06 July 2010 | Auburn, WA
21 June 2010 | Tijuana
06 June 2010 | Auburn, Washington
07 May 2010 | On the Sea of Cortez
05 May 2010 | On the Sea of Cortez
22 April 2010 | 23 16.1472'N:106 27.9054'W, Mazatlan
06 April 2010 | 23 16.1472'N:106 27.9054'W, Mazatlan
27 March 2010 | Nuevo Vallarta
12 March 2010 | 19 11.9'N:104 43.1'W, Mexican Gold Coast
17 February 2010 | 17 38.1'N:101 33.3'W, Zihuatenejo
06 February 2010 | Puerto Vallarta
23 January 2010 | La Crux
14 January 2010 | La Crux
05 January 2010 | 21 50.532'N:105 52.915'W, Isla Isabela
01 January 2010 | Mazatlan
13 December 2009 | La Paz
26 November 2009 | 24 33.5'N:110 23.9'W, Ensenada Grande on Isla Partida
21 November 2009 | La Paz
10 November 2009 | Leaving Cabo san Lucas

Finale in Southen Sea of Cortez

06 July 2010 | Auburn, WA
I have been desperate to document the last week in the Sea of Cortez before we came home...already the memory of it is starting to fade and somehow it is only when I actually write it down that the experience seems to cement itself in my mind...

We left La Paz with a fully functioning transmission and thankfully we ended the trip with the same fully functioning transmission. We started our grand finale by spending an afternoon at our favorite spot, Balandra Bay. It is one of the most beautiful bays just outside of La Paz. It is very shallow so you can practically walk across the entire bay, but the beauty of course is in the colour of the water...a shade of blue/green that seems surreal. The bay is surrounded by the whitest sand and the kids love to hike and jump on the sand dunes. Paddling the kayaks around felt so decadent!! After a wonderful day at Balandra, we decided to sail overnight to our next destination heading north.

We moved on to a place called Aqua Verde and spent about three days enjoying the company of another boating family, Stepping Stone. We had a great time hiking to a cave with ancient hand prints, exploring to find some natural hot springs, spotting a whale shark (right in the bay with us!) and slowly chasing schools of graceful and curious rays in the dinghy.

On the way back, we stopped at Bahia Los Gatos and had a last hurrah with our friends from Meschach. The boys got to have another play and the adults got to share another meal together...Then it was off to Isla San Jose and Isla San Francisco. It was action packed as we explored abandoned salt flats, toured a vast mangrove area and hunted for crystals.

Once in La Paz, we worked like mad to clean and pack up the boat to have her hauled out until she's ready to be shipped back to the PNW. It all went smoothly and Craig will head back in Sept or Dec to make sure all is taken care of to get her back safely.

The 4-5 days in San Diego was great. We spent it with Brad on Tenacious Grace and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him over that time. We felt close to him within hours of arriving. Brad's a great cook and a better storyteller, so our meals were long and fun (burp!). Jordan was thrilled to get to spend his Birthday at Legoland and his main birthday wish was to go to Borders to get some new books!!!

That takes us to the present....we are settled and unpacked in our house, Craig has already had his first deposition for work, I go back to work tomorrow, and the kids will start summer school and daycamp next week...I'm striving to keep the lessons I learned while on this trip:
1. Live in the moment and be thankful for every day
2. Life happens in the mundane (the adventures are fantastic, but relationships get built in the day to day)
3. Expect to need people and expect to be needed by others

Leaving Mexico :(

21 June 2010 | Tijuana
We're on the bus heading from the Tijuana airport to the border and San Diego. Very sad.

According to the interent it's 54 deg F in Auburn at the moment. Not very appealing. In fact Tijuana's 68 deg F feels downright chilly after La Paz's 100's. I suppose it's good that I'm driving back from California so I can acclimatise slowly :)

I'm not looking for (nor likely to get) any sympathy.

My next swim will be in an indoor pool, my next taco will cost $8 instead of $1 and my next haircut will be $20 not $5. Those are some of the minor but fun differences of being in Mexico. The bigger ones like having lots of free time with Melanie and the kids, and constant adventures, will be more strongly missed.

We'll try to update the blog and get a backlog of ideas completed and posted in the next few weeks.

Melanie's reflections

06 June 2010 | Auburn, Washington
After a significant blogging dry spell I have been thinking that it is my turn to write a 'reflections' kind of blog. I have been feeling very contemplative lately...

As a bit of an update to the last blog (I'm embarassed that it was posted on May 7th!!), the boat has not moved from La Paz. The transmission saga is still not resolved and the bright side is that likely 'journey' will be back in business mid next week. I am certainly a bit hesitant to put this in print, as we have thought that this would be the case at least every other day for the last month. The on again, off again nature of sailing can be trying when you feel that time is slipping through your fingers and in a few short weeks we will begin to make the trip back to the U.S. I'm sure there are many of you that are interested in the nitty-gritty of the transmission issues, and if anyone wants to know, Craig will be happy to give you the excruciating details of all the twists and turns of this story!!

As a bit of another update, we were saddened by the sudden and tragic death of our dear friend Seth. For those of you who didn't know Seth, he was a kind and peaceful soul with a quick sense of humour and a smile that lit up the room. He leaves behind Abigail (7) and Maile (4) and of course my dear friend Christina. When Craig and I found out, it was an easy decision that I would fly home to help Christina in any way I could. I've been in Seattle for the last week and am heading home on Monday. Craig and I both know that if the transmission had been working, we probably would not have been in cell range to get the news of Seth's death and I certainly would not have been able to be here given that we would have been far away from an airport. Please keep them in your prayers.

Being back in Seattle has also been a blessing. In addition to spending time with Christina I've been able to connect with friends that I have missed dearly, get my work situation figured out, research the schooling situation for the boys, and mostly to get myself mentally prepared for the return. I have been surprised at how apprehensive I was feeling..mostly so scared that the benefits of the trip will evaporate in about 10 minutes after we get back to our old life.

For me, this trip has been about building a foundation for our family that will draw us together when the inevitable storms hit us. I have prayed almost daily to thank God for this amazing opportunity. I have loved the adventures that we have shared together and I have loved the mundane tasks we have shared together. We have been within an arms reach of one another (literally) for the last 8 months and I almost know what the boys are thinking before they say it. I love that. We had so many great memories cuddle in the together and reading books. I will cherish those forever.

As for Craig, I continue to be amazed by him. He is good-natured, patient, loving, smart, hard working, funny, adventurous, an awesome father and soul mate. Although the boat has run well (other than the transmission) there seems to be constant maintenance and project lists. Between boat stuff and managing his business, he has an amazing ability to get a ton of work done and you'd never know that he only slept a few hours in order to get it all done. The sailing lifestyle really suits him as it is packed with adventure, seeing new things, meeting new people and of course he gets to tell his stories to new audiences! Even though I've heard them all a million times, I don't get tired of them...seeing him smile is all worth it.

So we will see how it goes when we return. One thing I am certain of, I will always be thankful for the memories.
Vessel Name: Journey
Vessel Make/Model: Benetean Evasion 37
Hailing Port: Tacoma
Crew: Craig, Melanie, Jordan & Marcus
About: We're a family of four who enjoy our adventure through life together.
Journey's Photos - Bandaras Bay (Puerto Vallarta Area)
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