on the horizon line - sailing and traveling blog in mexico

Embrace the Now

Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in Fishing, Ocean Tales

on the horizon line - sailing and traveling and fishing blog in mexico

Rob pulled himself into the dinghy. “Man, I sure wish I’d had our GoPro down there,” he told me, pulling off his mask. “How cool would it have been to get video of those sea lions side-swiping us?”

We’d just snorkeled off Los Islotes, a small rock outcropping north of La Partida island where we were anchored on our friend’s boat, Sea Raven. It’s famous for the sea lion colony that lives on the ammonia-scented, guano-stained rocks. And the fame is well-deserved: it was unbelievable to have humongous slippery mammals skyrocketing past us in the sea.

The lions, called lobos del mar or sea wolves in Spanish, honked and barked, blew bubbles when we got too close, and chomped on the millions of tiny bait fish shimmering like a silver wave just beneath the surface. This marine reserve looked like the Sea of Cortez must have looked a century ago – ripe with fish of all colors, shapes and sizes. It was quite a contrast to the more barren underwater scene near the rocks at our anchorage a mile south, where only a handful of smaller fish dodged hungry fishermen’s nets and lines.

on the horizon line - sailing and traveling blog in mexico

We put some distance between ourselves and the clutter of tourist boats at Los Islotes, and snorkeled again at the next rock island. Rob swam around for 20 minutes, then jumped into the dinghy so I could do the same. This time, he didn’t say a word about missed opportunities behind a camera. He was full of stories of the world below: “I saw tons of trigger fish, and a huge surgeon fish! Did you see that sea lion glide in off the rock? This place is seriously awesome.”

That evening, we both stretched on the foredeck as we watched the red light of sunset roll down from the mountains and break across the sea. Rob pointed out turtles as they popped up to breathe (he’s seen approximately 43 turtles this past week, compared to my 2), and we followed a young sea lion that was playing between the catamaran’s hulls.

on the horizon line - sailing and traveling and fishing blog in mexico espiritu santo sunset in baja

“You know,” Rob said, “I’ve been thinking about my time in Madagascar. I didn’t have any of that shit we just lost. I keep thinking it’s a blessing in disguise that our electronics got stolen. If I’d had the GoPro today, I would’ve been fiddling with cameras instead of just enjoying the dive, and I’d probably be inside editing the video right now instead of watching turtles swim in the sunset.”

It definitely still stings a lot that we lost all of the gear we so carefully researched and assembled. Mostly, though, it stings that we made dumb mistakes that led to that occurrence.

That sunset, Rob and I came to agreement that we don’t need to prove how cool and interesting this trip is, to ourselves or others. Sure, it’s natural to want to share our experience, and to capture remarkable moments to enjoy again later. But then you lose the now. The cost of recording those events means we’re behind a computer, camera or recorder, rather than fully experiencing how cool they are. The universe may well have been telling us that it’s our time to embrace the now.

on the horizon line - sailing and traveling and fishing blog in mexico

on the horizon line - cruising and travel blog

Finding Peace in La Paz

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Reflections on Life

Missoula Montana downtown over Clark Fork RiverWe just got back from a lovely meal with fellow Montanans who live here in La Paz.  (I know: our recent posts make it like Montanans are rapidly colonizing Baja California).  Josh Schroeder and his wife, Nieves, welcomed us into their home., and made us prawns, pasta and plenty of wine.  We ate with his sister, mom and grandpa, who are down visiting.  They commiserated over our losses, and shared some of their own more poignant and meaningful loss of a loved one.  We laughed, broke some glasses, and heard stories of Josh and Rob catching exorbitant numbers of giant trout in Alaska.

Many folks have commented on how positive we’ve been after the rocky start to our voyage, including Josh, and his mom, Joyce.  It made me realize a couple of things:

1) I haven’t shared the fact that Rob and I had many rough spots the past week.  One of us gets cranky or frustrated or sad or pissed off at the situation at least once a day.

2) What brings us back from the low spots are people like the Schroeders, as well as of our other friends, near and far.

on the horizon line - cruising and travel blogIt does suck to get robbed, not because of the stuff that disappears, but because it’s an insult.  It makes us feel dumb, naive, played, helpless.  In fact, my morning today was one of my lowest spots yet, as I oscillated between clicking “buy now” on many of the items we just lost versus wanting to burn half the remaining 25 pounds of stuff I still have (it’s true: I packed too many clothes).  I felt like La Paz and I will just never get along, as if we’re star-crossed lovers that can’t find a groove.

