What we are thankful for this Thanksgiving – Bill Hilliker: Our San Carlos Land family and Oasis

Billy’s house
Our view from the back porch we often spend our evenings

So maybe some of you have asked the question (or not) where have you all been staying since your boat is in the boat yard? If you are a fellow cruiser…you will know that staying on your boat in the boat yard is totally possible and doable, however it is dusty, water and electricity can be issues, and it can be hot as hell!

We have been fortunate enough to be staying at Billy’s house for the duration of our yard experience.  We met him like this:

Trevor and I at the Marina office some time in October speaking with the guy at the desk: “Do you know of any place we could stay locally that is cheaper than the hotels near by?”

  • Billy, who is standing at the marina desk waiting to be helped: “You guys need a place to stay?”

us: “Well yes, we would like to find a place to stay while we do some work on the boat for about a 2 weeks…”

  • Billy: “You guys just come and stay at my neighbors casita (smallhouse)…”

us: “Seriously? how much would you want?”

  • Billy: “oh I don’t care….really cheap, just a fair price…just come and meet me this afternoon and I can take you up there and show you around.  There is a small pool, a/c, no kitchen but you can use mine, and you can do laundry at my house.”

us: “Ummmm…that would be great….Do you want to know our names or anything about us?”

  • Billy: “no you guys seem to be nice people”

AND that is the beginning of a great friendship!

We ended up staying in Billy’s house rather than at his neighbors casita due to the a/c being broken.  We have been living with Billy for almost a month now as our boat work expanded as well as our time line.  He has been such an incredible gift to us, we can’t even articulate how amazing he and his generosity has been for us. I will try to give this experience justice:

Bill introduced us to a group of his friends and we all went to a local bar, Captains, for live music. The dance floor looked like this when we got there.
This is the dance floor after Kimi bought a table of 8 guys next to ours a shot of tequila..herself included…..the party needed to be lived up so I think I accomplished that : ) The kicker was that the next morning we ran into a guy in the boat yard who recognized me giving the shots of tequila away and told me I was the talk of the town…opps!
Bill introduced us to Luis Hernandez, the guy to see for all stainless steal work in the area.
Bill with Gustavo and his lovely wife Karen. Bill and Gustavo are headed into a business venture producing fresh tortillas in the Prescott AZ area.
Billy lets us utilize his vehicle when we need to go around town…I am getting my country on!!!
When we arrived back from our Arizona trip, we came back to Bill’s brothers and nephew at the house. These guys were a hoot and the boys had a great time together for a week! Me and 5 guys in the house….I was a little out numbered! Jeremy, JD, Jeff, and Trevor in the kitchen.
Bill took the boys out fishing on his boat. They caught 4 yellowtail tuna!

Billy’s family often come to visit Mexico.  They are actually local hero’s here in the area!  Billy, his son, and brothers were actually the ones to call for help to save this sperm whale and her calf back in 2011.  These  videos are testament to the rescue (one with an interview with Billy’s son, the other is an educational video but shows a photo of Billy and the crew who called out help to save the whales, the other is a article mentioning the Hillikers assist).

Sperm Whale Marine Turtle Gil Net Rescue A Success!!


Since we have been here so long…..we have met many of Bill’s friends and neighbors (no photos yet…but will post when I get them on film):

Tim – Bill has a 30 ft. sail boat on a mooring in the bay of San Carlos.  His friend Tim was visiting from Texas and decided to become partners with Bill on the sail boat.  Tim had little sail boat experience so Trevor took them out for a few sails and rigged up the spinnaker and helped install a roller furling jib.

Jerry – Trevor went up Jerry’s mast to help him get off some material that had wrapped around Jerry’s Freedom 38′ rigging.  Jerry stops by occasionally and we share a few beers, even when Bill is out of town.

Trevor hauled himself up the mast on Jerry’s Freedom 38′ all by himself…his arms were tired afterwards.

Jim – Jim came over to Bill’s house with Jerry one night.  Jim too has a sailboat in the boat yard getting some engine work done.  Jim has been around the Sea of Cortez a long time and come to find out there is a scorpion named after him…what a treat to know a celebrity!    Here is a link to a description of this type of scorpion:  http://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/262120-Hadrurus-pinteri

If you google “Jim Hadrurus pinteri scorpion” you get this image.

Leonora (will post photo later)- Leonora (aka Leo) helps Billy around the house with cleaning and cooking.  Leonora lives in Guaymas, 17 miles away, and they live in standards much less than you and I can imagine.  Billy has really taken care of her and her family not only by financial means but by opening his home to them for hot showers, food, vehicles, furniture, etc.  Leo has assisted me when I needed to go to the doctor here.  She even gave me my first antibiotic shot in the bum (will explain in a later post)!!!!

Bently (Billy’s dog) – Yes we have our puppy fix!!!! Bently is a sweet 2 year old terrier.  Billy is a busy guy and we have dog sat while we stayed at his home for him.  Bently will sleep with us even when Bill is home now 🙂




  1. LOVE your post and Billy for taking you guys in!! We’ve been overwhelmed numerous times by the generosity of total strangers to cruising sailors?! Just one of the great things about this lifestyle. 🙏🏼⛵️️😎

  2. Wow, what an incredible experience you’re having there. An experience you’d totally have missed if you didn’t have to take your boat out of the water. Billy’s generosity is humbling.

  3. I googled ‘Kimi and Trevor sailing, Slow Flight’ and found you! Reading this, remembering Turtle Bay, we are so thankful to have met you on the sea. It’s so lovely to hear about your adventures so far. Please feel a warm, fuzy hug from the frozen north and your friends, the Cooks.
    We are on leg 5 of getting Zoe 1 home. We got hammered on the US West Coast and had to leave her in Crescent City, CA. In October, boys got her to Grays Harbor, WA. I came and met them during’ that’ hurricane and we managed to get up to Gabriola, BC. Canada, eh? On Remembrance Day weekend, boys got her to Campbell River, BC. We keep zooming down there to get things done for a Christmas trek home.
    Bright blessings,
    We can’t wait to hear your next entries! So glad you have been loving San Carlos. Tell them, Tom Cook Jr. and Sr. families say, Hola!

    1. Good to here from yall. Now in Mazatlan and soon in P.V. But San Carlos was “home” for over a month and we enjoyed it. It seems like Turtle Bay was years ago as we have learned so much and seen so many people since. Thank you for helping us by being our “first” cruiser friends. This life style is life changing and mind blowing. We are happy to meet new people and sad to see them go (or we go) but the adventures we All share. I hope your adventures and ours will cross paths again and until then.. keep in touch.

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