Category Archives: Sailing

To Enjoy List

During my morning run in the beautiful sunshine under bright blue skies with brush-stroked clouds, I was thinking of all the things I’m looking forward to this winter and spring. As I mentioned yesterday, we plan to head to the U.S. for a three month summer road trip in July. Before we go, there are things I’d like to accomplish. And there are people I’d like to spend time with. I’m even hoping to blog about it all!
So, here’s a list of 21 things I’d like to spend time, well, enjoying:
  1. Working on Ethan’s baby quilt (and other miscellaneous projects)  on Tuesdays with a friend during our quilting/sewing day
  2. Sailing on the weekends with my hubby and son (we often invite friends, too)
  3. Running 2-3 mornings a week to train for a half marathon in March and possibly a full marathon this summer
  4. Using Baby Sign Language to communicate with Ethan (hoping that he signs back!)
  5. Directing the Easter Cantata for our church (including 8-10 weekly rehearsals)
  6. Creating an enjoyable home environment (cooking, cleaning, laundry … the regular stuff)
  7. Participating in our church’s six-week journey called, “Hearing from God,” including a weekly devotional and one meal fast (part of the “Touch San Carlos” ministry expansion campaign)
  8. Walking most afternoons with baby in a carrier and dog in tow to get some Vitamin D (which, apparently, you don’t actually get from the sun)
  9. Creating a shutterfly photobook or two to catch up to this year (my version of a photo album)
  10. Blogging at least once a week
  11. Finishing Ted Dekker’s Circle Series by reading “Green” (already on p. 170 out of 392 pages – I read “Black”, “Red” and “White” a few years ago and didn’t know he published a fourth book until eyeing it on a friend’s bookshelf last October! Just looked it up … originally was only a trilogy – behold, Book Zero?!)
  12. Leading worship at church during two weekends (to give our regular worship leaders a break)
  13. Compiling some original recipes on my blog
  14. Making all of Ethan’s baby food, including as much raw food as possible (if you think babies can best digest cooked foods, the raw food world offers another viewpoint)
  15. Completing six months of solely breastfeeding my currently almost 5-month-old baby before starting him on solids (Based on lots of research, it’s supposed to be much better for his health. I sure hope it’s true, because this has been a huge commitment. Not to mention that he doesn’t take a bottle, so it’s just me and him!)
  16. Cooking/making almost all our meals to save money and eat healthier (we have committed to not eat desserts, too – though we sneak in an occasional “undessert” like a banana with PB, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and agave)
  17. Riding my awesome road bike (a gift from hubby!) once a week after a 10-month hiatus due to being pregnant and giving birth
  18. Investing in my son’s life daily through playtime, prayertime, cuddles, and clean diapers (we use cloth, too!)
  19. Investing in my marriage daily through playtime, prayertime, cuddles, and clean clothes (we’ve grown out of our diapers, thankfully!)
  20. Investing in my friendships through walks, phone calls, emails, facebook, lunch dates, and smiles
  21. Sharing God’s love with my neighbors by living a godly life and looking for opportunities to minister to other
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Filed under Life Journal, Living in Mexico, Sailing, Travel

Tribute to Captain Jack

This morning I wept. I cried while looking at my beautiful son’s face, knowing that our dear friend, Jack Conrad, would not be able to see his sweet smile and hear him laugh. I cried, knowing that my husband and I would never again feel Jack’s arms around us in his loving hug. I cried, thinking that the many days of sailing we shared are forever memories and we won’t be able to share those sunny sailing days with him in the future. I cried, feeling sad for my husband to lose a very dear friend and father figure.

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We found out last night that Jack Conrad, our dear friend, passed away on Friday, October 21st. Jack was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in October 2008. AML is cancer that starts inside bone marrow, the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells. The cancer grows from cells that would normally turn into white blood cells.

Jack was declared in remission by New Years and had even received a bone marrow transplant from his sister. He was doing so well that he and his wife, Lyndy, came down to San Carlos to enjoy a warm winter. They had purchased Gitana, a 39′ Irwin sailboat a couple years before, wanting to sail throughout the Sea of Cortez.

M. had met Captain Jack, as we call him, in May 2010 when he came to San Carlos for the first time. Jack took M. out on Gitana and they talked all things sailing while enjoying some beer. Jack wanted to sell her, but M. wasn’t ready to buy. Later, M. told me about Captain Jack and his beautiful boat, not knowing that we would be the proud owners of Gitana within a year!

I met Jack and Lyndy one afternoon in November last year. M. and I ran into them while eating at Soggy Peso, a beach restaurant/bar. They mentioned again that they wanted to sell their boat and would love to take us sailing. So, after having looked at many sailboats, from 23′ to 53′, and knowing that we hadn’t found our lady, we climbed aboard Gitana on December 3, 2010, and immediately fell in love! She called to us and we knew we were home!

We enjoyed many breezy but sunny winter days with Jack aboard Gitana. Lyndy and I would often go as well (being pregnant didn’t always lend itself to being out on the water!), but there were many times when M. and Jack would go alone. They even sailed up to San Pedro Bay one weekend (see whale pictures from their trip).

Though we won’t see Jack again in the flesh while on Earth, we do know that he asked Jesus Christ to be his Saviour within a week of his passing. I imagine Jack is standing in heaven now, with his capri sailing pants on, sipping a beer and smiling while talking with his friends about how good life is.