During the low points, I really miss my sister, and the girlfriends who know me inside and out.  I wonder how, exactly, I think I can live without them for months on end.  But then, hours later, I’ve found that total strangers feel almost as close as the family I ached for earlier.  I’ve found that La Paz is peaceful at night, with bright stars overhead and a cool breeze that laughs away my feelings of fated doom and gloom.

If I haven’t portrayed the frustrations and pain, it’s because the low points are often overshadowed by the view from the high points.  The voids fill.  The troughs crest.  All waves recede…and roll right on back in again.

on the horizon line - sailing and traveling blog in mexico

The Unexpected Treasures

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in Family and Friends, Traveling

“May you find light even in darkness.

May the arc of your narrative be full of unexpected treasures.

Be open.

Be vulnerable.

Be you.”

on the horizon line - sailing and traveling blog in mexico

These wise words appeared in our mailbox the day we locked the door of our home to set sail for new adventures.  Our good friend, Kipper, wrote them in a card, which we read as we lifted off from Montana toward western shores.

Today, I’m re-reading them and finding new meaning.  It’s been one week since one of our bags was stolen, along with most of the gadgets we’d amassed to take on this voyage.  It left us feeling extremely vulnerable.  But over the course of the week, we learned that the gadgets we wanted to bring along were not what we truly needed to reach our goals for this two-year trip.  We’ve replaced them tenfold already – not with new computers and cameras, but with an abundance of human kindness and the soothing balm of generous friends.

The loss of our expensive gear revealed an unexpected treasure: reminding us that the most valuable asset on earth is connecting with the people around you.  Since we reached Mexico, Rob and I have been lucky enough to sync rhythms with new friends, and fall into well-loved grooves with those we haven’t seen in years.  It’s remarkable how quickly we can become a tribe tied together by story-sharing, fireside chats, and the games and music that fill the space between sunset and bedtime.

katie and mark on boat

For instance: we’d spent about 3 waking hours with Mark and Katie after a year apart before we were all happily crammed in their little Subaru.  We headed to the beach with no plan, 2 sleeping bags, 1 sleeping pad, a dog, a cooler, 5 gallons of water, some field guides, fishing gear, a change of clothes and a lot of willingness to explore.  We ended up in Todos Santos looking for Missoula friends, and managed to track them down with no cell phone or email, and only Rob’s vague memory of visiting their plot of land 5 years ago.

With Mark and Katie, it’s always simple.  No one argues about where or when to eat, who cooks or cleans.  We don’t have to belabor “what we’ll do today,” since we all have the same goals: hang out, enjoy what the land and water has to offer, give thanks for the beauty of our freedom and for each other.  Even in the midst of stressful robberies and chaotic transitions, the four of us made plenty of jokes and took care of the others.

And the next instance: we had dinner with another couple of young cruisers the night after the car was stolen.  After dinner, Sabine and Terry hailed us over the VHF radio inviting us to accompany them to Isla Espiritu Santo on their 60-foot catamaran, Sea Raven.  Rob and I spent 5 days with these strangers-turned-friends, sharing meals, hikes, dives and chores.  Not only did they welcome us in their floating home, they also gave us a small netbook computer they don’t use, which is perfect for staying in touch during our travels.

From the home-front, we’ve felt an outpouring of love and support riding the winds south.  Thanks to all of you for your offers to help out, and your kind words these last few days.  The lightness in the dark sting of last week’s double-whammy thefts was finding the many kindred spirits who live lightly and fully – people who are welcoming and easy, and who look around often to remark: “I’m just happy to be here.”  So are we.

on the horizon line - sailing voyages into the unknown - brianna randall and rob robert's blog - bri and rob sailing

on the horizon line travel and sailling blog - gringo in baja california - feet

My Body is a Shellfish

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Outdoor Adventures, Reflections on Life

on the horizon line travel and sailling blog - gringo in baja california - feet

My whole body feels a like the inside of a shellfish. My skin is like an oyster, tender and supple, elastic and thin. My feet are as soft and smooshy as a snail, while my hands are as delicate and smooth as a scallop.

My shell has been pulled off, exposing me to a harsh new world. After being sheltered by walls and roofs for so many years, the buffer of buildings is suddenly gone. I have no office or house to protect me from the elements. My soft shellfish body is laid bare to sun, and uncovered for wind and sand to scour.

