Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gizmo Can Swim! - Jan 8, 2011

Late Friday night, we heard loud splashing in the water beside the boat and thought someone had fallen in. We soon learned the young man on the boat next to us had jumped in because he saw Gizmo, our cat, fall from the dinghy into the water. Luckily, he didn’t catch her, I’m sure she would have hurt him. She swam around the front of the boat, to the dock, and clawed her way out.  Then she ran onto the boat and down stairs to our bed. Patty grabbed her and dried her off. At least we know she can swim. Maybe she’ll stay on the boat from now on!

The young man who jumped in to save Gizmo

Michael and Patty Visit La Paz – Jan. 6-11, 2011

Michael and Patty
The cruising life is fun and we love sharing it with friends from home. Michael and Patty came to La Paz for a short 5 day visit. After a full day of traveling on the plane and bus we met them at the bus station, walked them to the boat to drop off the luggage, then straight to Rancho Viejo for our favorite Arrachera tacos. I think they like them as much as we do.

The next day, we walked all over town and ended up at Steve and Ana’s for great fish taco. Steve and Ana surprised us with a bottle of ‘Hotel California’ Tequila that they brought back from Todo Santos.  It will have a special place on the boat. What a great evening, the guys even did the dishes!

At Casa Ana

'Hotel California' Tequila
Friday we took the boat out into the bay to Balandra to do some snorkeling. The water was a little rough, but we really wanted to get in and try out Michael and Patty’s new snorkeling gear. We didn’t stay in long but it was fun. Balandra Bay is famous for it's Mushroom shaped rock. There is even a statue of it in downtown La Paz. Can you see it in the picture?
Balandra with the Mushroom Rock

Pam, Patty and Michael trying to snorkel



The Mexican Navy randomly boards vessels coming into La Paz. I guess it was our turn. On the way from Balandra to Costa Baja we were stopped, boarded and asked for our papers. Rick seemed a little nervous, he was probably worried their boat would slam into the side of ours. No problem, it only took about 5 minutes.
Being Boarded be the Mexican Navy

No Problem

Michael and Patty stayed the last few nights of their vacation at my favorite resort, Costa Baja. Steve and Ana, John and Oralia, and Neal and Lisa all hung out with us at the infinity pool for the afternoon, drinking and snacking. We also practiced snorkeling in the pool. I love this place.

Patty and Lisa

Michael and Patty, I think they like it here.

Up the Mast in La Paz – Jan. 3, 2011

Looking down from the top of the mast
Our wind indicator has been driving Rick crazy so he decided to go to the top of the mast and check it out. While he was all the way up there he took a few shots of the marina and La Paz. The pictures are great, but the wind indicator is still not working right.  

Marina de La Paz from our slip

Looking toward downtown La Paz from the mast

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Years Eve - Dec. 31, 2010

The dinghy ride to shore, Pam, Rick and Ana
Us and five other boats went to Caleta Partida for the New Years week-end. The first night, everyone gathered on Crits boat, Jasdip. The wind was blowing so hard, we got soaked going back to our boat in the dinghy. The boat rocked most of the night, so we were awake until 4:00am. The next day, which was New Years Eve, everyone rode to shore in the dinghies. We had a pot luck on the beach and a champagne toast at 5:00, which is UTC midnight.

Part of the group getting ready for New Years Eve

Time to eat

The anchorage from the beach

New Years Day was spent trying to get to the caves on the other side of Espirito Santos. To get there, we needed to go thru a little split between the islands. The tide was going out and the split was getting shallow. We had to drag the dinghy most of the way. By the time we got to the other side, the wind was blowing and the waves were about 3 feet. We gave up and headed back to the boat. We’ll save the caves for a calmer day.  That afternoon, we had everyone over to our boat for snacks and drinks. There was at least 15 people inside and quite a few dinghys  tied up off the stearn. The party lasted until late that night. The wind had stopped blowing, so we all got a good nights sleep.
Rick pulling the dink

The shallow split between the Islands

Other side of the Islands, It doesn't look as rough as it was

Dinghys off the back of the boat

Christmas Day – Turkey Dinner

For Thanksgiving we didn’t have the traditional turkey dinner, instead, we went to an Italian Restaurant. So, we really wanted a turkey dinner for Christmas. Rick went to the store and bought a small turkey that would fit in the small oven on the boat. We got up early to make the stuffing, opened the turkey and it smelled like smoke. After looking up ahumado in the Spanish dictionary, we decided it was already cooked.  Just heat it up and eat it. No stuffing it, no cooking it for hours and using all our propane. We relaxed the rest of the day and had a great smoked turkey dinner.

