Mas Cervezas y Fiestas en La Paz

OK, OK…the plan was for our friends Matt and Madalin to arrive from Toronto and for us to jump on the boat and spend 2 glorious weeks at Isla Espiritu Santos and Isla Partida, which are islands just north of La Paz. However, Mother Nature (you remember her from our earlier post) had a different plan. She decided that since we have Canadian visitors she would make them feel at home and send us a week of very strong winds from the “Great White North” so we were stuck in La Paz.
Canadians in La Paz

Don’t get us wrong, we really like La Paz – especially since we are staying here through New Year’s Eve – but we would have preferred to spend more time in remote anchorages, snorkeling, kayaking and enjoying the Sea of Cortez. You’ll hear more about that in our next post but it goes without saying that week 1 of the M&M’s vacation was a blur of happy hours, dinners onboard Celebration, restaurants, tacos, cervezas and even a nightclub, along with lots of walking around this beautiful waterfront town.La Paz Sunrise1

Highlights included awesome tostadas at Rancho Viejo; a great Mexican lunch at El Toro Guera (the Blonde Bull); a fantastic seafood lunch at La Concha restaurant – after a 5-mile walk to get there; and a wonderful Italian dinner at Il Rustico with our friends Peter and Mary from Neko and Eric and Birgitta from Ariel IV followed by some serious late night partying at “The Jungle”.

Of course, the best meals were provided by Chef/Co-Captain Audrey who spoiled us with Caribbean curry, Thai curry, Indian curry and curried turkey burgers (yes, we all like curry) along with treats like homemade (or should I say boat-made?) banana bread and boat-made cookies.
Chef Audrey

We also got to enjoy some of the early Christmas festivities in La Paz starting with a concert performed by members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the setting up of the town Christmas tree and street lights along the entire Malecon, which stretches for a couple of miles along the waterfront.

We did manage to squeeze in a couple of water adventures in week 1. First, we had an unsuccessful hunt for whale sharks in our little inflatable dinghy (aka Fiesta). Then, later in the week when the wind abated for a couple of days, we to took the mother ship to Puerto Balandra, which is famous for its Mushroom Rock, but the waves in the bay were so bad that we couldn’t spend the night. We did manage to get off the mother ship for a dinghy ride to the beach and a walk. After that we headed for Bahia Pichilingue, which was not as scenic but very well protected, for a night at anchor.

It goes without saying that we all had a great time during week 1 but stay tuned for our next blog (very, very soon) as Mother Nature cooperated for week 2 and we spent most of the week at Isla Espiritu Santos and Isla Partida.
Canadians in La Paz 1


Livin La Vida Loca — in La Paz

I’m really starting to understand why media organizations have an editor-in-chief or some big shot to crack the whip on deadlines because when you have a lot of time to “lollygag” you tend to procrastinate. Yes, it’s been a few weeks since our a last post but that’s only a few days in “cruising time” since we don’t want to do too many things in a day…:-)

Where to begin. The unfortunate news is our alternator burned out on the last leg of the Baja-Ha-Ha and since we wanted to be in La Paz for U.S. Thanksgiving it took a few weeks to get it fixed — including diagnostics, parts from the US, an alternator rewiring, and installation para mi (which took longer than anything…). No worries though as we were planning to stay in La Paz through Christmas so we didn’t miss anything. And, I’m happy to report that our solar panels, wind-generator and Honda generator (occasionally) provided all the power we needed while at anchor.

The good news is the alternator, or lack thereof, didn’t hold us up. We had a great time in Cabo, where we stayed for about a week and enjoyed the parties that I already talked about as well as kayaking to the Cabo Arch and a little rock climbing. After Cabo we sailed to Los Frailles and Los Muertes, which are supposed to be great anchorages. However, just our luck that the wind would switch to the south and we ended up rolling all night in both places so after two nights in each we got the hell out of there and hightailed it to La Paz, the City of Peace on the beautiful Sea of Cortez, where we’ve been for the past two weeks.

It’s a vacation destination with lot’s of beaches, snorkeling, restaurants and bars. Plus, from our perspective, a great harbor with lots of marine stores and supplies, along with a great sailing community. We enjoyed a wonderful US Thanksgiving with 200 other sailors. Other highlights include a great Malecon (waterfront boardwalk) that has some really interesting statues (see gallery below).

It’s also one of the major destinations for swimming with whale-sharks. Check out this video that our friends Peter and Mary on Neko produced from our experience.

Audrey, Peter and Mary all jumped in and swam with them but I gotta tell you those things are damn huge so there is no way in the world I was getting in that water. I was the dinghy driver (as you’ll see) and one of them swam under the dinghy and that was more than enough for me. The whale-sharks range from 20-60 feet and the ones we saw were easily 30 feet. If you’re interested, you should google them or check them out on Wikipedia.

Other than that it’s been all happy hours and dinner parties. And, it’s going to get even more hectic (if I can even use that term) since our good friends Matt and Madalin from Toronto will be with us for the next two weeks. Then, our good friends Diane and Julio from Mexico City (via Miami and China) are coming two days after Matt and Madalin return to the Great White North. In short, you better book your cabin soon…