Back North in the Sea for the Summer
24 May 2012 | Costa Baja Marina, La Paz
Bob / Hot and Dry; Light Breeze
The re-insulation project on our refrigeration, that we were afraid would never end, finally did. But it was a narrow victory, as the carpenter who had been "guiding" us throughout the project suffered two broken fingers and almost lost his thumb in a bloody table saw accident the evening before the delicate final installation of the teak bulkhead, Formica, hatches and lids. We thought for sure that we would suffer another lengthy delay that might even jeopardize exiting hurricane country before our insurance company's deadline. But good fortune smiled upon us and we found Javier and Victor just down the dock, and they agreed to interrupt their current work to get us finished up. Their work was superb and timely, and we were finally able to rid the companionway of Styrofoam coolers, which had been our "refrigerators" for two months and permanently make up our berth. We made our COSTCO visits and loaded up - then untied the docklines and ventured forth.
We were heading for La Paz, and winds looked accommodating, so we wasted no time, departing Banderas Bay and motoring to Isla Isabel (of blue-footed booby fame) to anchor for the night. After catching up on our sleep, we sailed northwest for La Paz early the next morning. To make things interesting as we motored at 5 knots, we put out a hand line and trolled all day. Alas no luck! The next day we tried again with a different lure - this time we set out two hand lines. We were trying to do things just like Bill Craig had recently taught us and were using his personal lure creations. Just as we were beginning to lose hope, Karyn's line was hit by a monstrous 24-inch mahi mahi. It was a difficult fight, but eventually I was able to bring him alongside. Karyn handed me the gaff, and I landed him on the side deck, where she really showed the fisherman spirit by cleaning and filleting the little critter and placing the beautiful tender, juicy meat in the freezer to keep it fresh. About two hours later, Karyn prepared a sumptuous fish dinner, which we ate at the cockpit table. What a life!
We enjoyed varying mild conditions the rest of the way (all told, about 350 miles), often motoring to keep moving, but sailing a lot of the way, too. Winds from the SW and West were often enough to push us up to 7 knots or better. We had a bit of a problem Friday evening: I came off watch and was looking forward to 3 solid hours of sleep, but Karyn reported that the jib would not completely furl. I wanted to show her the advantages of superior strength, but found that I could do no better than she. So I grabbed my tools, determined to show her the effectiveness of more adroit methods. Interestingly, there was a bird perched just ahead of the furling drum, a beautiful yellow-footed booby. I was careful not to disturb him as I went to my knees at the foot of the furler, a mere three feet aft of the cute little guy. But I was wearing my headlight, and the booby noticed me right away, turning his head and neck around 180 degrees to see what I was up to. He was totally unfazed by my presence - perhaps he was impressed with my considerable skills. At any rate, I became convinced that we were enjoying a brief inter-species communion - a wonderful opportunity. Just about then, I heard a loud "SPLOUSHHHHH!" and felt a very warm wetness all over my left leg and a splattering of brown and white bird xxxx that left Realtime's bow very much altered. Unable to see what had transpired, Karyn became alarmed at my agitation, loud yelling, and boorish anti-bird gesticulations. But soon I was able to finish the task at hand, and when I returned to the cockpit she saw what I was yelling about and helped me clean up. So much for communing with nature!
One more day, and we were heading into La Paz again - a little warmer than we left it last November. We pulled into the Costa Baja Marina and tied up. We knew that we were going to be comfortable. It is a beautiful place. Check out the gallery to see it. There is no humidity here to mention, and the heat is tolerable, using awnings and lots of beautiful desert scenery. There is an infinity pool for the hottest part of the day. A base for the summer, as we explore the islands and coves of the Sea of Cortez!