Where Have I Been?!

Ahhh, another 6 months of no writing. When I started this blogging thing, I swore to myself I wouldn’t be the once a year writer but I’ve become exactly that! As a result, you’re stuck with reading a super long blog, longer than my usual blogs anyway, and I spend 2 months just trying to remember all the adventures and crazy decisions I’ve made in those past 6 months and try to stuff them with enough detail to keep you all interested. With that being said, I apologize in advance for this long blog but if you’ve been curious as to what I’ve been up to during my moment of MIA, then continue reading!

So where to begin… well I last left off in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. I had just driven down from San Diego and spent 3 days stuck on the beach in the sand running desperately low on food and water and forced to eat my legs… yeah, something like that. Well I’m still here in La Paz and within the first few weeks of being here, Heidy and I went ahead and bought a house. We’re going fast here! Second paragraph and a house was already purchased! Well the story is more one of impulse rather than adventure but we were browsing through Craigslist one day and came IMG_1774along a little house with an ocean view and a decent amount of land up on a hill. We couldn’t pass on the price and with 3 weeks worth of online studying about buying and selling real estate in Mexico, we were officially homeowners! The house is a little Palapa constructed of adobe bricks and is completely off the grid with solar power and large, underground water tanks, which get filled by truck one or twice every 6 months. It’s the perfect little house; Simple, beautiful, and with enough land to continue to expand for years to come. Since buying, we’ve purchased a large above ground pool when we’re too lazy to just go to the beach and we’ve installed a hot water heater for the cooler winter months! We somehow IMG_0434managed to install the hot water heater with only one run to the hardware store! Some of you may not think much of that but anyone who owns a boat or do projects like this, you know that’s a damn miracle! But I digress. The next project, hopefully, is to find an old boat(s), chop the keel off and drop the boat(s) in the middle of the property to rent out to guest. I figured, I’d probably have one of the coolest vacation rentals without all the hassle of a boat if I rented out boats on land as vacation rentals. I’ve done a surprisingly large amount of research in making this happen so don’t be surprised when I open up a landlubber floatilla in the hills!

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IMG_0004Possibly one of the best things about the property is what lies behind it. About 100 yards behind the property is a large riverbed. This riverbed is located in the dry desert, with cactus and other thorn invested woody plants covering the land as far as the eye can see. But inside this river is a complete oasis with wild plumarias, vines, trees growing out of the sides of cliffs with long hanging roots, ferns, and a 50ft waterfall that gets bigger each time I tell the story! It’s truly a piece of heaven and I couldn’t be more stoked! IMG_0030We even have 3 pet mice that live in a drawer and are very neat and don’t chew up anything. They’re so well behaved, they even let us pet them in their little nest.

That’s the only real impulsive thing that I’ve done in the past 6 months that I can think of and if it isn’t then I’m sure it takes the cake for being the most impulsive. With that being said, lets talk sailing! Last year, Heidy and I were set to sail off to Mexico before my motorcycle accident got in the way of things. Well we set for the same date and left on October 26th with the Baja-HaHa, a sailboat rally consisting of 110 other boats starting in San Diego to Cabo San Lucas with 2 stops on the way. While many cruisers aren’t crazy about the HaHa, it’s a great way to meet other cruisers who are heading in the same directions as you are throughout the season. Whether you’re heading to the South-Pacific, the Caribbean, or just hanging around the Sea of Cortez, you will find yourself with boats you sailed down with.IMG_0122

It took us 12 days to sail down to Cabo and we couldn’t have asked for more ideal conditions. Actually, being sailors, we’re always asking for better conditions, but as much as we complained, the weather was great! I can’t say there was ever a night that was too cold or miserable; A couple of IMG_0155nights with heavy seas that didn’t allow much sleep or perhaps an upset stomach but nothing abnormal about sailing offshore for an extended period of time. And for all the things that could have gone wrong and that did go wrong on other boats, we managed to escape the entire trip without any major issues! The boat definitely did better than we did, that’s for sure! We even flew the spinnaker as the rookie spinnaker flyers that we are without ever once dousing it in the water or throwing up an hour glass! I must say, I never knew the boat could sail in only 7 knots of wind considering her heavy weight! It was like sailing my Cal 2-29 all over again.12219606_935047370720_836961668750855360_n

Our first stop was in Turtle Bay; A small, poor town that became a big party for 2 days of the year at the arrival of the HaHa. It was so funny to see 110+ yachts sail into this tiny community, everyone stuffed into a small anchorage, and partying in these little restaurants that were probably use to having no more than a handful of guests in per night, or even week! Pangas would jet around the anchorage all day and night like taxis in a city offering rides to shore, garbage removal, fuel, and just about anything they could offer you. And anything you needed on shore, there was always “some guy” within an arms reach that could somehow get it for you. Classic hospitality down here from the locals but it never gets old mentioning it.IMG_0214

With that being said, Heidy and I brought something to a local family that I imagine will land in the storybooks for years to come. It all started out with us minding our own business. Heidy was just finishing up guiding a yoga class in the park for some of the cruisers when an older woman
approached us. It was clear she was in pain but with my lack of understanding Spanish and Heidy’s ability to only be fluent in it when she’s drunk, we were stuck guessing what she was trying to get across. In these types of circumstances, I usually step back and let Heidy do the talking as she has a far better chance in getting points across. Well, I’ve learned to maybe stop doing that. After a brief moment of conversing, Heidy turned to me and explained she had no idea what the woman wants as we were being pulled into her house to meet her family. We met herIMG_0391 husband, her mother, father, and a few other members or the family. More conversing took place that was definitely on the topic of pain. I’m still standing to the side letting Heidy do the talking. I quickly noticed Heidy saying yes to the woman quite a bit as well as a lot of nodding. Once again, she tells me she has no clue what the woman wants and now I’m worried what Heidy was saying yes to the whole time because we are both being led into the back bedroom with the door being closed behind us.

We entered a room, which I like to refer to as the “Jesus Room”. He was everywhere! It seemed almost as if pictures of my brother were all over the place staring at me! And then the woman began to strip down to nothing but her panties. This is when I turned to Heidy and told her she can’t just say yes to everything! After a little bit more conversing, it came to my DSCN2572understanding that someone dear to her had died, that her mother was likely to pass away soon, and that she was in a great deal of pain and we had at some point agreed to give her a massage with cactus oil. I might add, this woman was of heavier set and around her mid 60’s. It was not what I was looking forward to after a nice morning session of Yoga in the park. And of course, let’s not forget, Jesus was watching us the entire time in every direction of the room to just top the whole situation off.

I’ll spare you the details of the rest of the story but the family saw us as holy doctors after we were finished giving this lady a massage. I’m not sure if we actually helped her at all but right after we exited the room, the rest of the family wanted massages, including her father who had swastikas tattooed all over himself. Little did he know, Heidy is a Jew! Of course we managed to get out after about an hour and while the whole 12208691_10153252653472621_2112792718175464726_nexperience was downright weird, the family was very, very nice and grateful for our services and paid us in caramel popcorn balls. So we were a little grossed out but we were 3 popcorn balls richer than when we woke up so there were no regrets!

Stop number two took place in Santa Maria, just North of Magdalena Bay. This anchorage was much bigger with a small surf break and a nicely
established fish camp. Not much bigger than your typical fish camp but definitely a bit more permanent with a few concrete buildings rather just wood shacks. We had a nice party up on the hill with the fleet of boats and somehow ended the night with all the young cruisers dancing on the rooftop of a small cabin built into the edge of a cliff. It’s a miracle that the 12190045_935047530400_7326458653956429382_nlittle house was even there to begin with, let alone support the entire dance floor with its roof. A complete miracle no on died but man was it a great time. I suppose that’s how most adventures in Mexico go.

We anchored the boat right on the outer edge of the break. The swells were nothing big but I had a paddleboard to fool around on and figured it was time to learn how to surf on this trip. I grew up at the beach and live the lifestyle of a surfer, it was time to get out and actually catch a wave. You’d think with the lifestyle I live, I would have started surfing years ago12188952_935046921620_6462998562355012217_n but for some reason it just never caught my attention. Well, right away, I caught my first wave, and was hooked! I could not believe how much more fun it was to stand up compared to riding a wave in on your stomach. A huge difference it was that I never imagined! Of course the waves were only about 4ft and I was on a large board with a paddle but I didn’t care. I caught every wave and by the end of the day, I was already on a 6ft short board riding in waves with Heidy, experiencing how much harder things got. Definitely not ready for the short boards, or maybe I just need bigger waves to be able to appreciate the short boards but I’m definitely in the market for my first board. Wishing I would have taken advantage of the surf in Southern California before moving to the Sea of IMG_0266Cortez where there’s no surf. Luckily, I’m only an hour away from Cerritos Beach where I plan to continue bettering my skills and of course head back up North and shred with all of my friends that have been pushing me to get out in the waves my entire life. To any of my surfer friends who are reading this, if any of you have any old boards that are taking up space, well I’ll be happy to take that off your hands for you and help with the Spring Cleaning!

DSCN2646The third and last stop of the sail down was of course in Cabo. We rounded the cape around 11p.m., somehow managing to be one of the last boats to arrive. Pulling into Cabo was surreal! We couldn’t believe we had made it! While it isn’t the most amazing sail in the world, it took a lot of work to get there over the years between the two of us. All we could think about was going to sleep while the rest of our crew high tailed it to Squid Roe to finish the night in a bang. I didn’t hear a thing that night but from the looks of our crew passed out on the boat and hearing that they had to swim back to the boat to get ashore, it was clearly a crazy night for everyone else. Of course, Cabo wouldn’t be Cabo without its 7am party boats, wave runners jetting through the anchorages, and DSCN2652beach vendors. And as soon as the first cruise ship pulled in, we hoisted the main and set sail north to La Paz. Since we left Cabo a little early, we missed the award ceremony for the race down. While we didn’t win any awards for our speed, we heard over the radio that we won the award for being the most naked boat at sea. Still undefeated and a title I’m proud of holding. Anyway, after about a week more of sailing and anchoring in various spots, we finally arrived in our new port we call home, or better known as Costa Baja Marina/Resort. And I may say this a lot but it really doesn’t get much better than this.

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Work. The word I don’t like but still have yet to find an escape from in my short 23 years on this Earth. Many people tell me I’ve got quite a few more years of it but I’m ready to retire any minute now! When first arriving to IMG_0670La Paz in June, I began working with a new charter company, Sea of Cortez Adventures, offering sailing tours. I spent all summer working on the sailing vessel, “Sidartha” getting her in top shape for tours this season. After establishing a good relationship with the company, Heidy and I partnered up with Sea of Cortez Adventure and use Que Sera as part of the sailing fleet handling all overnight tours to Isla Espiritu Santo and beyond. Feel free to check out the website and come on down! www.SeaOfCortezAdventures.com. And for those who have not IMG_0659been down here to see Espiritu Santo, I like to describe it as where Utah’s back country meets the crystal clear ocean. It truly is an amazing island with postcard photos around every corner. It’s worth every effort to get down here and if you make it down, I’ll take you out there for a trip to remember.

Aside from chartering, I’ve also been doing boat maintenance and repairs for vessels around the marinas and recently picked up a gig delivering a Nordsman 45’ up to San Diego in the infamous sail we sailors know as the DSCN2679“Baja Bash!” No it’s not like a birthday bash! It’s like bashing your boat into every oncoming wave all day everyday for a couple weeks. Not the most popular sail amongst sailors but I’ve yet to do it so I had to say yes. Who knows, if I manage to like it, maybe I’ll make something of bashing boats back north but for now, one trip will do. Regardless of how bad it sounds, I’m really looking forward to getting back offshore! Something about having a lack of sleep and being cold, wet, and uncomfortable out at sea is just great. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to explain it. Plus, this boat has a bit of a chef on board which I’m rather stoked about. If you told me someone was on IMG_0592board just to make me sandwiches, I would be ecstatic! For those of you in San Diego, I should be arriving back in San Diego sometime in the first or second week of February but do not know for sure. I’ve got all odds working against me so it’s looking to be a slow sail north as of right now. But I look forward to seeing my friends and family that I didn’t get to see last time I was up there.

While there’s so much more I can write about, I think what sums things up quite nicely is that I’m living in a beautiful place, with a beautiful weather, and a beautiful partner. I swim with whale sharks about once a week. I have plenty of islands to choose from for any kind of escape, each with a great geography for hiking or diving. I have my boat but also a IMG_0626house for my landlubber days, and I only have to work about a quarter as much as I ever did before. At the end of the day, if I could have one thing that I don’t have now, it would be visitors!

With all this great stuff surrounding me, I wish I could share it with my friends and family back home. So I hope some of these photos will make you think twice about heading down my way!

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Thanks for reading!

Capt’n Sean

Baja Roadtrip Photos

I made it! I’m in La Paz now and I have been for 2 or 3 days now. I keep getting messages from all corners of the world asking if I’m unstuck yet and I figured with a large following these days, I should probably keep every one informed. Getting unstuck from the sand isn’t that amazing of a story unfortunately. It only took about an hour more of work and managed to do it without any help. I was however, forced to lower the air pressure on my tires, a bit lower than I would have like to drive on the highway but with that and a few boards that I found in an abandon building and a rusty pickax, I was able to get myself out and back on the highway.

