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S.V. L'Ange 1.
Beneteau 411 Launched 2000
Anchorages Near La Paz
04/01/2012, Baha

While staying at the Marine in La Paz you can take a 1 1/2 hour trip to some great places to anchor, swim, snorkel and beach comb, and have an overnight. The water colour is amazing as too are the coloured fish.

Did I mention about the night life in these towns and cities we have been staying in, No!, well here we go.
Life living on L'Ange is not all drinking cold beer, swimming and playing strip poker at night. We have taken in an opera in Mazatlan, a classic guitarist show, local guitar / singers and roamed the town squares in the evening watching and enjoying the local musicians who like to roam. Mexican music is great, and LOUD. Saturday night they let it all out, and continue to 2 to 4 in the morning. So you have to watch where you anchor. The theaters here are the old classic style that were built in the same style as Europe. Main floor, then balconies up the side and back for 3 and 4 levels. The opera was with well known Mexican's, all the songs are put up on a screen in English, so you can follow the story. And the best part is the cost. Best seats in the opera were 250 pesos, about $20.00. The guitar shows are 50 pesos, $4.00

$4.00, that reminds me, that is the cost of my haircut here, sure beats the $30 I pay in Vanc. Mitsuko has hers done for 70 pesos, about $6.00. Both done for $10.00. I look for a cute lady hairdresser and just go in and say go ahead. We are wearing hats all the time here, so a bad haircut gets covered up, and recovers in a couple of weeks. So far no bad jobs.

Baha Area
03/29/2012, Near La Paz

Blue green water, sandy beaches to yourself and blue skys, what the Sea of Cortez has to offer. We are settling into La Paz now, doing some boat chores, shopping and finding a location to leave L'Ange for July to Oct. hopefully out of any hurrican's potential damage. We are booked to return to Vancouver April 12 for about 6 weeks. Mitsuko is off to Japan April 23 for 3 weeks, and it looks like I have a trip to the Cambodia project in May.

The West Coast of Mexico and Sea of Cortez are a cruisers dream, and the place is full of Canadian and American boaters. Many are here for the best (not too hot) 6 months, then leave the boat in a marina or on the hard. Most are sail boats, 35 to 45 in length with couples. There are good services to be had, and the locals are very cruiser friendly, as it is big business for them. Most people we meet have been doing the cycle for 7 to 10 years. Some make a side trip across the Pacific then return here, others go to Panama and return, others are happy to remain in this area. There is so much to see and do, I think our cycle is just starting.

03/29/2012 | David
Now THAT sounds like a "vortex" -- sounds OK to me!
Boat Maintenance & Upgrades
03/27/2012, Mazatlan

We are continually working on L'Ange to keep her in good shape and few problems. While in Mazatlan we had the 1000 hr service on the engine, water heat exchanger removed, serviced and cleaned, valves set, injectors serviced. We have changed the solar panels, put extra supports on the bimini, and 2, 130 watt panels on the top, and moved the 2, 90 watt panels to be on the side, where they are raised and lowered as needed, and a new 25 amp regulator. We now have more than needed to run the fridge, freezer, lights, computer, and TV/CD. Great not to have to worry about running the generator or engine. I am now connecting the GPS into the VHF and SSB radios, giving us lat and long readings when we are on the radios. Should have done this before leaving. If you are going to call in an emergency, it is wise to know where you are.

Shedules - Mexican Style
03/27/2012, Mazatlan to Baha

What do the do with the old volkswagons in Mexico?, they cut them down and make open air taxis with them. Here I am negotiating for a ride.
Now about schedules:
Schedule a time, and the appointment for the Mexican is to arrive 1/2 hour later than the time you have agreed on. (if he shows up at all). If you agree on a time and say "sharp", then this means the actual time.
Schedule a time for some work to be done, and then wait and hope they show up. If after waiting for 1 hour, phone and ask if they still plan on coming. Sometimes they arrive, other times they could not get the material required for the project, and will be coming next week. There is no customer service from them to call and advise you of a change in schedule.
When advised it will be delivered in 2 days, this means 1 week. If you are sheduled for 1 week, this means 2 weeks. But who cares, we are in the sun, warm water, cold cheap beer, and lots of good friends around to keep you company.

Mexican Shedules
03/27/2012, Mazatlan / La Paz

The photo is sunrise (6:00 am) as we travel West from Mazatlan to Baha. We get into 3 to 4 hour watch, sleeping as we listen to the rythem of the diesel. One thing we have learnt, is that you cannot hand steer at night, on the autopilot all the time. You lose your sense of direction once it gets dark.
So what is this Vortex of Mexico. It is getting into the relaxing and social life down here, pulling into a marina of anchorage, and suddenly not leaving for a month. Meeting new people, touring, going to music shows and theatre, and trying the local restaurants. One gets very comfortable, and foregets about time.
And Mexican time and schedules, next.......

The Mexican Cruising Vortex
03/27/2012, Now in La Paz

The photo is the sunset (6:30 pm) as we travel from Mazatlan West to the Baha. Leaving at 6 am, and motoring for 32 hours, not a wind above 5 knots, and smooth seas. Mitsuko is the passage weather planner, and advises when to leave. After putting her through a hurricane, then around Cabo Correntes on an overnight passage with 25kn head winds and 6 to 8 foot seas, she thinks my scheduling and weather reading sucks. So the Admiral is the boss for planning departure dates. She has 3 weather web sites to go to, and listens to the reports on the morning and evening nets (SSB and HAM sites), and then makes the decision.

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Captain & First Mate
Who: John and Mitsuko Blair
Port: Vancouver, Canada
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