Sunday, April 10, 2011

La Paz

We arrived in La Paz on Sat. 4/2 thinking we would be here 3 or 4 days. It’s now Sunday 4/10 and we are still here at Marina Palmira. We'll be here a few more days waiting for a strong weather system to pass. We just happened to be here during Bayfest – the cruisers festival in La Paz. Lots of good seminars and activities, good food and good music. We have also gotten the boat totally cleaned up – hull waxed, stainless polished, windows washed etc..

It's been fun exploring La Paz. The Spanish first landed in La Paz in 1533, but no permanent settlement was established until 1720. In the mid 19th century it was known mainly for its pearl trade. In 1829 La Paz became the municipal capital of southern Baja.

Catedral de Nuestra Senora de La Paz built in 1861

 Some old buildings in the residential area around the center of La Paz.
From Marina Palmira it is a 2.5 mile bike ride along the malecon to Marina La Paz at the other end of town. Along the way there is some great public art, an ice cream shop, some great restaurants, and street vendors. We’ve done the ride at least once a day so we are getting some much needed exercise.

The entrance to the public pier.
The malecon comes alive in the evening. Bikers, rollerskaters,
skateboarders, walkers, live music and people of all ages.

We love getting to know our way around the towns we visit. There are some great restaurants, markets, a book store with books in english, boat supplies and almost anything we could need.
Well.......they try!

La Fuenta - our favorite ice cream place - on the malecon.

Bandido's Grill has great burgers cooked on a grill mounted under the hood of an old Chevy truck - good margaritas, too! AND they also supply blankets when the sun goes down and it gets cool.

We hired a van one day with the Moshulu and Gosling crews to go to Sam's Club to re-provision. 
This is the first load!
We filled up with water, fuel, and gas (for the outboard). Right before we leave we'll buy the fresh food.
There won't be many places with wifi, so I won't be able to update the blog too often. I will do position reports, though. Now we wait........ hoping to leave on Tuesday.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mazatlan to La Paz

3/29/11 We left Marina Mazatlan at 6:30am buddy boating with Anna and Hotel California. Calm seas and light wind on the nose (northwesterly) so we motored all but the last 3 hours. It was a gorgeous night with a new moon and tons of stars - including the southern cross. We arrived in Ensenada Los Muertos on the east side of Baja at 3pm on 3/30. Total trip: 189 miles, 32 1/2 hours.
Leaving Mazatlan
 Sailing the last 3 hours into Ensenada De Los Muertos

The Sea of Cortez is quite different from mainland Mexico. The swell is much smaller - no dinghy surf landings. The water is clearer and bluer. The air is drier. The landscape is desert rather than tropical. It is beautiful!

Ensenada De Los Muertos is a beautiful bay with a white sand beach. There is an amazing resort, a couple of fancy restaurants (both owned by a real estate mogul from San Diego), and a lot of pangas on the beach that mainly take out sport fishermen.
Ensenada De Los Muertos anchorage 

An amazing resort

This restaurant at the resort was full of antique toys and model trains - the owner was a collector .
We had lunch at this restaurant at the other end of the bay -
a big step up from the typical beach palapa restaurant.
View of Loomba-Loomba and Anna from the Restaurant 1533.
A sport fishing panga after offloading their passengers and catch.
After two nights in Los Muertos we headed north 43 miles to Puerto Balandra. A spectacular, uninhabited bay only 12 miles north of La Paz.

Drew gave us a waterproof/underwater camera for our birthdays when he came to Mazatlan. 
Balandra was the perfect place to try it out!

We left Balandra on 4/2 headed to La Paz. Just after leaving the bay we were intercepted by a panga with a navy crew aboard – machine guns over their shoulders. They boarded us to check our boat documentation and safety equipment.

All was well and they were very respectful and courteous. 

We arrived at Palmira Marina in La Paz the afternoon of 4/2/11.