A Postcard from La Paz.

It’s been 6 weeks since I arrived back at La Paz and I haven’t left the dock in that time, other than in the dinghy on a couple of trips to the Magote sandbank to have a swim. So sorry, nothing exciting to report

I have fixed a few things on the boat, the biggest deal being the drains on the sinks, which are now plastic and should last a lot longer, or at least be maintainable, than the rusting steel originals. The boat has had some varnish, at about the same rate that it is losing it. The anchor windlass solenoid problem had been resolved. So the jobs list has dropped but also topped up by a broken outboard engine with no coolant and a failed oil seal in the gearbox, and a new design for the shower sump drain has been identified as needed, post the sink drain repair. Also the PI computer is dead, it has been eating up SDRam cards and I don’t know why.

On a personal level, I have been ill for 2 of the weeks since I returned, and I decided to get my ears looked at while I was here, there’s little chance of getting anything done in the UK with the state of the health service there, even before Covid, there was a 6-9 month waiting list to see a hearing specialist. I have Eustachian tube dysfunction, which is stopping me diving, in fact stopping me hearing. I saw a specialist here and had tests done, and I’m taking medicine and doing exercises involving balloons (Don’t ask) and things are improving, in fact my left ear is now working well. There may be hope for me yet.
I failed to get an appointment with the American Embassy in London for a visa, they were booked up 9 months ahead. That will have to wait, but after a lot of hassle, I booked an appointment with the Mexican Embassy in London for my return in August when I will be travelling back to Kathy for 4 weeks. However my Visa for Mexico ran out a few days ago, and I became an illegal immigrant thereby making me eligible for the new program of rehabilitation of people who had overstayed their visa. It cost a few pennies, but the upshot of it all, is that I now have a temporary Mexican residents permit, which allows me unfettered travel to and from Mexico for the next four years, after which I can upgrade to become a permanent Mexican resident. I’m not sure how long I will remain here, but I will be returning regardless of where we head next.

Arturo’s girlfriend has been here for the last few weeks, so I finally got to meet her, and she has been cooking me some wonderful Mexican food. I have been promised some Nopal, which is very Mexican, I have seen people buying it in the supermarket and wondered if they really would be eating it

Nopal (prickly pear)

There’s not a lot happening out in the bay here, an abandoned sailboat broke loose and went aground on the beach during some high winds a few weeks ago, It appears it was a good boat a few years back but the owner died and his family took over but as they lived in the states they seem to have neglected the boat and over a few years it was stripped of anything of value. Now it’s just an eyesore. I have popped a video I made on youtube, link below.

In other news, a couple of the die aboards died, in one case it seems to have been Omicron that pushed him over the top. A lot of people have been quite ill with it, but most are back working after a couple of weeks. Most people I have met here seems to be triple vaccinated.

Dirk & Silvia, our German friends on Lison Life made it safely to French Polynesia without issue, they seem to be having fun there.

So far the hurricane season has been muted, not a lot is expected with it being a La Niña year, during La Niña years the water is cooler so less likely to allow hurricanes to exist, but it’s still a worry as the boat will be on its own for 4 weeks during August/September. So far we had one hurricane very early in the season that wreaked havoc much further south.

I’m taking advantage of my stable situation here, with good internet to do a little work on the solar/wind monitoring projects I built, basically I’m moving all the software to the cloud on AWS, and re-writing a lot of the linux scripts to run as Python Lambda code. I’m finding it very interesting, this whole idea that I have no knowledge of where my code lives/runs or sends it output to, other than an email address you send data to, and a web address where you can look at results. Once completed in a few weeks I can hand the whole lot over to a younger person to maintain and I can finally hang my hat up as a paid professional software engineer and focus more on being a lazy sod living on a boat in Paradise 🙂
PS. I meant to post this two weeks ago, as my visa was due the be delivered the next day, but I thought by saying I had it, when it was really ‘in the post’ might jinx it, so I held off posting, which seemed to jinx it. The printing machine broke at the immigration office and after a lot of hassle, and some stress I got it a couple of days ago. So in the last two weeks, I have indeed fixed the PI, repaired the outboard, and greatly improved my hearing. Tomorrow (Sunday) I will be on a flight back to Manchester, via Amsterdam to be reunited with Kathy and my family for 4 weeks. Today was spent stripping the boat down just in case a hurricane comes this way.


Paul Collister.