerie of animals (possum, parrot, duck, cats and dogs…you know the usual domestic pets).  We’re also grateful to be surrounded by so many cruising families who provide support, inspiration and good cheer.  Instead of being stymied this time, we’re moving forward and embracing the opportunities around us.  Hope to have Tulum V splashed in the water again soon!

The author of this post and the upcoming post (Weds) about Whale Sharks is the Tulum V HelmsMistress…with editing and posting responsibilities falling to me.

Finally…if you’re still reading and want to help us continue this voyage of adventure….please follow our website and/or consider buying us cold beers by checking out our Patreon Page.  

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Quincy’s Corner: Unexpected Rivals

Tulum’s been hauled out for 5 days with 2-3 more days expected, so there’s no way Quincy the Boat Dog (a Great Dane) could be writing this column today if she’s stuck in the kennel.  So I’m helping her out this morning with a bit of writing because she’s asked me to show you part of her dock frustrations.  Ever seen a Great Dane frustrated? Read on: (more…)

Two Weeks…and SO Many Stories

First, Happy New Year.  I didn’t even do a New Year’s Post, but you’ll understand why when you read the rest. 

I haven’t written much since last year (two weeks ago)- Happy LATE New Year.  In fact, I haven’t written since we were in La Paz, Baja California because it’s been a really, really busy two weeks.  Suffice to say…there’s a ton of great stories and pictures just waiting to come out in some epic blog posts coming up.  Most of you haven’t skipped out yet…so I’m hoping for some patience while we get our shjit together here.  We’re under the weather a bit but pressing forward…seems like every time we get to a place where we find a bit of stability in life….God throws us another adventure (read: test?) to make sure we’re paying attention.  Leaving La Paz, we knocked out the Southern Crossing from La Paz directly to Puerto Vallarta with just a bit of drama…getting in here the morning of the 31st of 2019.  We slept through the New Year’s festivities and welcomed 2020 with some wind and rain but that’s evened out in the last week.  Then we moved onto more “tests”; as we had been working on keeping water outside the boat during the Southern Crossing and needed to do a quick haul out to check a few things on Tulum’s bottom.  A quick haul-out has turned into 5 days on the hard with 3-4 more days anticipated.  I’ll work through those stories…but needless to say I’ve been spending every day working in the boat yard, Quincy’s kenneled and we’re landlubbers.  

Wanna read more about some of these things?  Quincy will have her say tomorrow when the 1st Quincy’s Corner of 2020 comes out and Michelle (our Helm’s Mistress) takes her Weds writing to a new high explaining our current challenges in dry dock.  The best thing this website has is YOU….our followers.  I would NOT keep writing if you all were not out there- reading, commenting and cheering for us.  Please keep it up.  Yes, today I will answer every comment and keep answering as long as I have Wi-Fi.  Wanna buy me another Pacifico?  Check out our Patreon Site.   


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