So I’m in La Paz now and I’m in love! The city is beautiful, the people are friendly, the community is tight, and the water, well the water is clear, warm, and salty! The best kind of water for this sailor! I’m going to be doing some housesitting here in the coming months and I’m in a beautiful location with great neighbors and I’m only 2 short blocks from the beach. There’s even a waterpark whose slides all empty out into the Sea. How awesome is that?! And while I’m driving down to the marinas I feel like I’m in a scene from “Captain Ron.” I’m truly happy here and I cannot wait to begin building a life down here for myself. For now, I’m just trying to network and get to know as many people as I can and of course get better at speaking Spanish! For small everyday updates, Facebook will be a great way to stay posted,Sean Hall, as well as my instagram “@_captn_sean_”

Here are some pictures from my road trip down… 11129790_690448957727632_200119504_n 11130789_690737794365415_1491204128_n 11311710_690737937698734_822751939_n 11650479_690737911032070_213176130_n 11637973_690737731032088_1253419036_n 11541240_690737617698766_104995106_n 11541191_690733654365829_2075687801_n 11350048_690449061060955_1482316592_n 11336064_690738057698722_421369742_n 11336026_690448947727633_998145772_n 11651338_690732244365970_1917305427_n 11655144_690733851032476_1584917741_n 11655199_690732374365957_663231375_n 11655386_690738254365369_926970701_n 11655606_690732511032610_141213803_n IMG_0778 IMG_0787 IMG_0806 IMG_0814 IMG_0821 IMG_0836 IMG_0846 IMG_0849 IMG_0864 IMG_0873 IMG_0882 IMG_0899 IMG_0904 IMG_0912 IMG_0919 IMG_0938 IMG_0950 IMG_0974 IMG_0975 IMG_0981 IMG_0990 IMG_1003 IMG_1014 IMG_1016 IMG_1023 IMG_1025 IMG_1052 IMG_1055 IMG_1064 IMG_1069

Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

It’s about noon now and I’m stuck in the sand somewhere in Punta Canejo. I’ve been stuck here since last night after arriving in the dark. It all started when I missed my exit for Punta Conejo. I actually ended up in La Paz! However, I was not ready for my adventure to end so I turned around and continued looking for Canejo. I was running low on time as it was about 6:30 and I was watching the sun begin to set behind the mountains. I was rushing to find a destination before it was dark and I was forced to sleep on the side of the road somewhere. If you’ve ever been to Baja, you know driving at night is something you try to avoid so it was frustrating that according to the map, I had passed my turn off about 4 times! In due time, however, I finally found my turnoff. The sign was rusted and covered in stickers so that explains why I missed it so many times and it was a small dirt road about a lane and a half wide. It also looked just like private property and even had a no trespassing sign at one point so I wasn’t keen on taking that road until I was sure it was the right one.

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The Sun was only shining over the horizon at this point as I drove the last half hour of daylight towards the Pacific. The road was pretty smooth but definitely not often traveled. Lots of turns and some fun burms to ride up on in the corners.

I began approaching a small fishing village and a small lighthouse. Not being able to see much, I drove just about 100 yards to the side, past the light house where I thought would be a good place to camp for the night. Well it turns out Mother Nature thought it was a pretty good spot for me too camp too and I’ve been stuck in the sand ever since. I tried to get out for about 3 hours using every method I know and finally said screw it.

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 I tried again to get myself out this morning in the light for about an hour but finally accepted my fate. It just comes to show you that being cheap and buying the 4cylinder/2wheel drive Jeep is where I went wrong. It does 90% of what I put her through but if you know me, you know that I prefer to live in that 10% range. So I’m kicking back now listening to Buena Vista Social Club and waiting for someone who decided to buy a 4×4 vehicle to drive by and give me a hand.

Now to some people, this might sound like a pretty crappy predicament. But for myself, I’m pretty happy. I’m right next to the beach, the water is warm, I’ve got great music, there’s tons of drift wood for a nice fire, and I’ve got plenty of food and water to last me a few days. So I’m just enjoying the moment of down time and relaxing and catching up on some reading.
Now I’ve definitely taken a step back and analyzed what I’ve just done to myself. While I would agree with many of you that I’m probably taking bigger chances than necessary, I’m still siding with the fact that this is suppose to be an adventure and nothing is an adventure until something goes wrong. So I’ve began to keep that same positive outlook on life as I did in the hospital and began smiling and enjoying my quiet time.
I’ve also began constructing a house around my jeep in the fair to good chance that nobody finds me and I’m forced to survive off the land.

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I’ll post more as more arises… Should be another day or two…

Driving South

NOTE: This Blog was written a day or two before it was posted in case there are any misunderstandings in my timing. Internet connections are scarce in my current neck of the woods..

I’ve been waiting to to write this blog for awhile now! As most of my blogs start out, I’m laying in the back of my Jeep over looking a large body of water. This time, I’m down in Bahia Concepcion, Baja California Sur, Mexico. It’s upwards of 100 degrees out and I’d say somewhere close to 90% humidity. Sounds bad, but the water is in the 80’s and completely turquoise so it’s just awesome! I’ve began to try to write a little bit more formally but sometimes my surfer lingo is really the best way for me to explain some of my situations. I suppose I could say, “the bay possesses a certain beauty that you only seem to find in hotel brochures or paintings at your grandmothers house” but, “totally awesome” really does a much better job at describing my current view and situation a majority of the time. But I digress… It’s gorgeous out, I’ve got the entire beach to myself, I’m not being charged to stay anywhere, the water is warm, I’m not hungry and I’d be lying if I said I was wearing clothes. It really doesn’t get much better than this. If it does, please prove me otherwise!  

Let the record stand that this photo has not been edited in anyway. It’s just how great it is where I am.

  Currently, I’m making my way down to La Paz. Last night, I stayed the night in Bahia de Los Angeles and in Costa Brava, the Vicente Guerrero area, the night before that. L.A. Bay was beautiful but I wasn’t too impressed with what it had to offer. I assume there are better times of the year to go as well as better places than where I camped at as well but I knew there were better destinations a little south so I cut my time there short and drove down to Bahia Concepcion. I did, however, go kayaking and saw a crazy amount of krill and a feeding frenzy between the birds and the fish! So much so that I could put my hand in the water and grab a fistful of krill! And last but certainly not least, I saw a whale shark from my kayak! Swimming with a whale shark has always been on my bucket list but the closer I got to it in my kayak the more it swam away. So it was short lived but exciting nonetheless.  

I’m planning on staying here in Bahia Concepcion an extra day because it’s too great and I don’t care to feel rushed during road trips. I love the phrase, “I’ve got nothing but time,” and I prefer to live in a way that reflects my beliefs. From here, I plan on making my way down to either Punta Cancun or Punta Canejo. I’ve never been to either of the two places so I figured I’d stop by both before making my last leg to La Paz. 

Unfortunately, I can’t make 2 or more weeks out of this trip because I have people to meet and obligations that I’ve already committed to which means I need to be in La Paz about 3 weeks ago!!! But I plan on arriving in La Paz either Sunday or Monday. How many days is that from today, I honestly do not know and while it would only take a quick second to figure out, I enjoy not knowing what day it is. But arriving in La Paz a bit sooner than I would like is really no reason to complain. I’ve got a plethora of people waiting to meet me and an equal amount of opportunities to begin exploring! 

I’ll have more to write as each day goes by… Assuming these damn Mosquitos don’t eat me first! If any of you reading this has any insect repellent and a boat/plane/helicopter, I’d really appreciate a care package/airdrop because it’s proving to be impossible to escape these bastards!

More later!

Why am I still here?

