MatTag Sailabout

Stories, photos, videos, and natural history updates from a family of three traveling from Alaska to Mexico on their sailboat with their Schipperke.

Vessel Name: RESILIENCE
Vessel Make/Model: Contest 44
Hailing Port: Juneau, Alaska
Crew: Beth Mathews, Jim and Glen Taggart
About:
Beth is a marine biologist who has lived in Alaska for 20 years. She retired from the University of Alaska Southeast to begin this sailing adventure with her family. Her research and teaching focus has been on marine mammals and behavioral ecology. [...]
Extra: 2016: Last year Jim delivered our sailboat from Baja to San Francisco Bay where Glen and I met him for the final leg up the Petaluma River to her new home. Resilience is now moored in the Petaluma Marina, only 20 miles south of our land home in Santa Rosa.
06 January 2016 | Petaluma Marina
26 June 2015 | San Juanico Bay
25 June 2015 | Exploring Magdelena Bay
19 June 2015 | Off SW end of Baja
27 May 2015 | Santa Rosa, CA
23 March 2015 | La Paz, Mexico
15 October 2014 | Bahia San Pedro, Mexico
15 October 2014 | Santa Rosa, CA
09 June 2014 | Alameda, CA
05 April 2014 | 27.55'N; 111.50'W
03 April 2014 | San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
27 March 2014 | 33.9425 N; 118.4081 W
23 February 2014 | Alameda, CA
18 December 2013 | Alameda, CA
13 June 2013 | Crossing the Sea of Cortez
Recent Blog Posts
28 July 2016 | Santa Rosa, CA

Skye Blaine reads from her book, Bound to Love: a memoir of grit and gratitude

My writing group mentor, Skye Blaine's, book, Bound to Love: a memoir of grit and gratitude, kept me wanting to read on, eager to follow her through difficult and joyous times as she navigates her unconventional and challenging life as the mother of a disabled son. In several sections, I could [...]

14 July 2016 | Petaluma Harbor

Powerful social justice poem by Laura McHale Holland

A friend and a member of my writing group, Laura McHale Holland, recently had a poem published that I want to share. Here is a brief background on what inspired her poem:

10 January 2016 | Santa Rosa, Ca

VIDEO: Beth reads "The Third Try," a story about releasing fishing line snarled around the prop

Beth Mathews is a marine biologist and writer who set out on a three-year sailing adventure from Alaska to Mexico with her ten-year-old son and husband, after her husband had a debilitating brainstem stroke. In this video, she reads about snorkeling beneath the boat, while in Mexico, to cut the boat's [...]

06 January 2016 | Petaluma Marina

Make a Difference in 2016

With the New Year's first week about to vaporize, I paused today while walking in downtown Petaluma (20 miles south of Santa Rosa) to think about what I had done last year that I wanted to do more of in 2016. The list started with "exercise." Then I remembered that in 2015, I submitted a letter to the [...]

26 June 2015 | San Juanico Bay

5:00 AM Anchor in San Juanico 6/26/2015

5:55AM B: Just read all of your posts. So glad last night went well. Wishing I knew how to teleport. 6/26/2015 FRIDAY [Note: Jim can send send 150 character texts from their InReach GPS device.]

Skye Blaine reads from her book, Bound to Love: a memoir of grit and gratitude

28 July 2016 | Santa Rosa, CA
hot
My writing group mentor, Skye Blaine's, book, Bound to Love: a memoir of grit and gratitude, kept me wanting to read on, eager to follow her through difficult and joyous times as she navigates her unconventional and challenging life as the mother of a disabled son. In several sections, I could not read on because the tears blurred the words on the page.

Skye recently read from her book at Copperfield's Bookstore. Here is a video of that event



Skye's moving book is available at Amazon.com in print and electronic formats

I found powerful, shared ground and new insights through Skye's vivid depictions of relationships with her son, parents, and three husbands. We witness her son's pivotal role in shaping, stressing, and strengthening those relationships, and in forcing the author to choose between what is best for her child over a husband's needs.

