Well the La Paz waltz finally got to me as another norther came thru. Time to move to somewhere sheltere so motored 2 hours to the anchorage we visited on the way in to La Paz, Caletta Lobos. Nice anchorage, went there with Nios and Rock n Roll. Did some cleaning of the bottom , went walking, a bit of fishing, boat chores and then mainly eating and Baha Rummy. After 4-5 days left and went to Palmira Marina. Scott and Monica from Scottfree had just returned from the USA and it was nice to meet up with them again and catch up. Been doing a general clean up of the boat and a reorgnisation. Terry, who has been crewing was a big help in the reorgansiation of stores and boat bits. A second opinion is very useful !!!!
Looking for a weather window to the crossing back to Mazatlan and the mainland. looking towards the mid to end part of the week. Hopefullly the weather gods will be kind and provide us with a nice 3 -4 day window. Marina Palmira is a nice place to get out of the weather, definately worth another visit. Actually it is probably better then La Paz marina , despite the longish walk into town.
11/23/2011, La Paz
Have spotted some great statues dotted around La Paz worthy of a mention in my blog. So out came the camara this morning and I played tourist. All the statues are of a nautical theme and are of very high quality. It was great fun snapping them and I hope you enjoy them. They made me smile.
Photos are located in gallery under La Paz statues
Have been on walkabouts in La Paz the last few days to get my bearings. Most things are walkable. The Malacon is a particularly good walk, lots of cafes and ice cream !!!
Have just about visited eveyr marine store and contributed to their cash flows. Just bits...........
Have learnt 3 new card games this week( Baha rummy, 3/13 and Cribbage) and had a bit of beginners luck, much to the dismay of Russ from Rock n Roll. He got his arse whooped New Zealand style. Now have internet access from the boat via the Telcell 3G network. The dongle works very well. The marina wifi systems tend to be over subscribed and very slow. Not one marina yet has realised the internet is a crucial tool to the cruisers and all offer systems with mundane speeds and irratic access. Marina de La Paz could be described as cosy.........it's rather small but very friendly. Everything is close at hand which is really nice for those of us who rely on "two feet for transport". The anchorage can be a bit wild at times, I guess at some point you can see why people get fed up with it and either leave or go into a marina. Going to have my first experience of a ' Thanksgiving " next week. 250 people are going, it is being held at marina Palmira. It will be good to go and see it as this is where I intend to meet up with scott and monica. Still a few small projects to do, one I am not looking forward to, changing a sea water hose which is just about unreachable, it's going to be fun getting it off and more fun getting the new one on.
11/16/2011, La paz
Mazatlan to La Paz is a complete crossing of the Sea of Cortez from East to NW. I buddy boated with Rock n Roll, a 42 foot Morgan, Russ and Janet from Texas. We set off in fine weather and virtually motored all the way across finally reaching an anchorage at Ensenada de los Meurtos, the bay of the dead. The trip across was peaceful and uneventful, two full days and one nights, so tiring. Meurtos was a great anchorage, clear water, fairly warm, lots of good snorkling and we got to visit the Stephen Games bar which was awesome. Had a great time, walks along the beach, swimming, playing cards and cooking !!!
After 4 days hanging off the anchor at Meurtos approx 10 yachts were waiting for a window to complete the final 58 miles to La paz. We had to traverse the length of the Cerralvo channel and then make a turn into the San Lorenzo channel. Whilst the Cerralvo channel is only 25-30 miles long it has strong currents, the possibility of big seas and an uncomfortable hap hazard sea state. If you get the weather right it is plain sailing. The 7 boats that left with us got it wrong.........................................we got royally bashed. 8-10 foot seas, 22 knots on the nose and some big rogues waves. Lots of green water over the bow, one came down the deck, over the dodger, across the top of the bimini and landed in the dingy strapped to the davits on the stern. It was 8 hours of pure hell and high water. Fortunately at the end of the Cerralvo Channel we had to make a 90 degree turn which meant we got hoist a small amount of headsail and calm the motion down. Once through the main channel bouys of the Lorenzo channel we made for a sheltered anchorage called Caleta Lobos. Once inside it was all majestic and calm. My buddy boat Rock n Roll suffered a little engine problem and at one point I thought I would have to turn back to offer moral assistance, they were truly getting hammered.