So I’m in the United States. I’m suppose to be on my way down the 1 highway through Baja but I’m laying in the back of my packed Jeep, kayak and all, at the beach waiting for a doctors signature so I can be on my way with this trip that I’ve been talking about for the past 6 months.  As you may imagine, it’s frustrating to be stuck here but not so much for the reason that I’m actually stuck here. I’m frustrated because I’ve told everyone that I’m leaving on a certain date for months now and here I am pushing the date back for the 2nd time. When I say I’m going to do something and spread the word to everyone, I make sure that it happens. Telling the world that I’m moving to Mexico has left me with a lot of doubters and people saying I’ll be back in a week. If anything, that’s only been motivation to get me to leave sooner!

So why am I still here?! Well the reason is good, though ridiculous. If you’ve read my last couple of blogs, you know I was involved in a very serious motorcycle accident. This accident left me pretty crippled for good deal of time. Well as a result of being disabled, my license was taken away for fear that I would be a dangerous driver and unable to safely respond in traffic. Since being pulled over in Mexico is pretty much part of the culture, there’s no way I would leave the country without some kind of Driver License. Now I know what you’re thinking right now. “Well if the accident happened 7 months ago, why didn’t you just take care of the issue months ago?” Excellent question!  It’s because they just recently decided to suspend my license, 7 months after the accident!  It all happened while I was at the DMV being a good citizen and registering my newly purchased Jeep. It was February at the time and I was still in my wheelchair. While talking to clerk at the DMV, I was asked why I was in a wheelchair. While I was surprised that I was being asked this question because I figured it was seen as a rude question to ask in the world, I went ahead and explained what had happened to me. Months later, when I was certainly no longer disabled I receive a letter that I my license was suspended. After inquiring about why this was, I was informed that the gentleman at the DMV had reported me but a tad bit late and caused this whole fiasco.  Now I agree that your driving abilities should probably be questioned if you’re in a bad accident. However, I think the doctor is someone a bit more qualified and capable of making an educated decision on how disabled one might be. My doctors had more than one chance to say no more driving when I was actually too disabled to operate a car but it wasn’t seen as a big enough issue. I now need to get a doctor notes for the DMV and must wait a few weeks for them to process everything so I can get a new license. Getting through to my doctor is turning out to be a bit more difficult that expected so I’m expecting to be here in the States for another 3 weeks at least.

In the meantime, I’ve been invited to race on a team in the San Diego Beer Can races on a Thomas 35′. For a while now, my interest has been migrating towards racing sailboats over cruising on them. I’ve mainly just been wanting to experience sailing on the next level and hone in my skills a bit more so I can become a better sailor altogether. I’ve also been sailing on Hobie Cats a few times a week and those babies have given me the need for speed on the water! The beer can races are a summer race series that takes place every Wednesday evening in the San Diego Bay at 6pm with all different classes of boats. Last night was my first time racing in one of the Beer Can races. I’m an experienced sailor and I’m not afraid to head out in any seas, but when it comes to racing I feel like a complete amateur… Which technically, I am when it comes to racing sailboats. Aboard a race boat, is the most hostile environment I’ve ever been in. People are yelling the seconds to start, yelling at other boats, yelling about possible collisions with approaching boats, moving fast, tripping on lines, hiking over the side… Did I mention yelling? Sailing has always been a very relaxing passion of mine, even in bad weather. 80% of the time, I have time to analyze what needs to be done and execute in a timely manner. Racing, on the other hand, is constant and fast! You’re constantly adjusting the sails, you’re debating on which line to sail on, you’re avoiding bad winds from other boats, and always debating on if it’s a good idea to tack now or tack later. All of this is happening simultaneously and it turns a very familiar activity into an almost foreign one for me. But I love it! It’s almost like learning how to sail all over again! With all that being said, I did really good out there.IMG_0549

My position on the boat was trimmer. I’ve always been pretty anal when it came to trimming sails so I think it’s a good spot for me on the boat. No complaints about my performance and as a team we all did really well. We actually placed 5th out of the 16 boats in our class. Regardless it was fun and the team wants me back to race again next week so I have no complaints. Another cool thing was that the actual designer of the Thomas 35′ was on the boat and skippered the race. At 86 years old he was still living out his passion of being on the water and racing. And what better person to have sailing the boat than the actual designer himself! For photos of the race, click here.

So I’ve got a little bit more time to take care of any leftover business/goof off for a bit so I’m taking advantage of the extra time and making sure there’s nothing else that can keep me from leaving again! However, after looking at the weather, I’ve noticed Hurricane Andrew having some fun around Baja and it’s looking like it’s going to be delivering a little bit of weather to the Peninsula. We’ll see how strong it picks up and if it’s going to be another road block. But for now, most of my days involve waiting in some kind of doctors office or urgent care trying to make some kind of progress and see a doctor. It’s been proving to be one of the hardest tasks I’ve ever taken on. So much so I’m almost ready to get in another accident so I can see a doctor immediately! But I suppose some extra time sailing in the states won’t hurt me too much either. If you or anyone you know is a doctor with a Medical License and care to help me out with your signature, PLEASE contact me at your soonest convenience! MY email is scseanhall@gmail.com! I’ll make it worth your while! In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted on my trip status and my racing results!

Fair winds,

Capt’n Sean.

The Plan

I’ve been been traveling to and from the depths of Baja, learning the culture, the language, and the lifestyles. With a future boat on my mind, a business plan, and a passion for adventuring, the itch to move down to Mexico has never been so itchy! Everyday, it is the first and last thing on my mind. If I hadn’t just committed myself to something for the rest of the month of April, I’d probably follow my impulses and leave tomorrow. So what’s the plan?

IMG_3947Originally, I was planning on heading down to La Paz and spending the month of June house and dog sitting. During this time, I would work on building my connections, shopping for boats, looking at properties, exploring my new home town, and of course, relaxing out on the tropical waters of Mexico. What would happen after that month was all to be played by ear. Simply put, I was going to see where the winds were blowing and head that direction. While all of that is still the current plan, that one month has turned into 5 months due to 2 more house sitting opportunities. And knowing what I’m capable of accomplishing with 5 months of time, it’s a safe bet that I won’t be coming back to the U.S. to live anytime soon.

While I have a few options for side work while I’m down there, my main focus, in terms of work, is on starting up a touring company. These past few months, I’ve been driving back and fourth across the border to explore the depths of Baja and familiarize myself with all the little towns and attractions. I won’t be going too far into detail about this touring business that I’m working on but I’m shooting to have a solid game plan by the end of this year and be able to begin giving tours throughout the Peninsula by the beginning of next year. I’ll write more about this in the future when there is a more solid game plan. Another option that I’ve been working on creating for myself is getting my Captain License and finding a boat that I can captain. A few months ago I began studying for my Captains License and after reaching out to a few people, I’ve come across the owner of a Cheoy Lee 42 in need of a new captain for his boat. I’ve met with the owner twice now and after an interview a few nights ago night, it’s looking like there will be a nice future sailing this boat around the Sea of Cortez. This too will be talked about more in future writings.

