Christmas March

 It's been a long time since I gave you all a basic update about what the Noeta crew and family have been up to. So, we'll pretend this post is like the Christmas card you get from your Aunt Judith telling you all about her kids, grandkids and puppies....but in March. So here goes:

A unique photo op....four 50 foot Nordhavns all in Banderas Bay!

Patrick: Over the past year, in addition to flying out of Mexico each week for work, Pat has done a BUNCH of boat projects. We are finally to the point where we spend more time (and money) on making the boat better, instead of just fixing things that are broken (of course we're doing that too). Some of the projects include:  

  • Replacing all of our solar panels with two 405 watt panels. 
  • Rewired the boat with Victron solar controllers, a Victron cerbo gx, and a new multiplus inverter/charger. That's a lot of things to make sure we have and can track our solar usage.
  • Replaced deck lights.
  • Installed fuel flow monitors on the main engine.  Now we know how much fuel we are burning. In the few short cruises we've made since install, we are burning an average of just under 3.8 gallons an hour at 1400 RPMs, which is our coastal cruising speed - that would take us around 3,300 miles on one full fuel tank. 
  • Got to fix a broken raw water hose on the Yanmar wing engine. When the wing engine was turned on and the hose split, there was a geiser of water that drenched the aft part of the engine room. So there was some additional clean up.
  • He also had the fun job of replacing a super sucky Raritan toilet. 
  • Our box freezer in the pilot house died (after 20+ years), so we replaced that. 
  • Installed a smartplug internet cable.  Now the dock fiberoptic internet cable has a plug outside the boat rather than having to come through the door.
  • Repainted the bottom paint and renewed the smiley face on the bulbous bow.
  • Replaced the generator start battery.
  • Changed the oil on the main engine, generator & wing engine.
  • Changed the generator coolant.
It's not all work for Pat. We celebrated his birthday with a hilarious drag show, had friends visit and we still manage to sneak in beach, dock and drinks every so often.

Sawing through the fuel hose...yikes!

Pat isn't always smiling in the engine room.

Our old freezer. We put it at the top of the dock with a note saying it ran but didn't chill. It was gone 20 minutes later. Mexicans are pros at repairing and reusing.

New freezer going in. Phew! It fits!

Drinks were earned!

Celebrating Pat's birthday dinner with friends Greg and Kari.

Pat looks great in his new feather boa!

We had front row seats for Hedda Lettuce's show, Raunch Dressing!

Another lovely evening for docktails!

A royal send off for RV Martin Sheen as she leaves the marina.

Alexa: I spent much of last year volunteering for Sea Shepherd, the marina and for community events. As an onshore volunteer for our region, I help as Sea Shepherd boats as they pass through the area. Sometimes I run to grocery stores for crew, other times I work at Sunday market selling merchandise. I pick crew up from the airport, mail packages, help at informational movie nights and connect crew with workers from town. It has been super satisfying to help the conservation and educational cause. While our most recent ship, research vessel Martin Sheen, has taken off, I'm sure another ship will show up and hopefully need some help. If you want to read more about what the Sea Shepherd is doing in Mexico, watch National Geographic's Sea of Shadows (HULU, Amazon Prime, National Geographic) or read a recent article here:

After two seasons of selling merch at the La Cruz market, we've got it dialed down! It's a great opportunity to talk with people about ocean conservation.
(Photo cred: Sandra Roussey)

Monthly floating trash clean up day - RV Martin Sheen in the background.
(Photo cred: Sandra Roussey)

Lots of beach and marina trash pick up days.

It's not all Sea Shepherd. Here I'm leading a workshop on how to publish a book.

And working with the marina to collect and distribute Christmas gifts for the kids at Manos de Amor orphanage.

I also get to help manage and sell merchandise for our local crocodile sanctuary.

Cleaning up the arroyo with an awesome group of volunteers!

This is about half of the trash we collected in one hour :( 

Helping demonstrate how to get into and use a life raft in an emergency situation.

This is a 4 person raft - with 8 kids in it :) 

Our friends Kevin & Alison have dubbed me 'La Cruz Concierge'. 
While I don't have ALL the answers, I can usually help people find what they need in the region.