Lobos was a great anchorage, went trekking , swimming and snorkeling. Stayed a couple of days and then made the short hop to La Paz. A quick 2 hour motor up well marked channel to arrive at the marina. Am on the hook just outside the marina. Cheap living........no marina fees other than 22 US$ a month to use the dingy dock. Fortunately it rained after tow days and washed all the salt off the boat, saved the need to go into the marina for a few days to hose off the boat. I ran out of fresh water so jerry jugged water back to the boat each day. Fixed a pressure water pump that had knocked out the water system and generally had a tidy up. La Paz is a great place, everything close. There is a wholoe heap of people here and the anchorage or channel is full. Experienced the La Paz "waltz" the second night here. It is truely weird..........The tide and current is sometimes stronger than the prevailing wind so instead of the bow facing into the wind, it sometimes faces into the current. It effects each boat differently so you end up with boats facing different directions, sometimes bumping into each other. When you are used to seeing all the boats at anchor facing the same direction to see them facing different directions is really odd. There are lots of Baha Ha ha boats here and a few Puddle jumpers. It's getting a bit chilly in the mornings and evenings but a nice 80 degrees during the day. Going to have to decide what to do next, will stay this side and meet up with Scott and Monica from Scott free at the end of Nov and may well go back across the Sea to La Cruz for dec, jan , feb. Not sure yet. Have friends spread out all over the Sea and south to La Cruz.
The Rock n Rollers are staying put for a while, they are done with over night crossings and anything more than 4 hours sail !!! They have thrown the big anchor out and this will be home for a while.
Hurricane Jova starting building a week ago, it got everyones attention with it's initial eratic path. It continued to build and started to head offshore, then it turned east due to cold air coming down from the USA. It headed towards shore , continued to build went to cat 3 and then the forecasters stated it would go to Cat 4 before making landfall. For the last two days it slowed down and eventually hit last night after making a slight northward turn.
The initial forecasting tracks put the eye over Mazatlan but fortunately as it came closer it turned east, which put Mazatlan in the danger cone but not in the direct path. Needless to say sails were stripped, all canvas removed , double dock lines and anything that was movable was stowed. Given the eratic nature of the beast, where it was going to come ashore was anyones guess .Thank God it never came our way. However, it did slam into the coast 150 miles further south. Included is a reuters report which announced some unfortunate deaths.
( Reuters) Hurricane Jova flooded the streets of Mexico's main Pacific port with torrential rain on Wednesday, inundating popular beach resorts and killing at least two people in a mudslide.
While Jova ravaged the coast, a tropical depression farther to the southeast prompted thousands of evacuations in Mexico as well as flooding and mudslides that have killed 18 in Central America since the start of this week.
Streets in the port of Manzanillo were underwater, coastal communities flooded and roads blocked due to fallen trees and washouts after Jova, now a tropical depression, hit the coast as a Category Two hurricane late on Tuesday.
Manzanillo, Mexico's busiest port for cargo, remained closed to traffic despite the storm easing. Some streets in the city were under 3 feet (1 meter) of water.
"The streets of Manzanillo are impassable, as are the highways connecting Manzanillo with the south of Jalisco," national Red Cross coordinator Isaac Oxenhaut said.
Highways leading northwest from Manzanillo along the coast were closed and the beach towns of Zihuatlan, Melaque and Barra de Navidad were swamped with floodwaters, the Red Cross said.
In the village of Jose Maria Morelos northwest of the port, a woman and her son died when a deluge of mud hit their home.
"I think they asphyxiated," Alfredo Juan de Dios, 65, said of his sister-in-law Marisol and her young son Juan Pablo after the mud brought down a wall of their house, trapping them. "I have never seen rain like this. It's caused mayhem," he added.
Outside his shattered home, Marisol's husband wept as rescue workers covered his son's body with a white sheet.
The force of the winds flipped metal roofs off homes and cut power supplies to some 107,000 people in the area.
In Melaque, local musician Roberto Orozco said he was forced to abandon his home for higher ground. "I got back to find my stove and my fridge swimming," said Orozco, 52. "We're really sad, we lost everything."
09/27/2011, Mazatlan, Mexico
A little mention here for Anita Backley who opened up her home to me, took me to hospital and generally looked after me when I returned to Auckland in April to have a stent fitted into an artery in my heart. A true friend.
NZ is hosting the rugby world cup and Anita who still works for KPMG, a few years past her normal retirement age, helped host the Pacific Island team of Samoa at the KPMG offices in Auckland.
We are hoping the RWC will showcase New Zealand to the world and of course celebrate with us when the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup.