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Reflections on our First Year of Cruising

It has been a long 12 months.

Exactly a year ago today we left San Diego on our 36’ Hans Christian cutter-rigged sloop.  <--------It sounds so fancy to say it that way. A year later here we are in La Paz, Mexico and I annotate the following stats:

Number of years owning the boat: 8

Number of years living aboard: 7

Number of years cruising: 1

Number of nautical miles I’ve traveled by boat since 2005: 1,500nm (This is my own estimate; Eric has far more experience on the water.)

Number of children who have only ever known living on a boat: 2

Pulling out of our slip at Sun Harbor Marina for our fated sail to Two Harbors.

Things I’ve learned so far? Our “shake-down” cruise to Catalina was a joke. I mean, sure, we were all serious and gung-ho and really thought we’d accomplished something by sailing to a place we had been to many times in the past and kicking it there for two months, but let’s be honest, the real shake-down has been this past year in Mexico. I need to go back and re-tag everything on the blog and make sure that Mexico is listed as our shake-down cruise, because this is where the learning has happened, which just spirals deeper into the acknowledgment that maybe EVERYTHING is a shake-down cruise because you just never stop learning.

I feel like our experience in Mexico has been made richer for two reasons: one, I speak Spanish and Eric has made a huge improvement to his own Spanish as well.  Two, we make friends with the locals. I’m flabbergasted by how many sailors simply make no effort to learn or speak Spanish. There are people who have lived here for YEARS, who are retired and living in Mexico, and cannot speak the language and have no intention of learning it.

We have been invited to dinners, birthdays, cultural celebrations, and people’s homes because we’ve invested in speaking the language here and learning about a new culture. I’m lucky that I also speak French and I’ve already started to grill Eric on basic, important verbs and vocabulary, but the take away is that when we get to places where I don’t (yet) speak the language, I will make sure to do my best to learn what I need/can in order to communicate and assimilate while we are there.

Cruising with babies sucks.

When they are really little you can just lay them down and sandwich them between blankets like a hot dog, but once they start wanting to sit and crawl, and the boat is bumping and you feel drowsy from Bonine or a little bit seasick and you are just holding a baby in your arms or in a baby carrier or they are stuck in a seat or in a berth while you are underway, or dealing with their older sibling, or trying to pee, or trying to cook, or trying to do ANYTHING…..yes, it’s a run on sentence, but FOR ME, I have not enjoyed sailing with little kids. I think 3 years old and up may be the magic number for leaving to go cruising with kids.

You learn from your mistakes. In this post I wrote about how I thought it was a mistake to have left pregnant and had our baby away from friends and family. While I got tons of support I also got messages asking why we didn’t go back to San Diego. Nothing is ever simple in this lifestyle. I think people are under the impression that we have a magic home back in San Diego. That it is just sitting there, furnished, and waiting for us to pop over to when we want. We must also have a magic car, with magic car seats for the girls.  And we have magic bank accounts and can park our boat in a magic, hurricane-free zone, and fly on airplanes any time we want with magic money. But we can’t. And our one and ONLY home is here on this boat. And a long time ago (about 8 years ago) I made a commitment to sail around the world with Eric. And guess what? I would kind of like to try.

And for god’s sake, just because you make a mistake doesn’t mean you quit. You learn. You move on.

The one caveat to our plan was that we would stop if it wasn’t fun. Now the last 12 months has included a lot of ‘not fun’ for me. And I’ve sometimes been at a breaking point. Imagine a giant T-chart of FUN | NOT FUN and my list has been much longer on the NOT FUN SIDE for quite a while. But things are slowly starting to equalize on that T-chart. And I’m willing to give the South Pacific a go. Am I looking forward to New Zealand? Yes. We plan on staying put there, until perhaps Lyra reaches that magic age of three.

But we aren’t going to get to New Zealand by airplane, we are going to get there by mother f’ing boat.