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After having to cancel my plans to go cruising in October, the main thing on my mind was to get back on a boat immediately. Being boatless is a scary way to live my life. Everyday of my life is relative to boats in one way or another so I’ve had a sharp eye out all over the World Wide Web for my next vessel. How can a man fulfill his total potential without his own ship to sail on? With the help of a few contacts down in La Paz, I’ve been introduced to a 1972 Rawson 30. She’s not the prettiest of boats, nor is she in the best shape. In fact, she’s probably a boat that I normally wouldn’t take on as a project. However, given her price tag, my level of motivation to just be and work on my own boat again, and the little fact that she’s being sold with the ownership of a mooring ball located in the harbor of La Paz, I’m making a few exceptions here. Worse comes to worse, I can use the boat to live on and have a free place stay in La Paz and rent out the mooring to other cruisers. So I’m undecided as of now and will go through my list of deal breakers once I get down there and see the boat in person. I certainly won’t be making any impulsive decisions that will result with me owning a boat that never leaves the dock. And In the unfortunate case that I can’t find a boat that I want to buy right away while I’m down there, I’m coming prepared with another boat.

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This past month, I’ve been working with the fine people of Aqua Adventures down in Mission Bay, San Diego. With their help, I’ve been able to get my hands on a 17.5ft Necky sea kayak, the Looksha IV, and the gear necessary to go on some great paddling adventures. I’ve also been taking a few classes to learn some of the different skills necessary for open water kayaking from strokes to capsize recovery and rolls. Aqua Adventures has opened many more doors and introduced a hobby to me that I never knew I would fall in love with. They’ve also introduced me to some great people associated with not only paddling but also resourceful contacts down in Mexico. So I’d love to show my appreciation to them and look forward to a future of paddling with them. If you ever find yourself in Mission Bay or La Jolla and are looking for a good day out on the water, stop by their shop and meet the team. They’ll give you some of the best and knowledgable service and point you in the direction of a great adventure. You can check them out hereIMG_3834

Currently, I’m trying to find someone to join me on the adventure down. I plan on spending a week or so making my way down to La Paz. In that time, I want to stop along all the nice beaches, kayak around the clear waters, search for whale sharks to swim with, and eat all the fish tacos that my stomach can handle. Preferably, I won’t be doing all of this fun stuff alone so if anyone is interested in joining me for the trip down, please let me know. Airfare back North is only around $100 so it’s reasonably affordable. You’ll have to be flexible on time as I can’t guarantee anything but if you’re interested then shoot me an email at scseanhall@gmail.com and lets go further into depth.

This post has been particularly hard for me to write. While I’ve had dozens of opportunities come my way, I’ve had to turn a lot of them down because they interfere with one another or some aren’t even set in stone enough for me to start preaching about them to everyone. While it may sound like I have a lot of things figured out, until I get down there I have a lot of uncertainties to still figure out that definitely leave this trip capable of throwing a few curve balls my way… as preferred in any of my adventures. What I do know for sure is that I’m creating a really great future for myself. While there will most likely be some pretty gnarly speed bumps that I come across along the way, I know that things are only going to get better and more opportunities are going to manifest from each previous adventure. I look forward to sharing each and everyone of those with you all and hopefully having some of you along for a few of my adventures.

Starting From Scratch

So I’m sitting in my hotel room right now overlooking Poipu Beach in Kauai, Hawaii. It’s raining outside, heavy for Hawaii even, and it dons on me that I haven’t written anything on my blog in almost a year. With nothing to do and a lot to write about, I’ve decide to sit down and start writing again. The past few months in particular have been full of travel and adventure with no end in sight any time soon. But before I tell you about all that, I must update you on the events that have led up to now. Where to begin?

About a year ago, I published my last post on here. I was just starting the long and fun process of prepping Que Sera for cruising. October 27th was the date I was to sail away from the docks and start the next chapter of my life. I spent the next 4 months working day and night preparing for the big sail. As September came to an end, there was very little left on the to-do list. But of course as every story that I have, there always tends to be a twist. On October 1st, I was involved in a motorcycle accident in an Los Angeles intersection about two blocks from the marina where Que Sera was berthed. Not knowing it at the time, this accident would change my life forever.

I’ve been in many motorcycle accidents. I’ve been extremely fortunate in every single one of those accidents and I’m grateful for the skills that I’ve acquired over the years from riding for there is no way I would still be alive today without them. Whether it has been by chance or there really is something looking after me, my track record for getting back up and walking away has been nothing short of a miracle. But as every experienced riders knows, there is going to be that big accident someday and this was my day. I was traveling down a main road in Santa Monica at 40 mph when a vehicle pulled out in front of me in an intersection. I managed to swerve out of the way at the last second but I was forced to slam into the back of a stopped semi-truck. Thankfully, and miraculously, I did not hit my head (don’t ask how I managed not to) and so was conscious through everything. My body was completely mangled and all my limbs on my left side were facing in opposite directions. Now, being the optimistic person that I am, I immediately looked at my body and said to myself, “Oh good! I just dislocated everything! They can just pop all that stuff back in and I’ll be good!” Well I couldn’t have been more incorrect on that assumption. At 40 mph, the impact shattered my pelvis, left elbow, and left wrist, and dislocated/broke my left shoulder and left knee. And due to the severity of my pelvis, there was a mass amount of internal bleeding that ultimately caused me to bleed out. I was pronounced dead for one minute and twenty-six seconds. I remember waking up again when we arrived to the hospital but no recollection of the ambulance ride aside for making a joke to the paramedic before I bled out.

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I ended up spending the next two months in the hospital. The first two weeks I stayed at UCLA medical center and the remaining month and a half at a skilled nursing facility in San Diego. These two months were some of the hardest days that I’ve ever endured. I’ve been through a decent amount troubles in my life and I have managed to handle most of them pretty well but this was like nothing I had ever been through. While the pain was horrible, it was nothing compared to the emotional pain that I went through. I’m a pretty happy person who has an extreme passion for life. I love to live, love, learn, and experience new things in my life. I have acquired many coping skills through the years and have put most of them to good use to keep that smile on my face but the emotional toll that is put on you when you’re living in a hospital is just horrible. Being the positive person that I am, I have always avoided negativity and haven’t been in too many situations where I couldn’t walk away when negativity was present. I found myself surrounded by very unhappy people. People who understandably didn’t have a whole lot to be happy about but being surrounded by them really rubbed off on me. And the pain meds that I was on caused me to go on these emotional roller coasters that made life a thousand times more difficult than it needed to be. The highs were pretty miserable and the lows were just LOW. While I understand why pain meds are addicting, I don’t understand why people choose to take them recreationally without ever needing them… Except for Dilaudid. That stuff is amazing and needs to be kept locked up! And because of how great Dilaudid was, I knew it was important for me to get off of my pain meds immediately! I managed to only spend three weeks on heavy narcotics before I switched to smaller pain killers such as ibuprofen and Benedryll for sleeping.

