Season Wrap Up and Some News…

End of another Mexico sailing season already?! Where does the time go?

We flipped the calendar to April, which makes it officially time to wrap up our life down here and head back North. By the end of this month, we will have completed our third season living aboard Velella velella in Mexico. Que suerte! We feel so lucky. While we are excited to get back to the States to begin our summer season of work and reconnect with friends and family, it’s always sad to say farewell to the boat and our world down here, even temporarily.

This season was all about deepening our relationship with the rich community that surrounds Banderas Bay. Opting not to sail farther south for the third year in a row because we love it so much here, we embraced our “liveaboard” status and hoped others would accept that we were “sticking around.” They did! We not only deepened our friendships with other cruisers who live down here half the year, like us, but we made new friends both afloat and on terra firma.

Choosing to spend most of our time anchored off the smaller surf town of Punta de Mita this year allowed us to meet more locals in town and in the surf break. Now that we’ve been in the area for multiple winters, people are starting to recognize and chat with us more. Our Spanish has improved greatly but we’re eager to keep improving. We greet everyone with a smile and a friendly greeting in Spanish and it’s always reciprocated. We’ve begun to have more beach bonfires with a mix of local and cruiser friends and next season hope to expand into bilingual music nights and sailing trips. Many of our local friends run wildlife-watching tour boats, just like Rob and I have in AK and HI, so we’ve had some good talks in Spanish about the different types of whales and their behaviors in the dramatically contrasting climates. Happily, humpbacks are increasing in numbers down here, just like in other parts of the Pacific. Conservation measures and anti-whaling campaigns as well as habitat preservation of both whales and their prey has gradually helped them on their way to recovery. With all the sad news about the plastic ocean garbage patches around the world, it’s nice to hear some good marine news.

Besides making new friends and catching up with old ones, a big highlight for me this year has been joining a weekly writer’s group. Every Saturday morning Rob dinghies me to shore and drops me on the beach so I can hustle up the hill and catch a bus to La Cruz. I love the solitude and beauty of the twenty-minute bumpy ride through hills and valleys of jungle and chaparral with occasional peaks of the ocean. The writer’s group has been a wonderful place to meet smart, kind, fascinating people and it has encouraged me to begin exploring in writing some of the humorous, testing and life changing experiences I’ve had on the water. I’ve especially enjoyed writing about Alaska and now I’m very inspired to seek out other women writing about their boating experiences. I think it would be a profound undertaking and an incredible honor to partner with other women mariners in the future to publish a book of essays together and I’m looking forward to being back in the Pacific Northwest to start exploring possibilities.

I asked Rob what his highlights were this season and he said surfing, trips to Quimixto and San Pancho with buddies, having our friends and family from the States come for visits, cockpit potlucks and one more thing…what was it? Oh yah, getting pregnant!!! Might as well go public with it, you’d find out soon enough, dear readers, as soon as you viewed our latest Picasa photo albums. (Which I highly recommend you do!) I’m in my fourth month so just starting to “show” and today we were struck speechless watching an ultrasound of our dancing, turning, thumb sucking little baby to be! We are beyond thrilled to be starting a family and we can’t wait to have the baby in Port Townsend in September and then bring him/her back down to Mexico with us next winter! What could be better than a tropical boat baby?? We’ve already been sizing up our ship and making plans for new baby systems including a hanging bassinet next to our v-berth and a DIY dealing-with-cloth-diapers-on-anchor routine. I’m sure we’ll have some funny stories come next season! And a whole boatload of photos. We’re really stoked there are quite a few other new babies and new parents on boats down here, some who are sailing away but a few who are staying, and all are full of great advice and support. Velella velella has already raised one kid (the original owners in the seventies had their daughter onboard from babyhood until school aged) and we think she’s ready to do it again!

Once again, thanks for reading! We hope all is well in your neck of the woods or ocean and we’d love to hear from you!

All the best,
xoxo Kai, Rob and el pan en el horno (the bun in the oven!)