Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Santa Rosalia - A French mining town

The metal church in Santa Rosalia that was designed by Alexander Gustave Eiffell, the designer of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
By the time you read this, Shindig will be underway again, slowly making her way south towards La Paz.  

Nancy's bus ride up was uneventful.  An eleven hour bus ride now feels a little like cheating, from the sailing perspective.  Air conditioning, an assigned seat, continuous movies and the audible book, Log of the Sea of Cortez, made the time pass quickly.  Meanwhile, in Santa Rosalia, Rob was working hard to get laundry done, clean up the boat, while making friends on the small marina dock.  

The weather in the northern part of the bay had been pretty challenging.  Lots of northerlies coming up in the afternoons, sometimes blowing at night.  The beloved inflatable stand-up paddle board was blown off the boat 
Outside the breakwater, the northerly winds were picking up.  As boats straggled into the harbor, we helped them tie up and listened to each one's story of how their last passages have been.
Within 24 hours, we had a full marina, with many sailors and fishing boats all sharing common facilities, stories and adventure.  It was time for a Mother's Day Shindig.

Mother's Day Shindig - one of the more memorable get togethers with new and old friends
Kanga, Tisha Baby, Persistence, Leilani, and others joined the party.
View down the dock at Marina Fonatour

Morning Coffee bar  with Richard, Tisha Baby, without Coffee or Electricity
But Fast Internet
Inside the Santa Rosalia Church

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Boys Trip 2.0 - Timbabiche to Candeleros

In our second week out of La Paz we did many day trips from one anchorage to another.  In this part of the Sea of Cortez we mostly motored as the wind was less than 5 knots much of the time.  The mainsail is still out of commission but the good news is that I contacted my expert in the states and parts are available to make a repair.

Timbabiche mansion...  The story goes that in the 1920s a poor fisherman found an exquisite pearl in the bay.  He sold the pearl in La Paz and had enough money to build this mansion and start a fishing fleet.  As you can see the ruin is a shell of what must have been a grand home.

Perhaps a remnant from the old fishing fleet?

JD on the rock in Bahia Los Gatos.  The rock formations here are amazing.  When walking on them in the late afternoon shade you can feel the heat radiating from the surface.

The view from the hill overlooking Los Gatos.

What is this.... Lobster and scallops.  Si, Senor!

JD and I found two oarfish washed up on the rocks on Montserrat Island.   These are the strangest looking fish/sea serpents.

One of them paced off at 20 feet and the other 16 feet

Something to climb.

Here is your problem.....  The navigation light has been vandalized for the 12 volt battery and solar panel.

Montserrat Island has a beautiful beach on the North end.  This area is known for great diving.

Yellow bluffs at Yellowstone beach.  

If you look closely you can see Shindig in the anchorage and Shindinghy on the beach.

Candeleros Chico is a wonderful cove for a few boats.  This photo was taken on a hike South from the anchorage.

The resort at Candeleros (not chico) has six pools that make the shape of a sea turtle.
I also call this anchorage "wifi cove"  A great spot to get your internet fix.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Boys Trip 1.0 - LaPaz to Isla San Jose

So Nancy is off at "band camp".  Sounds like a perfect opportunity for a boys trip in the Sea of Cortez.
My brother-in-law JD is my compadre for the adventure.This is the first leg of our trip.  Stay tuned for the next installment.
Here is a photo of JD and me.  I'm the one on the right.

Isla Coronado is one of the most picturesque anchorages around.  Muy Bonita.

Finding Isla Coronado is more difficult at night.  An osprey had constructed a nest on the solar panel and in front of the navigation light.

A tremendous collection of beach treasures are kept in this old building on Isla San Jose.
The structure are part of ruins from an old salt mining operation.

A fixer upper

People and goats in boats  It is the way of things in San Evaristo

This bolt should be firmly attached to the top of the main furler.  It snapped (corroded).  No more mainsail for this trip.
Jib and spinnaker until we can make repairs back in La Paz.

Paddle boards were great for getting ashore.  This may be the last photo of the Uli board (foreground).  More on that later.

Now THAT is a nice looking cactus.

Cactus get big!

Fish camp at Mangles Solo, Isla San Jose
GoPro sunset photo.  Isla San Jose.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Hasta La Vista - Camp Nancy is over!

