It’s nearly the New Year and we’ve gotten Thanksgiving and Christmas out of the way. We spent several weeks at a slip in La Paz effecting repairs and changing out our batteries…so by the time you read this we hope to be about halfway through our Southern Crossing from Baja to the Mainland. There’s multiple ways to do the crossing to the mainland…we’ve chosen to go back to Muertos from La Paz and jump from there. We’re following the track of friends of ours (Allan and Rina) on Follow You Follow Me, who did the same trip several weeks ago. We’ve watched and waited for weather window’s and this week seems to have a decent lull in Northerly’s. So for a couple of months, we’re trading a desert coastline on Baja for a tropical coastline in Banderas Bay. Loved La Paz, we’ll be back in March.
Once we reach Banderas Bay and get decent internet, we’ll work hard on our great Whale Shark video’s and do a complete post on swimming with them as well as our expedition to Los Islotes to see the Sea Lions.
The following is an interview between older sister Teagan and younger sister Kellyn for this Kids Corner Post:
Okay, so I’m going to interview my sister, Kellyn (who’s finally showing some interest in the blog), for reasons that I will keep to myself. How do you like living on a boat? Kellyn: “I love the boat. Sure, there’s no privacy, BUT at least I kinda get a bunk bed. [But I don’t get to sleep in it]. I sleep on the bottom, which is quite comfy”. Do you like having a Great Dane on the boat? Kellyn: “I mean of COURSE, who wouldn’t want a Great Dane on their boat? Quincy’s the friendliest dog ever. Sure, she barks (quite loudly, actually), but that’s just her way of saying “HI!”. Do you like living with 3 other people? Kellyn: “I would love some privacy, but I love my family, and I don’t know what it would be like without them”.
Good Morning, by the time you read this, we’ll be starting our passage from Muertos directly across to Banderas Bay, known as one version of the Southern Crossing. We’ll pick back up with Kids Corner from Banderas Bay, PV Mexico when we get there.
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 www.LIVEFREE2SAILFAST.COM.
Many wishes for you happiness in this season of giving- the LF2SF Family-
Hi, have you ever wondered what other blog or website are out there that might catch your interest? A great way to find out is to participate in a weekend share or blog party like the website “It’s Good To Be Crazy Sometimes” sponsors every weekend of the year. This is also a great way to get your site name and address out there to a larger audience. Take a look, there’s some great sites on here…every weekend-
Its polling day today, this is the day when we decide what the fuck we want to do with the UK, apart from nothing will change and we will back where we started from. The main difference is going to be the fact that hopefully, many people will have taken a walk to their nearest […]
At LF2SF, we try to leave things better than we found them. We don’t ever dump plastic trash into the ocean anywhere and we try to clean up after Quincy the Boat Dog everywhere that we can. Quincy feels the same way and often just wants to be on the beache to do her puppy laps back and forth and then retire back to her boat to sleep.
Quincy Says: “Take photos and Leave Footprints”
In case you’re reading for the first time- Quincy the Boat Dog is a 130-pound Great Dane who lives on our cruising sailboat (currently located in the Sea of Cortez) while we figure out how to keep cruising as long as possible. She’s often spoiled more than we are but has to endure things like a (tiny) grass mat on the bow (when she can’t get to shore), overnight passages, flying fish and some low-grade seasickness. In exchange…she gets to go to perfect white sand beaches, avoid crabs on other beaches and hang out with her family full time. Did you know that Great Danes just REALLY want to be around their people (who feed them) and we don’t think they really care where they are. This is from our experience with 3 different Danes. All we ask of Quincy is that she guard the boat when we’re not around…which she does- very well.
Wanna buy Quincy some DOG FOOD? Check out our Patreon Page.
These are my opinions and only mine.
Our Kids Can Entertain Themselves: Yep, there’s days when the kids just can’t charge iPads or watch a movie…and amazingly enough they find things to do. At first I thought they would just read until they were pure bored then put up a fuss, but they actually haven’t melted down like I thought they would.
Sunsets ARE Better When Cruising: I’m totally not sure about the “why” on this one, I just know it’s true. I wanted to say “sunsets are better when out of the US and cruising”…but you can certainly do some great cruising in the US and have good sunsets. We’re had some of our best sunsets underway and some pretty good ones sitting here in Marina waiting on repairs. I know….cause I’m watching one now with a glass of vino!
