They call it the “La Paz Vortex” and we seem to be firmly mired in it these days.
As you know from the previous blog entry, when we crossed the Sea from San Carlos, seemingly on our way to La Cruz, we had “power issues”. Let me just interject here that the two most common difficulties on a boat are power (as in having enough to run all the “stuff” when not plugged in at the dock) and plumbing (in particular, heads). Our new autopilot (Steady Eddie) had started out his new job by working perfectly – even when we were sailing with the motor off. As night approached and the solar panels were unable to locate more sunshine to suck in Eddie began to hiccup. We turned on the engine, turned off all other power using items and still it was necessary to watch him constantly and to hand steer much more than we wanted to. When we diverted to Agua Verde and Chris started trouble shooting he discovered the problem was the alternator was not making power when the engine was running. Thus, when the sun was shining the batteries still had juice for “Eddie” but once the sun went away they went down, down, down. Thus, it was necessary to divert to La Paz to replace the alternator before continuing on to La Cruz.
Upon arriving, our expectation was a one week stay to have the replacement done and then we’d continue on to La Cruz. Hah! In two days the alternator had been replaced but then the weather window we had slammed shut. As it turned out we'd be here for two months!
Chris decided as long as we were here he would call Sergio (the Michelangelo of stainless) to get an estimate on having a stern arch built. Arches have become very popular over the last few years as they tend to work as a jack-of-all-trades to carry dinghies, outboards, solar panels, surfboards, kayaks and all manner of miscellaneous paraphernalia cruisers need to enjoy their experience. We had already put a lot of money into the boat this season so the “plan” was to have it built next year. We have both been lusting after one of these contraptions for at least 3 or 4 years so when Sergio said he was having a slow spell and could do it now we promptly paid another month of moorage and told him to go for it.
In order to have some mobility, Chris took the ferry & buses back to San Carlos (a 3 day process) to bring the car (and the new solar panels and wind generator) back here. Buses don’t come this far out of town and the marina shuttle only runs three times daily so it has really been a blessing. We have been able to explore new restaurants, haul groceries & parts without paying for a taxi and make some road trips.
We haven’t been here in 4 years and the town has changed quite a bit. Most notably there are a number of great new eating establishments. There are now two BBQ Rib joints, a salad place and a Thai restaurant that serves the best Thai food I have had anywhere. There is even a brew pub that is reported to have great American-style pizza (we’re trying that out tonight).
The Malecon is still as beautiful as always and there is even a new sculpture.
Last month was Carnival so there were parades, carnival rides & games, booths with everything from wigs & masks to household goods for sale and music. LOUD music. Until the wee hours every night. We had never been to a Carnival celebration and it was great fun…especially since it was very family oriented rather than the X-rated versions in Rio and other venues.
|New water heater waiting for installation.|
Before leaving San Carlos we had discovered that our water heater was leaking pretty badly so, since we were here for a while, we ordered a new one which was shipped to a friend in San Diego who shipped it to us here. It sat on the back deck for a couple weeks while Chris contemplated the installation headaches. In the end, he hired a local marine plumber and was exceedingly happy he had done so. Even with an expert doing the job it took 3 days and much profanity to get it installed and all the leaks stopped. Seems the manufacturer apparently didn’t believe in plumber’s tape!
The new arch is completed as well as beautiful new stainless rails that run from the stern to the mid-ship gates. Sergio made numerous interesting innovations, not the least is a unique extra rail for our original solar panels so they won’t block the walkway anymore when they are out. The whole set up is beautiful and the cost was a third what it would have been in the states.
|The new stern arch...all done! Note solar panels & wind generator on top.|
Chris is just finishing up the wiring on all the new “toys” (2 additional solar panels & a wind generator). All that new power should make “Eddie” very happy.
|Sherri & Paul enjoying the shade outside the ice cream store.|
This past week we have had guests visiting so we’ve been enjoying showing them a bit of the area.
|Beautiful Playa Balandra|
|The water is knee deep all the way across the bay...and crystal clear!|
They fly home tomorrow and after that we’ll spend the next week or two doing a few last little chores and preparing to get underway.
Soon…we’ll start meandering our way northbound. It is time. It’s nice to be at a dock but we’re getting antsy to get out to the islands and enjoy the peace & quiet of anchorages.