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.
Social:
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
12 June 2013 | Sea of Cortez, N of Isla San Francisco
24 May 2013 | Ensenada Grande
Recent Blog Posts
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.]

25 June 2015 | Exploring Magdelena Bay

Three Bars!

Most women who receive an 11:00 AM text from their husband on vacation in Mexico declaring "3 bars!" might register concern, rather than elation. Jim isn't exactly on vacation. He sent that message a few days ago just as he and his crew had anchored our sailboat in Magdelena Bay, along the west coast [...]

19 June 2015 | Off SW end of Baja

Jim, Corwin & Jan heading up outer Baja coast

6/19/15 Jim and crew left Cabo San Lucas today to start the "bash" up the west coast of Baja. 6:03PM Text: "Light wind on nose. 2 strikes, none landed. Dolphins. shearwaters. I like it out here. I feel lonely when I think of you. love, Jim." They can send 150 character texts using the InReach satellite [...]

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.

Three Bars!

25 June 2015 | Exploring Magdelena Bay
Beth&Jim/WNW 12-16
Most women who receive an 11:00 AM text from their husband on vacation in Mexico declaring "3 bars!" might register concern, rather than elation. Jim isn't exactly on vacation. He sent that message a few days ago just as he and his crew had anchored our sailboat in Magdelena Bay, along the west coast of the Baja Peninsula after completing an all-nighter pounding into the waves on their first leg of the "Baja Bash." Along that wild coast, cell phone coverage is non-existent to patchy. Before leaving Cabo San Lucas Jim added a cell phone booster that he was keen to test. Being able to talk via cell phone--when he finally got a three bar rating--to hear more details about their journey, makes me very happy indeed.

For the past three days, Jim, Corwin and Jan have been in Magdela Bay. They've been snorkeling, fishing, and sailing the small dinghy. Here are some of Jim's text messages, to share the flavor of their experience. (My annotations in []'s)

6/20 10:20 AM MONDAY

Made it to Man of War Cove. Gregorio in his panga sold us 200L Diesel before we were anchored. Have lots of fuel for Turtle Bay. [Refueling in Mag Bay can sometimes take weeks, so replenishing fuel right away was a great relief.]

Beautiful here. Lots of dolphins and birds. We dont have an immediate plan. Here today for sure. Weather dependent. [They'd had a rough all night trip out of Cabo. Jim said that, if the conditions hadn't started to calm down, they would have turned back. Jan was sick for much of that rough passage.]

We are doing great. Calm here. 2 bars. After breakfast I will try the booster.

3Bars! Antenna up the mizzen. Call? [Yay! I called immediately.]


6/21 TUESDAY

8:38AM Wonderful news. Started water maker. Not working initially, but got it going. Relief. Didn't want water rationing. Beautiful here.

Have a great day. Great day here.

Too nice here and no threatening weather brewing, so plan to stay here at least until tomorrow. We plan to move south so we can dive on a 400' wreck.

You can see wreck on Google Earth. 24.462N 111.79W. Verify if you have time. Go to Google Earth. Mag Bay/ Isla Margarita. SE side. Near loc we gave you. Thanks

Zoom in all the way obvious when you see it. One end of wreck is touching shore.


6/22 WEDNESDAY

8:05 AM Good morning. I am up before Corwin & Jan plotting course to wreck. Vis not good here; hope it's better at wreck.

8:07 Headed to wreck. 16NM. perfect temp. preparing breakfast underway.

9:20 PM Great Snorkel. Lobster dinner tonight. Good tired. Wish you were here.

6/23 TUESDAY

7:29 AM: I'm having trouble with Sailmail. Sonrisa weather report had scratchy reception. Can you send Sonrisa text forecast for B de Mag?

B: Mag Bay 6/23: AM NW 8 - 11; PM WNW 14-18
6/24 AM WNW 6 - 9; PM WNW 13-17; Seas SSW 3ft 14 sec
6/25: AM W 6-8; PM W11-14; Seas S 3ft 13 sec

J: I got sailmail working. Can you forward the most recent Sonrisa full forecast? [Done]

10:00 AM
J: Thank you for the weather forecast. Current plan: today here to Santa Maria. Tomorrow midnight: depart SM for San Juanico ~100 NM.