Rather than being swallowed whole like an oyster, I will metamorphose. My tender skin is toasting slowly in the desert sun, stretching tighter over my bones and ligaments. My soft feet, abraded daily by sand and stickers, are growing their own impenetrable barrier to protect my roots. My delicate hands are getting stronger, forming calluses that allow me to lift, carry, sift and pull.

This transformation is not a painless process. But the discomfort is a fair price to pay to make my body my new shelter.

on the horizon line travel and sailling blog - gringo in baja california

chinese lantern wishes in baja california - on the horizon line sailing blog

The Curse of the Chinese Lantern

Posted on 7 CommentsPosted in Family and Friends, Reflections on Life

chinese lantern wishes in baja california - on the horizon line sailing blogThe first five days of our trip were magical.  Easy.  Simple.  Relaxing.  Good people in a gorgeous spot, with few hassles and lots of laughter.  We felt blessed.

So, on the fourth night with our current tribe of saltwater-loving friends on the beach in Pescadero, Baja California, we made a feast to celebrate the sun-filled joy.  We barbecued over a wheelbarrow fire, played Yahtzee, told stories.  And then we decided to light off a Chinese sky lantern to send our wishes to the heavens.  These ancient floating orbs are like mini helium balloons, with a big paper body surrounding a little fire that lifts the lantern high into the night sky.  Chinese holidays and celebrations often feature a lantern lift-off, a tradition reminiscent of blowing out birthday candles in the U.S.

After making sure the wind was right, we each made a wish and took pictures (not these, though, due to subsequent events) as the three-foot lantern ascended toward the stars.  It started off slowly toward the north, then veered south at a fast clip as it hit winds in the stratosphere.  The closer it got to the heavens, the more it looked like a star of its own.  Then it faded out.

chinese lantern wishes in baja california - on the horizon line sailing blogThe next morning, the corpse of the blue lantern was in our driveway, about 30 feet from where we lit it off.  The six of us looked at each other in complete confusion, and discussed the improbability — impossibility, almost — of the lantern landing back where it started, especially since we’d watched it cruise so far south.  Bizarre, we agreed.  Borderline creepy.  We decided it must be good luck, because it made us feel better about the improbable return of our wishes.

Turns out, it wasn’t good luck.  The very next morning, we awoke to find a trifecta of a shit-storm had descended upon our happy tribe: $3,500+ of our electronics were stolen, Katie had horrible food poisoning, and Alan and Bequia’s 16-year-old dog seemed to be heading to the heavens herself.  We weathered the storms, said our goodbyes, and drove to La Paz to stay on Mark and Katie’s boat for the night.  Our exhaustion had us leaving much of our gear in the car outside the marina, and heading immediately to bed.  We awoke to find the shit-storm still in full swing: Katie and Mark’s car stolen, along with all of the gear inside.

Again, it seems improbable — impossible even — to have that much bad karma in a 24-hour period.  The only plausible explanation is that we were cursed by the Chinese sky lantern.  You’re not supposed to see your wishes return to earth when you’ve explicitly bequeathed them to the stars.  Our wishes spiraled in reverse and exploded in our faces for a brief but intense reality-check.

Now for the good news: our friend Brandon gave us a kata before we left Missoula, blessed by Tibetan lamas.  We broke it out last night and hung it from the boom to fight off the curse.  It seems to be working.  Katie and Mark will likely get insurance for the stolen goods, and already have offers of potential rides back to the States. Rob and I got an offer to go sailing for the next few days to nearby islands with a couple anchored here in La Paz.

The moral of the story?  Be careful what you wish for, and always check the winds twice.

 

palapa in baja california on the horizon line blog

Stolen Pride (and lots of other stuff)

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in Traveling

palapa in baja california on the horizon line blogIt’s April Fools Day.  Now, if only someone would pop out and yell, “Just kidding!  Here’s all your stuff back.”  We awoke after our 5th night under the open air palapa at Alan and Bequia’s place in Pescadero to another bright sunny morning in paradise … only to find that the backpack full of our favorite electronics had disappeared.  Yup.  Stolen.

Someone snatched our brand new MacBook Air, iPhone, Hero GoPro, Panasonic camera, sound recording equipment, iTouch and all their assorted accouterments right out from under our feet.  Literally: the bag was two inches from Rob’s left foot.

Rob went into Macgyver mode, finding the out-of-place footprints amidst our Croc and flip-flop prints.  He tracked the thief’s prints for almost a mile through the sand, up an arroyo, and down the road until they disappeared.  Meanwhile, I called bank accounts and dealt with the logistics of changing our online passwords and reorganizing our electronic-dependent lives.  We reported it with the Todos Santos policia, who said, “Yeah, there’s a lot of theft here lately  Buena suerte.”

