Pictures from recent outings. Been slacking on picture taking 😉
Got the most rain since I left PDX back in Oct. today .2″!! It really did make me feel like I was back in Washington again!! I’ve fallen head over heals in love with La Paz! I know I’ve said it before but the people here are so warm, kind and genuine. I continue to forge new relationships with people in many of the businesses I frequent and people that work here at Marina Cortez. It’s so different meeting people like this instead of just flying in for a week or two and then flying out. It’s so much more immersive and I’ve had some of the most wonderful conversations with these people about the amazing lives they have lived and what a wonderful and positive philosophy on life they maintain. It has been one of, if not the most rewarding parts of this journey so far. I’ve become fast friends with a couple of the workers at my favorite restaurant Zitius that are intelligent, well travelled and have such great outlooks on life and towards humanity.
The food here is fantastic and so diverse! Fresh squeezed orange juice is the norm and it tastes like oranges!! Snowcones with natural flavored tropical fruit! Every new item off of a menu from restaurants I’ve already eaten at or or every new restaurant I try is like a new delicious culinary experience waiting to happen. Where my friends Ernest and Aldo work, Zitius they have a 40 peso( $2) breakfast that includes ham mixed in scrambled eggs with fresh grilled potatoes and refried beans topped lightly with cheese. I spice mine up with bacon, shrimp and cheese for 65 pesos ($4) and it has been the highlight of many a morning since I discovered it. Enjoyed while overlooking beautiful La Paz bay whilst being in food heaven practicing Spanish with my new friends. La vida es buena me amigos!
I read somewhere in the past that US workers work more hours than most of the of the other countries of the world. I did some research and according to the World Economic Forum the US ranks 16th for hours worked per year while Mexico ranks first in hours worked per year. I’m not surprised considering what I’ve seen so far in Mexico. Eight to ten hour days, six days a week is the norm here. A lot of the businesses close on Sunday but some close during one of the week days. The most amazing part is that so many of them appear to be happy as can be and you can tell they really value and take pride in their jobs. Obviously not everyone is this way but the vast majority are from my experience. Think I mentioned it before but La Paz does have the second highest per capita income per person in Mexico at about $24 us a day. Income tax is 25%.
Enough for now about my love affair with Mexico and on to current and future plans. My radar still wasn’t right but now I’m pretty confident it’s operational again. On the twist side, shortly after determining the radar was working my chart plotter went out on me again. I could either buy a used circa 2007 monitor off of ebay for $780 that I could install myself or the other alternative was to buy a new radar/chart plotter system which would come out to about $4,500 after installation and import fees. I opted for the used eBay option and am happy to say that it has so far been working satisfactorily. I ordered it from Canada on Monday and it was in my possession minus 30% import fees by noon Wednesday via DHL which has a really good reputation down here. I had had a lot of concerns about having things shipping to me here but other than the extra costs I’m relieved to know that it was so simple and I can have virtually anything shipped to me here.
Another problem I was having was that one of my dinghy valves was losing air daily. It wasn’t a fast leak but everyday I’d have to pump it back up. I had Gorilla Glued, Super Glued, siliconed it and it was getting worse. It cost me $100 but 65+ yr old Bob the Dinghy Doctor found that the inside part had cracked so he cut the old one out, made a slightly larger hole and put a new one in and it seems to be holding like a champ. After I got it back from Bob and filled it back up and put it in the water I noticed another of the chambers in rear was leaking at a much higher rate. I filled it back up hoping that the valved hadn’t seated properly the first time but it was not to be the case. When I was putting it back in the water it had hung up on a sign that designates what the slip number is. It actually broke the sign. I looked all over the bottom where I thought it had hung up but couldn’t find any sign of damage. Finally I noticed a scrape along the side and sure enough there were a couple of 1/8″ and a 1/16″ holes. I got the dinghy patch kit out and contact cemented a patch on and the dinghy has remained rigid ever since. It’s nice to see how repairable the material is. These rubber dinghies impress me to no end with how durable and strong they are. Another major item off of the cursed list!
Other than provisioning, there is a piece of canvas that goes between my dodger and my bimini that has snap’s riveted into the arch that provides shade and rain cover. While I was up on top cleaning my boom I leaned on it and several of the button rivets broke. I have a man that is going to tap them out and do all the work, we’re just waiting on parts. There are a couple of other things on my canvas that he will address and that’s all I’m waiting on. I’m paid up through April 15th so hopefully I’ll get this resolved by then and I can head back out to the islands. Carolee and Jay are heading out soon so I’m sure we’ll share a few anchorages together along the way which will be different from my solo voyage the last run. I really enjoy their companionship and we have lot’s of laughs together. I’m still intrigued by how tangent our paths have been. We were a bay apart when I was in Portland for a short time before they left. Weather should be warming up and the water clarity should be improving as well so hopefully get some good underwater shots. I’ll probably return to La Paz one last time for a couple of weeks before making my way north to San Carlos.
One of my biggest dilemmas has been where I’m going to spend hurricane season which is July through sometime in the latter part of October. One option is to stay here and just roll the dice and hope one doesn’t come this way. I’m going to miss La Paz but rolling the dice with hurricanes is not a very attractive alternatie from my perspective.
Another is to head far enough north to get out of the hurricane zone around Bay of Los Angeles I believe it’s called on the Baja side. Temperatures will be hovering around 100 F with high humidity and the water gets very warm. Pretty sure the modus operandi in those conditions is stay in the water all day and hope for a breeze at night. Luckily I have a very good friend from Longview that was born in Costa Rica and she has an elderly friend in Costa Rica that lives right on the water near Playa Hermosa (Beautiful Beach) She takes in tenants from time to time and she has accepted my request for tenancy and I’m really excited about it. It’s another unexpected surprise that I could have never anticipated and feel has only been possible due to my taking the route I have. I’ll sail the boat up to mainland Mexico sometime around the end of May or mid June to a town called San Carlos and take the boat out of the water for about 4 months. It’s very inexpensive to haul the boat out in San Carlos at $250 us and then they will store it in their secure yard for about $175 us a month which is fairly inexpensive. I’ll fly down to Costa Rica, spend about 4 months living with this total stranger that’s been so kind to welcome me into her home that is right on the ocean, help her around the house, improve my Espanol considerably, learn new culinary delights, meet new fascinating people while watching monkeys and beautiful tropical birds busy with their lives amongst the trees and love every minute of it I’m anticipating. They receive about 30″ of rain in 3 months as it is the rainy season but I think its one of those blossoms of days to come things. I think it will be one of the most enriching experiences of my life. The storms should be spectacular! I’ll head back to San Carlos towards the the end of October and continue my exploration of the Sea of Cortez and go from there. Long winded I know but you know me! :p
Happy to hear y’all are experiencing unseasonably warm weather. Believe me I know what that can do for the psychi. Warm regards from La Paz!