I miss his laughing eyes. I miss him greeting me with open arms and asking, “How’s our Mama today?” I wish Ethan could snuggle up in his chest like he does with his daddy. But for now, we will have to be content with knowing that he is at peace, and find that peace for ourselves with God.

“We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself … That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands … God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit. So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 4:14, 16-18, 5:1, 5-8 (NLT)

Visit Jack’s “Caring Bridge” website. (CaringBridge provides free websites that connect people experiencing a significant health challenge to family and friends.)

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Friends in fun places

Who would expect to meet another pregnant woman having her first baby, about my same age, living in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico, with her American husband? And the bonus … we both like to work out!

B. and I at my baby shower

Well, that’s up for debate. Would you consider my typical week (consisting of the following) really working out?

  • 1 weight training day (are 5 and 8 lb. weights acceptable?)
  • 1 walk (30 min. if my hubby goes with me for encouragement)
  • 1-2 days swimming ( a few real laps and lots of bobbing around)
  • 1 day of yoga (when I’m really feeling inspired)

I was staying quite active before we took our road trip and even ran a half marathon with a friend here back in February (at 12 1/2 weeks pregnant!). Compared to last summer when I averaged 2 hours a day for 6 days each week to train for a triathlon, I feel completely unmotivated to get fit these days.

Thankfully, I met B. back in May. We’ve become friends and workout partners. And even better, she’s due three weeks after me, so we’ve been able to talk about all things pregnancy related! Here we are at my baby shower (26 1/2 weeks along).

M. and I took B. and her husband sailing a few weeks ago. We had a great afternoon hanging out on the boat, having a picnic lunch and swimming in Martini Cove.

B. and her husband

M. and I in Martini Cove

Well, I still haven’t packed my bag for the hospital. I think I’m trying to put off starting labor until my translator/friend returns from traveling. She gets back on August 10th, only six days before my due date. If I pack my bag, will the baby think it’s OK to pop out into this world? Let’s hope not!

Oh yeah, we also still need to figure out how to use the car seat!

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Filed under Life Journal, Living in Mexico, Pregnant in Mexico, Sailing

Back home for the countdown!

Only 5 weeks to go until we expect our little one to arrive on the scene! If you have been following my blog, you’ll know that I haven’t posted for 9 weeks. Well, life gets busy sometimes … but I’m back! In the last 9 weeks we moved houses (still living in San Carlos), bought a motorhome, and visited friends and family (and had 3 baby showers) during a 5 week road trip around the western U.S.

Being pregnant and traveling in a car would not have been nearly as comfortable. I love the motorhome! I could get up at any moment to get a snack, use the restroom, change clothes, get a book, or whatever I wanted. What a great way to travel!

Lunch in Gunnison, CO

We decided to get an older RV and tow our Honda CR-V behind. The motorhome is a 1990 37′ long diesel Monaco Crown Royale, has a 9K diesel Kohler generator, air bag suspension, air brakes, a jake brake, air leveling, bus style storage bins underneath, and tons of interior storage. It has a bedroom in the back with a queen bed, two closets, and plenty of storage cabinets and drawers; a large bathroom (bigger than our current house) with a corner shower, toilet, sink, and room to put in a washer/dryer unit; a kitchen with a 4-burner stove, a convection oven/microwave, a built in blender, a large sink, a refrigerator/freezer, and an extra small freezer; a living/dining area with a jacknife couch and a stowaway table with leaves; and two amazingly comfy, plush captain’s chairs to enjoy the views from. Our RV retailed for $290,000 in 1990 brand new – and we got it for a steal!

We’re planning to enjoy summers in the U.S. (to get away from the heat and humidity here) and the RV gives us a way to take our home with us, especially with kids coming on board.

Lunch in Gunnison, CO

So, here we are, back in San Carlos, enjoying the sailboat again and getting ourselves situated in our new home.

Our little green house

Living here allows us to travel and enjoy a mobile lifestyle – the whole reason we moved to Mexico! Eventually, we want to sail off into the sunset (so to speak) and visit other areas of the world. But for now, we’re happy to enjoy land travel and gain better sailing skills.

Anchored in Martini Cove for an afternoon swim and lunch with friends

And of course, the random horses wandering by in the afternoon, nibbling on grass wherever they can. Yes, we love San Carlos!

Horses wandering by in front of our house

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Filed under Life Journal, Living in Mexico, Pregnant in Mexico, Sailing, Travel

Playing dolphins

We had another great day sailing in the Sea of Cortez. After being out for an hour or so, we had visitors!

Four beautiful dolphins swam toward our boat and began playing near the bow as we were sailing through the water. As they got close to the bow, they would turn on their sides and look up at us through the water. These were the first dolphins I’ve seen up close, so I was loving it! (M. had seen pilot whales during a guys weekend up sailing up to San Pedro Island. Read about his adventure here.)

Even Dude, our chihuahua, was enjoying their company!

They stayed with us and played in the water for about 45 minutes. Then they glided away in pairs, their gray backs undulating up through the surface, then down again. We are so blessed to have this amazing lifestyle. The opportunities for incredible adventures are endless!

I’m looking forward to seeing more marine life as we continue to sail farther from our home in San Carlos. In winter, we are hoping to either cross over to Baja California and perhaps stay in La Paz, or sail south to Mazatlan. With a baby coming, we will wait to see how good our sailing skills are before deciding. Not to mention the biggest factor involved – WEATHER!

For now, we will continue to enjoy local day sailing and perhaps some overnighters.

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