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s/v Code Blue – La Paz 5-14/26-13 June 17, 2013

Posted by steveandjudy in Code Blue 2013.
Sculpture on Malecon

Sculpture on Malecon

It’s a good thing Steve always keeps up our blog. If it were up to me, you wouldn’t know much about where we are! Steve says it’s my turn to write about our stay in La Paz. I’m already way behind.

There are several marinas in La Paz, but we picked Marina Palmira since we knew of four boats from the Seattle area staying there. On our first stop in La Paz in January we stopped at Marina de La Paz, closer to downtown, since we were only in town for two nights. Marina Palmira is about two miles from downtown, beautiful setting with lots of palm trees and brightly colored flowers. The marina has 186 slips for boats from 22 to 130 feet. We saw some huge power mega yachts with their full crews. There are some small businesses and restaurants around the marina, including the cruisers’ lounge.

We arrived on Tues, May 14th. On our way to check in at the marina office, we ran into Lyn from Fellowship at the cruisers’ lounge, sewing a sun awning. Rich and Lyn have been in the La Paz area since they came down last fall. They’re house-sitting for the summer and are getting ready to move in. They bought a car last fall so can easily get around La Paz. We made plans to have dinner on Thursday night. Later in the day we met up with Penn and Dawn from Victory and had dinner with them at a Chinese restaurant, something different for a change. They also have a car, so after dinner we stopped at the “cow” store for groceries. Above the sign is a large cow statue. It’s easier to remember than the actual store name.

Monday through Saturday morning there’s a cruisers’ net on the VHF radio where you can get help finding something you need, such as spare parts or a location as well as various activities. We heard that there would be a potluck at Club Cruceros at Marina de La Paz on Wednesday evening. Club Cruceros is a non-profit organization, providing many services for the cruising community. The clubhouse contains book swaps and DVD movie check-outs. They have a morning coffee hour and usually do weekly potlucks. We decided to go to the Wednesday potluck. It’s a little over two miles away but got a ride with Penn and Dawn. We saw Tom and Jeanne from Eagle and had a chance to catch up with them. We also met up with another Seattle boat we knew from the Puget Sound Cruising Club, La Volante Frances Jane. We hadn’t seen Michael and Janet since we left Seattle. They’re the ones we contacted on the VHF when we were crossing from Mazatlan, since they showed up on the AIS. Vessels that transmit will show their name and other boat info so we could see them on our navigation program. They were planning to spend about a month in La Paz so maybe we’ll see them again further north.

We had hoped to meet up with a boat called Dream On. We found their boat next to Fellowship, but the boat was already put away for the summer and Bruce and Laurie had already left. Their boat had been hauled out in La Paz, having some work done, but at least we had a chance to meet them in Puerto Vallarta while they were staying at a time share there.

Thursday morning there was a coffee hour in the cruisers’ lounge so we met some more people staying in the marina. When we talked with Tom and Jeanne, we invited them for dinner on Saturday night. Thursday night we had dinner with Rich and Lyn. They picked us up at the marina and we went to a place called McFisher. It was a very casual place and open to the sidewalk. The menu was mostly seafood and Steve and I ordered different things so we had a variety, including fish tacos and chile rellenos. Very good food at a reasonable price.

Friday I went grocery shopping with Dawn. Penn and Dawn were doing a charter starting on Saturday so she needed to get ready for that. Since we were taking her car, I could get some of the heavier items as well as things to stock up on. The next day we saw them off. They would be gone until Thursday and offered us the use of their car while they were gone. That evening Tom and Jeanne from Eagle came to the boat for dinner. They left Seattle a year before we did and have been cruising in the La Paz area. They like it so much that they’ve started a business and are staying in La Paz. They spent last summer in the Sea of Cortez so we wanted to get some pointers about where to go, weather, etc. Steve made a great chile rellenos casserole, I fixed a salad and Jeanne brought flan for dessert. We all enjoyed the dinner. We ate down below instead of in the cockpit because it was too hot. Now there’s a real switch from Seattle! Once the sun went down we sat in the cockpit to look at the cruising guide and see some of their favorite places.

Sunday morning was a swap meet near Marina de La Paz. Steve rode the bike and I took the shuttle. We found a few items but not too much to carry. Steve rode back and I walked. We hadn’t had much of a chance yet to walk around so I enjoyed walking along the Malecon, looking in a few shops, seeing the various sculptures, taking pictures and just people-watching. I also saw the whaling wall done by Wyland. Part of the walk I could find some shade but by the time I got to the marina it was midday and really hot. I worked up quite a sweat in the two plus miles!

Monday evening Steve and I took a walk along the Malecon to see it at night. Rich and Lyn had recommended a place for an ice cream cone. They couldn’t tell us the name, but described how to find it. There was a large tree out in front, with the bottom part of the tree trunk painted white with large, brightly colored polka dots. We found it! Ice cream is always a treat when you’re on a boat. We ended up walking about four miles that evening, with a short side trip to the “cow” store for a few groceries. At least the sun wasn’t out so it was a comfortable temperature.

