First, a little catch-up work: I’ve posted two more video episodes chronicling our journey so far. These next two episodes cover our final departure from Channel Islands, our sail to San Diego and the kick-off through to the second leg of the Baja HaHa:
I’ll continue to post episodes until we’re all caught up. But be aware that we’ll always be a little bit behind with the YouTube channel, as it just takes so long to produce videos! The blog here will generally be in real-time, but YouTube will always be somewhat past-tense.
As for what’s going on right now: Charlie and I are still in La Paz, enjoying the holiday season. We weren’t originally planning on spending this much time here – we thought we’d leave in mid-December, about a month after arriving. But various circumstances have impacted our schedule, starting with Tropical Storm Raymond which delayed our departure from Cabo, so we were several days late getting to La Paz. Then, our boat upgrade projects have dragged on (as these projects always seem to do). And of course the holidays have had an impact, with some of the people working on our boat leaving the area to spend the holidays with family.
Our project work should kick back in high gear right again after New Years, and we hope to be continuing on our way by mid-January. (Tomorrow we’ll post a detailed update of these projects.)
Funny thing is, SO many experienced cruisers have said to us, both before we left and throughout the HaHa, to be careful not to get stuck in La Paz. Apparently this place tends to suck in cruisers so they never want to leave! And I can see why. It’s FANTASTIC! We just love it here, and we can definitely see the draw.
La Paz is a large, cosmopolitan city, but down at the water it’s quaint and charming, sporting an old-world vibe combined with a modern, newly-completed oceanfront walk called the Malacon. With unimpeded sunset views, a wide sidewalk dotted with palm trees and sculptures by local artists, and lined with world-class restaurants, shops and galleries, the Malecon is a destination all on its own. At this time of year it’s all decorated and lit up for Christmas, and we are loving our daily walks down the Malecon. And so is Bubba!
La Paz is becoming quite a tourism destination, but mainly for Mexicans…US tourists haven’t really discovered it yet. Part of that is because the port is shallow, making it unsuitable for large cruise ships. Most of the Americans we see here are cruisers or land-based ex-pats.
The cruiser community here is one of the biggest draws. Being the social animals we are, we’ve met quite a few of the cruisers who have put down roots here. Many of them are couples who did their years of cruising already, and once they decided they were done, this was the place they loved the most and wanted to make their permanent home. Some of them stay here for most of the year, leaving only during the worst of the hot summer months. Others are snowbirds – they live down here on their boats for half the year, and somewhere up north (house, motorhome, or traveling around) for the other half. We are now in the heart of the cruiser season, so everyone’s here and there are activities going on all the time. There’s a cruiser’s net every morning, followed by coffee up at the marina club house, and constant activities like pot lucks, pancake breakfasts, card games, etc.
There are also quite a few HaHa boats still here – folks like us who came down with the HaHa and haven’t yet moved on, many of whom we’ve come to know. So we are never at a loss for things to do, people to hang out with, social activities to enjoy.
But we are still at the beginning of our adventure, and have much cruising left to do. Plus we need to get out of marinas and start living on the hook! Marinas are expensive, and our plan was to live mostly at anchor. Time to execute the plan!
We’re not yet sure exactly what we’re doing when we leave here, but the current plan looks something like this: in mid-January we’ll head to the nearby islands here in the Sea of Cortez and spend a few days in remote anchorages, enjoying the gorgeous natural settings. Then we’ll do the multi-day passage across the Sea of Cortez over to the mainland, making landfall somewhere around Puerto Vallarta/Banderas Bay. From there we will pick our way south, hoping to make it all the way down to Zihuantanejo. Sometime in the Spring we’ll turn around and start making our way north again, back towards Mazatlán, where we will berth the boat for the summer.
But all of this is, of course, weather dependent. Plus, we’re cruisers now…we have no schedule! Stay tuned so see where we really end up going. And to really get a flavor for what our new life is like, be sure to watch our videos!