Random header image... Refresh for more!

La Paz

Well, here we are in the classiest marina in La Paz, Baja California, Mexico. Marina de La Paz. For those of you that have been following us this means we have finished our five-week adventure and arrived at our destination. We are now safely tied up in our new slip and already enjoying our surroundings.

Getting here was another program. We left Marina Puerto Los Cabos on Wednesday morning, my birthday, and motor sailed against the wind all day and night. The next afternoon brought us to Isla Cerralvo where we needed to pass through Cerralvo Canal. It is as narrow as 8 miles and looks just like a carburetor throat. Of course, the wind became so strong that we could not hold our course, so we turned around and quickly sailed to Ensenada de Los Muertos (Cove of the Dead) and found 12 boats anchored there. This was a big surprise to us. The surrounding hills were lined with beautiful mansions, at least 100 Pangas were on the beach, a huge hotel/restaraunt overlooked the beach and palms were everywhere. Who knew? Certainly no one told us that this was a great place to stop. We would have left a day earlier so we could explore. Next time.

The next morning (Friday) we up-anchored and motored and then sailed up the Cerralvo Canal. No wind at all for some of the time. finally, at 10:00 A.M. the wind came up and, of course, one of our fuel injector lines cracked after we started the engine. My preference is to not have fuel spray around in the engine compartment, but, what the hell, no engine, no La Paz. So we lined the spray zone with aluminum foil craftily placed with blue tape. The fuel fell harmlessly into the bilge and we motored for the next 12 hours to La Paz. I nearly bit all of my finger nails off as I checked the engine every 15 minutes, but the motor ran without a burp, sputter, or miss while spraying hot fuel at high pressure (try this with a gasoline engine (or not)).

We passed two auto ferries on their way to Los Mochis and talked to them. This was in the San Lorenzo Channel, a nice, tight passage between two sets of shoals. Then we turned south again and started down the eastern side of La Paz Bay. This takes you to Punta Prieta and the Pemex refinery/storage yard, where we were virtually blocked by a large tanker at anchor. This is all at night (new moon to boot) and we are tired!!!

We accidentally entered a small marina rather than the La Paz channel. A quick turn-around got us out and an even quicker left turn aimed us south into the channel. Green and red lights marked a very narrow channel backgrounded by the city lights of La Paz. The channel is dredged to a depth of 22 feet and is surrounded by shoal waters of varying depths (maybe 5 to 10 feet). We entered the channel at 8:00 P.M. and followed it as it slowly arced to the right, literally 100 to 200 feet from the road that follows the water line. Cars raced by us, bands were playing in cantinas, but all we could do was focus on not running aground, or later, not striking other sailboats anchored all around this channel. Once we finally neared our marina, we had over 100 targets on our radar, many of them within 1/8 mile. One boat was squarely centered in the channel just in front of the marina, and I thought it was under way. Actually it was anchored and I was making leeway toward it. I turned Red Dolphin around it, found the marina entrance and placeed our boat on an empty side tie right next to the largest MegaYacht I have ever seen. Wow. They must have thought the cruiser scum had arrived. Oh well. Did I mention the wind was blowing at over 20 to 25 knots all afternoon and evening.

The next morning we moved our boat to our slip (134) and tied up. Yes, the engine started, a testament to Perkins diesels. The move was easy and our check in with the Marina staff was easier and pleasant. We met Mary, Adda, and Cyntia. All very professional, helpful, and lovely.

Once we get the engine repaired we will leave for islands north of here, using La Paz as our home base. The rates are low enough here that we can afford to do it that way. Oddly enough, almost anywhere in Mexico, 1 week of slip fees is almost equal to 1 month of slip fees. Permanently basing here and then going to one anchorage after another is a good deal.