Tuesday Steve and I borrowed Dawn’s car and had a major shopping outing. We went to two large grocery stores, Chedraui and Mega, and to Home Depot. All we had was a tourist map so we had some problems finding Home Depot. We were obviously lost so stopped a couple of times to get directions. With our limited Spanish it was a challenge. We also got conflicting directions, but finally found it. With the temperature in the 90’s we were glad to get back to the boat. Time for a swim. Right opposite our dock was a place that had a pool. The pool wasn’t heated, but wasn’t too cold, considering the air temperature. It was refreshing!

Another evening, we went to dinner with Rich and Lyn again, this time a place called J & R Ribs. Only one item on the menu, either half a rack or a whole rack. We all got the full rack so that we’d have leftovers. Very good ribs, the meat just fell off the bones. We sat outside at a picnic table, but we were in the shade with a nice breeze. Lyn offered to take us around town the next day. We never did learn much about the bus system, since we had so many opportunities for rides.

We met Rich and Lyn at the marina when they had finished some projects on the boat. We dropped Rich off at their house so got a chance to see where they were living for the summer. The woman who lived there, an American, was back in the states for the summer. It had three small bedrooms, all on one floor and stayed fairly cool inside. After finally finding a parking space, we went to Mercado Bravo and Mercado Municipal Francisco E. Madero. They’re both large public markets with fresh produce, meats, fish, tourist clothing, souvenirs and lunch stands. Steve and I shared a chile rellenos that came with rice, beans, and tortillas. We had plenty to eat with just one! We drove around a little longer, then back to the marina. It was a good opportunity to see more of the town.

We had done all our major shopping, filled up the fuel tanks, and it was time to do one of my favorite jobs, the laundry! We knew it would be awhile before we would have laundry facilities, so I washed everything in sight. Changing the sheets is an aerobic activity! Laundromats, when the temperatures are in the 90’s, are hot!

We stayed much longer in La Paz than we originally planned. We certainly enjoyed visiting with all the Seattle cruisers, but it was good to have reliable internet access. We could use the cruisers’ lounge where the Wi-Fi was very fast and the air conditioner made it much more comfortable. If the air conditioner wasn’t on, at least the ceiling fans were running. We had “chores” to do on the internet. We had another address change to do. Steve’s brother Ron has been getting our mail, and we were using his PO box. Now he’s planning to retire so we need to use his home address in eastern Washington. It’s hard to imagine how many places that need an address change! This is the fourth address change! We also worked on paperwork for the lease renewal for our house. We also wanted to research where to leave the boat when we head back to the states later this summer. I’ve got a high school reunion in the Boston area in September so we’re also planning on!

a stop in Seattle to visit and pick up some boat items that are impossible to find in Mexico. We did some checking about flights also.

Saturday night, our last night in La Paz, we planned to walk along the Malecon and stop at the “cow” grocery store (see the picture it has a cow at the store) for a few last minute items. There was a lot of traffic since it was Saturday night. We turned around when we heard someone say, “Sailor, need a ride?” It was Penn and Dawn on their way out to dinner so they gave us a ride to the store. We bought some ice cream for the freezer as our final treat and brought an insulated bag to carry it back. We had brought bowls and some fresh strawberries with us so sat on a bench on the Malecon to have a sample before we returned to the marina.

On Sunday, May 26th, we finally left the marina at 3:12 pm. It wasn’t exactly an early start, but we didn’t have many miles to go. We enjoyed our stay in La Paz, but we were looking forward to some anchorages again, instead of marinas.

Steve and Judy

Now Puerto Escondido




1. Lynn - June 17, 2013

Nice update! Our house has been on the market 2 days and got a full price offer. If inspection and appraisal goes well, we will leave for Las Vegas July 31st… Lynn Bain

Sent from my iPad

2. Marie & Greg - June 18, 2013

Judy: You did a great job of “filling in” for Steve with all the trip details. It was enjoyed as much as Steve’s have been. We are in Vermont. Just finished the 50th reunion. Really great fun. Linda Bromely was there and ready to retire in 2 weeks.from her nursing job. Heading back to Seattle in a few days for the summer. Marie

3. Kay Jakutis - June 27, 2013

Finally catching up on your blog! It has been fun to even sporadically follow your adventures. Really glad to see you realizing your dreams.
Sam & I are leaving Monday for a road trip in our MB Cruiser [22′ camper van] to Alaska. Ella the dog, a golden doodle, accompanies. Out of the world excitement all around. May even look for rings while we are at it as we chose not to when we got married in April. Now seems like fun to do.
Oh, by the way — La Volante are friends thru the Wauquiez group. Say hi for us if you run into them again.
Enjoy — will catch up with your adventures when we have access!

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