03/11/2012, La Paz
One of the things I enjoy most about sailing is the sound of the boat going through the water. The slither of the hull, the splashing of the waves hitting the boat, the creaks and squeaks of the rigging all combine into either a symphony or a lullaby as the conditions dictate.
I have begun to appreciate the sounds of various cities as I travel as well. The rhythm of the traffic, the echoes from the buildings, the sounds emanating from the various businesses, and the sounds of the language contribute to each city's musical arrangement.
Whether in a big city or small, they all have a unique sound and beat.
La Paz has a very light and lyrical composition. We were walking throughout the uptown area last night and it was very noticeable. If you stop and listen to where you are, you will find that beat, that jazz, that blues, that rock and roll, and yes, maybe even that country music, that defines the area you are in and the time you are experiencing it.
It is pretty cool to listen to the actual music an area and culture has to offer- which we did the other day at the Bismarkcito restaurant on the malecon in La Paz. These guys were some great performers!
Those of us at that "certain age" recognize that line. And while I know all of the words, I never really thought of it as a real place, more a state of mind. I now know that not only is it a physical place, but that the mental picture I had did not have the Technicolor that the reality does! Now I could wax on melodically about the warm smell of colitas rising up in the air, but we all know the lyrics
Here are a few pics of the real "Hotel California"
Check out more pics in the gallery
Sunday morning we found ourselves not really wanting to leave! But the Costco run was the reason for this trip- have to justify!
We took a road trip from La Paz, to Todos Santos, then on to Los Cabos on Hwy 19 and back up through Hwy 1 to complete the Baja California Sur loop.
02/27/2012, Marina Costa Baja
1.) Better living through chemistry
There is a reason that we have Bonine onboard, and I have to remember that using it isn't a sign of weakness, but one of wisdom. When I was an aircrewman in the Navy, everyone had to come up with a nickname for our nametags - mine was "Puker". Sitting sideways in the tube of a P-3, a notoriously rough riding airplane, is a sure inner ear battle.
Bashing into the Sea of Cortez is another.
2.) Never take weather predictions too seriously
I use five or six different sources when I'm planning a passage and all of them were right, and all of them were wrong. Mostly wrong about wind speed, wind direction, wave height, wave period, and wave direction- mostly right about sunrise and sunset times. Thanks.
3.) Reef early, reef often
It is much easier to reef a sail in the daylight. Actually, I'm pretty good about this one.
4.) Finger foods are easier
When menu planning for a short passage (2-4 days), do finger foods. Why really worry about making meals while you are trying to get yourself set on a watch schedule.
5.) Clocks can be adjusted one way, tough to roll back
Kelly and I have a pretty good interaction for watches. I'm good at switching to a night schedule on a short notice and stand a long night watch right away with little adjustment. She pretty much runs twilight and sunrise with the two of us catching naps during the day. But switching back for me is tougher- it takes several days to feel normal not staying awake into the middle of the night.
6.) Spares are a good thing
It sure was nice not worrying about how I was going to find the parts to fix the raw water pump when it failed, and it was sure nice to be able to do the job as well. It is somewhat of a comfort to have the skills, kind of a pain to have to use those skills.
So a trip report-
We left Marina El Cid at about 2130 to take advantage of the flood tide and also with the idea of hitting the East Cape in 36 hours or the north end of Isla Cerralvo in 48. That actually worked pretty close to what would have happened, but for the impeller failure, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
After motoring through the evening and into the morning, the wind started to pick up a bit and by 0900 on Friday we were sailing along under a full suit of sails and letting Ol' Tiki Bob the Monitor windvane drive us, and since Tiki Bob does such a great job, we are just along for the ride. The NNW winds started to veer to the west and by the time we were within 60 miles of the East Cape it was full on WNW causing us to decide if it was to be a run to Cabo or a turn to the north. Guess what, north won out. So off we go to the NNE at about 6 knots, bashing into the windwaves the Sea is notorious for. At about 1200 on Saturday we tacked to the west to run over the top of Cerralvo and shoot for San Lorenzo pass in the morning. Unfortunately for us, that nice wind petered out, leaving us to drift.
That wasn't really a good plan, so we fired up Perky McPerkinson and watched the temp gauge climb, shutting that down it was determined that an impeller swap was in order, but it was going to be a few hours before it would be cool enough to touch.
Kelly woke to me just finishing the job, we fired her up and off we go!
But no matter what kind of engine we have, the sheer physics of waterline length and hull speed conspired to keep us from arriving at our new marina before the end of the workday- we pulled into the fuel dock here at 1710. The good news was they knew we were coming and had a slip for us- a little tricky but a great location for the view.
Marina Costa Baja is a very nice facility and we will file a report with pictures next time.
02/26/2012, La Paz
Well we made it- tired, beat, and ready for a good nights sleep.
Parting is such sweet sorrow. Actually not even that sweet.
We have had a wonderful time here in Mazatlan, met some absolutely wonderful people, experienced a new-to-us culture, and participated in Carnaval!
But- it is time to move on. And moving on is something a sailboat can do.
Our plans are to head over to the Baja peninsula and homeport out of Marina Costa Baja for a while. A few reasons for this move, it's drier over there- good for laying down the new deck covering, I would like a higher bandwidth net access, and it seems like a great place to do some exploring of nature rather than the exploring of the city which we've done here.
There are a lot of experiences here that I'm going to hold dear.
The chaos of getting around is always entertaining. The Pulmonia taxis are a kick in the butt. The buses are rough and ready.
The Mega store with it's rather unique way of combining product lines in an area- the logic of which still escapes me.
Wandering about the Centro District and wondering about the history of the derelict shells.
Walking along the Malecon, particularly the southern end.
Figuring out the best line to use on the timeshare salespeople ("I live on a boat" and "I'm leaving tomorrow morning" both are pretty good).
The swarms of Jack Crevalle that chase the sardines in here causing the water to literally boil with fish.
And last, but not least- the people-
Luis. who is the young guy I wrote about earlier- always with the big smile and I see him working his ass off all around the marina.
Miguel, who is a waiter at the shallow pool area- genuinely interested in conversing with you to "practice" his English.
Gilberto, our camaron connection who drives the water taxi around the resort
Estevan, who is the "Man" to go to when you need anything
Katcia who really didn't want me to take this picture, but who is always there to help in the office
Gladis, who runs the joint
And Geronimo, the Harbor Master who thinks he runs the joint!
As a Cruiser we are finding that leaving a place where you have found such good people is going to be a regular occurrence- I find it very difficult. In a few days, I'm sure it will heal over a bit, but the change is tough. It was hard leaving our home in the Northwest, It was hard to leave San Diego and it is hard to leave Mazatlan
While some friends of ours are very talented bird photographers, always finding the perfect pose, always with the best lighting, and following it up with a description worthy of Audubon, Kelly has more of a plebeian attitude towards our fine feathered friends-
Which is this bird's best side?
We also have a shot of Puddle Pirate at sunset-
Here's a couple of examples of graffiti in the Centro