I keep running through what should’ve been done differently, and how we could’ve prevented this.  I’ve been to Mexico dozens of times, and never been robbed.  I’ve  never had any trouble at all, in fact.  The luck ran out.  It’ll take weeks before we stop blaming ourselves for our carelessness, beating ourselves up for being dumb: why didn’t we separate the valuables better?  Why didn’t we lock them in the car?  Why didn’t we hear the intruder and wake up? ,Why. why, why??

The sting will last for days, but hopefully these lessons learned will last even longer:

– Although we lost much of what we wanted, we are left with everything we need.

– Keeping it simple is less stressful in the long run.

– Bad things will happen.  Anywhere.  And they will serve to highlight the good.

– We only lost things that can replaced with money or time.

– Our friends are solid gold.  Thanks to Katie and Mark (who are letting us use their computer to type this) and Alan and Bequia (who gave us their Olympus camera so we can take photos on our Pacific crossing) for their support, smiles, and footprint-tracking skills.

– Perhaps this voyage will be enriched by lightening our load, and by spending less time viewing our experiences through electronic devices.

– Sometimes you don’t get to choose your donations to society.

Next steps?  Well, we’re not going cold-turkey on the electronics.  We plan to find a cheap laptop in Panama pronto, so that we can keep writing and keep in touch.  I sure loved that MacBook Air, though.  Sigh.

 

 

katie and brianna on the beach in baja california - on the horizon line travel blog - gringo shades

Shades of Gringo

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Community and Culture, Traveling

katie and brianna on the beach in baja california - on the horizon line travel blog - gringo shades

The most noticeable thing about Baja (besides, of course, the stark beauty of the desert, the vast blue seas on either side of the mountains, the friendly people, awesome tacos and colorful culture) is the different shades of gringo.

On the light end of the gringo spectrum, you’ve got your rosy-cheeked young families on vacation, your fresh-off-the-plane northern retirees, and your honeymooners hiding under wide-brimmed hats. The darker varieties include the snowbirds who live here half the year, the college spring-breakers dedicated to tanning (and beer), and the ex-pats and mountain-cum-surfer vagabonds who are now Mexicans at heart. The shades of gringo hair vary inversely to the color of the skin: bleached and sun-streaked locks differentiate the long-timers from the Mexican newbies, with their darker and well-tamed hairdos.

Along with the amount of time spent in the country, the shade of the gringo can also indicate that particular foreigner’s willingness to meld with the culture, sink into Mexico’s rhythms, and embrace a new way of life. Or maybe the darker shade simply indicates the gringo’s willingness to shun the traditional 9-to-5-plus-2-weeks-vacation lifestyle favored by their lighter counterparts to the north.

katie and brianna on the beach in baja california - on the horizon line travel blog - gringo shades

Rob and me?  I like to think we’re at the darker end of the gringo spectrum. We tend to embrace new customs quickly. We happily quit our 9-to-5 lifestyle. We are officially vagabonds. Unfortunately, our literal skin shade doesn’t match up … yet. It’s straight up white. Pasty, creamy, pale, translucent. Ghostly. Almost see-through.

I keep forgetting how white we are until I look down at my feet next to Katie’s, or see Rob standing next to our friends, Aldo and Bequia. In my mind, we’ve already transitioned into beach people, and the type of gringos who mingle with locals while throwing out Mexican slang. But in reality, we are the same shade as the tourists who sit under cabanas in Cabo.

I’m trying to be patient while my true shade of gringo slowly emerges. Sure, I want the bleached hair and tan skin that clearly define my place in the gringo spectrum. But I also don’t want skin cancer, and won’t roast myself on the sand like a turkey on a spit. We have the luxury of time, so I know it won’t be long before our bodies reflect the true nature of our vagabond souls.

rob with pole spear and dog

A Typical Baja Beginning

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baja sailing - on the horizon line blog

We made it to Mark and Katie!  And it only took an extra 3 hours more than planned, with only half the expected cost.  In Mexico, that’s quite a success story.

