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S.V Condesa Del Mar
Farewell La Paz
Jenny g
15/04/2012, Marina De La Paz

Goodbye to all the wonderful people who have helped us along with our preparations. Never before have we had such wonderful support from people who hardly knew us as we started out. You are all as lovely as La Paz itself, and we regret not being able to radio our thanks on the morning net to each one of you. But today the wind is up and we are leaving. We wish you all good health, happpiness and I do not need to say anything about weather because this place is "paradise" as far as weather is concerned. Haste manana

The skill
Jenny g
14/04/2012, Marina De La Paz

This is the crew along side us and aboard SV Condesa. Two crew are Pedro Cookingham & John Fyfe.

14/04/2012, Marina De La Paz

Three days after the fact! There will definitely be 3 of the longest hardest loudest strikes of the bell to indicate we are leaving port. There are a few funny rituals to be had prior to departing. One, is to have a visit from the sharply uniformed health inspectors on board your boat after you have handed in your paperwork to the Port Captain - anyway we passed and I didn't even make it to the meeting. I presume this means we must be fit to sail. Another tradition numero dos:... has it that you have drinks the night before you go with the people you've met whilst here in the marina. So we threw, what is called a "dock party" 2 days ago. As the time frame was tight we managed to only tell the 4-6 boats nearest us and my yoga pals. So all things considered we didn't expect many to come as it was the start of yet another festival called "Bay Fest" and with a ticketed wine tasting evening at Club Cuceros at the other end of the dock. A lovely couple who were volunteers at the wine tasting came early. So sitting peacefully in the newly covered helm area for just a sec as we planned to move onto 'the dock' when people arrived. As you do for a 'dock party'. I hadn't seen he who hums for some time and when I looked up, there were at least 30 people all over the front of the boat both inside and out and spilling onto the dock. Took me a while to get through the crowd to go talk to the captain, and he was equally surprised at the number of people we actually knew. But honestly people here in La Paz just love a party so there were some people I had never seen before. One girl even asked me what boat I was off~ HA! It didn't even faze her when I said, this one! He who hums was deep in her conversation person keen to crew, giving it her best shot knowing we were close to going. So... post party next morning we cleaned the decks yet again, and he who hums united the ropes and looked up to see the still keen lady just passing by that rope,. He left with her card in hand as he finally got to motor away from our pen and over to the fuel dock. So by now we are all checking the boat over and the only things to address are 1) Fill the tanks with as many litres of diesel as she can take 2) the swim steps 3) the last safety lines, both to be delivered (yesterday) and then we can d e p a r t. Oh hang on ..... then addressed the last issue that popped up when we filled the tanks to overflowing ----- another day was gone already. The third tradition, people here tell you is that when you come to La Paz, a secret bungy cord attaches to you so you return to this beautiful place. Well.... we need to leave people so that can happen! The date is Sunday 15th April we are untying the ropes and heading off really truly this time because we are....
1) Totally ready for the puddle jump
2) Totally ready to be bungyed back some day
3) Totally happy with the crew and the boat we have prepared over the last 6 weeks.
Now all I want to see is, he who hums sitting at the helm for the next 3 weeks ~ loving himself sick and not under the floorboards. Not physically of course, must be careful what I wish for. It is ok, I have 3 different medical remedies and 3 kg of ginger onboard so that won't happen. Uno... dos ...Tres ..... adios amigos ~ Haste manyana! Until we meet again my friends x

All Aboard
Jenny g
08/04/2012, Marina De La Paz

The intricate satellite phone is installed, after many painstaking days of befriending it, it will now kindly link us to any patch of weather, wind, waves, current, map tracking and any forecast we request. It is all integrated with the computer system so emailing and blogging can continue. So not much left now.
You know this is tricky to write that we are "leaving" La Paz because I feel like I am putting an omen on it by stating the fact. However Thursday 12th April we will celebrate our venture off into the wide world together. Just as we did on this date 32 years ago seems appropriate ~ it feels like the right date to take the plunge (again). Oh alright and the fact that the wind is increasing then and the workers will be/should be finished and I have run out of highlighter.
I feel relaxed and calm (surprisingly). Although it is interesting to observe oneself, I am ready for any fuzzy tummy or what one would really expect is feel 'sick in the gut' (excuse the term) but... No ~ so far every day is another step closer and that is just the way it is. He who hums has been too busy to hum I have noticed, but with the full dance card he has had this past week I am not surprised. His favourite tune is back in the air now and he has even pulled up his "prize purchase" a bean bag that he found at the 'swap meet' today. Things were quiet and I know he wasn't in the bilge as the hatch was shut so I go look see up the mast. I found him in the sun relaxing for the first time since we arrived. We are just awaiting the 2nd crew member to fly in tonight to join us and if things go to plan then he will settle in over the next few days. We will nudge the last of the tradesmen off the duck board and untie the ropes on Thursday the wind will pick us up and away we will sail. La Condesa Del Mar bound for French Polynesia, you remember the place where people only smile? First land we will sight will be the Marquesas Islands 3,500nm approximately 21-30days.
*Oh and another thing I heard there would be, fruit aplenty dripping off the tree. So together we drift across the sea. Achieving ...the Tuamotus....and the smiling Tahiti.
*accidental poetry in motion

