Sometimes ‘land people’ ask us how we got the nerve to
be free in the sea
live an adventurous life
or even, throw it all away…
We have wonderful parents who have supported our decision to live the life we want. It is only natural that we want to promote them when they do something magnificent.
For this reason, I am promoting my mama, Mama Valencia. She is an incredibly talented creative artist, writer, and jewelry maker. Mama Valencia is selling handmade jewelry to raise funds for a service dog which she is in need of in the very near future. Please support Mama Valencia’s endeavors by checking out her extensive collection at:
We had spent the last couple of days preparing Moondance for her stay in Nuevo Vallarta Marina without us. We left PV wearing jeans and sweating. We were welcomed to San Francisco by a cold wind and quickly realized that we had forgotten to bring a jacket.
We went out to dinner and spent $60 on a modest meal. I almost had a heart attack. $60?!?! We have not spent $60 at one time in months! Dinner is usually not more than $10 for both of us. Trying to cut costs on our return trip from NY to CA the next week we took a train, bus, two flights, 2 bart trips, 2 more trains, and a taxi. 13 hours after we left NY we were back at ‘home’ in California and realized that there was definitely such a thing as too many forms of cheap public transportation.
We got to play “dress up” at Brian and Kelly’s wedding!
Things we miss from the US.
Family and Friends
Good beer and good wine
so much to choose from!
Pizza (we ate pizza at least 4 times!)
Clean tap water
SF Bay- the view from the Golden Gate Bridge on a clear blue day is amazing.
Accessible and affordable boat parts!
Perspective that a US visit gave us.
We feel grateful that we still have strong bonds to family and friends.
Despite our feelings of self-importance, all of our parents are doing just fine, if not better than when we last saw them. What?! Their lives go on perfectly without us?! …….. Phew!
We are lucky to spend dedicated time with each other as a couple without the stresses of normal life to infringe on our relationship.
We are not doing something ‘weird.’
We love living on our boat in Mexico.
Upon our departure from Mexico we questioned our plans for such a long stay away from Moondance. By the time we were boarding the airport to return to Mexico, it felt like the time was too short. Many thanks to our family and friends on the West/East Coast for a lovely visit!!
This is the first of many posts that will detail our Moondance Refit for sailors and non-sailors alike to share what and how we made our updates.
Challenge: What dinghy and outboard motor size do you get to cruise Mexico?
We were planning to get a 8-10 foot PVC dinghy with a short shaft 8hp engine.
PVC is better for warmer climates than Hypalon and the material lasts longer. As our boat bills were rapidly piling up, we started to scour www.craigslist.org for a solution. Luckily the gentleman who sold us Moondance called and asked if we wanted to buy his dinghy and engine that he was now ready to part with. The dinghy is a soft bottom PVC dinghy equipped with a floor, one-way valves, wooden oars, dinghy pump, and seat. It comes with a 15hp Johnson engine. The engine is too large for the dinghy (which has a recommended 10hp for it’s size) but we decided to take the whole lot. The dinghy planes well and we have only had to beach it once on a rock beach on Santa Cruz Island. As of now we are not planning to attach dinghy wheels for the sandy beaches of Mexico.We did buy a handheld vhf to accompany any dinghy for ease of communication and in case of an emergency.
We also learned that the best way to blow up a dinghy so that the air has staying power is to partially blow up each section, add the floorboards, then finish blowing up the dinghy sections. If one side is blown up completely before you start filling the other sides, the dinghy will not be able to hold the air as long, as per Sal’s Inflatables.
Downside? The engine is extremely heavy and we have to attach it to a halyard to raise and lower it off of the boat and dinghy. Cross you fingers for us that we don’t drop it in the ocean!
The engine lives on the stern pulpit when not in use. I am considering spray painting it a loud and obnoxious color so it will be less susceptible to theft.
Conor tries out the oars
We practiced pumping up the dinghy on the foredeck to make sure it would fit.