Visa Trip to USA

As usual we need to make a 6 monthly trip out of Mexico to renew our visas – we could make a one day trip but why not have some fun on the way to see our friends! This time we visited our good friends Max and Yoon in Sonoma Valley and Gareth and Lea in Edwards, Colorado.
All went smoothly with wonderful and happy moments at both places, hospitality which has no bounds – thanks to you all !!
The snow at Edwards (near Vail) was a treat for all, the boys loving snow men, rubber donuts, sleds and for Ben a short snowmobile ride. Dad found the prices a bit on the high side!!
After a long weekend at Cerritos / Pescadero where we are looking at land we are now back in the system, Ben rushing into school, Huon more reserved and apprehensive – hopefully he will settle in quickly.

To La Paz for Christmas

As the days grew shorter, and cooler we had a delightful, sunny, calm day at Bahia Marquer, Isla Carmen for Huon’s birthday on the 14th Nov. The surrogate grandparents, Mike and Dede, as usual, being the other members of our family to enjoy the day. Dinosaur presents, apple bobbing, pin the tail on the dinosaur all went down well, along with the traditional BBQ fare.
The boys headed off south with Mike and Dede while we enjoyed a relaxing night to ourselves – a treat and rather unique. The strong Northerlies continued for a few days, the anchorage at Los Gatos only providing minimal protection from the reasonable swell. The NW end of Isla San Jose has a charming and rarely visited anchorage – Mangle Solo, as typically the beach was deserted and we were the only yacht. Walking, kayaking, beach BBQ’s never boring.
Isla San Francisco some 40 miles North of La Paz, as always, provided magic ridge walks, excellent diving and a smattering of other yachts to chat with. Unfortunately it is close enough to La Paz for the rather unseamanlike activities of large Mexican power boats, racing tenders and jet ski’s all pass far to close and oblivious to the danger they create – still pretty typical, the world over, of the nuevo rich.
A good find on the South East tip of Isla Espiritu Santo, Playa Bonanza was enjoyed for a few days, surprisingly few yachts being just some 20 miles from La Paz. The long sandy beach and rounded granite outcrops vividly reminding us of Tasmania’s East Coast, the water being decidedly warmer though.
Finally on the 1st Dec we motored back ‘into the system’ at Costa Baja Marina. The Gym, Country club, excellent showers and handy beach making it a somewhat more palatable experience compared to our normal solitude. Hire car, phones, alarm clocks at 0600 brought us back to reality. The boys settling into the Montessori del Mar school relatively easily.
Christmas was enjoyed ashore with Mike and Dede, who were also ensconced in the marina. With a month of rather hectic activity we headed back out cruising for a few weeks on Boxing Day. Mid-January sees us visiting friends in California to renew our Mexican visas. The boys resume school in February, as Mel gets back into her Nutritional Medicine studies and we see how long we can last tied to the dock.

Loreto, Cyclone Odile and Ben’s Birthday

The two weeks with Samatha around Loreto passed like a flash, what a wonderful character! The boys loved her company and we sat back while she kept us all smiling and occupied. The timing could not have been better as Samatha left on the Saturday and on Tuesday Cyclone Odile visited.

We decided to be alone in a protected anchorage on the west coast of Isla Carmen, while most other yachts in the area headed to Puerto Escondido. We measured a maximium wind speed of 52 Knots – some minor damage to the mainsail cover and a wind generator blade broke – all pretty harmless. Unfortunately in Porto Escondido, La Paz and Cabo they were not so lucky, six yachts in Escondido sunk or totaled, 3 dead in La Paz with numerous yachts damaged. While the wind and waves can be a problem, I find other yachts drifting around to be just as much of a hassle.
Ben’s 8th birthday on the 27th was a quiet day at Candeleros, presents then breakfast at the resort and late in the afternoon Grant and Denise joined us for our super hero party – I went as Super G – Super Grump ! Time marches on far too quickly, seems only days ago he was crawling around. No question, one has to make the most of every day – at least out here we can decide what to do each day while the rest of the world turns into shit.

Puerto Vallarta to La Paz and Loreto

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After the long 3 months in Europe we returned to a spotless and very tidy Sonrisa in Puerto Vallarta, care of Allison and Merle who did a wonderful job of keeping an eye on our home. A busy time while … Continue reading

La Nique, Canal Boat and Biarritz

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As the enjoyable 3 months in Europe finally ends at Toulouse airport, it is a pleasant time to reflect on the highlight of our trip, the week with the Lyon family at La Nique and a week on the Canal … Continue reading

Relaxing in France

The last several weeks have been extremely relaxing while wandering around the South of France.  A few days away from the boys gave Mel and I some ‘us’ time, though the boys were never far from our minds. A short visit to Amsterdam to see the Hakvoort clan in Monnickendam, where ‘Solaia’ was built some 15 years ago – not much has changed. A return visit to Limone and Monaco with Antoine, Paola and Daniel was delightful.

We now have the highlight of our time in Europe as Ian and Lynne Lyon, the boys ‘Ben’ parents, along with Sam, Sophie and Kate join us for a week in a country chateau and a week for a canal boat trip on the Canal du Midi.  It will be delightful to get all the news from Australia and just chat (over the odd beer and wine!) about life – such good friends.

The French country side, numerous small rustic villages and medieval castles had all of us enjoying the history lessons that were all around. So wonderfully different from our life on Sonrisa in Mexico.


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After a pleasant week by ourselves (no we did not miss the boys!) in Cancun – thank you Dede ! – for a rather busman’s holiday (from beach and sea to sea and beach) we left very early on the … Continue reading

La Cruz and Punta Mita

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Almost a domestic life between Punta Mita and La Cruz as school and weekends take on a regular routine.  Some good swells have popped up over the past several weeks, so all onboard are happy. A week (highly unusual) at … Continue reading

La Paz to Punta Mita

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      After returning from California we spent a few days in La Paz provisioning for the trip to Punta Mita.  As we had a hire car (cheaper to rent one than to get a taxi back from Cabo … Continue reading

New Year’s in San Francisco

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As usual we have, every 6 months, to renew our Mexican visa’s (this is one of the only countries that gives a 6 month tourist visa, all others are 3 months so well done Mexico!) As a New Year treat … Continue reading