La Paz, here we stay

This is a challenge – what to write about when not much is happening.  As we came down the coast, with the scenery constantly changing and the pressure to keep moving to the next port motivating our progress, it seemed my contact with people back home revealed mostly day to day life.  While not quite the daily grind here in La Paz, we seem to have settled into a cruisers daily grind.  Up in the morning, make coffee and listen to the morning radio net, check email and a few daily internet sites.  Then hang out on the boat till the stir crazy arrives, and run into town in search of street tacos and run errands.  There is always some groceries to buy, or the search for a little item like Jenn’s need for new hair ties, or Minion’s strange need for a bag of cat food when his empties. Usually a trip into town involves running into someone we know, and sometimes we join forces on the food search, sometimes we just chat.  Some activities that are taken for granted back home become somewhat of a production here, like getting a shower.  We aren’t hooked up on the boat to shower, and with the cooler temperatures, wind, and proximity to the main beach walkway with our current anchored location discourage cockpit solar showers.  So we have to load up our shower bags, grab a towel, and dinghy into town, probably about a 5 minute trip.  Tie up the dingy, go to the office and pay 15 pesos to tie up, and another 30 pesos for two showers.  Then track down a security guard or the janitor to let us into the marina showers, and juggle all the bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soap dish and such into and out of a shower.  Finally, stash the shower bags back in the dinghy if we are staying in town, or head back to the boat, desperately trying not to get too splashed with salt water after all the effort just invested in getting clean.  Getting water is similar, we picked up four jugs that each hold four gallons, and they have to be slowly filled from a spigot at the dinghy dock, and emptied even slowler into our tanks back on boat. It still beats going to work though.

Of course there are the chats with fellow cruisers about the weather, the next port of call and long term cruising plans.  And the attempt to balance trips to town with the budget.  I keep meaning to start tracking the spending better – sometimes I feel like a trip to town is like a Costco run, you are just going to spend more than you meant to by the time is it over.  But evening rolls around, a group heads to The Shack, and it is hard not to buy a bucket of beers and maybe a couple happy hour margaritas, and then why not get dinner there?  Town seems somehow designed to separate us from our Pesos, but just staying on the boat gets a bit old too.  We are eager to move on from La Paz, although our next stop will probably be Mazatlan, kind of right back where we started with a town.  There are some wonderful bays and anchorages just north of La Paz, where going ashore would be for hiking and snorkeling at the beach, not to spend money at the local hangouts.  However, the weather is deteriorating in this area, and should be warmer down south by Puerto Vallarta.  While we would like to go spend some time exploring the nearby islands, it looks like that will have to wait until next spring.  While I know I will get no sympathy, we are actually feeling cold as the temps drop into the 70s, and the winds pick up.  Currently we are riding out a strong northerly wind, which is keeping us from sailing over to the mainland.  I suspect when this wind dies down there will be a mass exodus of the transient cruising boats for the mainland, where we will congregate in new anchorages with a fresh town to explore.

Of course, there are always a list of boat projects, and lately I’ve been a little more interested in laying around reading then tackling them.  I chatted with a new neighbor after setting in anchor in what I hoped would be a more protected spot from this north wind who said he gets up and does a couple hours of boat work in the morning.  I think I need to get a written list and adopt that strategy, just get at least one thing crossed off the list everyday, never mind that I’ll probably write three more on it.

Despite the hardships, we are having fun.  I think we needed a break after the push to get here, and both wanted to just kind of settle for a bit and recuperate from the trip down the coast.  We like La Paz, and it is an easy town to just slow down in, lots of friends, no tourist pressure when you walk the streets, and plenty of local support for projects and services should you need them.  But after being here for awhile, we are both ready to see some new sights.  We will be back here, it is a great jump off spot to go north in the Sea of Cortez which we’ll do next summer.  But for now, the warmer cities with new adventures to the south are calling, as is the desire to do some sailing and enjoy being on the move.  Plus we feel like we are letting down all the people that watch our spot messenger for entertainment.  We have our responsibilities to keep up with!

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