You just can’t please everyone. While we had seen glimpses of this mantra throughout our time living aboard in San Diego, the last year has been a real doozy for not making people happy. For some reason when you decide to embark on a crazy adventure like this some people feel entitled to tell you how you should be doing things. Don’t you just love “should” statements? You don’t? Well, neither do we, but in the past 12 months I have been told various things to the tune of:

1)      I am not being true to myself by going sailing.

2)      I am being selfish for leaving with my kids.

3)      I should drop everything and move back to the states until the baby was born and healthy.

4)      I like creature comforts like Target and Starbucks, and that is okay, and that means, move back home.

5)      My husband is controlling me (I always giggle when I get this one.)

6)      I was endangering my baby by having her in Mexico.

7)      I was endangering my family by being in Mexico.

The strangest thing is that all of these things were said by people who know me; well at least, I thought they knew me. These were not comments from strangers on our blog. The take-away? I’ve learned to not take things too personally when you get statements like these from loved ones. People project their lives onto you and assume you should do things as they would do them. Heck, I’m not immune to doing this either. Imagine all the crazy things you think we have done in the last year or so, and I promise you, we are reading about somebody else out there and scratching our heads, and thinking, wow, they are batshit crazy.

The difference is, we don’t message them and tell them how we feel. No, if anything the last year has taught me about how fragile people can be. About how hard it is to communicate via the internet. To think twice before I write something and always double-read to make sure I’m not about to say something mean, judgmental, or cruel. The past 12 months have taught me to try to be more understanding, more kind, and more supportive of the people I know in my life; I’m trying to treat people the way I’d like to be treated too.

I don’t know if the negativity was super intense because I was pregnant or if it is just par for the course when you leave for cruising, so it will be interesting to see how things go as we continue.

And let me just pause for a moment and thank the much, much larger group of people who have been unbelievably supportive. We have met a ton of encouraging, cool people via this adventure. The messages of support, from complete strangers, from people out there reading our blog, really do keep us going. Sometimes I feel like people I’ve never met before understand me better than the flesh and blood folks that have known me for years.

Overall, this has all been worth it. For anyone out there in the dreaming/planning/scheming stage I want you to know that I think you should go. Go. GO.

Highlights of this trip for me? Mexican food. Family pool time in La Cruz. Lyra’s crazy birth story. Meeting all of the intensely interesting people we have met this year. La Tovora. San Blas. The night sky of the Sea of Cortez as we sailed beneath it under the new moon. Skinny dipping in Baja. Cora going to school in La Paz. Watching Cora become an amazing sister. Seeing Lyra grow. Spending as much time as I get with Eric.

It’s hard to believe that in about five more months we will be crossing an ocean. That in another 12 months we should be sitting on our boat in Tonga and preparing to sail to New Zealand. But that is the plan. Like I said, it has been one long year. We’ve pushed ourselves well beyond our comfort zones, we’ve made mistakes, and we have learned from them. Here’s to the next 12 months.


Just a Handful of Images

Actual, everyday, babywearing selfie. Baby on the back, backpack on the front, waterproof bag for baby carrier clipped on to the side. This is how I do it.

I'm working on several things at once (aren't all mothers?) But I'm in enough of a jumble to not be able to sit down and write the full blog posts I want to write quite yet. Until I can get everything sorted, I leave you with a few of my favorite images from the last few weeks.

Cora, our bright, shining light. (Wearing sunglasses by Babiators.)

Lyra, our scrumptious sweetheart. (Learning to wear sunglasses by Ro.Sham.Bo Baby.)

Getting more water in Puerto Escondido, Baja California Sur.

Breastfeeding Lyra at the marina. Lyra at 8 months old. (Nursing necklace by ChewBeads.)

Eric all smiles at anchor in Candeloros, Baja California Sur.

Lyra's first time using a high chair and also the strongest margarita ever at the Tripui Hotel in Puerto Escondido.

Cora keeping entertained underway.

