ALL PHOTOS ALEGRíA
Above: The pretty anchorage at Isla San Francisco. Top (l to r): Mike and Rosco take a leisurely lap around the anchorage; sunset selﬁe; 2018 Christmas dinner at Lupe and Maggi's in San Evaristo.
Microbe —Nautitech 44 cat Nick and Allison Edwards (and grandparents) Stowaway on the Caribbean Cruise (Sausalito) "I'm 81! I'm too damn old for this!" Marvin proclaimed loudly, but with a boyish grin on his face that made it clear age wasn't going to be an obstacle or excuse not to sail. Marvin and his wife, Ruth, had
just bought their fourth cruising catamaran in Sint Maarten. Marvin and Ruth are my wife's grandparents, experienced ocean cruisers who have sailed two thirds of the way around the world to dozens of countries over nearly three decades. My wife, Allison, and I had both been regaled by their tales of sailing adventures for years (the longtime Latitude reader may have seen a few Cruise Notes from them over the decades, as well). In fact, they were no small part of the inspiration for Allison and me to set sail from San Francisco in 2017 to cruise Pacific Mexico and Central America in our own boat, the Beneteau 393 Salt. So when Marvin and Ruth bought their new boat we jumped at the opportunity to help them deliver it across the CaribSALT/MICROBE
a strong northerly was forecast to rip through. We made it back to La Paz to sit in a windy and bumpy anchorage, but still managed to have fun in town for the last couple days. More mariscos, margaritas, and cervezas around town before we had to say a sad goodbye to our guests. It seemed like cruel and unusual punishment to send them back to life on land. It was truly wonderful having guests onboard, and Nick and Coline were the perfect ones to be our guinea pigs! We can't wait to have more visitors soon! — Katie 1/24/19
bean and through the Panama Canal. It was a multigenerational cruising adventure that we couldn't miss. Allison and I found a slip for Salt in Panama and booked one-way tickets to Sint Maarten. We spent a whirlwind week getting the new-to-them Microbe, a Nautitech 44 catamaran, ready for the 1,000-mile crossing. We changed filters, installed fans, repaired the freezer, tuned the rigging, patched the dinghy, replaced an impeller, rigged sails, fixed the AIS, and cleaned until our hands were raw. Cruising truly is fixing boats in paradise (thanks for that truism, Dad). The first leg of the passage to Aruba was almost perfect: fair winds, following seas, and a near-full moon that lighted the nights. On the second day out, Allison prepared a Christmas Day feast including turkey and stuffing, despite the fact that she was uncharacteristically seasick. Aruba was a pleasant if unremarkable stop. We frequented the West Deck, a restaurant with massive margaritas and great food, explored the duty-free shops throughout the town, and tackled boat projects deemed necessary after our shakeout sail. The next leg of the journey — from Aruba to Cartagena — was the most rambunctious one of all of our collective sailing experiences. It started off with a small fire drill when the gennaker halyard shackle snapped, dropping the sail unceremoniously into the sea. Turned out we didn't need the gennaker anyway, because over the next few hours the wind started building until it was blowing 38 knots with gusts into the mid-40s. But the wind wasn't too bad and only a little stronger than the forecast predicted. The seas, on the other hand, were short, steep, and nasty. The spot forecast on the second day out showed the seas at 15 feet with a 7- to 8-second period — substantially bigger and faster than origiThe rooftops of Cartagena are as colorful as the streets below.
The March 2019 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.