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La Paz, Gateway to the Sea of Cortez

December 11, 2012

We have arrived in La Paz completing a major milestone in our travels.  From here we have no set plans other than to explore the Sea of Cortez at our leisure.

We left Cabo San Lucas at noon Monday after some quick dental work for Sandie, checking into and out of the marina, purchasing a new fish gaff, and fueling.  The departure was a little late in the day, but we were ready to get going again.  We motored for a couple of hours before the wind came up on our nose and the waves began splashing over the foredeck.  This eased a bit mid-afternoon to a tolerable pounding and we arrived at Bahia Los Frailes in complete darkness.  It’s always exhilarating to enter an unfamiliar anchorage with zero visibility and having to depend totally on your instruments knowing that the electronic charts aren’t always registered properly.  We settled in for a quiet evening without the blaring night club music that we were subjected to in Cabo.

The next day was a play day with snorkeling, dinghy exploring, and visiting with other boats in the anchorage.  We enjoyed an aerial display of bat rays gone wild.  They jumped/flew about 6 feet into the air often with two or three in the air at a time.

We headed north at first dawn on Wednesday and watched the head winds and waves build as the day progressed.  But other than being a little lumpy it was dry and relatively comfortable.  The high point of this leg of the trip was a large pod of whales that we found ourselves in the middle of; literally in the middle of.  They were everywhere, some breeching while others were feeding, but most were headed in the same direction as Persephone so we enjoyed them for some time.

We spent the night in Bahia Los Muertos which is much nicer than the name implies.  We left early the next morning to transit the Cerralvo Channel before the wind came up.  But the wind never came and we motored calmly to La Paz.

Lots of wonderful memories were invoked as we made our way down the marked channel into the city of La Paz.  The skyline has filled in but there were familiar land marks and several new marinas.  We were lucky to get into the Marina de La Paz in the middle of town and in easy walking distance of most essential services like restaurants and bars…  We were considered a “large” boat and were assigned a side-tie behind Ostar, the 170 foot motor yacht belonging to Carlos Slim who is the richest man in world (according to Forbes).  We have yet to meet our new neighbor although the captain and first mate as well as the rest of the crew of 13 are very nice.

The cruising community is very strong in La Paz.  We quickly joined the Cruiser’s Club for an annual fee of 100 pesos ($8).  The club has a huge lending library of DVDs and the largest book exchange we’ve ever seen.  Many of the members meet from 9:30 – 10:30 AM each morning for coffee and swapping tall tales.  The morning VHF net meets every morning at 8:00 and provides weather, tidal and general information.  This is a convenient place to get local help or rides back to the States.

We enjoyed a very special day on Monday when we joined up with Wayne & Randy on Vagabundo and took our dinghy to the outer bay where we found two whale sharks that we swam with.  They are very impressive creatures.

Sandie carries dog treats with her and quickly made friends with Sky on Vagabundo, a yellow lab that reminds us of our lab Scout.  Sky will bring her stuffed toy across the dock to our boat and spend the afternoon in our cockpit.

We have spent the morning provisioning and having laundry done (cheaper to have laundry done than do it ourselves) in preparation for heading into the Sea.  They talk about La Paz Velcro that makes it difficult to leave.  There are so many wonderful people here who will drop whatever they are doing to join in a trip to a bar to watch the 49ers or try a new restaurant.  The weather has been cold, or so we are told, but we are all in shorts and sandals. Today’s high is expected to be a chilly 78 deg F.

We plan to leave tomorrow, weather permitting, and we may not have Internet until Loreto.  If we don’t connect before Christmas, everyone have a wonderful holiday.  Sandie has found a small Christmas tree and is already decorating the boat.

Morning get together at the Cruiser's Club in La Paz

Morning get together at the Cruiser’s Club in La Paz

Starting the Christmas decorations

Starting the Christmas decorations

Locals waxing Persephone

Locals waxing Persephone

Persephone looks small next to Ostar

Persephone looks small next to Ostar

Swimming with whale sharks

Swimming with whale sharks

Sky from Vagabundo drops by for a visit

Sky from Vagabundo drops by for a visit

First night in La Paz

First night in La Paz

A whale (use your imagination)

A whale (use your imagination)

Dinghy exploring at Los Frailes

Dinghy exploring at Los Frailes

Leaving Cabo San Lucas

Leaving Cabo San Lucas

From → Travel

4 Comments
  1. Michelle Le permalink

    OMG!! La Paz brings back soooo many memories thanks to you!! (all good ones of coarse) First time I ever left the US. Take lots of pictures of La Paz! I want to see them. Remember the gym that we would go to and watch the locals play ball? The city plaza was beautiful too. Thanks for the memories! Miss you both so much! Love you!!

  2. Cora Lee Jckowski permalink

    Sandie & Brian,
    I’ve been reading out loud to Sonny your wonderful adventures. It’s been such a vicarious thrill to read your log! This is a world you’ve opened to us that we have no experience or knowledge of at all. Thank you! Hope your holidays are joyous and safe. When you return from this amazing adventure, let’s get you two, Jan and Mike, and us to reminisce about your adventures at our cabin!

    Best to you,

    Cora & Sonny Jckowski

    • We have just begun! Hope you enjoy the blog … another entry today. We will be back home for one month next X-mas. Things are great! No Stress, No time schedules, etc. NO WORK! E-mails are answered when we can.

      Happy X-mas, Sandie

      On Sun, Dec 16, 2012 at 9:48 AM, Brian and Sandie's Around the World

  3. Dave Wong permalink

    Merry Xmas, Brian and Sandie!

    What’s the weather like down south? Miss our annual scotch before the holidays. Get you next year when you guys are back.

    Bob A. decided to venture into the scotch. I’ve convinced him to start with a Glen Fidditch 18.
    Jason A. is the site manager now and there’s a proposal going out on 1/4/13 so he has some of folks working through the holidays. It’s a new era and he’s taking no prisoners. The energy business is coming to our division and the ENS is getting a lot of attention. Who wouda thought?
    Happy New Year if you guys are not in port before then. Fair winds.

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