Lyra sleeping-like-a-baby in the apartment in Puerto Escondido.

Happy to be on the boat. At anchor in Candeloros, Baja California Sur.

Back in La Paz and one step closer to leaving Baja. Eric pretty much nailed our time in Puerto Escondido. You can read about it here.

Also, please enjoy his latest video of our adventures here:



Baby on a Boat | What to buy for your little sailor

The scenario: you are pregnant and you are living on a boat, or about to live on a boat, and possibly living in a foreign country to boot. What should you buy in preparation for your new wee one?

37 weeks pregnant with baby #2 in La Cruz, Mexico.Lots of people say "you don't need much" to have a baby, and it's true. You are, after all, reading a blog of someone who lives on a 36' foot sailboat with her two kids and husband. We don't have a lot of stuff. But the idea that all babies need is some 'milk and some love', well, call me crazy, but I think they are going to need a few other things too...

If you are giving birth in Mexico, and most of the other parts of the world without handy stores like Target and BabiesRUs, and without access to Amazon.com shipping, try to plan ahead, or have your friends and family bring stuff down in suitcases when they visit.

Before I begin with my list, let me link you to a few other posts I've written on the topic over the years. I think I may be considered an "expert" on the subject of living on a boat with a baby since I've been living aboard for almost eight years and have raised both of my babies on our boat and I'm currently cruising, so somebody slap an expert badge on me, let me adjust my nerd glasses, and let's get to it:

What's it like with a baby on a boat? (posted September 2010)

Advice to Pregnant Liveaboards (posted October 2010)

You are doing this Pregnant? (posted October 2012)

What to bring to the hospital (posted May 2013)

Birth in Mexico (all the major links posted in May 2013)

Other things to consider. I don't have all the space that people on catamarans do (you lucky devils). I don't have running water (we use a foot pump). I don't have hot water (which doesn't matter at all considering how hot it is in Mexico.) We do not have a washing machine on board (some people actually do!)

Things to bring on your journey with you:

Bathing Cora in the Prince Lionheart WashPod.

  • NoseFrida. Go ahead and be grossed out all you want, but after using this with Lyra and finally being able to suck out my baby's snot and help her when she was congested, I wish so badly I would have known about this product with Cora too. It is cheap and effective. Get it. Don't forget to grab some saline solution too.
  • Baby bath tub. When both of my girls were very little I did have baby bath tubs onboard. For Cora I used a Prince Lionheart WashPod. For Lyra I used the Prince Lionheart FlexiBath with infant insert. As soon as they are old enough to walk around, we slap Crocs on them and take them into the marina showers with us to wash. In San Diego, these were the steps I took to wash Cora onboard. With Lyra, we just wash her out in the cockpit. The water is so warm we don't need to heat it up.
  • Baby products. We don't use much for our wee ones. Coconut oil is fantastic for all kinds of things (not just for cooking and baking, but for using on your baby's skin and on your nipples if you need it.) We also use Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm and Burt's Bees Baby Shampoo & Wash.
  • Baby Medicine. If traveling in foreign countries, don't forget to supply your own boat first aid kit with products you know how to use (so you aren't trying to figure out what to buy at 3:00am in a pharmacy in Mexico while your baby has a fever.) Think about bringing baby Tylenol and Motrin, Vick's Vapor Rub, saline solution, and a baby thermometer. 

Wearing Lyra at four months in my Tula Baby Carrier.

