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Year in Review
Verena / nice and cool after the rain
01/02/2013, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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After buying and moving aboard Camille Thanksgiving 2011 we set sail for Ensenada, Mexico just a short week later. With Ensenada being just a couple of hours from the border we were able to head back to California to easily buy gear we wanted to add to Camille.

January we celebrated Mike's birthday, continued installing gear like solar panels and watermaker, got a new dinghy, explored Ensenada and made countless trips back to San Diego.

After some final trips to San Diego to buy food and to sell the van we were finally ready to leave at the end of February. At the last minute we bought a used SUP which fit perfectly under the new solar panels. On our way south along the Baja Peninsula we arrived at our first anchorage in Turtle Bay.

March and Turtle Bay brought our first storm at anchor - and a sand storm to boot! When we finally made it out of Turtle Bay we sailed for Cabo. Our first warm water destination.

In April we sailed across to Puerto Vallarta on the mainland to meet up with my parents on their boat. A couple of weeks later we headed over to Mazatlan and then back across to Baja to start exploring the Sea of Cortez.

May brought our first visitors. Together with Mike's parents we explored the national park islands near La Paz.

In June we continued exploring the Sea but with the start of hurricane season our time was running out. We visited some great anchorages as far north as Loreto and found a new use for the SUP.

In July we made our way back to Puerto Vallarta where we would be spending hurricane season. We beat against the wind to La Paz and then back across the Sea to Mazatlan. On our way to Puerto Vallarta we came across a sea turtle entangled in derelict fishing gear and were able to set it free!

In August we explored around Puerto Vallarta and spent a lot of time at the resort's pool. Rented a car and took a roadtrip into the mountains to get away from the heat.

In September we had special guests fly in for the TV series Travel Secrets Mexico and then my mom and I flew to Germany to visit family.

We spent all of October in California. The main reason was to upgrade our captains licenses but also to get away from the heat. Now we are both 100 ton nearshore masters! We lived out of a rented mini van and visited every national park from the Mexican border to Yosemite.

November was spent waiting for the heat to subside - which it eventually did - in December. We finally got a sunshade between the bimini and dodger and spent lots of time on the beach.

In December Mike won third place in a SUP race and we spent Christmas with my folks who are still here as well.

With hurricane season finally over we had planned on heading south after Christmas. Right now I'm sitting here with a bad cough and it's pouring rain. We haven't seen any rain since the end of the rainy season in September and I haven't been sick since 2011. So I guess we're not meant to go quite yet. Oh well, maybe mañana....

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A few of our favorite things...
Verena / sunny and warm
12/19/2012, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Need some last minute gifts for the holidays - all while giving us a little present? If you buy anything from Amazon after clicking on one of these links we get a small kick-back and you get the same low Amazon price as always. Win-win for all, don't ya' think? Happy Holidays from the crew of Camille!

Laundry Dryer - $7 - Great for small personal items you might not want to hang on the rail. Folds flat.

Removable Hooks - $7 - If I need a hook I add it, if it's in the wrong place I move it. Simple, strong and no holes in the boat.

Memoryfoam Bathmats - $15 - Very cushy on the feet and non-skid on the bottom. 

Handmixer - $20 - I don't really use 12V galley gadgets. They are too expensive and how long do you really need to mix the cake batter? Though I am considering a 12 volt slow cooker.

Small plastic tubs - $8 - We use these for everything! To hold tools while doing projects, small batches of laundry,  cleaning fish, shoe rack, rinsing snorkel gear, temporary aquarium, etc.... 

Grip Clip Clothes Pins - $9 - They are a bit pricey but after loosing a few clothes overboard due to cheap clothes pins I feel they are well worth it! Super-grippy! One pin easily holds a towel in a blow.

Lady Shaver - $10 - It's not a very close shave but doesn't use any water. Great for when you can't get to a real shower.

Liquid Bandaid - $7 - It's waterproof so you can continue swimming even in areas with staph. Also lets the skin breathe. Do not buy the spray-on kind - it's expensive and empty in no time.

Silicone Baking Pans - $10 - I have a loaf pan and an 8x8 pan. Easy to store because they are flexible, don't make any noise underway and quite non-stick. Easy to clean-up too!

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Raft-Up | S.P.A.C.E.
Verena / sunny and warm
12/16/2012, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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This month's Raft-Up is about stuff - whether to bring it or to leave it behind. What's a Raft-Up? It's when a bunch of blog writers tackle the same topic. See below for a list of other sailboat blogs writing about stuff. More Raft-Up posts.

I am a bit obsessed with organizing. I drive Mike nuts because I'm always "organizing his stuff away". I try to go through one area of the boat at least once a week, reorganizing and tossing things we no longer need.  On a boat there is not much space for any unimportant items.

Our "garage" is the guest bed, there are boxes of tools in our bedroom, and food and spare parts under our bed. As I'm writing this I'm sitting next to a pillow filled with spare blankets. We're surrounded by our stuff! Living in a house it was easy to put stuff out in the garage or into a closet. No need to look at it day in and day out.

The garage

When we lived on land we had a vacuum to keep the carpet clean and a big mop-like sweeper to keep hardwood floors clean. But what to do on a small boat with not much floor space and varying availability of electricity? You buy smaller versions of the same items - either rechargeable or 12 volt - the best is to have both!

Our boat came with a rather large upright rechargeable vacuum. Our first thought was to get rid of the thing. Mike already had it sitting on the dock to sell or give away. I brought it back aboard to vacuum the rugs and it hasn't left since. I use it everyday to sweep up and am grateful I kept it. So much easier than crawling around on the floor. The best part is that a little handhelp pops out to reach small spaces!

There are larger items than the vacuum on board, but this is the biggest item that we really could do without.

Do you need some help getting organized? I use the SPACE formula when I organize. To learn more about organizing check out books by the organizing expert who came up with this.

S - Sort - make piles of like items
P - Purge - get rid of what you don't need
A - Assign - assign every item a "home"
C - Containerize - use drawers or bins to keep like with like
E - Equalize - take 5-10 minutes every day to maintain

December RAFT-UP Writers

s/v Totem
Norna Biron
s/v Bellavita
More Joy Everywhere
Sailcelebration *
Maia Aboard *
Plodding in Paradise
Toastfloats *
* No new posts but signed up. Are they still writing?

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Port: Marina Del Rey, CA
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