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After getting off my meds, I was able to start working on being positive. I had a very limited amount of energy and the way I looked at it was I could either spend it all on being negative or I could spend it all on being positive! With that being my option, it was a no brainer where I needed to spend all of my energy. I did my best to communicate with other patients and learn about why they were in the hospital and I spent a lot of time trying to be active. Most of my time in the hospital was spent in bed sleeping. But for the 5-6 hours of the day that I was up and about, I was the most active person in the hospital. I would wheel through the corridors with my one arm and one foot at hight speeds visiting anyone willing to have a conversation about anything. I also spent a lot of time in the physical therapy room lifting my three pound dumbbell with my good arm. I dropped to a staggering 109 lbs during my hospital stay so when I began feeling well enough to venture out of my bed, I was determined to get back into shape. Before I knew it, I was doing one handed wheelies in my wheel chair when the nurses weren’t looking and doing anything that I could to keep from going insane.

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As a sailor and an outdoorsman in general, I’ve learned the importance of looking positively towards the future. During times of survival, it’s the ones who say “WHEN I get out of this situation.”, WHEN I see my wife next…”, WHEN I get home, I’m going to…” that make it through the other side and get to step out of that life raft. Not the ones that are saying, “IF” the whole time. It shows the importance of being positive. But with this knowledge, I began planning what I wanted to do with my life once I recovered. Going cruising was no longer an option. Figuratively speaking, that ship had sailed and I was left with a blank page. It was my job to write the first word of this new chapter and I had the option to go in any direction that I chose with nothing to hold me back.

After this accident, I found myself to be single, homeless, unemployed, and possessing few belongings with little to no commitments to anything. Now to most people, single, homeless, and unemployed sound pretty horrific but I saw an opportunity in it. I saw it as having more options than I have ever had before. Fortunately, I had over $13,000 saved up in the back that I was planning on going cruising with and I know how to stretch a dollar pretty well so I knew I had some wiggle room. Immediately, I became fixated with Mexico. I started looking at properties and investment opportunities south of the border and coming up with ways to make a living. I know I am capable of being successful in anything I choose to put my energy and heart into and I also know I’m very adaptable. With the help of a few connections south of the border, I’ve began traveling back and forth into Mexico in the past few months to further explore my options and see what I have to offer Baja.

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Currently, I have been working with a partner and building a business plan that we are shooting to launch early next year. My main goal, which is open ended at this point, is to buy property, beach sides preferably, down in La Paz, Baja California Sur, and rent the property out as a vacation Rental. My aim is to have residual income flowing in 5 years to responsibly carry on my sailing adventures and any other new hobbies or interests with less distraction in the financial department. I will be going further into depth on this topic in future blogs.

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So where am I at now with my recovery? I have got 11 screws and 5 plates in my pelvis and 6 screws and 2 plates in my left elbow. I am suppose to have surgery on my shoulder but I have full range of motion with little to no pain at all and will most likely decline surgery unless convinced otherwise. I am still doing occupational therapy for my elbow and am working towards being able to straighten it. I will more than likely never be able to completely straighten my elbow but a second surgery is being considered in the coming months if I am not happy with my capabilities. So far I’m not too unhappy with what I can do. My pelvis feels as good as it ever has. I’m still a little weak in the sense that my leg gets tired after doing about a miles worth of walking in a day, which is a very little amount for me, but other than that I don’t have any restrictions and just need to continue strengthening my leg muscles. The only real issue that I am still dealing with is my left knee. A little bit of crunchy sounds and pain here and there but not the end of the world. MRI’s have been taken on the knee and I’m beginning to see a new specialist to see what more we can do to speed up the healing. (Update: I was diagnosed with some kind of knee syndrome where my patella slides out of place and causes my knee to give out under too much pressure. I don’t remember the name of the syndrome but it is a result from the atrophy I experienced. The good news, nothing is permanent and I will be making a slow but full recovery in the knee by simply continuing to strengthen the surrounding muscles and ligaments. Until I have that strength again, I have a knee brace which holds the Patella in place.)

With all these injuries, screws, and surgeries, one would think I’m pretty limited in my abilities now. Well contrary to popular belief, I am back at my old speed and even more active than before. While I do tire easily now, I have adopted the phrase, “Mind over matter” as my new motto and manage to still pass people hiking up mountains and swim in the ocean on a regular basis, along with many other activities… Especially sailing! With a positive attitude, I have managed to start a new page in my life on a good foot and big smile on my face.  I’ve learned more about myself and other people from this accident and I couldn’t be more grateful in the life lessons that I’ve learned, regardless of how awful it may have been.

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I’m Back… And with a twist!

Ahhh another twist has begun to unfold. And lying behind every twist are the tools to create an awesome adventure! But before I get into that, I’d like to apologize for the hiatus. I’d say that I’ve been too busy to write my blogs but in reality, I’ve just been so distracted and I really have been insanely busy. However, I enjoy story telling far too much to stay distracted for long! A lot has happened in the past couple months and I’m going to quickly jump into everything so pay attention closely!

As you all know, my goal is to cruise around the world. And before I bought Hakuna Matata, the plan was to leave to go cruise around the Sea of Cortez in November of 2014. For those of you who have been reading my blogs since the very beginning, you’ll remember reading about a woman named Heidy who introduced sailing to me and how we sailed different parts of the world together. Well here’s the big twist! Heidy and I have decided to make that goal of cruising thisOctober happen. So we’re back to work, equipping the boat for cruising. The goal is to leave this October 26th with the Baja-ha ha sailboat rally down to Cabo. San Lucas It’s a 9 day sail from San Diego to Cabo.

Just about a year ago to the day, Heidy and I were out boat shopping and found the boat we’re cruising on together for sale in Oxnard. She’s a 1984 Horizon Nemo 39′, otherwise known as “Que Sera”. When it was bought, the boat was fully setup for cruising which really put us ahead in the game. She’s fully equipped with solar, wind generators, radar, SSB, water maker, chart plotter, and a bunch of other electronics. I’ve spent a good amount of time sailing on Que Sera but the next 5 months are dedicated to getting her all dialed in and getting a lot of sailing time in.20140618-221655-80215528.jpgSo what does this mean for Hakuna Matata? Well this means that Hakuna Matata is being sold. Yes, it’s true and as much as I don’t want to do such a thing, sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to live a life of adventure and take the chance to see if a bigger smile lies right around the corner. I’m placing my money on there being a bigger smile laying right around the corner for me. So the plan is to live on Hakuna Matata for the next couple months and then move onto Que Sera just prior to the big trip.

Hakuna Matata isn’t the only sacrifice that needs to be made if I want to sail around the world. I still have a storage unit full of stuff that I need to get rid of before tossing the dock lines. From camping gear to motorcycle gear, to tools, to misc. stuff, it all has to go because it can’t fit on the boat and I won’t be needing any of it. So everything is for sale or up for grabs in case any of you want it. It all needs to start going fast!

Since our time together is short, if you’d like to get out on the water and sail on Hakuna Matata, or Que Sera, let me know soon! I’ve got a busy schedule ahead of me but still plan on many more days out on the water!

If you are interested in buying Hakuna Matata, shoot me an email or drop me a line so we can talk more!

The Adventure Continues!

I’ve been up here in the Bay Area for about 4 weeks now. With plans changing on a daily basis, I had one goal regardless of what happened and that was to sail. After going through my contacts, I shot a message to my friend, and local racer, Will Paxton, to see if he knew of any sailing opportunities I could hop on while I was here. Sure enough, he was able to give my information to his buddy, John, who was short on crew on his Flying Tiger 32′ for the upcoming 2014 Great Vallejo Race.

I was ecstatic to have my first opportunity to crew on a race boat with a dedicated crew and in such a big race! I was also extremely nervous! I know how competitive these guys can be and I did not want to get in the way of anything! I’m pretty decent when it comes to sailing, however, racing wasn’t something that even came close to my skill level, in my personal opinion anyway. The opportunist in me, however, was not going to let this opportunity slip through my fingers. It was a chance to meet new people and greatly better my sailing skills!

On race day, I showed up early so I could get a chance to get familiar with the boat and ask any questions I needed before things got too heated and competitive out on the water. Upon my arrival, I see this sexy, sleek race boat with a skinny carbon fibre mast and all these intimidating instruments. Sure enough, I see the name, “Wild1” stamped on the side. This was the boat I was to race on! She was a Flying Tiger 32′. The boat looked as if it was moving fast just sitting in the water alone! With so many emotions flowing at this point, I couldn’t really tell you how I felt at that moment, but I’m sure it’s safe to assume, excited was on the top of that list.

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After meeting with John and the rest of the crew, we began moving quickly, running lines, hoisting sails, packing food, etc. Within an hour we were already on the water with our spinnaker flying high in the sky! Never having flown a spinnaker before, I wasn’t crazy about being the guy on the bow running the kite but if there’s any good way to learn how to fly one, it was probably like this. After about a half hour of practicing gybing with the spinnaker up I was confident on successfully being able to do my job and do it fast! With that said and done we headed to the starting line.

When we arrived to the starting line, we were surrounded by well over a hundred other race boats sailing in a tight group like a bunch of confused ants. Boats where sailing in every direction, quickly tacking constantly to avoid collisions with one another. It was chaos! However it was a controlled chaos and actually a very peaceful site. To be surrounded by so many other boats, all under sail with literally only a few feet between the boats themselves, it was definitely a fun experience!

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From my experience, The Bay Area is one windy place! In fact, I hadn’t experienced a single moment where the winds had died for any longer that 10 minutes. When we arrived to the community boat, the winds were pretty calm. Much like the average winds of San Diego. It was rather suspicious and the “1 minute to race time” shot had already been fired! Sure enough, the the wind died completely by the starting fire and the race was postponed for another hour due to the lack of wind.

11 o’clock came around and we got a good start. We were one of the first off the line. After rounding the first race bouy we raised our spinnaker and the wind died immediately. It was at about this time that sailboat racing started to seem a lot less exciting than I had thought. However, to no prevail, the wind eventually picked up and it was all downwind from there! Out spinnaker filled with air, the boat heeled far over to the starboard side and we shot across the bay! After rounding the Richmond Bridge, we had the wind blowing directly at our backs and we sped down the bay! It was at this time that I realized what all the hype was about!

Our boat, having a plaining hull, shot along the water at a steady 17 knots! The fastest I’d ever been on a sailboat! Being a cruiser, I never understood why people loved to sail downwind over upwind. But I realize the problem now, I’ve always been sailing on these huge slow tanks and not on anything lightweight and fast. We were going so fast that everyone on the boat had to be leaning off the back of the boat as much as possible to prevent the bow of the boat from dunking under water and stopping the boat! Being as fast and organized as we were, we finished placing 2nd in our class! A huge deal in my book for my first race and with the number of boats racing.

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When it came time for docking all of these race boats, it was a bit chaotic! There would be a second race the next day back to Richmond so instead of making the sail back, everyone rafted their boats inside the Vallejo Yacht Club. I say “rafted” because there were so many boats being jammed into the marina that they just tied everyone’s boats together. It was quite a site to see that many boats all tied up together. By the end of the day, the marina looked like one of those puzzles with the sliding pieces and only one square open. The Marina itself was a very shallow marina, and with about 300 race boats coming in, it was not a very good choice in marinas. Most of the race boats drew at least 6-8 feet deep and the maximum allowed draft of the marina was only 4 feet! Because of this, a lot of boats had to sail back to their home ports and miss the next days race.

Our boat, had a 7.5 foot keel on the bottom of it and instead of turning back like most, I was sure of another marina nearby that had been recently dredged pretty deep. After some hesitation, the crew took my word and we entered the marina. We made it in without any issues and we were quickly approaching the slip we chose to pirate for the night. We drifted the bow right into the slip and then threw the boat into reverse to slow down. The boat immediately stopped and everyone was very surprised without how well the engine had stopped us in our tracks. However, It didn’t take more than a few seconds to realize that it wasn’t the engine that brought us to a halt but we had actually ran aground. And to make things worse, we were only about 4 feet in the slip with the rest of the boat just sticking out in the channel. Everyone was pretty upset and I felt awful for getting this nice raceboat stuck in the mud. We tried everything we could to get her further into the slip but nothing worked. We even used a halyard to heel the boat over but we weren’t going anywhere until the next day when the tide had raised. Feeling guilty for running the boat aground, I offered to sleep on the boat overnight to make sure nothing happened to it while the rest of the crew stayed in a nice hotel.

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The next day came along and once again, it was raceday! I had breakfast with some local ducks off the back of the boat which you can see here. After breakfast, we set up the boat again, switched out the sails, threw our gear on, and waited for the tide to raise those last few inches allowing us to break free from the bottom! We quickly headed off into the channel and put our game faces on. It was race time! The winds were blowing pretty consistently today and no classes had to be postponed.

The shot was fired and we were off! This race was all upwind and not as exciting as the day before. We literally sailed in a straight line, making only 5 tacks in moderate winds. Nothing too exciting but fun nonetheless. We placed 5th in this race.

After the race, there was another small party at the Richmond Yacht Club where I met a racing couple Bret and Kristy. Both were amazing sailors with epic stories to share! After sharing a meal with them, I was invited to stay at their house in Brickyard Cove for the next few days. I also did some boat work for them on 2 of their boats. They owned 3 sailboats between the two of them; 2 race boats and 1 cruiser. The last night, I spent on their cruiser, which was a Pearson 26′. Not the largest cruiser in the world but a cruiser nonetheless.

The following few days I spent working on my friends’ WestSail 32′ in Berkley. This boat has one of the most beautiful and creative interiors I’ve ever seen. The boat actually won the award for the best custom interior WestSail ever built. The boat had just been shipped down from Seattle via flatbed so she needed to be rerigged and the mast needed to be stepped. Since the boat was out of the water we took the time to really get as much work done as possible before placing her back in the water. Unfortunately, we found some wood rot in the 7′ long bowsprit. Seeing that the bowsprit weighed a few hundred pounds and hung off the bow of the boat, we decided to remove it for repairs while the boat was on stilts. With the help of a fork lift, no heavy lifting was necessary and we loaded it in the truck to repair from their home.

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Karina and James, the owners of the WestSail, have an awesome home. They live in a nice big trailer home with a full on yard in the middle of the Mt. Diablo State Park. If I wasn’t living the boaters life, I’d be trying to live theirs. We ended up staying the next few nights there where we worked on the giant bowsprit from their boat.

