Holiday Fun, Boat Projects Galore & Lots of Beginner’s Mistakes

We suck!  There is really no good excuse for our lack of blogging, other than the fact that we’ve been completely bogged down in boat projects and our internet was terrible.  We are novices at this and did not realize that an internet booster is a MUST!

We’ve spent the last month elbow deep in boat projects.  Installing heads, changing engine oil, and cleaning bird’s nests out of the boom, to name a few.  Who knew getting a boat ready to cross the Sea of Cortez would be so much work!?


In the midst of all of the boat project frenzy, a red tide rolled in.  For those who aren’t familiar, a red tide is an algae produced by temperature changes in the water.  It strips the water of oxygen and kills multitudes of sea life.  It begins by turning the water all kinds of greens and reds.  Hundreds of fish dangle at the top of the water gasping for oxygen.  Slowly, the fish begin to die and the stench is awful.  Thousands of dead fish, several dead dolphins, and hundreds of ducks die.  The fishermen stand at the edge of the piers and cast nets in the water catching half dead red snappers.  The next day they’ll show up at your boat selling cheap red snapper (no thanks).  Tracking the different types of dead sea-snakes and fish entertained the kids for hours, so it wasn’t all bad.

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We had always planned to head back to Phoenix for the holidays, so we loaded the car up the day before Christmas Eve and drove the 9 hours (feels like 25 with the children) from San Carlos to Phoenix.  Matt was able to work a few gigs to fill up the coffers again and the kids said one more goodbye to all their friends.  It snowed on and off for two days (yes it snows in Phoenix) and after a great holiday vacation we are safely back home on YOLO.20150101_072010 20150101_071957


The kids were persistent in returning to their favorite sand dune beach, so despite windy/choppy conditions, we took the dinghy on the 2 mile jaunt.  We noticed the seas picking up, but we’re beginners, so we stuck around, played in the sand, read, and even had lunch.  When we were finally ready to leave, it was too late.  There were 25 mph winds and as we were pushing the dinghy back in the water, I was slammed into the boat head first and nearly knocked out.  I of course looked around out of sheer humiliation.  Yes, everyone had seen it.  As I righted myself, waves were pounding the dinghy and filling it with water.  We turned the engine on and attempted to leave the beach, grounding the prop in the process.  The waves were still pounding the dinghy and literally filling it with water.  The engine couldn’t handle the weight and the kids were screaming and crying looking like drowned rats.  We were not #winning.  Matt turned the dinghy around and headed back to the beach.   He dropped the kids and I off and we were finally able to get him off the shore without filling the boat with water.  Moral of the story…dinghies and 25 mph winds/waves don’t mix well.

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Just when we thought things were settling down, Colter ran his scooter into the water (this is the second time a scooter has wound up in the marina)!  Matt and I both proposed the other dive for it.  When neither of us jumped at the opportunity, we hired a diver (for $20 bucks) to find it.  The marina water is less than sterile.  I’ve seen many a turd drift by, not to mention the permanent layer of oil/gas/chemicals that sits on the surface.

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YOLO is finally feeling like home.  The weather has been in the 70’s/80’s (boy did we miss the sunshine) and we are tying up all our loose ends in anticipation for our upcoming Sea of Cortez crossing!

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3 thoughts on “Holiday Fun, Boat Projects Galore & Lots of Beginner’s Mistakes

  1. karie

    hi Courtney, found your blog today. you made me laugh a few times. love your sense of humor and respect that you guys are doing this with your kids. we are doing it by land and am always so intrigued when we meet the cruisers. best to you.

    1. Courtney Courtney

      We love meeting other families traveling by land or sea. I have respect for you guys making it happen with little ones. I see you guys are close by. We are heading across the Sea to Loreto soon, hope one day we are able to meet up. Que te viaje bien.

  2. Michael Robertson

    Huh, that’s so weird. We’ve never made a mistake or had a bad day cruising. You guys are the first. But heck, these are the experiences that make the good times that much better. Have a good crossing.


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