Drink to that!
Jenny g
31/03/2012, Marina De La Paz

Jennyg frame

Drink to that!
Jenny g
31/03/2012, Marina De La Paz

You just blink and another week has gone, yet a lot has happened and ...yes, still things to do but we are really narrowing in this week. He who hums has been riding the highs and the lows while I have been surfing the net backing up whatever question that I pre-empt is about to be asked. I am good for any subject whether it be the automatic pilot hydraulics or to do with starter motor on the engine. What's a mother to do sit and watch the question hang in the air? Problem is with some of these lingering questions I can feel the departure date wanting to sneak off to the right but after the question is answered we hold steady around next week.
Achievements this week have been plentiful but I am not permitted to highlight them off the list until they are absolutely complete. So the highlighter too is hovering.... itching to landslide down on some of those 'big mother of jobs'. Speaking of itching I have built our medical cabinet up and armed ready to suture and /or pull teeth (joking) but hey there is a tool I have in stock that would do that perfectly. He who hums thinks I am creating a mini hospital, and I admit it has grown from one shoe box to a full military style medical cabinet. But I am armed and ready and I plan for it all to just come for the ride.
The adventurer crew member has arrived and is settling into the one place for more than a day. His itchy feet have found my bike and she has been taken on the highways to fetch whatever we need and back within the hour or two. Just in time to be here for the daily sampling from the watermaker. Salt -> fresh within seconds, filtering from the salt water outside through the system into the work room and he who hums concentrating under the swinging lightbulb holds the beaker and gauge steady. It is so perfect in my mind's eye I see pearls at the bottom of the cup. I scull it in one go and hand him back the empty vessel, leaving him merrily go back to the drawing board for his own tasting .
So! Our second crew member lands in Mexico next weekend and we will be .......................humming.

Count down
24/03/2012, Marina De La Paz

OK, we are now getting to the pointy end of the business. I can tell cause some people walking around here no longer have laid back long looping strides but heads down, legs keeping up beneath. The long list of things to do........things to find ..... to duplicate.... to purchase ........ to order ....... have been work in progress for us and some boats around us. As fast as we highlight jobs of work off the evolving list, it appears there is always another to go on. We came in walking a city pace, we have now eased into the Mexican lifestyle and we are keen to maintain the 'peaceful journey' with time having learnt from the long living experts - The Mexicans. I am reinforcing this with the yoga sessions out on the dock with 8 other pace making enthusiasts reaching for the sun with limbs hinting at life's pain. Trying to maintain focus on the inner self is the key, however the lady in front who has been wearing a calendar of t 'shirts that advertise the local celebrations, of which there are many. Shame, I only just cottoned onto that human billboard, I could have been up to speed a lot earlier during the zen of our tree pose. Meanwhile he who hums has had his hands full managing the whole process from the "pequento" detail to the "mas grande" and doing a mighty dam fine job! Next on the skills list for us is the French language and since I am of "French decent" I am hoping my instinct will kick in as I approach the French Polynesia.
It has been noted that we have had every possible professional within their field working and crawling all over this boat ensuring her blue ribbon status. Embarrassing but proud - she is looking the part. Some Puddle Jumpers set off 2 weeks ago, leading the way, eager to get going, after some poor boats having to turn back last year with issues. We read/hear those stories, learning from their experiences. The bare face humbling examples are shared around and when you've experience what it takes to make this all happen you can understand the devastation. Check that list! The absolute last thing on the "personal list" is attention to the hair, god knows there won't be a Tognini's palace out in the Pacific to smarty up my featherless peacock self. So with time shedding away my fashion-loving person and taking over with far more serviceable foot attire and protective clothing. Yellow vest being somewhat a summer colour and the orange whistles come as a necklace in a perfect contrasting bright. Kidding...... I have the Gemini twin within, who keeps this all intact. However our crew WILL be getting a haircut before we depart. Actually, I am secretly thinking of starting up my own harbour salon enroot as I can see potential. What has stuck in my mind from a bus trip with some cruising companions many years back for memory went something like this.... : 2months -overgrown ear covering curls sprouting ; 6 months- crooked angles & wayward tufts appearing; 1year - by now has lost the plot; and any time beyond - ends in dreadlocks. So my friends be kind to your boat folk, it is a Buddha way of life we are embarking upon. Keep tabs on us and should we transform then our presence won't alarm you when we return. There is every chance by then it won't be bothering us. HOMmmmmm

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