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What didn’t seem like a very big job turned out to be 3 days of just sanding the paint off to expose the wood. The bowsprit was painted so we couldn’t really get a good idea of all the places that were rotted and needed repairing. Furthermore, to prevent this problem from ever happening again, they want to varnish the bowsprit instead so that if rot were to ever happen again, it would be visible before it becomes a problem. The work was tedious but it was much nicer working in the middle of the forest with the shade from the trees instead of in the middle of the city in a noisy boat yard in the blistering sun. Definitely made the work a lot easier.

After working, I went on a nice hike before sunset and found a wind cave right off the trail. Seeing that I was on an adventure, it only made sense to me that I sleep in the cave. So after making my way back to the trailer, I gathered my stuff up and made my way back to wind cave where I set up camp!

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This big adventure that I’ve been on for the past month had just turned from a sailing trip to an all around outdoors adventure! After saying goodbye to Karina and James, I found myself in the middle of the woods along a beautiful river in Nevada City, just North of Sacramento. From here on out, nothing had been planned and has its own long story of how I ended up where I was. I spent the following day swimming in a freezing river with small rapids and waterfalls and drifted about 2 miles downstream. The water was freezing but too awesome to not swim in. I wish I had my GoPro to film myself rushing with the water over rapids and waterfalls. Definitely would have made for a great video!

From Nevada City, I began my descent, making my way down the Coast and spent a night at my favorite ranch in Big Sur, Apple Pie Ridge.
20140505-234731.jpgAfter a night in Big Sur, I furthered my descent and found myself exploring in Morro Bay and staying the night in a beautiful beach house in Pismo Beach. As of now, I’m in Los Angeles where I will be staying and sailing on Que Sera, a beautiful Horizon Nemo 39′, for the next week.

This has been one hell of a month for me! It started out pretty awful and plans fell through just about every step of the way but nonetheless, I kept a great attitude the whole time and I’ve lived every moment of it to the fullest! While my adventure is coming to an end, a new adventure has already began to unfold. An adventure much greater than this past one deserving to be called a “Game Changer”, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out! I’m so excited to get back to sailing my boat once again. I should be back in San Diego this Sunday on the 11th so if you’re reading this, let’s plan some outings on the water for when I’m back!

Happy Sailing!

-Captn Sean

Sailing San Francisco

So we tossed the lines and left Vallejo at about 9am Sunday morning. San Francisco definitely has some intimidating winds and tides. Having never sailed here before, I was in for a surprise how the winds rush through the hills and channels in and out of the valleys and around the islands. It seemed like every mile or so had a strong wind blowing from a completely different direction. God forbid you stopped paying attention for a second and all of a sudden the boat gets knocked down out of nowhere!

The tides surprised me most of all! It’s crazy to think about how much water comes in and out of the bay on a daily basis. Considering the many millions of gallons that rush in and out, the speed of the tides are pretty strong. So strong that sailing against them without the wind blowing in your favor is definitely a crappy trek if you plan on getting anywhere in a timely manner. Not to mention where the different tides meet causing choppy whirlpool-like patches all over the place that really throw things off. I would definitely be weary of hopping into the bay without thoroughly studying the wind and tide charts or or not having someone familiar with the conditions on board. I can now understand why they say you can sail anywhere in the world if you can sail the Bay Area.

Feels good to dip the rail of a 60 footer

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Sailing on Etosha is wonderful! No matter what the boat was presented with, she handled it with ease. At 60′ in length the boat slices through large waves head on like warm butter and barely moves. With low winds, she heels over at a 30 degree angle and holds her course beautifully! Amazingly, Etosha’s helm does not consist of a wheel but a massive aluminum tiller! The rudder post on this boat is an astonishing 7″ thick! Good luck ever finding an emergency rudder for this boat. The classic spare wheelbarrow handle isn’t going to do the trick here!

Here’s a video tour of Etosha.

So we made our way out from Vallejo towards San Francisco early morning Sunday while the tide was running out and the wind was surprisingly calm. It was a beautiful morning and we were the largest sailboat in the water. Never having sailed here in San Francisco before, I was very interested in everything there was to see! I was an easily identifiable tourist! When we first sailed around the point of Tiburon through Raccoon Straight between Angel Island and I got my first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge I was ecstatic! I got the name camera boy after the number of pics I grabbed. However I was determined to get that perfect photo! The name was probably well deserved though.

In my defense, I got my picture.

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We sailed out past the Golden Gate Bridge but only about a quarter of a mile before turning back. We were facing 18ft swells and there was much better sailing elsewhere. While sailing back into the bay we heard the unfortunate sound of a blood curdling scream. Quickly looking back to see that a woman had jumped from the bridge. As someone who has such a love for life and that is fueled on the idea that I can do whatever I want with my life, I struggle wrapping my head around the fact that some people reach such a low. I find so much joy in the events that happen in my life, including the negative ones, and I wish it was something that could be easily taught to everyone. But that realization is one that comes in time and I am fortunate enough to have the outlook that I do. As I was sailing on a beautiful yacht, someone else was feeling the need to end their life and I wish I could have shared my experience with them.

The jumper wasn’t a deal breaker for the day, but it was definitely a reality check. But as the wind was blowing, we kept on sailing. We made our way over to treasure island before heading back behind Alcatraz. Alcatraz was definitely another one of those sites that got me excited to be sailing past. Right after avoiding a collision with a tanker we made our way back through raccoon strait and moseyed on over to China Camp where we anchored out for the night. All together, we sailed nearly 100 miles.

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While at anchor, we dropped a line in the water to kill some time. With a nice big juicy ghost shrimp on the line, I quickly pulled a nice Shark. Through the pole over a few more times and sure enough, I caught another shark… And another, and another, and another, and another! For all of you whom may be concerned, I didn’t eat any of the sharks. I threw all of them back.

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Being a race boat, Etosha, has a very thin, yet long keel. Her keel is 12 feet in length and upon awakening at anchoring we found ourselves in only 8 feet of water! So we were stuck in the mud. We tried to motor out and we tried hoisting the sails to bring the boat to a heel and sail out but we ended up just getting ourselves stuck even more. So 7 hours went by before the tide had finally raised enough to motor out of the shoal.

Due to poor weather conditions, we decided to change the plans up a bit and stick to sailing around the bay. And due to time restraints, we’ll probably only stick to sailing the bay for now. Which still doesn’t limit us really. As far as Hawaii goes, talk has begun for the end of June. More info will be posted on that as time comes. A lot of variables are in play at the moment so nothing for sure can be said just yet but that’s what we’re shooting for. I can for sure say that I will be doing everything in my power to see that the trip happens, however.

Now that I’m up here and have taken the time off for sailing, I plan on getting as much sailing done as possible. I’ll will continue sailing here on Etosha but I’ve already coordinated plans to help a couple, Karina and James, re-rig their new WestSail in Berkley and then sail it to Alameda this coming weekend. Depending on who else I meet, I may be sailing a handful of boats while I’m here. While the plans have changed, the adventures continue. If you happen to be in the Bay Area and you are reading this, shoot me an email! Let’s go sailing! Scseanhall@gmail.com