  • Baby Carrier. I recommend the Tula baby carrier (and I have tried the Ergo, BabyHawk, Beco, KinderPack, and Boba). The Tula wins hands down. It has super comfy leg padding, a higher and wider fabric panel, incredibly padded shoulder straps, that can be adjusted at the fabric panel and under the arms, and the best overall fit of any carrier I know of. 
  • When people tell me that baby carriers are expensive, I don't disagree with them, but people spend a lot of money on baby products. Have you seen how much a good stroller costs nowadays? If you are going to be living on a boat, you most likely won't have a stroller (I did have a jogging stroller for exercising when I lived at the dock in San Diego.) I sometimes need to walk for miles on any given day when we are at port, out adventuring, or just trying to find groceries and marine chandleries. You will need something that will let you be truly hands free and be ergonomic on your body. Consider even getting two carriers so you can switch one out while the other is in the wash. I've never needed an infant insert. I just used a rolled up receiving blanket under my baby's butt until they were old enough to put their legs out (there are plenty of YouTube tutorials showing you how to do this). Plus, the infant insert was HOT, and I didn't want anything else to heat me or the baby up. Feel free to message me or leave a comment if you have any more questions about babywearing. I can talk about it all day long.
  • My baby wearing stash includes having a wrap, mei tai, or ring sling for when the baby is a newborn. As soon as they are old enough to move up to a baby carrier (or as soon as you feel comfortable), I'd use a baby carrier. I also have a Tula toddler carrier for my three year old. She can walk amazing distances, but even seafaring toddlers get tired. I used her toddler carrier a few days ago when she had been feverish for several days and was too weak to walk her normal distances until she felt better again.
  • Consider getting a water sling (plenty of sellers on Etsy) for times you are in the water and don't feel like having both hands on the baby, or if you have older children to chase around.
  • Lastly, if you are going to use a baby carrier, learn how to back carry! Once babies hit about 15lb they will hurt your back if you wear them for long periods in front of you. Here is my how-to video on how to back carry.
  • Swaddle blankets. These are so helpful. They won't work in incredibly hot environments (like La Paz in the summer) but for any place where the baby won't overheat, learning how to swaddle is a great tool for calming a baby. I love Aden & Anais (read my review here) and just discovered these gorgeous organic swaddle blankets by Bambino Land.
  • Breastfeeding. It's great! If you can breastfeed, go for it. Formula is expensive and difficult to find in parts of Mexico that aren't large urban areas. You are also not guaranteed that you'll find the same type of formula that you like, over and over. If you formula feed, consider bringing your supply of bottles down along with a great drying rack, like this one from Boon. You can read my review of it here and it is now available in several sizes. If you pump, most definitely bring down your own pump, and all associated parts. In the past, I recommended Medela, but after reading this article, I would advise you to do your own research. I'd buy a Hygeia pump if I had to buy one again.
  • Nursing necklaces. If you want one, get them while you still have reliable shipping. I have one I adore from KangarooCare and one I love from ChewBeads.
  • Nursing pads. I used disposable ones when I lived in the states, but I have never seen disposable ones in Mexico. Bring some cloth ones down with you. There are tons of great shops on Etsy. Also, don't forget a lingerie bag so you can throw them all in the laundry without getting lost.
  • Nursing bras. I could write an entire post about this alone. Bring lots as you won't know what will fit, what you will live in, or what works. In San Diego, I loved Bravado nursing tanks but their fabric is thick and too hot down here. In Mexico I use these comfy nursing bras, or just sports bras I got at Target. I also lived in them when pregnant because underwire bras hurt when I'm pregnant and breastfeeding.
  • Burp cloths. Also known as throw up catchers, changing pads, sun covers, really, they serve all kinds of purposes. I love the Gerber cloth diapers for this. Buy a ton. Make sure you get the heavyweight ones, not the kind that will wrinkle up and shrink after one washing. They make fabulous boat rags when you are done with them. Also, just use one of these as a changing pad when you are out and about. 

A few of my favorite things. Cora with her seahorse toy, Sophie the giraffe, homemade baby blankes, and swaddled.

