Happy 2018 and Merry Christmas!

Ok, so we’ve been a bit reticent in keeping these posts up to date. We’ll try not to make that a regular thing! We have only just returned to our boat in Mazatlan, fresh from our 6 weeks in California. Our time there was wonderful – full of warm visits with friends and family. And much fabulous food, too – I think we all gained about 10 lbs, or at least I did! We bounced around between Davis (home of my parents), Bangor (home of John’s mom) and the Bay Area, filling our days and nights with long talks, some walks, some hacky-sack playing, and catching up with as many of you as we could fit in. There are some of you with whom we failed to connect, please know that we love and miss you and are sorry we didn’t see you.

Here are some highlights from our past 6 weeks:

Toby took the ACT test (similar to SAT, for college entrance) and toured Cal Maritime Academy (applied there, deciding about attending next year if he gets in).

The 4 of us on the CMA Training ship Golden Bear
Karis in the Marin Headlands, Golden Gate in background

A cousin and her husband from Minnesota were visiting my parents, and we were able to take them on a whirlwind tour of San Francisco for a day.




Inside the Stanford Chapel, getting ready to sing!

My Christmas present was an outing to Sanford’s Sing-It-Yourself Messiah, an annual concert where everyone sings along. We’ve been several other times and it was such a treat to sing along with that magnificent music alongside about 2000 other enthusiastic singers!




Toby and Grandpa at work on the railing

Tackling a few helpful tasks for family: Karis chopped many bags of kindling for Grandma Nini, Toby worked with Grandpa on handrails that will go in their front steps, we spent a day baking Christmas cookies with Grandma (6 different kinds!), John replaced a solar motion sensor light for Grandma Nini, we deconstructed the tree house platform in the backyard in Davis, and Toby along with his cousin Joshua helped Grandpa crawl under the house and re-insulate some duct-work.


Karis’s bday dinner and our “last supper” in CA

Epicurian highlights: Honeybaked ham, Tasty Kitchen, Righteous Burger, prime rib dinner, Benihana’s, Red Hot Chili Pepper, fish tacos at Sancho’s, Denise’s salad, Mr.Pickle’s sandwiches, Peet’s coffee, Swingle’s kona marinated skirt steak, Granzella’s, beignet for breakfast on Christmas, and, of course, In-N-Out!




We capped off our time in California with our last full day being Karis’s 16th birthday. She celebrated by getting her ears pierced.





On Thursday the 4th, we flew back to Mexico, retracing our journey through Puerto Vallarta. This time we rented a car there and drove the 7ish hours back to Mazatlan, stopping for the night in the quaint, tiny seaside town of Chacala. We had brought back 2 solar panels with us, so having the car to transport our extra baggage was very helpful. We made it back to Mazatlan in time to unload our luggage onto the boat and make a run to the grocery store for some initial food items before we needed to return the car and resume our life of bus rides and being on foot.

First dinner in Mexico – quesedillas on homemade tortillas – YUMMY!

We are currently in our boat but up on land. The work is done on the boat (new prop shaft installed and fresh bottom paint) and we should be back in the water tomorrow morning. Then it will be on to installing the new solar panels we brought down with us (bummer we needed them, but our “old” ones – not really that old unfortunately – were delaminating, letting moisture in and causing corrosion, and they’ve not been supplying the power we need them to any more). We have a few other tasks to attend to, but then hope to depart this temporary home we’ve had here in Mazatlan and venture into waters southward along Mexico’s coast. Beyond that, we continue to seek the Lord’s guidance and direction, trusting He will faithfully lead.

We hope you all had a joy-filled and merry Christmas season and are looking forward, as we are, to the new year ahead of us. Thanks again to all we were able to see and be blessed by over the past month and a half! And to all, we love you and keep you in our hearts!

I’ll leave you with a few pics Karis, our amateur photographer, has taken on our trip.



And a few other fun pics from our trip!

4 thoughts on “Happy 2018 and Merry Christmas!”

  1. Wonderful update. Thank you and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you adventurers too. Hope to see you the next time. Safe travels for you. Much Love, Aunt Helen. ❤️

    1. So many wonderful things packed into such a short time period! I’m so grateful that I got a chance to hang with you guys a little bit.

      Great catch up letter. Love you all.


  2. Praying for the Gilbert family! Happy 2018…more adventures and spreading of salt and light! Wondering if you received an email I sent you a couple weeks ago? I might have an old email address for you, Kristin. It was about my house in Sunnyvale being available in June…email me?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *