The last of La Paz: Saying hello and good bye to friends

S/V PRISM in Balandra Bay

We are back in La Paz! When we got back we still had the marina slip for another 8 days. This meant we had 8 days to jam as many projects as we could into our days with 110 power. We ended up sanding the entire cap rail and bulwarks with 320 grit sand paper and I scraped down spots to bare wood where I could see the cetol had let go from the teak. Our boat looked like it had an acne problem because of all the little blonde pare wood spots showing threw the cetoled areas.

About 8 feet of our starboard side cap rail was beyond repair, so I decided we should take that whole section down to bare wood.Thank goodness for heat guns! We prepped the entire boat and added 3 coats of pigment to all the bright work. So areas that where not scraped down all the way now have 6 coats of pigment. It actually blended pretty well and our boat look good again. We plan on giving it two more coats with the gloss while on the hook in the next couple of days. Other Projects consisted of fixing the VHF radio. Three of my four connectors on the coax cable where done incorrectly by me, you must make sure not to have any shielding touching the middle core wire of the whole system will not work. Most of the connections where pretty easy to get to minus the one at the top of the mast. We are pleased to have a fully functional VHF now that can broadcast and receive at much greater distances than our handheld Vhf that works about as well as yelling to the person you are trying to contact. I also Installed our new exhaust elbow. This item was fun to explain to the security guy when going though TSA. Needless to say along with the elbow, we also had a sling shot and a plastic fly gun, all three items had to be reported, then Jon was escoted back out of the check area, and was asked to check his bag… good thing we were early to the airport!

 

bus ride back to la paz
the weather leaving california

We bought this new custom stainless el
bow from http://exhaustelbow.com. He made it to order and it cost about a third of what the yanmar cast iron costs. Installation was strait forward and on our last motor I would like to report the engine is running cooler and never gets hotter that 180. With the old elbow our temp would climb near 195 if we put the boat at 2200. Now 2200 is no big deal. Shannon Striped our galleys vertical teak and fiddles down to bare wood as well as the companion way’s stairs. She then applied cetol to the vertical wood and I applied smiths penetrating epoxy then a coat of smiths teak glue to the fiddles. They now are shiny and extremely tough.

 

getting ready to do varnish work

 

 

cracked elbow… good thing we have a new one!
On our last day in the slip we finally received our package from Red Paddle co. They have sent us a pair of boards to test out and see how they fit into the cruising lifestyle. These are inflatable stand up Paddle Boards also known as SUPs. Red Paddle is a UK company but have a North America distributer. Check out their line up at redpaddleusa.com.  We will go more into the boards once we give them a few tries and actually learn how to do the sport.
getting the board out for the first time
 Thursday the 4th was a full moon so some local cruisers organized a Full moon bond fire on the Magode’. The Magode’ is quite the trip in you are in Marina De La Paz, luckily for us our friendly neighbors  on Epic Ship have a RIB dinghy with a 15hp outboard. We told them of the bond fire and they where in. It was a wet trip to the other side of the harbor but completely worth it! We got to meet a few new cursers and ran into old friends. We have even ran into Scott on “Angry Seagul” again. We had started to think he was never going to make it to La Paz. Come to find out, when we left him in San Juanico, he fell in love with the place and the people, ended up staying there for over a month. It is great to see him and Atrox again.
cards
bon fire
Road Sodas!

The Following morning I woke up with a horrid cough and a runny nose. I had picked up a cold on the way back from the states and had been fighting it off since we had gotten back. Luckily it decided to hit on our last day.We had to be out of the slip on Friday the 5th so we did a last minute pemex run to fill our diesel jerry cans. We casted off and went to our favorite spot right in front of Malacon. We  nicely set anchor and  I retired to bed trying to rest up and let the cold have its way with me. We watched movies all day saturday then sunday we went to a cruiser swap meet at Marina Palamar. Marina Palamar is Im guessing over 2 miles away from our anchorage beaching spot. It takes 45 minutes to walk there if you do not stop. Unfortunately for Shannon the swap meet started at 8am and I wanted to be there when it opened to get any incredible deals. That meant an early morning for Prism. We where walking on the Malacon by 7:30am which is pretty good for us. Sadly the swap meet was pretty lame, I even brought a ATN Topclimber as a trade item. Luckily our trusty friends Mark and Angie on Epic Ship where there with their nice dinghy. They gave us a lift back to the beach where the cow store is just up one block to do a last minute shop for goods.

swap meet
our way back from the swap meet with Mark and Angie of “Epic Ship”