In Mexico, Stop Signs Are Optional: Once you ride in an Uber or Taxi here, you’ll know I speak the truth. Just be ready for this and take it in stride…they don’t get in accidents much.
Me and Michelle Are More Competent On the Water Than We Thought: Me and Michelle had plenty of ocean time before starting the Ha-Ha and cruising….but certainly not as much as others. Me and her had to work prior to cruising and we worked hard…so we didn’t get to weekend race or go crewing on deliveries and such. But we have other experiences that feed into our confidence level and we’re learning that we can trust our own judgement. If you’re in the same category..don’t discount your own experiences.
Jerry Jugs Still Work Fine: I was amazed to hear folks on the Ha-Ha asking to buy Jerry Jugs cause they needed fuel and had no way to haul it. Then I got to La Paz and found out there’s only 1 working fuel dock (not at this marina) and you better have an appnt to get on that fuel dock or you’ll be waiting in a small area without much room to maneuver. But, the Repsol across the street has diesel, but you’ve got to get the diesel from there to the boat. Jerry Jugs solved that problem….and 4 trips across the street and 110 gallons of diesel later….Tulum was good on fuel. Pays to have jugs!
Vegans/Vegetarians/Foodies/Gluten-Free Folks Won’t Starve: That’s right people, Mexico has stores with options for every diet! Bring it on…you can find whatever you need and more!
Some of The Things I Remember As a Kid Are Still Here: As a kid, I grew up on a 41-foot sailboat that cruised these same waters through to Panama and the Caribbean for five years. I have fond memories of great Mexican ice-cream and bacon wrapped hot dogs cooked perfectly and piping hot. AND…they’re still here.
Collecting Experiences Instead of Electronics: The kids have iPads and a TV with a DVD Player. But…they have few of the other electronic distractions normally found with a family in the suburbs (of the US) and instead are being forced into experiences that build character. I didn’t think either of my daughters would go into the water with (fairly large) whale sharks, but they displayed courage by quietly slipping into the water and LOVING it. I didn’t know how the kids would do on their first long paddle by paddleboard and kayak…but they took direction and they applied some of the techniques and tactics we talked to them about…in order to paddle to a white sand beach and observe turtles right under the water in a crystal clear bay.
Agua Potable Doesn’t Mean Drinkable: Did you read that clearly and comprehend? You get to a fancy marina and they tell you the water‘s potable.Make sure to ask if it’s drinkable! We’ve learned and had to invest in a fresh water filter in addition to our water maker. No, the West Marine hose attachment isn’t going to cut it!
Racers Ain’t Cruisers: I’ve learned this lesson in the last couple months. Cruisers want to get places without breaking shit and they don’t always care when they get there. Lots of folks started out racing and now cruise. But racing isn’t a pre-requisite to cruising/sailing like we’ve been told several times. We’re just NOT as good at “trimming” sails and knowing the exact names of every single sailing thingy (terminology) as someone with a racing background. Gotta admit this isn’t helped by my climbing and rescue background..where a rope was a rope! And sometimes we just don’t care.
Kids Corner is a feature on this website and blog that my 10-year old writes as weekly post about whatever’s on her mind at the time. We do this to allow her to have a voice on the website and get her to correspond with other kids around the world while she’s out here with us having the unique experience of living full time on a cruising sailboat (our floating hovel). While we’re not that unique in this adventure (there’s lots of other boats with kids), we want still want to have our own experiences and allow both the 10-year old AND the 7-year old to write about it in their own words with light editing (for content) from me. So here’s writing from both kids:
From Teagan (10 years old):
WE.JUST.WENT.SWIMMING.WITH.THE.BIGGEST.FISH.IN.THE.WORLD………A WHALESHARK!!!! It was so cool, I mean, you think its gonna be scary, like they might swallow you whole (but they can’t, their throats are like as big as, like, your eyeball), or hit you really hard or something, but usually, they just don’t want to be disturbed, and then they won’t do anything. But they were like, REALLY big, like most of them were bigger than the boat (it was a ponga though). They were just moseyin’ along, trying to find some food.
