Our Last … Not yet … Not really. Yes, really.

Did you miss what happened previously with SV Dharma Girl’s travels? Then click here.

You may wonder why we opened this post with an explanation of the origin of feeling blue? Our last day in La Cruz was handed back to us. Bittersweet, maybe. But we were emotionally prepared for our last passage on Dharma Girl. But the old saying goes, if it going to happen, it’s going to happen out there [pointing far away from an anchorage or marina.]

Heading West into the Sunrise

What happened! It’s early in the morning, no wind yet, we are motoring out of Banderas Bay [bay of the flags], La Cruz resides at the Northwest end of the bay. We turn northwest, and we settle in for our three-night passage to La Paz. Chris completes his usual engine checks that include engine and transmission temps and listens for any unusual sounds, as well as a visual of the dual filters. It was when he took a second reading of the engine that put a concerning lump in my stomach. We’ve been here before. Something isn’t right. But I trust Chris will make the safe decision. Thankfully, we were just over an hour out from La Cruz Marina.

Returning to the marina as the Sunday Market is setting up. The marina. And Jose Luis checks us in.

After the professional assessment that the v-drive was overheating, we order replacement parts. While we wait 7 business days for the parts to arrive. Meanwhile, Chris is diligent to lines up a mechanic. This could take a day to a week. And note, there is a cultural procedure for this. It’s not as simple as driving into a shop in the USA, explaining what you want to be done, obtaining and agreeing on an estimate, agreeing to the work, and returning later to pay and drive away with your vehicle.

This is our experience in Mexico, after finding a local to do the work, you explain the problem and work, have the required work completed, then negotiate the fee for said work. Much different. Si? Si. This approach is very uneasy for many gringos.

We are in La Cruz Marina and Chris begins first with locating a mechanic, and timing and patients is a key step. You are in Mexico and Mexico time is so relaxed. Also essential is who to ask, who you know, and completing the cultural steps (similar but not nearly the same as USA procedures) to obtain the work. This isn’t our first time with a situation of the like. After the parts arrived, Chris completes his diligence to learn exactly where to go to obtain a qualified mechanic for the job. Above, Chris (the tall guy) is talking to the lead mechanic that is translating to the qualified mechanic that will complete the work on Dharma Girl. Next photo, the mechanic comes to our boat at the agreed time to fulling understand the work that needs to be completed. He leaves with the v-drive and parts on Thursday. No money has been exchanged, and nothing is in writing at this point. This is how it is done in Mexico. You just have to trust the system. Saturday, the mechanic texts us with photos of his progress and explains he’ll be back on Monday to install the rebuild. This uncommon level of communication was a welcoming one. After the mechanic completed his work, Chris and he completed tests to ensure it is aligned and running well. Then the mechanic writes a bill on a piece of paper we provided, dates it, and signs his name. In agreement, we pay him. Done and Simple!

In the meantime, we didn’t allow the return to La Cruz to go to waste. In fact, after we settled into our slip, we mosied on over to the Sunday Market for some music. A nice respite after our emotional blow.

No time was wasted during our stay. We return to the list of findings from our seller survey and continue the work. Oh, don’t worry. We also found some fun with more friends too.

Toe-tapping musica.

La Cruz hosted a Cooperative Fisherman’s Festival that invites folks from all around to experience their family’s traditional dishes that include their fresh catch of the day. There was cultural dancing, traditional drinks, and booths explaining the importance of sustaining clean oceans. Naturally, there were trinkets and the like for purchase.

This appears to be a courting dance. Unfortunately, we couldn’t obtain a description of the dances as we were one of three gringos watching these dances. Nonetheless, we enjoyed watching several sets of, what appeared to be, traditional dances.


Three weeks, three days later, [1 week to find and talk to a mechanic, 1 week waiting for the parts, 1 + week for repair and waiting for a weather window] we leave La Cruz, again, to make passage for La Paz crossing the Sea of Cortez.

Three nights and days later after some nice sailing, we arrive at our typical stop in Playa Pichilinque. We were hoping to anchor in Bahia Puerto Balandra or Bahia Falsa but this cruising year we noticed more additional sailboats and yachts than in past years. The anchorages were full. After a two-year hiatus, many cruisers returned. So nothing is wrong with anchoring in our faithful Playa Pichilinque. The waters were blue, the boat crowd was low, and the weather was lovely.

The next morning we move our trusty and sweet Dharma Girl to our final destination, Marina de La Paz, Slip 114. This is where we will leave her until she sells. This was our last movement with Dharma Girl. The end of the road. The end of this cruising chapter. 23Apirl22 – 9323 nautical miles.

May 2022

Busy two weeks preparing and finalizing Dharma Girl to go on the market. We make our final dental visits, the last survey findings are completed, and touch-ups here and there to Dharma Girl. And, yet again, we purge additional personal items, sell more boat items, donate some to local nationals, and pack up the remaining of our belongings. [photo of cockpit] Success! I guess we can now say we were living out of boxes. 😉

Next on the list is a visit with Rich of La Paz Cruiser’s Supply who will list our boat and be our broker. Pat arrives two days before we leave. [Sign] Leave our girl behind and take our memories with us. Our nine-day road trip begins. Nine nights, seven beds.

Photos are not in chronological order – Clockwise: San Diego-we part ways; Pat back to Arizona and us Northbound in our rental truck, A three-hour wait to go 1/4 mile; Carrie finds kitties; Chris prepares our roadside lunch; Our last photo of us with DharmaGirl.

We have been in Portland since late May. Our friends were extremely gracious in providing a room for us in their lovely home. In the meantime, we purchased a truck and have become Trusted House Sitters (THS) members. Our first ‘gig’ was in June for three weeks in a beautiful 1910 craftsman home with three cats and two dogs, a garden, a nearby park, and walking distances to friends and the like. Then we stayed at another friend’s house to watch their dog Ev. After that, seven days of camping in the glorious great outdoors; campgrounds, and dispersed camping. We returned from camping to another THS gig that will take us to the top of August.

The pieces are falling into place.

Are you asking why are we not cruising? Why are we doing these ‘house/animal gigs’? We’ll explain in our next blog post.

Thank again for visiting. I hope you enjoyed reading another slice of our life.

Carrie and Chris


Marina Rivera Nayarit, La Cruz, Nayarit, MX

Margo Pretorius, Surveyor, (970)234.4182 info@dogfishboatworks.com

Marina de La Paz, Baja California South (BCS), MX

Rob Cross, Mechanic, Cross Marines, La Paz, BCS, MX

La Paz Cruisers Supply and Yacht Broker, Rich and Lori Boren, La Paz, BCS, MX

Halfway Inn, Negro Guerro

Las Palmas, San Felipe

Hilton, Hotel Circle, San Diego

Costco Travel, Car Rental

Grants Pass Toyota, Grants Pass

Downtown Haven, Air Bnb we stayed in Bakersfield

One thought on “Our Last … Not yet … Not really. Yes, really.

  1. Well, good by to Dharma Girl and the cruising life. Those memories never leave you. It’s been 30yrs since our life aboard DayByDay and I have so many pictures in my head still! Enjoy your new travels. Love you guys😍😍


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