  • Blankets and towels. Yes, your baby can use your grown up towels and blankets, but it so nice to have some set aside just for them.
  • Toys. Truly, kids don't need that many toys. A few I've liked for babies (and I include my nursing necklaces as toys) include the Fisher Price Ocean Wonder Seahorse (read my review here), Sophie la Girafe (read my review here), and books!! Hey, books can be toys.
  • Kids books. If you want books in your own language, bring them along. You'll need to invest in books because there are so many good ones and you'll want some for different ages. I don't have a list, but my friend Cindy, on Zach Aboard, has a fantastic list of nautical books, seasonal books, and everything else for you to peruse. 
  • Baby clothes. Yep, they sell baby clothes down here. However, if there is a brand you love, a product you adore, or something you just can't live without, bring it with you. And bring lots of sizes as kids grow like weeds. I prefer to buy a year's worth of clothes at a time because shopping for clothes in the heat, without a car, with an infant or a toddler, is a chore.

  • Diapers and wipes. You'll need to really look for diapers and wipes that don't have aroma. (Look for sin aroma, or without aroma, on the wipes). The BioBaby diapers above don't have an aroma but I can only find them at Mega and Walmart. So far Lyra hasn't had any problems with the Klean Bebe Comidisec brand. There are boat moms who cloth diaper. I have no idea how they do it, especially in Mexico. We really wanted to use gDiapers, but they don't sell them in Mexico. Interestingly, another boat couple, Jess and James, just had their baby in Mexico too, and are using gDiapers for a trial run. gDiapers is providing diapers to them for the first few months and they are blogging about it. Hey gDiapers, start selling in Mexico and we'll buy your diapers!!!
  • Infant life jacket (PFD). I really like the Mustang Survival Lil' Legends brand.
  • Sun Protection. Products I'm using for Lyra and Cora include full sun protection clothes like this outfit from Coolibar (it runs super big, just FYI) plus any type of sun shirt you can find from a retailer you like, Sunday Afternoon sun hat, BabyLegs BabyCool SPF leg coverings to protect her legs when I wear her, and this sunscreen, Coppertone Babies Pure & Simple Sunscreen, rated 2 by the Environmental Working Group, (and what Eric and I use on ourselves too).
  • Swim diapers. I received one from a friend but just bought two more sizes up of Kushies swim diapers as well (caught them on sale at Zulily.com.)

A lot of times pregnant mamas (especially new moms) focus on the tiny baby, but if you are going to be traveling around the world with a wee one, think ahead for what you will want as your baby grows.

Don't forget to think about:

Cora playing with her books next to her portable high chair.

  • A "high chair" that will work on your boat. With Cora we used the (now discontinued) Phil & Ted's Me Too, portable high chair. (See it in action here as we brush Cora's teeth for the first time.) We now have this one from Chicco. I like these two sold on The Portably Baby as well: Mountain Buggy Pod and the Phil & Ted's Lobster.
  • Eating utensils. If you want specific items, and you want them BPA free, buy them up in the states. Think about sippy cups, training cups, bowls, and silverware. We used this EIO Training cup for Cora and will re-use the same one for Lyra.
  • Bibs. Bibs for teething (all that drool) and bibs for eating (so, so messy.)
  • Shoes!! This one is a bit hard because you don't know at what age your wee one will start walking. I have a tiny pair of Crocs my friends gave me for Lyra but I haven't bought any others yet because I don't know what size she'll need. When I do look for a pair, a few of the brands I like are Livie & Luca, See Kai Run, and Pediped.
  • Foulweather gear. Think ahead to any type of foul weather you may encounter. I love this Muddy Buddy suit by Tuffo because it works for rainy weather and cold (just layer warm clothes underneath it.)
  • Sunglasses!  Don't forget to protect their eyes. We use Ro.Sham.Bo Baby for baby sunglasses (they are a San Diego company!) and Babiators for toddler sunglasses.

Lyra rocks her baby sunglasses by Ro.Sham.Bo Baby.

Please notice that nowhere on my list is a crib (who has space on a boat?), a bouncer (where would you put it?), a stroller (again, unless you are at a dock, or have a gigantic boat, where will you store one?), a diaper bag (just stuff the essentials in your backpack since you'll be on foot so much), fancy baby food maker (we do baby-led weaning), or nursing pillows (I discovered laid-back breastfeeding and I'm never looking back). 