Whale Sharks Dec. 30, 2010

Whale sharks are frequent visitors to La Paz in the Sea of Cortez during the Fall and Winter months. As we headed out to the islands, Arty and Marv on Odyssey called on the VHF and told us some whale sharks were right outside the bay. We turned the boat towards them and all the other pangas closer to shore. Once we got there, we spotted about 4 or 5 on the surface, swimming around, not paying attention to the boats around them. The whale shark is a slow filter feeding shark that is the largest known living fish species. They are amazing to see. We didn’t jump in and swim with them, maybe next time.

Christmas Eve Pot Luck and Dinner at Tailhunters Dec. 24, 2010

Club Cruceros had a pot luck at Marina de La Paz. The winds were so strong it had to be moved into the upstairs meeting room. So many people showed up, and the line was long, we ended up eating outside. We had a good time with so many of our friends. 

Pot Luck at Club Cruceros

The gang at Tailhunters, Christmas Eve

After the afternoon pot luck, a lot of us (19 people) headed down the Malecon to Tailhunters. Another meal and cocktails for all of us. What a great Christmas Eve.

Pam and Rick at Tailhunters

John, Orialia, Ana, Karen, Tim and Rick

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas Party at Casa Ana’s

Carla, Pam and Oralia
Dec. 23. Steve and Ana invited us to the Christmas Party at their house here in La Paz. There were over 60 people there.  We knew a lot of people from our old marina in Alameda. There were also new friends from Marinas in La Paz and some that have houses there. Everyone brought food to share, so of course there was too much food. The party was set up in their front courtyard and decorated for Christmas. It was a great party, we had so much fun.

John and Rick gettting Cerveza from the Tap

Ana in her Kitchen

Steve and Oralia, Rick and Neil in the Background

The Party in Progress

Paraiso del Mar for Lunch

Waiting for the shuttle boat

Dec. 22. Out on the Magote across from Marina de La Paz is a new development with expensive condos and a nice golf course. We took the free water shuttle out there for lunch in the club house. It is a beautiful area.

Shuttle Landing Across the Magote

Beautiful Grounds

Golf Course Club House Restaurant

The Landing for the Return Trip

El Perico Marinero – Our Favorite Bar in La Paz

We are becoming Wednesday Night regulars at this place. They have a great rock-n-roll band that plays classic loud rock music. The singer is a young Mexican girl named Dianna that can sing just like Janis Joplin. She gets all the gringos up dancing. Sometimes, if we are there late enough, the local Mexicans will dance with us. It is such a fun place, but the band doesn’t start until 10pm. That’s late for cruisers! Neil, a friend of ours on ‘Gypsy’ plays drums, so we convinced him to play with the band. It took a couple of weeks, but he got up there and played at least 6 songs. What a great time. We hear Neil plays with a Jazz band down at Costa Baja sometimes. We will have to check that out.

Neil on Drums and Dianna Singing

We love this band

Sights Around La Paz

La Paz is a great little town. It has small little tiendas on every street. We go shopping all over town. We hit the tortilla factory, the Brovo Market for fresh cut meat or fish, the vegetable stands, the bread guy, and of course the corner market for cervesa.  We also go to the mega stores just like at home, WalMart,  City Club and Sam’s. Here is a photo of one shopping trip to City Club.
Shopping at City Club

Inside City Club

TelCel Parade
La Paz has parades almost everyday. Sometimes they are short little one float parades like the one in these pictures, sometimes they have many cars with loud speakers on top.

It is very social in La Paz. We are always going out with a group or sharing cocktails or dinner on boats. Here is a picture of dinner on our boat with Rick cooking steaks.

John, Pam and Rick

The water in the Marina is so clear you can see the fish. Here are pictures of the little ones. There are also larger ones about 18 inches long. When you walk down the docks at night, they jump out of the water and scare you. I think they do it on purpose.
Clear Water with Small Fish