Screaming Blue Northers, Calle Partida, and Back to La Paz

Sunday morning – good Lord, December 10th. Time to leave! Christmas is around the corner, we have been accidentally listening to Christmas music on the Sirius radio ( they keep sneaking it in between Margaritaville and Pencil Thin Mustache)…

The wind still hasn’t stopped. Granted, it is not blowing in the mid 40’s any more, but it is still annoying. Most of the boats left yesterday, which makes the anchorage blissfully uncluttered. But the wind and yes, the clouds, make it less than perfect! Bwahahahahaha! says the woman who is going home to rain and perhaps snow and ice. I am still sitting in my shorts and teeshirt on the back deck as I type. So really, no complaints.

We have been here for a number of days, which are appropriately called lay ( for lazy) days. it was fine when the wind wasn’t blowing a constant 35, so I could get out and kayak, but even I cave in the teeth of a 40 knot wind. Yesterday I was finally able to get out for a paddle, even though the waves threatened to spray over me and into the hole in my bow… 

(long story short, happened the night of the really high winds, the handle on the kayak ripped out, leaving a fair hole in the bow and a chunk of plastic and some nuts and bolts and a handle on the end of the line. Luckily the other handle held, or I would have been down a kayak.)

Went to get kayak and found this… had a bit of a panic attack….

luckily the kayak was way out the back of the boat – whew… now we have to figure out how to fix it. My suggestion of duct tape and rescue tape was greeted with scorn.


The wind also caused a lot of fairly sleepless nights, as there were 15 boats in the anchorage and everyone dragged at some point or another. Good old Rocna anchor even let us down once or twice, but in this sandy bottom it dug back in and held on.



But there were a few anxious moments…

What do you do when you can’t do anything? Well, I guess the obvious answer is relax, read books, paint, etc etc. I tend to need a little more action, so the days I couldn’t get out and swim, snorkel or kayak kind of made me crazy. Lawrence was cool with it – read every book on the boat. Guess that means I am going to have to trade them in for different ones! One thing I finally accomplished was to clean the top deck of the mysterious rust spots that appeared as soon as we left San Diego. I have my suspicions but we can’t confirm the originof the tiny bits of metal that melted into dark ugly spots over the half of the deck that wasn’t covered with dinghy .. 

anyway, thank you Barkeepers Friend, a toothbrush, a scrub brush, a terry cloth, knee pads, and LOTS and LOTS of elbow grease. Mission accomplished… now I just have to scrub the spots off of my paddle board. 

We visited other boats when the wind died down enough to let us leave ours – met new people who were all very fascinating. A British couple on a very old wooden boat made in California in 1930 for Mr Fitch of Abercrombie and Fitch…

They shared with with us and another couple who own a catamaran that they charter throughout the year and around the world. They talked about going back to French Polynesia the way we talk about going to La Paz…their travels have taken them all over the place, including the Galapagos, Easter Island, and dare I say, Patagonia. Had lots of glowing stories about cruising in Patagonia. hmmmm….



So it was a good place to get stuck – more turtles this year than we have ever seen…hard to get pictures of them, as they poke their heads up, look around, do this three times and then disappear. There is a beautiful beach and a short walk to the other side of the island which was being battered by the wind…lots of interesting things blown up onto the rocks. 

Our side of the bay… lovely sandy beach…..

other side of the island – lots of rocks

this year I saw two turtle remains… sad, but I guess when you see lots of turtles, there is a chance you will see dead ones.

I had one last kayak around the anchorage, said goodbye to all the brown pelicans ( they were still hunkered down, hiding behind rocks and making themselves as small as possible against the wind…) and then it was time to bring up the dinghy and the kayak, batten everything down, and head Northern Ranger south to La Paz. As we travelled past Varnebank they came out and showed us their latest project – we had spent the night before puzzling out the pattern and pieces for a boat quilt… they obviously figured it out today! Clever people~~~

Good trip back, water had calmed down and the wind wasn’t terrible when it came time to dock.

And that is the end of that adventure! A few extra days to clean up, put away, take stock, do some shopping in town, and then we fly home to Christmas! 

However I think future plans include another driving trip down in January. Lawrence definitely is torn between the road trips and the boat trips. This way he gets the best of both worlds ( although we won’t be driving the Great White Beast down, there is some question about bringing big diesel trucks down into Mexico, they may stop you at the boarder as they consider it a working vehicle, which requires you pay a fee. So it’s little red truck again… and the kindness of friends as we trundle through the USA).


So with that, it’s time to get to work… sun has finally broken through the clouds, and a very salty boat is in need of a rinse. Unfortunately for some reason the water at the dock has been turned off. However I prefer that issue to what we arrived to last night – someone had spilled some diesel somewhere somehow… and boy, what a smell! An attempt was made with a rather inadequate boom to cordon off the spill, but didn’t do much good. This morning it seems to have dissipated. thank heavens! 


Now that we are back in wifi and cel coverage, I am going to just attach a bunch of photos that I couldn’t send out when we were relying on the satellite phone – that’s an expensive little alternative, so I was restricted to one picture a session. And of course, we all know, one word is worth a thousand pictures.