We have been tied to the dock in La Paz for a few weeks now and have quickly settled back into the lazy easy going life here.
The day starts with the morning net on VHF CH22 waking us up at 8am. On the net we hear of any medical emergencies, anyone who has lost their dinghy or other valuables, people looking for knowledge or assistance and sometimes a bit of gossip, which keeps us amused.
I spend the rest of the day doing little boat jobs and learning some more Spanish. Arturo calls around a couple of times each week to give me face to face Spanish lessons and I try to help him with his Kumon maths course.
The original plan was to depart La Paz in the next month for the South Pacific and beyond, however I have been thinking long and hard on this one. Many of the islands there have been closed to visitors, and although most are opening up now, things could easily change if a new virulent strain of Covid should emerge. I’m optimistic that this will not be the case, but there’s enough doubt there for my other nagging questions about the trip to get the better of me. Firstly I’m not 100% sure I actually want to do another massive passage, I’m not totally sure what the South Pacific has to offer that we haven’t had bucket loads of already. I know this sounds terrible, but we really have already seen the best beaches you can imagine, been in amazing rainforests, climbed volcanoes etc etc. The South Pacific will need to have some serious wow factor to impress us now.
Saying that, the coral fringed atolls do sound amazing. Also I have been toying with the idea of sailing to Hawaii then onto Canada/Alaska. We both loved the Pacific Northwest so much and really want to return, but that trip is probably more taxing than the south pacific, and in a way seems like going backwards.
Places I really want to visit still are Sri Lanka, India, the islands east of Africa, and Africa itself. Also I still have to do some fairly big jobs on the boat before undertaking any serious offshore passages.
So the upshot of this is I have decided to take a gap year out of passage making, I put a wad of dollars on the table and secured this berth in the marina for the next year. Phew, the pressure is off now, I can focus on being lazy, learning Spanish, getting the boat up to scratch and working out a cruising plan for 2023. Of course we will still sail around the Sea of Cortez during the next year, but without any deadlines, it will be a very relaxed affair.
Last week I hauled out the two anchors and chain onto the pontoon for their regular inspection. this allows me to clean the chain locker which can get a bit smelly if left unattended for long. The port anchor, which we have never used has a smallish length of chain at the anchor end, but is mostly rope. Checking the chain I found the shackle that joins it to the rope was very rusted and also the chain had one very rusty link. I will refrain from stating the obvious cliche here. I hacked the rusty link out and replaced it with a couple of big shackles. This anchor is only used in extreme weather, and so the problems you get with shackles in chain shouldn’t be an issue.
I had also hoped to replace the Windlass’s solenoid. while I was there, but I can’t find that safe place I put the replacement in just a few weeks ago when we arrived from the UK, early onset Alzheimer’s? One of my tasks is to go through every locker on the boat re-cataloging where everything is and hopefully making some new space in the process.
Maria returned with her male friends, she may be defying the lifespan of a chaffinch, but we don’t care. She provides us with entertainment daily and is almost brave enough to eat out of my palm.
We have a large 100 ft, 150 ton motor yacht next to us, but when she leaves with charter guests our view expands so we can see across the bay to the Magote.
Not quite sure on the naming of this boat, but good luck to these optimistic fishermen.
We bought some plants for the boat, partly to have fresh basil, but also to brighten it up a bit. Kathy planted a few different herbs and her main task these days is to check on the seedlings. 7 days later nothing has happened, but we’re not giving up hope yet.
Sunday dinner at Estrella del Mar with Arturo.
There have been a few outbreaks of Covid here in the marina and the anchorage, I think this BA.2 strain has arrived, also we are hearing of lots of infections amongst our friends/family back home. Thankfully nobody seems to be getting too ill, although I believe a lot of people are suffering badly for a few days. Shops and restaurants still insist on masks, gel and often a temperature check before you can enter, and most locals are wearing masks when out on the Malecon. Let’s hope it’s all gone soon.
Paul Collister 20th March 2022