After leaving Missoula at 5:30 AM in the dark, chilly mountain air, we landed in SanJose del Cabo Airport at the southern tip of the Baja Californ
ia peninsula at 3:45 PM.  We’d hoped to take a bus directly from the airport at 4:30 PM, but …. well, it’s Mexico.  Though we had boarding passes written up by the cashier, we were a tad late in handing over the pesos, so the driver left without us.  “Siento,” he said, in an un-sorry voice.  “Bus is full.  They will call another driver.”  And how long would that take, did he think?  “Oh, 40 minutes.  Maybe 2 hours.  Hard to say.”

hummingbird in nest-smAfter much hemming and hawing in a mix of two languages, turns out the cashier REALLY wanted to go home.  She said it would be “mas rapido” to take a taxi to the nearest tiny town and grab a different bus from there.  Santa Anita didn’t have a lot going for it, except for the highway running through its center.  After a confusing round of differing instructions from a variety of helpful (but not always right) people, we finally bought tickets for the 6:00 PM bus (which showed up at 7:00).

The coolest part of the delay: as we waited with ice cream sandwiches on the side of the highway for our bus, Rob spotted a humming bird fly into a scrubby tree on the highway median.  He snuck up and saw it sitting  on a nest … the first hummingbird we’ve ever seen on a nest!  And beneath it?  Two tiny eggs the size of Altoid mints.

bri yoga on dock w selkieMark and Katie were planning to greet us at the Malecon in La Paz at 730 PM after our 3 hour bus ride. Luckily, we used our handy DeLorme InReach (more on this nifty tool later) to send them a message that we’d arrive at 10:00 PM instead.  After a Pacifico and empanadas, we all snuggled down on Selkie for the night.  And I did some dock yoga this morning, too.

Now we’re packing up to go explore some remote beaches for a bit.  Well, Rob and I are already packed.  The trick is fitting the 4 of us, our big bags, a golden retriever and an inflatable kayak in a tiny Subaru for a week of camping.  Stay tuned for pictures of that tetris game.  Hasta luego!

packing for todos santos

A Letter to Llyr – From Bri

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Sailing
The following is a letter I emailed to the owners of Llyr.  In April, this family will embark on an ocean expedition to research bio-cultural diversity from their 53′ steel sailboat.  Llyr responded to our post in Cruisers Forum, and we’ve been communicating about potentially crewing on their boat from Panama to the Marquesas — a 30+ day crossing of the Pacific Ocean.

Read Rob’s letter to Llyr here.

Dear Janis and Brooks,

Thanks so much for giving us this glimpse into your life, your goals, and your boat.  It’s been a pleasure to read more about you and your family, and we certainly appreciate the time you’ve spent communicating with us.  Since Rob’s done the majority of communication on our behalf, I thought I’d jump in with my background first.

I was born in Southern California, and lived there until I was 22.  My family lived at the base of the San Gorgonio Wilderness, just west of the desert near Palm Springs.  My sister and I were lucky enough to grow up exploring tall mountains, fascinating deserts, and the Pacific Ocean.  Some of my first memories are sleeping in the quarter-berth of my Grandpa’s Catalina while it was docked in Dana Point.  My dad took care of this boat after Grandpa died, and they took us for weekend sailing getaways until the family had to sell the boat when I was 10.  We continued our “sailing lessons” with Dad by renting small boats a couple times each summer, and I went on to take sailing lessons while at college in San Diego.  I took all the courses I could, mainly so I was “certified” to check out different sailboats on weekends to tool around Mission Bay.  Hobie Cats were my favorite.

When I moved to Montana for grad school 10 years ago, I said a tearful goodbye to the Pacific and sailing…and then unexpectedly found a unique opportunity to sail even more in Montana!  A friend asked me to caretake his boat and share docking costs on Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi.  I’ve spent 6 seasons (May-Oct) exploring this 25×10 mile lake, gaining experience in safe anchoring off the many islands and in weathering rough mountain storms.  This 1975 Paceship 26′ boat had no “amenities,” and I quickly learned the nuances of sail trim without a windex, anemometer, or GPS.

My favorite part about sailing on Flathead Lake is taking my friends out for the first time.  We’ve probably introduced 30 people to their first sail over the years, and even inspired a few to take lessons and get their own boat!  I love teaching others how to move through space with the power of wind alone, and watching them feel comfortable at the tiller after just a few hours.  Rob was one of those I taught — and the quickest learner, with his background exploring water.  We started dating during my third summer sailing, and truly fell in love on the boat.  Since 2009, Rob and I would head up most Friday afternoons and cast off dock lines as soon as we could, spending 2-3 nights out on the lake, staring at Glacier National Park and the Mission Mountain Wilderness.  His proficiency at fixing things on the boat (or anywhere, for that matter) and wanting to explore how things work on the boat mesh well with my contentment simply sailing her for hours.

