Saturday, 28 December 2013

Walking in a cactus wonderland...

Christmas day hike up hill behind marina, first to viewpoint and then further beyond. Beautiful views of La Paz, and Bahia de La Paz, and some great cacti.

View of Marina Palmyra and La Paz through saguaro cactus

View of Marina Palmyra and La Paz through two humans

An unimpeded view...

Flowering cactus

Two of these embedded themselves into Michelle's thigh... ouch

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas/Feliz Navidad from La Paz

No bull. Christmas is a big thing down here. La Paz is full of colourful Christmas lights. The Malecon is lit-up end-to-end. Lots of shoppers. Not TOO much schmaltzy music (just enough). Posadas with loud music going late into the night (well past our bedtime). And surprisingly, turkey ("pavo") available everywhere.

Several events here at our Marina, so we won't be alone for Christmas (though being home in Vancouver or Whistler would b nice...).

Monday, 23 December 2013

Relaxing in La Paz

Two weeks into our month here in La Paz. It is a very relaxing town. Very family oriented. Nobody trying to sell us trashy trinkets.  (Indeed, hardly any gringo tourists, other than cruisers.)  Weather is comfortable (22-27 degrees C), although it does get a little too windy at times (the Northers...). The La Paz malecon is a very long (many kilometres) walkway along the ocean; we are getting lots of walking in as our marina is a 30-40 minute walk from the downtown area.

La Paz Malecon

La Paz Malecon (anchorage is on far right)

We have been doing several boat projects. First thing was a full wash, wax of the boat, polish stainless steel, and bottom scrub. This time, though, we had Carlos and crew do this, freeing Michelle. Additionally, we have installed our new fridge purchased last April and carried all the way under the V-berth down to here (the old fridge was given a terminal diagnosis way back in 2010 so we bought a new one; even though the old fridge seemed to work fine; we will likely donate the old fridge to a small town nearby that depends on 12-volt solar for power). And then there have been many small fixes.

But mostly, we have been relaxing. La Paz is a good place for it. 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Time for a pause... In La Paz B.C.S. for a month

We are now at Marina Palmyra in La Paz, Baja California Sur, with plans to stay here through Christmas and New Years.

We left Cabo San Lucas for the short trip to San Jose del Cabo. The new marina at Puerto Los Cabos was a welcome quiet stop after the craziness of CSL. We stayed 2 nights due to northerly winds, allowing a visit to San Jose on our bikes. The historic/art district of San Jose is worth a visit, but prices were way over the top.

We then motored to Bahia Los Frailes and dropped anchor. This was a beautiful spot that we wished we could have stayed longer but the weather forecast indicated a very strong norther brewing in the Sea of Cortez in a day or two. (Trying to get to La Paz, this would mean 20-30 knot winds "on the nose" with steep seas -- bashing!) So the next morning we up-anchored and motored the 45 miles from Los Frailes to Ensenada Los Muertos; we anchored and took a 2-hour break, then joined 4 other boats and did the 55-mile motor overnight all the way to La Paz. (We HAD hoped no more overnights until we cross over to the mainland side of Mexico....)

Briefly @ Ensenada Los Muertos (photo by SV Confidence)
"The Fleet" for Muertos to La Paz overnight sail (from SV Green Panther blog)
We had a calm, easy overnight motor to La Paz, arriving at daylight. By the afternoon, the norther winds had piped up to over 20 knots, with the bay full of whitecaps. Happily, we were comfortably moored at the dock at Marina Palmyra before this.

Arrival at dawn to La Paz channel (Pelagia shown, following Green Panther) -- from SV Green Panther blog

Friday, 6 December 2013

Down the Pacific Coast of Baja: Ensenada to Cabo stats

We left Ensenada on November 18th, and arrived Cabo San Lucas on December 1st,  a total of 14 days, including 6 lay days (3.5 days in Turtle Bay and 2.5 days in Bahia Santa Maria). We travelled (sailed/motored) a total of 151 hours, covering 746.7 nautical miles. In total (including battery charging, anchoring time, etc), we ran Pelagia's engine for 50.7 hours. We used only about 117 litres of diesel (only 43% of our tankage). Happily, we sailed at least 66% of the way. Not an easy trip, but not bad either.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Bahia Santa Maria to Cabo San Lucas

After 3 nights in Bahia Santa Maria, it was time to continue South. We had enjoyed BSM: it is very "wild", with only a small seasonal fishing camp (the local fishermen came by offering lobster for trade, with batteries being the number one trade item; we gave away some batteries but did not ask for any langosta). And BSM was the site of our first swim -- 22 degrees Celsius was good enough for us to jump in.

Puerto Magdalena (Man-O-War cove)
We were not quite ready (mentally) for the final overnight, so we did a half-day trip (50% sailed) over to Puerto Magdalena/Man-O-War Cove for the night. We then left early the next morning for the approx. 180 nm overnight trip. As predicted, winds were fairly light. The trip took us 34.5 hours total, of which we motored for nearly 24 hours. But at least the seas were comfortable. (Though we find it hard to sleep while motoring.)

Rounding Cabo

More Cabo

An hour or so before sunset on Dec 1, we motored around the famous rock formations of Cabo San Lucas, and dropped anchor off the sandy beach in front of the hotels. It was a little rolly (from boat traffic and from residual swells) and one beach bar in particular was rather noisy, but we were happy to be anchored, relieved to have completed the long trip down the Pacific coast of Baja.

The next day, we had a nice swim off the boat, and then went in to the IGY Marina (and the mayhem of Cabo San Lucas) for a few nights.

Monday, 2 December 2013