Monday, April 9, 2012

Vagabundos Del Mar
By Michael

The strawberries we've bought from the back of this Ford Escort
over the past three months have been the best, most consistently
good strawberries I've bought anywhere. We must have
purchased four dozen baskets (canastas) since we arrived.
At 5 for 50 pesos, that's only 80 cents U.S. a basket.
It’s curious, feeling ready to leave a place you like. We arrived in La Paz at the start of this year, the first week of January. We now know the city. We own the streets and the faces we see are familiar. We have our favorite restaurants. I push my cart around the grocery store in a pattern and I don’t need to ask where anything is. We’ve filled our propane tanks a few times and we’ve done dozens of loads of laundry. We live here. We like it here. We’re feeling ready to leave.

There is no reason we couldn’t stay in La Paz, dig deeper roots. There is no reason we must leave. We just want to go someplace else, see something else. I guess this is wanderlust.

There is nothing like it in a land-based life. Nobody gives thought to moving for the sake of moving. How would you get to work on time if you lived a hundred miles away next week? What an expensive and inconvenient proposition to pack and unpack all of your stuff, to move into a new place.

But imagine if the situation wasn’t so. Imagine if it was only a matter of deciding to leave. What if it took ten minutes to detach your home from its foundation and float away, coming to rest whenever you wanted in someplace entirely new? No packing, no hassle, just making sure you have groceries and water, and going…from Los Angeles to San Francisco, from Washington, D.C. to New York, from Houston to Lake Tahoe, from Portland to Aspen. When you arrived, you would walk out your front door to someplace new. You may be in a different climate. You would have to learn where everything is, maybe even a new language. You could stay as long as you wanted; you could always return to where you were. Could you? Would you?
Aramburo (aka the cow store) is "our" supermarket in La Paz.

This is cruising.

We want to leave La Paz and head for British Columbia. We hear it is beautiful—no, magnificent. We want to anchor near waterfalls, see orcas, and soak in natural hot springs when the air is cold enough to condense our breath. We will miss cactus, palm trees, warm water, and the friends we've made here. We’d like to see glaciers and rugged vistas that test the infinity setting on our camera. We are leaving tomorrow.

We have lots of friends and family with whom we want to visit on the west coast of California, Oregon, and Washington, so it will take us a long time to get up to British Columbia, probably a few months. We may winter over in Victoria and then get a jump on the summer cruising season next year, high-tailing it up to Alaska or something. Or we may not.

From the time we arrived in Mexico to begin our adventure, we have been bound by the projects we wanted to complete on Del Viento. There remains a short to-do list we’ve saved for San Diego, but we are otherwise untethered. We leave tomorrow, all of us eager to see where we go in the next few months—in the next few years—and how long we stay there.


The girls scrambling over the deck with their little baskets Easter morning
to find the hidden chocolate eggs.

And this is where they ended up Easter night, at a bar, playing Barbies
with others while their parents hung out with other parents, drinking
beer and listening to live music. That's Frances on the left, Emma of
Whiskey Charlie in the middle, and Raquel, the bar owner's
daughter on the right. Of course, in Mexico this is perfectly fine.
In fact, when the waitstaff was busy, I sent Eleanor to the bar
to order and bring back a pitcher of Negro Modelo--try that
at home.

And this is how many Mexican families spend Easter (usually the whole week,
called Semana Santa): picnicking on the beach.
Our friends Rick and Kyra of Nyon are proof that we don't
just hang out with other cruising parents. They inspired us the other
night aboard Nyon to consider wintering over in their hometown,
Victoria, Canada. Kyra's an artist, check out her work here


  1. I bet it feels good to have the boat in shape enough to just go and not worry about major projects.

  2. We've been reading for months now; can't wait for the trek to begin. Safe travels to the crew of Del Viento.
    Daniele & Julie
    Austin/Houston, TX

  3. Love it... that's a lot of what we loved about living in an RV. We set our own itinerary, picked spots on the map because they looked interesting, decided when to pack up and when to stay longer, and it took an hour at most to get everything cleaned up and hooked up to drive away. I wish it only took an hour to clean our house today... of course, there are good things about stability, too, but I do remember the wanderlust.

  4. Can't wait to see where the crew of Del Viento ends up! I think the cruising community may know the true meaning of freedom better than almost anyone else. Fair winds until you land in your next "home" port.

  5. It will be great to get back on the road, I mean, ocean again! Safe travels up the Baja coastline and we look forward to getting the reports underway.

    Katie and Mark

  6. Well folks...they left. My daughter (7 years old and friends to both Del Viento girls) and I tossed the lines about an hour ago...though I must say she ran away as the lines went flying to Mike on the bow (with Windy at the helm) and cried behind a piling. The last words I heard them say, was Windy saying "where IS Frances, she IS on the boat isn't she?" and I had to it just shows you that either on the bow bringing in the lines or behind the helm heading into a strong southerly wind, you are always multi tasking keeping an eye on your girls, an eye on the heading and an eye on the prize, which is always ahead. We miss you already....terribly so. Thank you girls for a good day and our love and xoxox's to you all. Keep in touch and we'll do the same! xoxo Nancy, Ethan and Zada Jane (who LOVES her little blender gift, gracias!)

  7. We'll be missing you guys too! I hope all goes well and say hello to beautiful BC for us. :)

  8. Miguel & Windy, Should you and the girls find yourselves in San Diego on your way north, give us a call. We'll be here until towards the end of May when we'll head back to La Paz to take care of the boat for summer. If we're here, we can help with transportation and provisioning. We're just about a mile up the hill from Shelter Island, so let us know when you make it to San Diego. We'd enjoy seeing you again and helping where we can. Pete & Kathie, s/v Citla

  9. Let us know if you decide to come to Victoria. We'd love to meet you.


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