Camp Nancy is winding down.  
Saturday I move out of the little apartment and catch the 7AM bus up to Santa Rosalia.  
No arrival schedules, as it's Mexico. There might be cows, flooded roads, rest stops and slow trucks on long road north.  I should be there by sunset.  Just bought a tamale and downloaded Steinbeck's Sea of Cortez audio book (11 hours) for the ride.  When I get there, Rob (and Shindig) will be waiting for me!

I know it's time to go when the marina guard, in Spanish of course, tells me he saw me riding a bike across town.  Or the woman at the lavanderia where I had weekly laundry done (just one load for $5) says she saw me at an event last Wednesday.  While La Paz has over 200,000 people here, the Centro area is small enough to run into your friends and their friends. 

Every day in La Paz was another La Paz moment.  While I kept in touch with the cruising friends still at the docks, I was more of a townie.  A couple times I borrowed one of the cruisers' bikes for several days, and hurtled myself through the traffic to get across town, run little errands, and stop by for some good chile rellenos.  Traffic here is not used to bicycles, I would not recommend doing this, but it was exciting and efficient.  The rest of the time and distance was covered by foot.  My UP band which measures daily steps got a great workout.

Here are a few photos and random La Paz Moments:

My new hairdresser Moisey, and friend Lupita
Festive night out with friends Deb and John from Scot Free, Eh
Our first time at Nim, and definitely not the last!

Revisting Mama Benito's Shelter for Children and Women
Nice to see the significant improvements since last fall

Two Cellists (Jaime and me) playing Boccherini - the music was flying!
"Safety Meeting" (Dock Party) to welcome John, SV TimePiece back to La Paz
Great to see him in town, after his horrific accident earlier this year.  Check out our friends blog, on the blog links, BigLeftTurn, for more updates, and how you can help.

7AM marathon begins on the Malecon
I met a nice woman, Cindy, also an avid morning walker at this event.  We walked for an hour together in support of the runners.  
Monica from Compadre, our neighboring powerboat, cuddles her young grandson, Dylan
Es un nino guapo!  (very handsome)
I was invited to spend the day with Monica, Greg and her daughter to celebrate Monica's birthday last weekend.
It was a memorable celebration including swimming with whale sharks, dolphins, wading, lunch out at  Rancho Viejo, and....bowling.   What fun!  

One of over 50 restaurants serving up their best morsels at an annual Gastronomica Event on the beach

A beautiful setting for the night's event. Most of our friends arrived early and indulged ourselves for several hours.
We heard another group of locals arrived aroun 10PM and staying until 1AM, a rather late dinner time

Jill the Director from Se Habla...La Paz at the Gastronomica Event
Please, Please, just take a cookie!
Here Today...Gone Tomorrow
Walked to J & R Ribs one night after sunset.  In Spanish, I eagerly asked which days they were closed.  And they replied, they are open every day!! So a week later, I walked by, and the restaurant was gone.  The whole corner was torn apart, no more signage, even the picnic tables are ripped from the sidewalk.  

The Kindness of Friends
I can barely communicate with Jaime, the cellist in our trio.  Before our concert, there was a logistical challenge bringing the keyboard and stand to the Cultural Centro.  I was ready to hail a cab both ways, which is hard, in the afternoon heat.  Jaime met me at the locked Gallery on time, and pulled the case out.  Then he started heading out the door!  He gestured to me, and I ran after him carrying the stand. He pulled the big case with little wheels about a mile through the streets, alleys, and up the stairs to set it up. Then he insisted on buying me an Agua Fresca, which is flavored juice, water and ice.  Two hours later we were in our concert attire, playing in the trio. 

Walking the Malecon
I'm out early most mornings, walking on the beautiful Malecon by the sea.  I usually say Buenos Dias to each walker, and love to see a stoic man's face light up, and reply, Buenos Dias, or a shy woman respond to me.  Nice to see so many walkers, runners, cyclists enjoying their beloved Malecon.  At night, the activity continues, amidst the glow of the street lights and a half lit complex of hotels a mile across the water way.  

Music in La Paz
Finding a budding music community in La Paz is what started my love for the town.

Last night I attended a chamber music string quartet by young Spaniards. They are in town for 2 years to help elevate La Paz's musical community.  The event was 6 blocks up from my place.  I walked in the dusk at 8pm as families and traffic filled the street.  In an intimate backyard of the Alianza Francesa (French school), the quartet performed Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven on a platform under a large magnolia tree. It was a wonderful cross cultural mix, with this Spanish group, hosted by the French School, playing for Mexicans.  After the encore, we all enjoyed a bountiful setting with generous bottles of French wine, platters of bread and cheese.  Estabo Delicioso!