We're happy to hear that so many of you enjoyed reading our last blog post Things We Wish We'd Known Before Going Cruising
. Although it was primarily written for potential new cruisers heading south, it has turned out to be our most-read blog post to date, and we're pleasantly surprised by the numbers of non-boating friends and family who've said they really enjoyed reading it too, so many thanks!
We had intended to leave La Paz a week or so ago, but as our friends Roger & Karen warned us, this place is "sticky", it gets its tentacles wrapped around you and it's hard to leave! So much to do and see in La Paz, so many friends old and new to catch up with, farmers markets to shop at, whale sharks to swim with... that boat projects like the water maker installation are hard to get finished!
A long-time dream for Heidi finally came true when we got to swim with whale sharks! The largest fish in the sea, they can grow to 40' long. But the two we swam with were juvenile females, one about 12' long and one about 15' long. Their 5' wide mouth looks like it could swallow you whole, but whale sharks are filter feeders and don't even have teeth. They are BREATHTAKING, so beautiful and graceful!. If you ever get the chance to swim with one, don't miss it. In the same amazing day on a snorkel panga, we also were treated to two blue whales, the first blue whale either of us had ever seen! At nearly 100' long they are the largest mammals on earth, and their backs went on-and-on-and-on (so different from the humpbacks and gray whales we're used to seeing). We even had a pod of dolphins leaping on our bow as we headed back in for the day. So looking forward to seeing more marine life as we head north into the Sea of Cortez for the summer.
But the water maker installation was non-negotiable to our leaving, we had to finish it up before we could head north. Did we mention that it's HOT in the Sea of Cortez? Last weekend reached 103°F in La Paz! And we need to be able to make our own water since potable water sources are few and far between once you leave La Paz.
Journeyman plumber, Tosh, has been helping his Dad, Kirk, with the water maker installation (when he wasn't sleeping on the job!)
Kirk has been working tirelessly to install our Spectra water maker. Hoses and wires had to be pulled under settees and bunks, around blind corners, and through bilge areas from the water maker unit under the starboard settee to the galley sink.
This desalination system takes sea water and turns it into drinking water via reverse osmosis, producing 7 gallons of fresh potable water an hour. We fill a pitcher of drinking water and then add mineral drops
to it since the water making process also removes all minerals.
Shout-out of THANKS to friends Rob, Roger, and Dan (all in Seattle!) for their help and sage water maker installation advice, all via texting and a few phone calls. What would we do without our technology? You wouldn't be reading this for one thing...
Kirk plumbed the valves to the water maker under the galley sink for easy access, while Heidi got creative with her label-maker and labeled everything.
Being able to make our own water is invaluable since having your cruising schedule dictated by where you can get potable water can really put a crimp in your cruising freedom. Especially during hurricane season (which we are hoping to stay north of!)
Speaking of which, some of our family and friends have asked us about hurricane season, so here's some basic info. Hurricanes typically don't venture further north than latitude 27°N in the Sea of Cortez (we're currently at latitude 24°N). That being said, in 2003 Hurricane Marty didn't get the "Latitude 27 Memo", and stormed straight up the Sea of Cortez, far north of latitude 27, and we know a couple of people who rode it out.
Hurricane Season is considered to be May through October, with the majority of hurricanes affecting the Baja peninsula hitting in August and September (Hurricane Marty was in late September.) But climate change has turned "normal" on its ear, so no one can say for sure exactly what to expect, or when...
We plan to be well north of latitude 27 by late July or early August, and within a day or two of several hurricane holes if need be. Although Summer in the Sea is too HOT for many, there are always a handful of boats that head north into the Sea of Cortez during Hurricane Season. Being far north also gives us 2-3 days advance warning if a hurricane is headed our way. Other than that we'll cross our fingers and toes (along with everyone else around here) that nothing comes that far north this year.
And speaking of weather, we did just experience a 24-hour period of thunder, lightening, and rain which was actually a welcome break from the heat (did Heidi just say that?!) Tikka was not happy, so we made her a fort to hide out from the loud thunder booms all day long.
Meanwhile, while Kirk was water-making Heidi was provisioning for the next five-weeks of cruising in remote areas of the Sea of Cortez where we may only have one or two opportunities to re-provision. BIG THANKS to our friend Lisa (former Seattleite) who now lives in La Paz and has a car, without which provisioning would have been a much more arduous task. The closest grocery stores are a couple of miles away, round-trip.
How the boat looks when Heidi returns with several weeks worth of groceries and the galley is so torn up they can't even be stowed away for hours...Luckily we managed to unearth the fridge to get the cold items in fairly soon. (And hide all of the tostadas and crackers from Tikka, our carbo-cat!)
We're really gonna miss our new La Paz friends and the friendly, helpful marina staff at Marina de La Paz. We have loved our boat neighbors on the dock, ranging from cruising friends to a catamaran from Jackson Hole!?!, to large motor yachts including the beautiful Dulcinea
, an Ed Monk Jr. design (Seattle yacht designer.) Big THANKS to the captain and first mate of Dulcinea
, Brett and Adam, who gave us local knowledge cruising tips for the Sea of Cortez as well as water maker maintenance advice. We hope they have a good trip doing the 'Bash' home to SoCal.
This summer/fall we look forward to catching up with cruising friends Pablo
and others in the Sea of Cortez, and plan to be back in La Paz later in the season...but you know what happens when you try to make plans...Did we mention we love La Paz?
For the next few months our internet access (and blog posts!) may be few and far between, but we'll try to post periodically when we can.
Happy Summer where ever you are!
The view from our slip at Marina de La Paz (when the mega-yachts are all out!) The sunsets here are incredibly beautiful, some of the best we've ever seen... (and yes, someone lives in that house boat at the end of the dock!)