Michael Robertson shares a look back at his years exploring Mexico's Baja Peninsula.
Old Del Viento
Windy and I aboard the first Del Viento, early 1997, motoring along the then undeveloped Cabo beach. Michael Robertson

I’m 45 years old and exploring the Sea of Cortez’s islands and Baja aboard our 40-foot sloop. I take in and process the beauty and wonder of this place and I can’t get away from an awareness that my impressions are simultaneously dulled and heightened by my past.

San Jose del Cabo
Also 1997, sitting on our Avon Redcrest in front of the Hotel Palmilla before crashing the pool, San Jose del Cabo. Michael Robertson

I’ve been here before, age 31, in a small plane, an engagement ring hidden in my pocket. She said yes, on the beach of Punta Chivato. I was here in my late 20s too, aboard the previous Del Viento, with my girlfriend, Windy. We came up only as far as the islands north of La Paz before we crossed the Sea for Mazatlan and continued on to Panama and eventually, Florida. I was here as a teen, again and again in my folks’ small plane, landing on sandy strips that would be awash with the tide hours after we touched down. We’d siphon fuel through a chamois and eat huevos rancheros that made my mouth sing.

Los Islotes
Still 1997, Windy swimming with a sea lion at Los Islotes, just north of La Paz. Michael Robertson

For thirty years this peninsula has woven in and out of my life. Today, as we sail around and I watch my girls process all of the Baja I am able to show, I share snippets of memory with them as places emerge familiar. It is a cruising ground both exotic and familiar. Is it any wonder we’re here?

With my dad, 1993, Bahia San Luis Gonzaga. Michael Robertson
Me, 1997, aboard the first Del Viento, La Paz waterfront in the background. Michael Robertson

In our twenties, we traded our boat for a house and our freedom for careers. In our thirties, we slumbered through the American dream. In our forties, we woke and traded our house for a boat and our careers for freedom. And here we are. Follow along at