Our girls sleep in berths in the boat, with custom lee cloths to keep them safe when underway and contained at night when we're all sleeping. You can read about the lee cloths I've made by following this link.

Ali on Bumfuzzle rocking her Red Charlotte Stuff Sack.

Also, as the founder of Red Charlotte, you can guess that I'd suggest getting some sucking pads and one of my original Stuf Sacks to store your baby carrier. I find both of these products essential to my babywearing retinue, but I didn't include them in the list because they are not going to make or break your time at sea with your little one. Are they awesome? Helpful? Beautiful? Yes :)


Now I add my disclaimer that all babies are different and everyone parents differently. Maybe there is something on this list that wouldn't work for you or something that you think I'm missing (let me know if so!)

A few links to our parenting style:

Lastly, buyings things for a baby can be so fun!! But make sure you really think about wants vs. needs. Still, your wee ones are only babies once. If there is something that you can't live without, or would make you resent living on a boat, maybe consider getting it, or asking a grandparent to help you splurge.

When I am in the States visiting, or know someone will be coming down to visit soon, I subscribe to emails for sites I like to get deals on shipping, discounts, etc. and then buy in advance so everything is ready when we arrive. When I head back to Mexico, I discontinue getting the emails. Websites I shop at for children's products are (in no particular order: Carters, Zulily, Baby Steals, Kohls, Livie & Luca, Crocs, See Kai Run, Etsy, Coolibar, and Ro.Sham.Bo Baby.)


Just Lyra | Six Months Old

When Lyra was born, I remember staring at her wondering, who is she? What will she be like? Her giant, chubby cheeks were so different than her sister's. Her lips, her shape, everything a change from what we had already known.

Having had the experience of a first child, I knew there would be a wonderful waltz of back and forth between parent and child as her personality, and our relationship, unfolded.

Lyra's first bus ride, at one week old.She remained a mystery for a long time, dropping hints of who she was slowly. I intuited quickly that she would have a boisterous sense of humor, and would be the person in the family that could make us all laugh.

Her smile is like a homing beacon. When she grins, we are infused with her happiness. We each try to outdo the other in getting her to giggle, snort, and laugh out loud.

At six months old, she is still my constant companion.

Before Lyra was born, I wasn't afraid that I wouldn't be able to love her, I was worried that she wouldn't be able to live up to Cora's awesomeness. I shouldn't have worried. Insert every cliche you know about a mother's love and put it here ------------> _________________________________.

Because they are all correct.

I'm so maddeningly, deeply in love with my Lyra. I am absolutely awed by her; I find her just as fascinating as her sister, but in completely different ways. I want to say thank you to something bigger than me for giving me this child, but I don't know who or what to thank. So I tell Eric, "good job on making a beautiful baby," and I whisper to Lyra, "I love you. You are incredible." Then I smoosh my lips onto each gigantic cheek, over and over.

While she does roll occasionally, it is not her preferred method of locomotion. She prefers lying on her back and having us approach her with entertainment, which makes sense since we all do that anyway. She likes sucking on her toes. And fabric. She loves fabric.

If given an option, she will always have fabric on her face. She likes to rub it on her cheek, put it on her head, and pull it between her hands. She even likes the pattern on the fabric of our new salon cushions.

Yes, truly, she is a girl after my own heart.

Her favorite toys are cords. She seems mesmerized by their slinky-like movement. Who needs real toys anyway?

Within a week's time she has gong from casually reaching for things in our hands to playing all out whack-a-mole with any object we may be holding. Impossible to successfully eat or drink a thing while you hold her. She seems to seethe, "Gimme dat! Gimme dat and let me put it in my mouth!"

