Guest post: Josie, of Family Afloat, on their sailing adventures


I love to travel.

And by travel, I mean drive several times a week to Mooresville, N.C. Occasionally exotic locales, too, such as Fredericksburg, Va. The extent of my travel reaches the bounds of club soccer. And I’m okay with that.

If I get a dose of wanderlust, well, that’s what Instagram and Hawaii 5-0 reruns are for.

Or, I can visit the blog Family Afloat. That’s where Josie chronicles the adventures of a family living at sea. Great story, right? Well, only it’s nonfiction. These people really are sailing around the world.

Today, Josie shares a few of their favorites lists.

There’s great photography to boot. I’m thankful for Josie and her family. I’d do something like this, if it weren’t for, you know, the fact that I nearly died in a kayak. Or was it a canoe? Please give Josie a warm CD welcome and be sure to check out Family Afloat.

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Ahoy, we are A Family Afloat, a family of five who set sail to discover the world by way of the water. Aboard our cutter rigged Stevens 40, we have Captain and super dad Christian Lauducci, second mate, mother and NICU Nurse, Josie Lauducci, and our three deck-hands/children Nina (15), Ellamae (10), and Taj (4.5).

Our hailing port is Sausalito, California, or better known to most as San Francisco Bay area. It was from there, in August 2015, in which we untied the dock lines and departed for our open-ended, no time frame, sail about the world.

Upon sailing out under the Golden Gate Bridge, we hung a left and slowly made our way south along the California coast, the Pacific side of Baja California, and further on down to Mexico’s mainland. We’ve spent the past two years exploring Mexico by water and a few inland trips here and there.

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Our direction, ports, lengths of stay, are all primarily dictated by the weather and safety, but heavily influenced by the adventures to be had and other sailing friends and kid boats to meet up with.

When people find out about the lifestyle we are choosing to live, we are often flooded with a more than a few common questions. We are usually asked, “what are your favorites places so far?” or “where have you experienced the best views?” and “what is the most eventful situation you’ve been in?”

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We’ve decided to make a list of our three favorite places, three places with the most spectacular views, and three most surprising events so far.

When questioned to name our favorite places that we’ve been, we’re faced with too many choices. We normally like to take the standpoint of “we don’t do favorites, as every place we’ve been to so far has offered a unique and cherished experience,” but for the sake of answering one of our most common questions in a more straightforward manner, we’ve come up with three of favorite places in Mexico that we’ve sailed to.

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In no particular order …

Three favorite places

Isla Isabel

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Sometimes referred to as the Galapagos of Mexico, Isla Isabel is an island just northwest of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The island is littered with Blue and Yellow Footed Boobies, Frigatebirds and iguanas.

blue foot

The only inhabitants are the transient fisherman at the fish camp and the biologists at the nature study and conservatory camp. Having stopped here four times within the last two years, we established a love for the wildlife on shore and underwater, the remoteness, and the physical activities the island has to offer.

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Barra de Navidad

It’s about 150 miles south of Puerto Vallarta. This historic shipping and trading port offers cultural history, surf, great food, outdoor recreation, and a ton of activities for the kids to enjoy.

Many other kid boats stop here, so this is a huge factor in our “liking” of an area.

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Isla San Marcos

It’s an island about midway up the Sea of Cortez off the town of Santa Rosalia on the Baja peninsula side. Another remote location, with beautiful sea life, underwater caves to dive through, arches/cliffs to jump off of, beautiful scenery to take in.

3 places with the most spectacular views

Isla Isabel

Having to pick only three places with the best views is also extremely difficult, but what a great predicament to be in. We would have to put Isla Isabel on this list as well. The jagged cliffs, the pinnacles shooting out of the water, the azure color of the water next to the red bluffs stained with bird guano leaves a lasting impression.

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The other two more scenic places are in the Sea of Cortez.

Ensenada Grande

It’s on the northern end of Isla Partida, which is just north of Isla Espirito Santo, and north of La Paz, Baja California Sur. Ensenada Grande offers a protective cove surrounded by 20-foot brick-red sandstone and sedimentary bluffs rising from the water’s edge.

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In the evening we were entertained by the Mobula rays jumping out of the water and belly flopping all over the anchorage, sounding like cannons in battle.

Isla San Francisco

It’s the next island north of Isla Partida. Isla San Francisco has a crescent-shaped anchorage with clear water and a sandy bottom, making it picturesque from the steep hillside onshore.

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3 most surprising events so far

We would have to say that we haven’t had too many “eventful” moments over the past two years of cruising down in Mexico, assuming “eventful” means scary, dangerous, or dramatic. Three that stand out as most memorable are as follows in no particular order:

Catching a silky shark on our hand line

We were off the coast of Baja offshore from a known anchorage called Muertos when we unintentionally caught a silky shark. We were hoping that it was just a large fish but it turned out to be a shark.

silky shark

After over a half hour of hand reeling it in, we were able to cut the line as close as possible and maintain our safety to set it free. Unfortunately, the fishing hook went with the shark.

Our first sail into Banderas Bay

It was out first mainland Mexico entry and it was nearing dark. Off the point of Punta Mita is a known submerged rock that isn’t always marked correctly. A squall came just in time for us to be passing that rock.

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Our sails were down, the motor was on and out of nowhere, wind, rain, and lightning and thunder surrounded us. We made it through just fine, but that was a very exciting event for us.

The time we saw an 8- 10-foot crocodile in an anchorage

It happened in Cuastecomates, just off our friend’s boat. This was shortly after I had just finished a 30-minute swim and not more than a few minutes after Christian has paddled his surfboard over to our friend’s boat.

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Needless to say, we kept the kids out of the water for few hours.

What about you? What are your favorite places and spots with the most spectacular views you’ve ever seen? Ever had a surprising event while at sea?

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Sailing out of SF under the Golden Gate video


A Family Afloat Website


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kennedy quote sailing

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  1. WOW! Beautiful pictures and lovely story!! ❤

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Isn’t it cool, Courtney? I’d like to go along on just one part of a trip. I bet they eat great seafood too.

    2. Thank you Courtney! I just got a better camera, so hopefully the pictures will get even better!

  2. Charlotte says:

    Uhm. What an incredible voyage and first-hand life experiences you are teaching your kiddos!! I’m totally jelly of the setting sail and loving on the open waters kind of lifestyle 🙂 that is amazing and lived to hear about some of your experiences and travels ❤

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Who needs National Geographic?

    2. Thank you Charlotte! It is quite the life. Make sure to follow along! Maybe we’ll cross paths out there one day.

  3. ksbeth says:

    this is amazing –

  4. This is something i wish i could have given my children.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Me too, Mimi. I’d miss pizza joints.

      1. We’ve been able to find some good pizza, but none like the US. Maybe Italy one day?!

    2. We all do the best we know how. I’m sure you did too.

  5. Thank you all for the comments! And thank you Eli for the great write-up.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It was a pleasure to have you here. Can’t wait to read about your next adventures, too.

  6. Reblogged this on A Family Afloat and commented:
    Check out our Guest Post from ! He did a great job and has many other cool posts.

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