While at Muertos I was accompanied by two boats which made my stay much more enjoyable and I appreciated their company. As I mentioned in my previous post, Sockdolager was at anchor when I pulled in and they stayed to ride out the Norther as well. Clover also pulled into the anchorage. Shane is single handing Clover around the Sea of Cortez, we met briefly in Cabo San Lucas. We all spoke on the VHF many times to pass the time and arrange our one shore leave as a weather window appeared.
|Sockdolager from Luckness on Dec 23. NW 20-25 with gusts to 35.|
|Luckness from Sockdolager.|
Late in the evening on the 29th at Playa Bonanza I suddenly realized that there was virtually no wind and also no boat motion. I climbed out of the cabin and saw glassy seas, a big cloud free starlit sky. I felt a huge sense of relief, it was so nice to have such a peaceful night after being battered around by the wind and seas for a while. I had a real sense that "I had arrived!"
The next morning was also entirely peaceful. I pulled out of the anchorage and headed over to La Paz.
|Looking back at Playa Bonanza as I was leaving|
|Looking south across the San Lorenzo Channel. La Paz is a few miles around the corner to the right|
The day after arriving at the Marina I went over to the office to ask about getting an internet connection and I met Marcus who was in the office checking in - I first met Marcus and his wife Masha in San Diego while having drinks with Chuck and Karen of Katie G. Marcus and Masha are on s/v Gallivanter. Before starting this cruising thing I had heard how you keep bumping into the same folks over and over. Its true.
As I write this, there are two days left in my week at the marina and I hope to pull out of here to start exploring the local islands on Friday. My current idea is that I will spend a few weeks out exploring and then return to La Paz for a week, and then repeat that pattern or adjust it as necessary. By the time I'm writing this the boat is clean, I've almost finished my short list of boat projects and I have one last provisioning run I need to make to fill up the boat with some more food.
I won't say much about La Paz in this post as I'm still forming impressions. I will say that so far I like it! Being at this marina has created a little barrier between me and the town however, when I return I'll stay closer.
I have a few images from earlier in this trip.
|The spinnaker up on Dec 8th, one day south of Ensenada|
|Sunset on Dec 9th|
|Sunset on Dec 13th|
I've had a little time to reflect on where I am and what my sailing plans are for the remainder of what I'm thinking of as my initial Cruising Training Year. When I left Neah Bay back in September I had only sailed offshore for a single night on a trial sail I had done out of Neah bay a few months before leaving. While I realize that I continue to be relatively inexperienced, I am feeling good about how this trip is going. It seems surprising to me at times that only four months have gone by since I left Seattle. I can recall entire years when it seemed like I had fewer experiences than I've packed into the last four months. The most common advice I heard before leaving Seattle was "Just go!" and I have to agree with it.
With my arrival in La Paz, my Training Year is roughly 1/3 over. My current plan is to leave this area in mid March for Hawaii, and then leave Hawaii in July for Seattle. Once back in the Pacific Northwest, I'll get busy with some boat adjustments. Its my current intention to leave Seattle the following summer (2013) to return south to where I am now...and then keep on going. The South Pacific continues to appeal to me greatly. Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. Focusing on the short term, I have a lot of anchorages that are demanding exploration where I am right now, and I'm going to try to satisfy that curiosity!