I’ve wanted to cross the Pacific for as long as I can remember.  Partly, this is because I distinctly remember”interviewing” my dad for a homework assignment in elementary school about the “event that most changed a parent’s life.”  His was crossing from Hawaii to Santa Barbara when he delivered a boat (he worked in boatyards throughout So. Cal. in his early 20s).  I can still recall exactly where I sat while he told me about pilot whales, storms, crystal-clear stars, and finding treasures while skin diving.  I can hardly believe I might get the chance to have my own life-changing Pacific crossing in a few short months.

As for other sailing experience, my friend, Katie, and I chartered a bareboat out of the US BVIs in 2008.  We sailed a Bavaria 38′ for 9 days, anchoring, mooring, and navigating between 6 islands.  It was spirited weather, and we never took the reef out of the main.  In 2007, I jumped aboard a 65′ Maxi racing boat in Airlie Beach, Australia, offering my crew and cooking services in return for a free 4-day sailing and snorkel trip around the Whitsunday Islands

I also crewed with a friend on his 30′ sailboat for 8 days and ~275 miles in Southeast Alaska in 2010.  He asked for my help during the “Dixon Entrance”, which is one of the gnarliest crossings in the Inside Passage with no protection for the full force of Pacific waves and winds coming Northwest.  It was fun.  I learned a lot more about navigation on this Alaska voyage, since we had to rely on charts and GPS frequently due to dense fog.  I also learned a lot more about how tides can impact navigation and velocity, as the huge tidal currents formed rips and whirlpools.

Lastly, Rob and I joined Katie and her husband, Mark, in Baja CA last November for a 2-week bareboat charter.  We crammed 4 people in a 1970 22′ Catalina, along with enough food and water to explore deserted desert islands for 12 full days.  We outfitted the boat ourselves with food for the 2 weeks, and were largely alone in the ocean, aside from a short stop in a tiny ~100-person village.  Katie and Mark are now cruising in their own boat in Baja, and we plan to start our trip with them on their 28′ Pearson-Triton in late March before crossing the Pacific.

 

As for conservation and communication…well, those two words sum up my professional interests and experience in a nutshell!  Writing is one of my passions, and one of my skills.  Conservation is a principal ethos by which I live my life.  I’m a biology major, and took several marine biology courses in San Diego as well as on Vancouver Island where I studied for 6 months.  I also taught marine biology at an Audubon Camp in Maine for a summer before moving to Montana.  My master’s in Environmental Writing has served me well these past 8+ years as I raise money, lobby, and lead the outreach/ communications around freshwater conservation in western Montana.  I taught myself how to build a website this fall, and have enjoyed learning more about the many opportunities to reach a broader audience with diverse types of media.  I’m looking forward to writing and creating more during our “mid-life retirement.”

I’m great at scrubbing decks or dishes.  I like oiling teak.  I love cooking, and especially the challenge of cooking a great meal with limited ingredients.  I got my scuba open water certification in Montana (brrrr!), and have dived in Florida, Cuba, and Mexico.  I play guitar, sing, practice yoga and all types of dance, and — always, always — look for ways to learn more about the world around us.

I think your family, your boat, and your goals sound amazing.  And, I think that Rob and I would fit in well, from what we understand so far.  Thank you again for the chance to introduce ourselves.  I look forward to talking more, and hopefully meeting in person, too.

Cheers,
Brianna

Baja or Bust: Sailing in the Sea of Cortez

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Sailing, Traveling

Four sailors.  Twelve days.  Five desert islands.  125 miles in a 22-foot 1978 Catalina.  In November 2011, Rob and I and two of our closest friends spent two weeks exploring the Loreto Marine Park in the Sea of Cortez.  And we did it for less than $1,000 per person (including flights and tequila!).

The full story will appear in the August edition of Cruising World.  We hope the story will inspire readers to just go: sail when, how, and where you can, even if it means cramped quarters on a 30-year-old boat you rent from a guy in Mexico named Rudolfo.  For now, here’s a few pictures and a “trailer” of our trip:

  • trading off nights camping on the beach under the stars;
  • preparing grouper ceviche and fish tacos;
  • swimming with dolphins, hammerheads, and phosphorescent glow worms;
  • petting goats and finding ice-cold beer in a remote fishing village on Day 10;
  • hooking a 4-foot dorado from our sit-on-top kayak dingy; and
  • spectacular anchorages in turquoise waters off desert islands.

It was a blast.  Stay tuned for the full article next summer!

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