Lyra loves to sit up, but can't do it unassisted. She will sit like this until she falls forward, in a slow-motion pantomime of a tree falling, with Cora hollering, "Timber!!!!"

Her happiest moment to date was being propped up in her new big-girl chair next to her sister during family dinner. You could almost hear her squeal, "At last!! I have arrived. I'm sitting with them all!"

I have now breastfed Lyra for longer than I did Cora. And things are going swimmingly. I plan to continue until we both want to stop. Living in Mexico, this is a huge blessing. No boiling water for bottles. No trying to find the "right" formula, and then never knowing if it will be in stock the next time you go to the store. No heating water every time you want to wash the bottles. None of the hassles of bottle feeding, all of the benefits of breastfeeding. I'm grateful.

I was reading a book the other night. Yes, that's right, actually reading a book. Before I go on I should explain that many new moms have no time or energy to read books, but the almighty Lyra has been sleeping through the night (about 90% of the time) for a couple of weeks now. And by sleeping through the night, I mean going to bed at 8:30pm and waking up at 7:00am.....Totally sweet. I don't talk much about how awesome this is because I have many mom friends who are still struggling to get a full night's sleep. I don't know why Lyra sleeps through the night, but I'm pretty freaking glad she does.

So, back to the book. It was book five in the Outlander series, and the whole book has this theme of the mortality of parents. Lyra, if I die too soon, I need you to know how much I love you. One of the reasons I write this blog is so there is a record of me here for you. Ready, for whenever you want to read it. I know that is a bit depressing, but it's true. I worry I won't always be here to see my girls grow and it pains me. I want to see them grow up, I want to play with their own children, but if I can't, I want them to know how much I loved them.

She is halfway around her fist lap of the sun.

Lyra is light.

She is love.

She is perfect for our family.



Some Days are Just Really Good

Eric standing in the dinghy at the stern, working on the windvane.

We woke up Saturday morning determined to beat the heat. Eric was out in the dinghy and working on the windvane installation by 7:30am. It was already blistering hot. 

Lyra and I walked to the organic food market while there was still shade.

Gringos, gringos everywhere, as far as the eye can see.

We arrived in La Paz in March and it took me until the end of July to find this place. It's two blocks down from the Cathedral, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings. Saturday is the biggest day. Absolute heaven. 

We agreed to rendezvous back at the boat by noon and get off the boat, and into air conditioning somewhere by 1:00pm in order to avoid the mind-numbing heat that is our daily existence from 2-6pm each day.

Into a cab we hopped and headed to La Paz's indoor shopping mall. And we found a painting activity for Cora available for only 20 pesos!

She chose a Dora picture and artistically painted one eye blue and one eye yellow.

While I missed out on attending an official 'Big Latch On' event today, trust me my breastfeeding sisters, Lyra was latched on right there with you.

Using my Red Charlotte Stuff Sack as a bolster during breastfeeding. Very handy (and stylish!) 

One of many benefits of a sailing lifestyle is that you are used to moving slowly. That means you have time to say 'yes' to dime-store motorcycle rides. Time to take a bazillion pictures of your kids making funny faces. Beating the heat in Mexico = doing any little thing to prolong your stay in air conditioning.

The day continued into awesome-land when our friends invited us up to swim in the infinity pool at CostaBaja.

Two fun firsts for this experience:

Cora swam unassisted (well unassisted by us) for the first time!!! Yes, she had this little floaty device on, but it was her first time in the deep end, happily kicking, swimming and splashing around. She was so brave and so happy to be doing it "all by MYself," as she says, emphasis on the 'my.'

Miss Lyra Estrella had her first experience in the pool. She was mesmerized and very calm. I can't wait to get back in the water and start having her kick and swim.

While a lot of people assume that the cruising lifestyle means endless margaritas and sunsets and beaches and parties, that is truly not the case.

But today? Well, okay. Today was one of those days.

But for the record, they were piña coladas, NOT margaritas.

I mean, just for the record.