No big cruising trips for us right now, but we do get out in the bay and cruise about once a week.

Mikayla: Our oldest child, who lives near San Francisco, has been rocking the Science world. She is a senior research associate working with Frontier Medicines. The company's site says they enable "breakthrough medicines for patients by unlocking the proteome to small-molecule interventions against otherwise undruggable disease-causing targets." That's super smart Science people language to say they are working to create medicines for patients who are 'undruggable,' meaning they don't react to medications in the way they should.  Mikayla is also first author on two papers about black widow spider silk and third author on yet another paper.  She has an amazing group of friends and comes to visit us in Mexico any chance she gets.

Senior Research Assistant Mikayla!

Mikayla and Gilligan out for a dock walk

Dinghy Cocktail cruise with Mikayla!

I got to spend my birthday with Mikayla and Jack in San Francisco!

Birthday pics at grown-up-Chuck-e-Cheese!

Eli: Eli is our middle child. Many of you knew him as Hailey. He has changed his name and now identifies as male. We are incredibly proud of him for following his true identity and while we know there are challenges ahead, they are nothing compared to the struggles he felt as the wrong gender. Eli has been taking mostly art courses at Whatcom College in Bellingham and looking for work (anyone have any leads?). He plans on graduating with a degree in Visual Communications next year, then we'll see where life takes him. We have also printed a collection of Eli's art on merchandise for our little Mexican town. Right now we sell shirts and stickers at a local store, and a variety of other La Cruz (and Gilligan) items on Redbubble. Check it out!

Our son, Eli.

If you don't have a copy of Gilligan the Fat Boat Cat, it's on Amazon!
Illustrated by Eli! If you've read it, please leave us a review!

Drinks with my son!

Two of Eli's designs

Selling shirts at outdoor movie night.

Eli's designs for La Cruz stickers. You can get some from our boat or here!

Jack: Jack, who turns 18 this month, is still on the boat, finishing up his senior year of high school. He also just registered for his final quarter of community college at Tacoma Community College. He will finish high school in the Spring with both his high school diploma and his Associate's Degree. Such a huge feat! In the Fall, he will start at Boise State University, where he has joined the Games, Interactive Media, & Mobile Tech (GIMM) department. We are super excited for him. 

Jack, making french fries by hand for a local fundraiser.

Jack is the oldest 'kid' in the Kids Club in La Cruz.

Restaurant take-over night.
The Kids Club raised money for the local orphanage and the crocodile sanctuary.

His senior pictures were in Boise....not Mexico :) 

Boise snow....

It's like a tuxedo shirt....but for Mariachi bands.

Go Broncos!

Gilligan: Our Fat Boat Cat is now almost 5, having lived his whole life on boats. He spends the majority of his day sleeping and eating. He has not had any accidental swimming events in the last 12 months (knock on wood) and usually stays on or near Noeta. 

Gilligan shouting about the whale in the background.

Out for a dinghy ride

Gilligan has a new friend!

He's pretty pleased with the box for the new freezer.

Perhaps not so pleased about the new hat.

What's Next: Well, we are house/hotel sitting for a lovely boutique hotel during its off season this summer in La Cruz. It's just minutes away from where we dock the boat. We will struggle through having a beachfront infinity pool, big shower and all that space. We got ourselves foldable electric bikes so we can zip back and forth between the hotel and the boat, so we won't miss her too much. It's a perfect time for Pat to tear apart the boat for more projects. We got Gilligan a GPS cat tracker, so we can keep an eye on him - he's never been a land-lubber cat with outdoor freedoms. He will see a whole new world.  In June we will send our last kiddo off to get a job, a driver's license and for college! We will be empty-boaters! As much as I will miss having my kids around, I'm also really excited for the next stage of life. 

This will be our view for the summer!!! Doesn't suck!

While it's a little late to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, let's just say I'm 9 months early for wishing you the best next year.

Leaving Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta.

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  1. This is a wonderful post about your beautiful family. Your positive outlook is inspirational. And thank you for all you do for your family and community. I had no idea you were that deeply involved. Looks like a good life.
    Be well. Maybe we'll see you in La Cruz this month.
    SV Dharma Girl


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