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Leaving is the Hardest Part

Walking out the door and driving away is the hardest part for any journey. We’ll be in Mexico for three months this trip and the planning, preparation, and provisioning for the trip is daunting. We not only have the obvious kids toys, clothes, food, diapers, medicines, but also the hard to find boat parts, tools, books, business files in addition to all the dry stores from the motorhome to remember and pack.

We start a list and then revise, expand but inevitably forget several important items that apparently weren’t that important once we are actually in Mexico. Despite San Carlos only being 6 hours south, it still can be a challenge to find common items we can easily find here in the states. While food is about 15% cheaper than here, specialty items are actually more expensive because of their limited supply. It really does pay to make a list and just mail order everything once back in the states than to try and beat your head against the wall hunting for an uncommon part in Mexico

We are planning on leaving Tucson Friday, but it’s a coin toss right now if we’ll make it. I don’t know if it really matters much one way or the other but we get stir crazy those last few days and it seems that time slows to a crawl trying to get out of town.

We have been marred with sickness this trip. Hil and I are both wiped out by noon with little energy left to motivate and do the dumb things one has to do. So it is for parents everywhere.

So it takes forever to get out of town and no matter long we are in Mexico it seems like it is always too soon. Funny how that works, but maybe it’s a good sign.

You know an ICE COLD draft beer in Mexico is a very affordable price of approximately $1.25! Click Here to Buy Us a Beer.

2 comments to Leaving is the Hardest Part

  • Brian Wann

    I have really enjoyed reading your blogs. My name is Brian Wann. I am the son of Trenton Wann and Barbara Hawn, who I believe you met in MX. My wife and I are very interested in becoming frugal live aboard in the next few years and were reffered to you by “the folks” for advice. I am not sure if this posts to your whole blog site but, hope to engage you in conversation about your families experience on the GEM. Please contact me at, or here if it is more convenient.
    muchas gracias

  • big cheese

    Hi Brian,

    We really enjoyed spending time with your parents. I learned a lot about sail trim each time we sailed with them.

    I’ll shoot you an email in mor depth, but in short- we love living on a boat. For the Sea of Cortez the Gemini (with the outboard versus diesel) is great. I’m a pretty handy guy, so the 1993 Gemini is just fine with us. No need to blow a small fortune on a newer Gemini and I don’t think you’ll find a cheaper, performance catamaran than the Gems.

    We are “the party boat” virtually every get together despite having two small children because the boat is so accesible (low freeboard and stern steps) and can handle so many people. We have had on several occassion 15 people on board for pot luck cocktails.

    Gems will be much more prevalent on the east coast or Gulf of Mexico than West coast. It may be worth moving it to the Sea of Cortez if that is your planned destination due to the protected waters and cheap cost of living.

    Living on a boat has very little to do with sailing skills. As your parents can attest most folks who live on their boats rarely (if ever) move their boats off the mooring or dock. We were one of the few people who went out day sailing as often as possible (despite having two small children) in part due to the ease of sailing the Gemini and the fat that it is a catamaran and doesn’t heel (too much) so you don’t have to spend a day packing everything away before you sail.

    Don’t fret too much about sailing skills, there will be plenty of time to learn while living on your boat and plenty of opportunity to sail with others. In fact our first season here in Mexico we didn’t leave the mooring except to take the boat out of the water (Charlie Bella was all of two months old).

    Adapting to the change in pace of living aboard and the limited resources is the hardest part of living aboard. The Gemini is very well adapted to not being tethered to a dock to be comfortable. It has the propane fridge and freezer which is a HUGE deal and we replaced all the lighting with LEDS which allows our 2-12v Marine batteries (220 amp hours total) to be fully charged by a whopping 20w solar panel. We do have a 2kw honda generator for 110v power when needed (mainly power tools) but otherwise we get along fine and don’t use that much fuel thanks to the very efficent honda outboard which sips the gas to the tune of 1/2 gallon of fuel every hour (or less) at 4,000 rpm (roughly 6.8 kn of speed on flat water).

    If you can focus 50% of your energy on activities for the kids on land they will adapt and enjoy the boat better than being forced into a small space with no TV, internet, or Wii to entertain them.

    We would rather trade the comfort and amenities of a typical land life for a more physically demanding lifestyle that offers freedom and new experiences (and skills).

    Many folks enjoy sailing, some even like living aboard (and vice versa). It’s all good. There are no rules, pick what you like and forget the rest.

    Hope this helps,