6/24/15 WEDNESDAY

7:24AM Good morning! We are headed to Santa Maria. Have a great day.

11:22AM
J: "Bonita!"
B: "Wahoo!" (Not a species correction, but an exclamation of shared joy.) [One the phone the previous day, Jim told me that they caught a Wahoo while under way. He and Corwin reeled it in to the stern. Jim thought he could pull it onto deck, but when he started lifting, its tail was still in the water when Jim had its head at his waist. I think that means at least five feet long? It was also too heavy for Jim to heave on board. Before they could switch to getting the gaff hook, it broke free. Very large fish -- the one that got away!]

9:20PM
J: Bonita dinner was better than my memory. First course was fish head soup, second was lobster, third bonita.

6/25 THURSDAY
7:03 AM
Good morning! Calm. Stow, breakfast then depart for SCORPION/SAN JUANICO. Fishing banks on the way.

2:03PM
Very large school of dolphins. 20 fishing boats.

2:11PM
Bonita for lunch. Excellent. Light w winds starting. Too light so far for sailing

B: Great to talk to you this morning. What an amazing place you are in.

J: Yes that was amazing to talk to you from the edge of the world.

Beth here again: It is hard to not be there with Jim, Corwin and Jan, but I am excited that things are going well. Jim spent a lot of time planning and preparing for this trip, which are paying off. The map posted with this entry shows a plot of their track since they left Cabo and up to an hour ago (6/25/2015 15:30). They will do another night cruise to get to Scorpion Bay, also known as San Juanico, supposedly a surfing hotspot.

The crew can't send photos, but if you want to see what the area looks like, I recently posted photos from when Jim, Glen and I were in Santa Maria Bay in 2012 during our journey south. Those are in the "More Photos" link on the right panel, in the "Magdelena Bay 2012" album.

Best to you all.
Beth
June 25, 2015


Jim, Corwin & Jan heading up outer Baja coast

19 June 2015 | Off SW end of Baja
Beth/ 11 WSW
6/19/15 Jim and crew left Cabo San Lucas today to start the "bash" up the west coast of Baja. 6:03PM Text: "Light wind on nose. 2 strikes, none landed. Dolphins. shearwaters. I like it out here. I feel lonely when I think of you. love, Jim." They can send 150 character texts using the InReach satellite device.

Earlier messages:
Jun 13, 2015, 11:59 AM

From Beth:

Just talked with Jim and, briefly, Corwin. They left La Paz yesterday and are underway between Ensenada de los Muertos and the next anchorage, Frailes, heading toward San Jose del Cabo at the southern end of Baja. Things are going well. (Map below has waypoint #10 from 10 minutes ago.)

THey are powering into a S wind, 10 knots. Flat. Had a fish on the line, possibly a mahi mahi, but it got off.

Attached is a photo of Jim, Corwin and our dear friend Sula, who joined them in La Paz briefly before the left and who may also join them again for another leg up the west coast of Baja.

They sounded great —happy to be moving and off the dock with Hurricane Blanca behind them (temporally, that is).

Best to you all.

Beth

Jun 4, 2015, at 9:46 PM
From Jim:

Dear friends and family

I want you to hear the news from me first.

As you know I am in La Paz Mexico preparing our sailboat for the trip back to California. Corwin Kelly, the first member of the crew to join the expedition, got here Monday. However because bad weather is forecast we will not be leaving La Paz before next week. The majority of marine weather forecasters predict a major hurricane,"Blanca", is headed for Baja this weekend [ for example see http://eebmike.com ]. Even if "Blanca" veers west and doesn't hit us directly, southern Baja is forecast to get monster waves. Wave height prediction for Cabo San Lucas this weekend is 30 foot!

I am writing to let you know that we are in a secure harbor protected from the bad weather and are very safe so don't worry about us.

We are experiencing a serious heat wave because hot air from near the equator has been pushed here ahead of Blanca. I am sitting in front of a fan sweating profusely.
Love,
Jim
RESILIENCE's Photos - 1: Prep & Days 1-8 (Jun 21-28)
Photos 1 to 29 of 29 | Main
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Mounting the new radar dome to the mizzen mast in Ketchikan, while it almost hailed.
 
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