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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A big fish--the biggest! The gentle whaleshark. Photo from whalesharklive.com

Amazing Grace in Bahía Concepción

“WHAT’S. HAPPENING.” Josh says this not so much as a question, but a statement of semi-baffled irritation. And for good reason. Blasting from shore at 8am at Playa El Burro is Amazing Grace—on bagpipes. BAGPIPES. The shore of this beach is lined with ‘temporary’ cabins and RV shelters, their two-story particle board exteriors all sandwiched […]

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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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Scraping the old name off the sides took four hours--it had been an excellent paint job done in the 1990s.

What’s In A Name? : How We Finally Renamed Our Sailboat

There is endless lore around the renaming of boats. Every boater has an opinion and (often unsolicited) words of advice on boat names, and whether to rename at all. When I mentioned that I planned to change the name, many people strongly recommended that I avoid the dark sea magic and Neptune’s potential wrath altogether and […]

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A pair in the morning light.

Video: Pilot Whales!

While sailing from Los Gatos to Agua Verde, a small pod of pilot whales joined us. Here’s the video, complete with geeky narration so you can learn a little bit about these graceful cetaceans:   Pilot whales are more closely related to dolphins than whales, and they are a cousin to killer whales. They are […]

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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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A view up the canyon.

The Ghosts of Fisheries Past

We’re tired. The wind has been unpredictably swirling around at night, sometimes bringing a 2am thunderstorm to sit on top of us for an hour–which also means Uly sits on top of us for an hour. In these storms, Josh keeps and eye on the GPS to watch if the anchor drags, I just worry […]

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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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A typical Tuesday evening on the malecón.

Crime and Climate

News coverage of Mexico in the US usually revolves around two topics: drugs and violence. For people who have never visited Mexico, I imagine it sounds like a terrifying place, with corruption and human rights abuses ever encroaching on innocent people. I have been visiting Mexico since I first drove across the border with my […]

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