Gee it's great to be back home again... well, if you consider La Paz and
Costa Baja kind of our home... but here we are, preparing for the next leg
of our Mexican adventure.
We found a decent window to cross over, and after saying goodbye and
spending a few more hours with the children at the La Cruz English School,
we untied our lines and took off. Plamor, who was staying at Paradise
Village, headed out at the same time, and we were all anticipating the
security of buddy boating across for the two overnights we were going to
have to do. Unfortunately no one bothered to check with each other about
which route was chosen... to the west of Islas Marias, or the east? And
considering you have to stay 20 miles offshore of the entire group of
islands, as there is a prison colony on Maria Madre. So if you end up on
opposite sides of the island you are certainly not close to the other boat.
And that is what happened! We were puzzled about why we couldn't see each
other on radar, or see an AIS signal, or even raise each other on VHF. I had
a suspicion that we had chosen different paths but Lawrence was quite
convinced the rational route was the route we took, for a direct course to
Muertos..even though on our way down we had gone on the inside...It became
obvious that was not the case. We eventually managed to establish contact on
the radio, and this was confirmed. Next time I will remember to ask what the
other boat's intentions are...save us a lot of puzzling later on!
So we really were surrounded by nothing .. seemed like no one else was out
there , except one sailboat, some very far away cruise ships and one oil
The first day and night, as predicted, was lumpy, with steep waves causing
us to bang and crash as we drove into them headfirst. ( scooped up one
little squid somewhere when the bow buried itself in the water) That bulbous
bow certainly makes for a noisy ride! But nothing too onerous, the bell
never rung so it wasn't that bad.
As usual several birds ( boobies?) were trying to land but couldn't hold on
to our railing..however we found out later they hitched a ride up top,
judging by the mess they left behind.
It was a full moon, and I saw the shadows of the birds crossing over the bow
as they hovered above trying to pick out a landing spot. I also had the good
fortune to be on watch when a pair of dolphins streaked towards us to play
momentarily in the bow wave...the moon lit them up and the phosphorescence
made them glitter .. it was breathtaking! But other than that, no whales..
or anything else for that matter.
Next day as per weather predictions everything calmed down, wind dropped and
the seas flattened. It was a great day, but an even better night. I happened
to take the sunset watch this time, and experienced that total darkness that
happens when the sun sets but the moon doesn't come up right away. I was
mesmerized by the stars! Unbelievably glorious! But watching the moon rise
was absolutely spectacular. I really have to figure out my camera, as it was
totally impossible to get a picture of that red moon rising up out of the
darkness... and once she was up in the sky it was like navigating with a
We had decided to bypass Muertos, and get to La Paz without stopping. The
weather was supposed to turn nasty the next day, so we had opted for a
longer passage to get us tied up in Costa Baja sooner. We were able to talk
to Plamor at this point but for the life of us we could not see them. In
fact we didn't catch sight of them until they came around the corner into
the inner harbour to dock! So much for safety in numbers! It was great to
tie up again at Costa Baja, there are always friendly dock hands helping
with lines, and it is a noticeably quieter marina! ( well except for the
nights when the whole complex hosts some pretty wild parties but at least
that is not every night)
entering the Costa Baja outer harbour - some biggggg boats hanging
our view from the back deck - bit different from La
So we have reprovisioned, and Lawrence has been changing filters and fluids
in the wing engine. The weather has been nice but definitely not as warm as
La Cruz- however, it is warming up every day and I think it's only going to
get better. Locals are still wearing sweatshirts and long pants, mind you -
only us crazy gringos walking around in shorts and teeshirts.
my morning walk
Our plan is to head north for almost a month, catching up to Tanglewood and
maybe seeing some more wildlife, and explore places we didn't have a chance
to get to last time. Plans for the return home have changed, and we have
decided to fly out early April, spend some time with family and friends and
get to the lake to check things out and do our taxes.. then fly back down to
spend the rest of April and some of May. At that point we will drive the red
truck home, head back to the lake, and this season's cruising will be over.
All told we will have spent more time on the boat than we have ever spent up
at the lake! It has been interesting, and fun - I am always fascinated to
see how couples handle the time away vs the time home. A lot of it depends
on the grandchild equation... not having any, we aren't pulled all over the
place wishing we could be with them while we really want to be cruising. I
have a sneaking suspicion it won't make that much difference to one of us, I
will have to put my foot down when I think it's time to see family... or
make sure that we can arrange for boat visits so we have some quality time
while enjoying our cruising lifestyle. And when grandchildren do come, and
grow up a bit, travelling with granny and grandpa on their boat could become
a fun option.
I certainly don't remember ever thinking that one day we would be exploring
Mexico in our boat for months at a time.. but here we are. It is astonishing
how many people do this, and the number of persons who have been doing this
for years - either boating or living on land. What was once an inconceivable
fantasy is actually almost commonplace. I have to say kudos to the Cubar
group for organizing the voyages that allow neophytes like ourselves back in
2015, to come down the coast well prepared and surrounded by seasoned Baja
travellers. Aside from the obvious benefits of travelling in a pack, we are
grateful for the cruising friends that we have made along the way.
So we are looking forward to our voyage up north, hopefully one of discovery
where we find new ( to us ) anchorages and towns and beaches to walk, bays
time to vamanos!