I last blogged in June, 2010, when we were leaving one of our favorite places in Mexico, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. That marked the end of our first season in Mexico. We brought the boat up to Ensenada for hurricane season with the plan of returning to La Cruz and points south this winter.
John Lennon sung the prophetic words "Life is what happens when you're busy making plans" and while his analogy about the Beatles being more popular than Jesus had detractors, I think he was spot on about life. So why am I writing you from the lovely village of San Anselmo rather than La Cruz or some other great spot along the Mexican Riviera?
Jean and I arrived in Ensenada in late June after a surprisingly smooth Baja Bash. Shortly after arriving we drove up to Redding to see the grandchildren and Jean's then 8 months pregnant daughter. Then we left to go back to Ensenada and start getting the boat ready for the upcoming cruising season. We stopped in Los Angeles to measure the rig on a Hans Christian 43 that we were outfitting with an entire new sail inventory from my company, Island Planet Sails
. We were planning on continuing to Ensenada but that morning we got a call from Jean's daughter who thought she was going into labor early. We finished the rig measure, quite enjoying our time with our customer Marty. Then we headed back north to Redding.
The early labor prediction turned out to be a false alarm. We spent about 3 weeks waiting for the real labor to happen and the arrival of an incredibly cute grandson named Nolan. Then we hung out a few weeks longer. During our stay in Redding I got a massive amount of work accomplished, doing some major website revisions and SEO (search engine optimization). Jean was able to accomplish quite a bit of work on her business as well.
At some point in September we found ourselves back in Ensenada after a lengthy absence. We were pleasantly surprised that the boat was in fine shape. There we no odors in the cabin and aside from a layer of dirt topsides all was well. We found one problem after using the Lavac. The rubber valves inside the Mark V pump didn't appreciate being dry so long so I changed them out.
October was highlighted by a visit from our friend James who spent about 10 intensive days working on Jean's web based livestock management application. Jean and James alternated between working at the large dining table on the boat and the local Starbucks.
With the arrival of the new grandson we committed to holidays with family. So leaving for the tropics was put off until January of this year. Now things started to get complicated. I made the decision to have a booth at the Strictly Sail show this April in Oakland. We missed exhibiting at the show in 2010 due to cruising and our absence cost us revenue. So we knew Jean and I would need to be in the bay area for the show and follow-up work. We have some other commitments in California that will require a few more trips and by the time we penciled out the expenses of several round trip airfares and slip fees in La Cruz, we realized that as much as we wanted to be in the tropics with our friends that it didn't make sense this season.
There were other factors as well. Jean's business, which some of you are familiar with, is nearing product launch. Easykeeper
is not too exciting for cruisers since the application is designed to manage records for people who own livestock. Yet it's exciting for us as it represents several years of Jean's efforts and some amazing potential. Jean's business is our ticket to long term cruising. It does not require the daily high speed internet access that my business relies on and it has far better earning potential. So our focus is on growing EasyKeeper. By the time we leave again I will have a general manager for Island Planet Sails
so I can be unplugged for passages and not have to hunt for elusive wi-fi in French Polynesia.
Our goals for the next three years do not dovetail well with returning to cruising right now. We both find ourselves getting a lot more done when we're working from an office environment which allows us to spread out with multiple monitors for each of our systems and set up whiteboards and other planning tools. Fortunately both of our businesses are web based so we are not tied to a specific geographic area.
After a lot of discussion we have decided to put our beloved ketch Exit Strategy
on the market. We have found that a shore base is working really well for our life and businesses. We have settled on buying a lifting keel aluminum boat like a Garcia or Ovni when we head back "out there" in about three years. We really want the flexibility of shallow draft and while we haven't ruled out a multihull, especially after visiting Sea Level, Rotkat
and some other great cats, we're leaning towards a monohull. We anticipate a budget of $500K so it will be fun shopping.
If anyone wants to know more about Exit Strategy click here for information.