We where back on Prism by 10 AM just in time for the turning tide. With a light southerly wind blowing we decided to take off for Balendera Bay. To our credit we did sail for 5 hours. Sadly just as we cleared the last of the channel markers the wind switched back to NNE which meant it was coming directly from where we wanted to go. It was not only coming from that direction now but it lightened up to under 5 knots. We can keep Prism moving with that wind but we where averaging about 2knts plus our big nylon drifter does not like to point high so we where limited to about 50 degrees off the wind. So like mentioned above we sailed for 5hrs then the tide was about to change against us, I  made the decision to kick on the yanmar and motor the last 2 miles. We got to Bahia Balendera just before the sun was setting. This is one of our favorite anchorages but for some reason from about 6-9pm every night it gets really rolly. Wind comes from the northeast and swell comes from the north west, making it so that you are taking the swell on the beam. Usually it subsides by 9 but that night it kept up to about 10:30. The following day we took our new SUPs for a test ride around the bay, they are NICE! Luckily they are pretty easy to balance on and neither of us have fallen yet. Pangas running right by us challenged this statement but we have been able to keep upright. I proceeded to do boat projects for the rest of the day. Sanded the connections on the SSB grounding plate, repacked storage under aft stateroom, topped off the batteries with distilled water, removed both primary winches, cleaned and regressed them. Made a new locking wire for turnbuckles out of 3/16’’ 316l tig welding rod. I also lanacoated all the locking screws on our track blocks, they see so much saltwater they are always impossible to budge without pliers, Im hoping this will keep them from locking up.

Smiles!
Sups
 S/V Luna with Sean and Reed met up with us, they are preparing on to depart for the Baja Bash back to San Francisco. Reed was a single hander but since Sean need to get back to the states he took the crew position to gain more experience and to get some more surf. We all went over to S/V Mouse Pad to hang out with our new friends Paul, Lindsey and their 2 year old son Oliver. S/V Molly where also visiting them. We had a loud night of drinks and liars dice. The following day we set sail with Luna to Calita Lobos. This is one of our favorite spots because it is so well protected unlike bahia Balindera. We set the hook in 15 feet and no sooner we where engulfed with Bo-Bos. These little flys are about the size of a pencil tip, they are vitally silent and are harmless but boy are they annoying. The swarm your face and try to land in your ears, eyes and mouth. Needles to say I wasn’t a big fan. We put the screens up in Prism and stayed inside until we wanted to go to Luna. We met up with Scott on S/V Angry Seagull and the five of us spearfished until the sun set. We had a massive feast at Luna of more than 12 fish, Shannon and Reed pioneered a new batter for frying the fish and I would rank it as “Best I have ever Had”. The Following day I was getting frustrated with the bug problem and decided that I wanted to get out of here. We promised Luna that we would help scrape their bottom to make the boat sail better for their 1200 mile journey home. So off into the water we went, Shannon and Reed where in full dive gear while Sean, Scott and I just free dived. It took us about an hour for the five of us to finish Luna, we where all covered in skeleton shrimp, some trying to find a new home in my ear canal.
sailing with “Luna” and “Angry Seagul” 
Shannon doing “Luna’s” Keel
S/v Far Niente coming in hott
S/v Luna: Sean and Ried
 We Finished up there and headed back to Prism to set sail back to Balendera to get away from the bugs and to be a welcoming party for Jess, Josh and Ulie. Luckily the wind was nice at a mild 8 knots again on the nose. We where back to Balendera in 40 minutes, “Luna” and “Angry Seagul” also sailed up with us, everyone enjoyed the sail. Once back to our normal spot Shannon and Sean dove Prism for a quick scrub. They where done in about a half hour. The five of us commenced to drink and be merry. We then got to see our friends from Berkeley S/V Far Niente sail in. Jess and Josh originally convinced us to leave this year to go cruising. Needless to say they where a bit late to the party. We where excited to see them again and then the real party started. We all met up with Mouse Pad on the beach for a bond fire. We all had a good time and good hangovers the following day. We woke up to a rolly boat, this anchorage is kinda famous for being very rolly. I was sick of rolling ear to ear so I told poor hung over Shannon that we are going to Espiritu Santos today and we are sailing. The wind was a steady 14 with gusts to 18, seas (chop)3-4 feet with some up to 6. We said goodbye to Luna and we both sailed off the hook, one going north the other south. We wish Reed and Sean the best of luck on their way home. We had a sporty five hour 25 mile sail to Caleta Partida. The ride really was nice, I was enjoying a good sail. Shannon on the other hand was hating me and was probably considering pulling the life raft and Epirb and ditching me. We got to the anchorage and her attitude changed. It is so well protected in here the and stunningly gorgeous.
Shannon here:
I’ll give it to Jon, yes I was not happy that we had to beat into weather for 5 hours, but the anchorage is one of our favorites and it was 100% worth it. Ill blame my bad mood on the PMS. We met up once again with S/V Molly and Mouse Pad. We all enjoyed the calm warm weather that the islands have to offer. We all took a dinghy adventure to the next cove over to check out the reef. The water was much colder up there than in Lobos or Balandra. But it was very nice, and when we go back, I will be bringing my pole spear on the next dive to find those large groupers that were hanging around. We headed back to La Paz with a good east wind on monday. The weather was perfect, as we made our way we took a moment to remember Jon’s dad who passed away on this day 3 years ago, we took a shot of whiskey, pored a shot for him and thanked him for the nice sailing today and all the great memories and lessons he gave us. We left the island with sunny skies, and almost no clothing. But as we approached the channel we could see that we were going to be in for a good sail. As we were thinking about putting a reef in, we got a text message from Jess asking “ how are you guys doing in the storm out there?”  Funny she should ask, although we counldnt really call it a storm. We caught the back end of the squall, so at most we had 18 knots on the beam with small chop and only a little rain, lasting about 20 min. Once we made it past the channel and in the lee of  Punta Tecolote the sun came out, and we shook out the reef. By the time we were about 5 miles out from the La Paz channel entrance, the wind completely died. We could have pulled into Lobos again and waiting till the morning, but we just fired up the engine. We motored sailed in. Just as we were about 1 mile from the anchorage, a south wind whipped up, which made anchoring a very interesting task. Not only was the anchorage very full with boats anchored very close to each other but the south wind was blowing about 10 knots and the current was going the other direction at about 5 knots. So when we tried to anchor and back down, we could not get the boat to back up the way we wanted her to go, she just kinda went side ways. Very interesting, all the boats in the area were doing the waltz, so we decide to bail and anchor out almost in the channel away from dragging anchors and drama. Once we got the boat set, we were very happy to look over and see our friends Daniel and Michelle on “Kaia” anchored right there. We thought that they had already left for mainland and then the south pacific. We rowed over to say hello, then made our way over to Jess and Josh’s to fry up some of the bonita we caught on the way in.
Leaving Caleta Partida
A shot for Van
Yesterday ( Tuesday March 17th) We got Jess’s truck and made good use of it. Josh, Jon and I made our way out into the boondocks to get our propane filled. Like Cabo, its out in the middle of no where, maybe they do this just incase it blows up there are minimal casualties. If you remember Jon writing about how he broke out propane valve in cabo… well that issue came back into play on this trip. When we got out to caligas, they guys told us they could not and would not fill our tank with a broken valve. Luckily for us…they sold replacements and could do it for us right then and there!  We thought that was to good to be true and were waiting to be told the astronomical price we would have to pay. The pointed to a sign and in our broken spanish and their broken english we found out that a valve replacement was $211.00 pesos. SCORE! WHERE DO WE SIGN! They took care of us 100% and even gave us a certification document that the valve is legit. Now with our full tanks we set off to go to MEGA, to do a large provision. We made our way back to the marina where we tied up next to “Epic Ship”. Josh took the truck to get Jess, they were going to take their rowing dinghy back to the boat, while Jon and I used their inflatable with an outboard  to ferry our load back to PRISM. Jon and I sat in the inflatable with the water jugs and propane, while we filled our walker bay up and used it as a trailer. We towed it back with zero problems. It went way easier than we could have ever asked for.
Jon and I have been doing some thinking about where we want to go, what we want to see and bla bla bla. The plan changes all the time… Here are some of the “Long Term” plans we have had:
Last months plan:
– LEAVING MEXICO THIS YEAR…. SOUTH PACIFIC HERE WE COME.
A week later  Plans:
– LEAVING MEXICO THIS YEAR AND HEADING TO DO THE MAGELLAN STRAIGHTS!
Left for Vacation to the states.. tried not to think about the plan….
March’s Plan:
– STAY IN MEXICO THIS YEAR, THEN HEAD TO THE SOUTH PACIFIC NEXT SEASON
Todays Plan:
– SEA OF CORTZ THIS SEASON( HURRICANE SEASON) , MAIN LAND MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA NEXT SEASON, COASTA RICA FOR A YEAR, GO THOUGH THE CANAL, THEN THE CARIBBEAN!!!!
Todays plan might change in a week, but so far.. we like this one the most.
We are heading out tonight with friends to do 2 for 1 pizzas, then Jon would like to say good bye to La Paz and start heading north tomorrow. However, I think we have to much stuff to do today, so I think we might leave the following day, BUT you can’t start passage on a Friday… so we just might have to wait till Saturday. But Jon is hard headed, so we will probably leave tomorrow…
we thought the pelican was tangled in fishing line, turns out it was a broken wing.. nothing we could do
OH.. and I can’t believe I almost forgot about this… SOO I thought my worst fear ever had come true a few days ago. There I was, making dinner for Jon and I…. I open my pantry to get some flour and i just see something black and small crawl! BAH!!!! I yelled to Jon “ IS THAT A F*ING COCKROACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Yea… dinner was postponed and we did a deep dive into the locker after sealing it so the pest could not escape into the dark abyss that is the bilge. We took everything out, apart, wiped everything down with bleach and caught the little bastard.. excuse my french. To our relief.. it was a false alarm. The intruder was a small beetle thing that some cruisers call the “water cockroach”. They look like one but are smaller and don’t act or procreate as fast as the real things. Well now that everything had been bagged and bleached, and we laid down roach traps… I think we are safe. It has been over a week and we have seen zero evidence that we are not alone… Man we dodged that bullet!!!!
is that cockroach poo?!?!?.. nope.. THANK GOD

Oh and here is proof for my uncle Kelly, that Sean is a sell out…

is that really Sean on a SUP?
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