Skye shares their rich life on a California commune and how hard it was to leave that supportive community as her son's, and her own, needs shifted. I was enthralled by the author's intimate story of giving up smoking pot when her son was a pre-teen. As a fellow mother of a teen son, the chapter unveiling the bullying her son endures almost did me in. The scenes building to a pivotal interaction with her conventional, midwestern father were among my favorites.

This book is also the heart-rending story of Skye's son's journey forward--through unimaginable medical and social setbacks--finding friendship in the commune, leaving that security to become the new, disabled boy in a public high school, his hard work to overcome a reading disability, and his brave steps toward independence as a young man.

Through stories intense with personal honesty and vivid writing, Bound to Love, brings us into the heart and soul of a creative and resourceful response to a difficult life. Skye's well-researched book presents helpful nuggets of medical information without slowing the powerful momentum of the story.

Reading Bound to Love expanded my appreciation of the needs of disabled children and their families. Parents of a child with a disability, or a child who has suffered discrimiation, will especially appreciate this compelling memoir, but the story resonates beyond those boundaries. Despite the barriers and prejudices Skye and her son encounter, and even in the face of a potentially devastating medical revelation near the end of the book, this is an inspiring story of a mother's compassionate quest to ensure the best outcome for her son.

Powerful social justice poem by Laura McHale Holland

14 July 2016 | Petaluma Harbor
sunny
A friend and a member of my writing group, Laura McHale Holland, recently had a poem published that I want to share. Here is a brief background on what inspired her poem:

"Alejandro Nieto was killed by police in the neighbourhood where he spent his whole life. Did he die because a few white newcomers saw him as a menacing outsider? --The Guardian, March 21, 2016. "

Laura's daughter went to school with Alejandro and knew him well. The case recently went to civil court. Her daughter's, and her own, deep sorrow inspired Laura to write the poem. That night she came and read it to us (we are a group of 4 women who meet every week to give each other feedback on our writing). The poem left me in tears and thinking about it for days.

Here's the link to Laura's potent poem, "The Dog Runs On."

Please share this link if you know someone else who might appreciate the poem.

Seeking a more just future.

Beth

(photo: American Goldfinch, Petaluma wetlands)


VIDEO: Beth reads "The Third Try," a story about releasing fishing line snarled around the prop

10 January 2016 | Santa Rosa, Ca
cool, not raining
Beth Mathews is a marine biologist and writer who set out on a three-year sailing adventure from Alaska to Mexico with her ten-year-old son and husband, after her husband had a debilitating brainstem stroke. In this video, she reads about snorkeling beneath the boat, while in Mexico, to cut the boat's prop free of a snarl of fishing line and almost becoming entangled herself.

Make a Difference in 2016

06 January 2016 | Petaluma Marina
rain
With the New Year's first week about to vaporize, I paused today while walking in downtown Petaluma (20 miles south of Santa Rosa) to think about what I had done last year that I wanted to do more of in 2016. The list started with "exercise." Then I remembered that in 2015, I submitted a letter to the editor in the Santa Rosa Sunday Paper and it was published. Speaking out about something important made me feel so good.



The title I submitted was "Mega-drought: Consider Carbon Fee and Dividend." The paper re-titled it "A Carbon Tax." I was fine with that change (after all, it saved two rows of text), but there is a crucial difference between a fee and a tax. With the Carbon Fee and Dividend proposed by Citizen's Climate Lobby (Citizen's Climate Lobby), the funds collected at the source of the carbon extraction will be returned equally to all households, rather than available as a pool of money to politicians. The dividend offsets the rising costs of fossil fuels, helping people with the lowest incomes the most, and the fee creates more incentives for clean alternatives. I like the simplicity, market-driven rather than regulatory approach, and transparency of CCL's approach.

Simply submitting a letter to the editor is important, even if it isn't published. That's because each submission tells the editors of your paper a bit more about what their readers care about. Maybe your letter, on climate change or the rash of new pot-holes in your neighborhood, didn't get published, but it may have helped another community member get their letter published on that same topic.

