Archive | Life Lessons

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Finding Altata

“Whatever you do, don’t go to Altata.” These were the last words we heard as we cast off our dock lines in Guaymas. We were about to sail 300 miles with limited charts but plentiful warnings—with the goal of getting to this near-mythical town protected by a bar that might as well be filled with dragons. […]

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Callo and Antonio pull alongside as we motor. I took these two photos with Josh’s phone while navigating the channel at the wheel.

Rising Waters, Fewer Fish: A Local Change

‘Its beauty has been compared with the Greek isles,’ the guidebook waxed—followed by the incongruous statement that Topolobampo is primarily a cargo port. “Sounds good to me,” Jon said with a grin as we sat around the table on Oleada, discussing our trip through 400-plus nautical miles of coastline mostly unexplored by sailors. Beginning from […]

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Lunasea on a stormy day.

The Storm That Caught Us on a Changing Sea

We are the only isolated object for 40 miles, and lightning surrounds us. It’s eleven a.m., and we are sailing over twenty miles from shore. I have been awake since three a.m., and this is not typical thunderstorm weather. Thin and high clouds filter the sunlight with wisps of virga, rain that trails from the […]

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4,000 degrees out? No problem when there's a little shade!

Fifteen Items that Make Sailing in Mexico Better

Or, The Top Fifteen Essential Nonessentials for Sailing in Mexico Oleada has now sailed over 2100 nautical miles, and Josh and I were talking about the things that have made our lives infinitely better along the way. Not the obvious stuff (good sails, reliable rigging and engine,) but more like the things we didn’t realize […]

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Before the sun comes up, the 'oily' water hints at the sunrise to come with lavenders and periwinkles blending the sea with the sky.

Fighting the Tide

“You can sit on di beach, but you can’t stop di tide.” So said a thoughtful Caribbean man to Josh when he was delivering boats in the islands. This phrase came back to Josh as we pushed further north into the Sea of Cortez and discovered what happens when a sailboat meets the water from […]

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The roofs and colorful clapboard in the center of Santa Rosalía.

The Essence We Cannot See

On the surface, Santa Rosalía is a rundown mining town with no pretty shoreline and no quaint fish shacks. Why did Josh and I love it so much? Santa Rosalía is a brilliantly incongruous place. The red roofs and clapboard of French architecture give way to steep desert mesas which give way to burgundy tailings […]

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Needless to say, I do not have any photos of my meltdown, only photos of my recovery.

Wind and Loathing in Loreto

In Moab, I worked with a fantastic bike guide, Scott Escott, who shared these wise words: “I hate the wind because it blows the personal space away from my FACE.” At this moment, amid copious tears, I hate the wind. We have just anchored at Isla Carmen after five and a half hours of tacking […]

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Some of the boys of Agua Verde.

The Future of Agua Verde

A close friend described Agua Verde as her favorite place on the Baja coast, and she infused it with a sense of magic and belonging for me before I even arrive. As we sail into the bay, dodging a hundred-plus foot pinnacle sticking out of the sea, we find the calmest water we have seen. […]

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Oleada at Isla San Francisco, the Sierra de la Giganta in the background.

It’s A Small Sea After All

“Do you think they see us?” I ask Josh. It’s past twilight, and a panga with no lights veers from its course and heads straight for our dinghy. It kicks up a wake that reflects the wisps of pink lingering in the sky. At first I change my course and start to row away, then […]

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One of the houses on the shore.

How People Live On a Rock in the Sea

What do you do to prepare for a hurricane if your house is ten feet from the sea? This is the question on my mind as Josh and I row our dinghy to the shores of Isla Pardito, the smallest inhabited island I have ever seen. It is less than two hundred meters wide, and […]

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