These creatures are really big, and usually they’ll be fine. just get in the water slowly and don’t get too close, or else you could spook it, and it will swim away before you can see it really good, or get some photos with your underwater cam. Sometimes, before you can see it, it will be swimming too fast for you see it. Don’t worry, though, the guide said that the only day that they didn’t see one was because it was only days before the whale shark season ended (I don’t recommend reserving it around that time). I’m going to post some videos on our YouTube Channel. It’s really important that we don’t touch them, because we have bacteria on our hands, and if we touch them, we’ll transfer that bacteria to them, harming their skin, and we don’t want that. It is so important that we preserve this amazing species. In Asia, they like to eat shark fin soup. What is so sad is, they toss the body of the sharks in the back in the ocean and leave it to die. just think about it…. Teagan Up and Out!
From Kellyn (7 years old)- her first post that she wrote on her own:
LITERALLY. JUST. SWAM. WITH. THE. WORLD’S. LARGEST. FISH! [And I’m seriously NOT kidding]. A Whale Shark. Have you ever seen one? Like, not in photos or videos or something, but actually going in the water? Well I have. [Plus my family and some other people].
And if you are scared here’s some stuff you need to know: 1.They can’t and won’t swallow you because…their esophagus[which is a fancy shmancy word for throat]is really tiny. 2.They eat plankton. [NOT people]. 3. You should stay 2 meters away their body and 3 meters away from their tails for safety. KK-shazaam! (more…)
Somewhere in the Sea of Cortez:
It’s December and I’m still running around in a bikini and washing up by jumping off the back of the boat – what’s not to love?! We have yet to hit a marina and I must say, I love being at anchor with scenery in all directions. The Sea of Cortez offers endless remote anchorages which I still cannot fathom. This place is an ecological playground with breathtaking views and warm weather – How is it not packed to the gills with tourists? I’m blown away that a place like this still exists and am thankful for the opportunity to enjoy it with my family. Bahia Los Frailes offered our first opportunity for snorkeling and did not disappoint. From huge schools of gargantuan parrotfish to the smallest most brilliant reef fish swimming around colorful heads of coral, there was an entire underwater playground to enjoy. The best part is having the kids grab your hand, point, and exclaim something entirely incomprehensible through their snorkel as they spot another underwater treasure swimming around us. We rounded up to the islands of Espiritu Santo and Partida to enjoy the incredible ecosystem I have longed for months to visit. The red rock desert landscape submerging into the ocean at sunset is a sight that should not be missed. Our paddleboard to shore yesterday yielded turtles in the bay, but the bigger treat was waiting for us ashore. As we got scope-locked looking down in the water for stingrays and crabs, I heard Teagan say “Oh my gosh!”. I turned to see her staring at the sand and as I did the same I realized the little “pebbles” we’d been overlooking on the beach were all moving in unison. They were not pebbles at all, but hundreds of fiddler crabs all moving in unison away from the colossal two legged creatures who had now invaded their beach. They literally covered the beach and I had to slow down my stride to make sure I didn’t step on them. So happy to experience these moments with the kids.
Occasionally I’ll still take a good story and hit the ReBlog button but we’re way down in the number of ReBlogs on the site from what we used to do several years ago. This post is told from a WIFE’S point of view about her aging husband who’s a volunteer Rural Firefighter in Australia. Have you heard anything lately about the huge and horrible fires that Australia is having? Well…now you have. In case any of you decided to think too much…this is in NO WAY politically motivated because I don’t know a thing about Australian politics or budget matters nor will I ever claim to. Just take a read; you might taste the soot-
Originally posted on SMARTER THAN CROWS: Update: This post has now had more than 80,000 views. Thank you to everyone that’s sharing it. I wish I’d put this link up before I published. For anyone wanting to donate to the Rural Fire Service, please make a donation directly to your local brigade if you have…
Quincy is a 133-pound Great Dane who lives on a cruising sailboat that’s currently somewhere in Southern Baja. She’s lived on the boat for over a year and just transited down the Baja with the Baja Ha-Ha 2019 and her adventure family. But like you…she sometimes gets the yen to be pampered and have a spa day. So we had to oblige her…. (more…)