My new year's resolution is to volunteer more and to submit more letters to the editor. Given that I only submitted one last year, that is not challenging myself much, but it's a start. And yes, I want to ride my bike more. A lot more.

Wishing you a wonderful new year.

Let your voice be heard.

Beth

5:00 AM Anchor in San Juanico 6/26/2015

26 June 2015 | San Juanico Bay
Jim / First Light
5:55AM B: Just read all of your posts. So glad last night went well. Wishing I knew how to teleport. 6/26/2015 FRIDAY [Note: Jim can send send 150 character texts from their InReach GPS device.]

1:14AM
J: Finally ran out of wind. Perkins [engine] reassuring intrusion. Wonderful night. tired sleep. corwin on watch. San Juanico at first light

5:00 AM.
Anchor @ san Juanico. First light. Beautiful calm, tired. Not many lights even for a small village.

5:19 AM
Corwin and Jan are asleep. Sailing a boat is intensely social - awake when everybody asleep is the rare alone time. A panga just zoomed by.

5:27
Jan was smiling broadly sailing last night. Corwin's enthusiasm is wonderful and infectious, when it is rough or we are free diving.
RESILIENCE's Photos - Main
Contains photos I need to store here to upload into posts.
1 Photo
Created 6 January 2016
1 Photo
Created 25 June 2015
Our 2nd stop during our passage south from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas with the 2012 Baja Ha Ha. (This is where Jim is June 20+ 2015)
56 Photos
Created 21 June 2015
Jim has prepped & is sailing/bashing our sailboat up the outer coast of Baja.
4 Photos
Created 19 June 2015
Photos by Forrest Young and Jim.
7 Photos
Created 6 November 2014
This album has 3 photos from our new home in Santa Rosa, CA.
6 Photos
Created 15 October 2014
While the hull and bottom painting projects continue below, we pull out the sails from months of storage inside the boat to reattach them to their booms -- a job that would be hard for Jim to do alone.
16 Photos
Created 5 April 2014
Boat painting continues while we pull the mainsail out of the boat and reattach it.
12 Photos
Created 5 April 2014
Beth and Glen join Jim over Glen's spring vacation in San Carlos, Mexico where the boat is hauled out for painting.
26 Photos
Created 3 April 2014
Over breakfast at the San Ignacio Oasis, I met Tad, Galia, and John, who were touring Baja by motorcylce. We shared a wonderful breakfast. They did a great job of shattering my stereotype of 'bikers.' John is a former avid bicycle rider. Seeing how they packed all of their gear for weeks onto their bikes was impressive.
5 Photos
Created 1 July 2013
San Ignacio is where Glen's cave painting trip originated and ended. I made new friends here with Faith (3 yrs old) and her parents, Isabel and Russ, wrote, walked, paid bills, rode a one-speed bike around town, and painted while Glen was off on his big trip.
30 Photos
Created 23 June 2013
Glen surfs his new board by being towed behind our sailboat as we travel north in the Sea of Cortez.
9 Photos
Created 13 June 2013
Nine of us from 5 family boats visited La Paz's Serpentarium. The highlight was the aviary, where we all got to feed birds that ate out of our hands.
41 Photos
Created 1 June 2013
We loved getting close to the cactus and volcanic rock on this steep, rocky section above a white beach along the lower Sea of Cortez.
25 Photos
Created 24 May 2013
Several mother-calf pairs of gray whales interacted with our boat and us in San Ignacio Lagoon -- an amazing experience.
16 Photos
Created 5 May 2013
Glen meets the other expedition members in San Ignacio, Baja
8 Photos
Created 29 April 2013
On our first day in San Blas we toured the town and ruins with fellow boaters from Lady Carolina
12 Photos
Created 25 February 2013
East of La Paz, in Cerralvo Channel, we encounter a lone, young sperm whale.
6 Photos
Created 26 January 2013
San Diego to Bahia de los Tortugas, including Glen's first tuna (under full sail) and our first overnight sailing.
35 Photos
Created 30 December 2012
Savoring Bahia de los Frailes.
20 Photos
Created 26 December 2012
