e cut the lines on May 11, 2008. For a “shakedown cruise”, we chose to circumnavigate Vancouver Island. This was the most challenging cruising we faced on Don Quixote: challenging physically, emotionally, and nautically. It was hard to anchor, difficult to provision, and lonely. The stunning beauty of the Pacific Northwest was somewhat lost on our battered family. After bashing DOWN the outside of the island, we limped back into Seattle very cranky and ready to adopt a cat.
The trip down the North American coastline was tackled in three legs. For the first leg, we were joined by Jason (s/v Excellent Adventure) and my husband’s father George Conger. As it was our first major off shore passage as well as one considered a bit dodgy, we arranged for the first and only time to have the kids travel separately. Good thing, as it was an eventful trip involving several mechanical breakdowns as well as the highest winds we saw at sea in all six years of our travels.
We then spent a month in Emeryville while DrC worked before we undertook the second leg of the journey to San Diego. George joined us again, but the family felt more complete with the girls back aboard. It took us nearly three weeks to get to San Diego with several stops along the way. In San Diego, we hauled Don Quixote to do final preparation for our trip to Mexico. While she was on the hard, the grandmothers joined us for a day long treat spent in Disneyland.
For the final leg of our journey down the coast to Mexico, we joined the Baja Ha Ha in October 2008. For ten long and special days, we sailed briskly down the outer Baja Peninsula enjoying fantastic weather, great company, and marvelous parties. It was a magical trip where we met many of the friends that stay with us today.