Glen and Beth move back to Alameda from Ojai; Glen attends Cazadero Music Camp; we decide to bail on maintaining teak cap rails and paint (!) them instead.
70 Photos
Created 19 December 2012
We are coastal hopping our way south, pausing to wait for very good weather and to experience small communities and people along the way.
16 Photos
Created 1 September 2011
Still some essential projects to complete before heading out past Cape Flattery. Made time to visit the fantastic Makah Indian museum in Neah Bay.
9 Photos
Created 11 August 2011
Last days in Port Townsend getting ready to start our offshore trip. First leg to Port Angeles; fogged out on Aug 7.
30 Photos
Created 8 August 2011
We launch our new main sail and discover 2 excellent, free, interactive educational web sites.
26 Photos
Created 29 April 2011
Glen and I took a long side trip to see the edge of one the world’s most unlikely and puzzling migrations: 10 million monarch butterflies, through 4-5 generations, migrate from central Mexico to the Great Lakes region.
47 Photos
Created 12 April 2011
Ijsselmeer gets back in the water and is remasted. Christmas on board and with Nan and Ina.
6 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 23 March 2011
As the deck project marchess on to the fiberglass phase, we appreciate house-sitting for friends, a brief bit of snow, visits from dear friends, and Thanksgiving with Nan and Ina.
63 Photos
Created 23 March 2011
We (especially Jim) continue to work on the deck overhaul, while learning splicing for the running rigging from Brion; Glen celebrates his 12th Birthday in PT and thrives with homeschooling; housesitting a wonderful Victorian home while the deck project drones on keeps us from imploding.
77 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 26 February 2011
As the rigging project is pre-empted by the deck replacement mega-project, we continue to enjoy life in Port Townsend, a visit to the Bauer-Youngs near Mt Ranier, thanksgiving with Beth's cousin Nan (and Ina), housesitting a wonderful Victorian in PT, the Kinetic Sculpture event and more.
63 Photos
Created 7 February 2011
Glen meets new friends at a Marine Biology camp; rigging work continues; we enjoy PT's farmer's market; Glen starts a writing workshop with local author, Patrick Jennings; we share a dinner with the Piatt family.
25 Photos
Created 21 January 2011
We started Ijsselmeer's re-rigging project with Brion Toss, Glen took a sailing class, and we all enjoyed PT's sunny summer.
14 Photos
Created 21 January 2011
photo from our 1992 photo album taken during our stop in Nanaimo to visit Graeme and Dana Ellis, and Jane Watson durg our trip north delivering a new Ijsselmeer from Seattle to Juneau.
1 Photo
Created 1 September 2010
Shortly after arriving in Port Townsend, we started working with Brion Toss, a very talented rigger, to upgrade and revise Ijsselmeers standing rigging. The first steps in this process involve 1) removing all sails, 2) tuning and measuring the existing 'rig', 3) removing booth booms, and 4) detaching all of the standing rigging at deck level, and 4) removing both masts.
36 Photos
Created 1 September 2010
July 8-14: We had planned a quick overnight visit with our dear friends, Graeme Ellis and Jane Watson, and their daughter Dana, as we were sprinting to make our date with the rigger in Port Townsend. A new kink in the steering, however, required us to stay a week instead (take us to the briar patch!). Graeme and Jane's hospitality and help were over the top: really. We loved being folded into their and Dana�s rich lives on Protection Island, just offshore of Nanaimo, BC.
34 Photos
Created 1 September 2010
We had two beautiful days traveling down through the inside passage to an anchorage just south of Bella, Bella. Glen discovered kite-flying off the stern.
26 Photos
Created 29 July 2010
Jun 29-Jul 4: We spent a few extra days in Prince Rupert, British Columbia to do some work on Ijsselmeer, and we were also delayed by the weather.
7 Photos
Created 29 July 2010
Photos from some of the preparation steps and from days 1-8 in transit from Juneau to Prince Rupert.
29 Photos
Created 30 June 2010