Monday, July 12, 2010

Back in the La Paz Vortex

We just spent a lovely few days out in the islands, buddy boating with Larry and Vicki of Rocinante, and reuniting with old friends from Theopholus and Outrider.  In fact, in Ensenada Grande on the Island IMG_8597 IMG_8598

of Partida, we had a bonfire on the beach with two guitars playing, a lot of kids after a long lull, marshmallows toasting, and a great time.  There were at least 15 boats anchored there on that one particular night.  Danielle and Harrison had met some other kid boats, one of which had a fabulous tube, a strong motor boat and a generous dad on board. Danielle met another 11 year girl, Ines, from Spain with perfect English after spending the last year living in San Diego, and she joined us for the bonfire.  Coincidentally, the girls found out they were born 6 days apart, both at New York Hospital! I cut Michael’s hair again, in the same location I did it the very first time last fall – and just as satisfying.

We revisited Los Islotes where we swam with the sea lions last fall.  This time, there were not as many sea lions in the water, but the fish were incredible and made for really enjoyable snorkeling – in our new jellyfish suits.  We kayaked around the island too and were in awe of the beauty of the sheer rock cliffs plunging into the ocean.  Somehow, the sea lions still find nooks and crannies on which to sunbathe.

IMG_8587 The fishing was pretty pathetic as far as eating goes, but Harrison hauled in at least a 15 pounder skipjack – nothing to eat so we threw it back, but it sure was exhilarating. Then, at Caleta Partida, the cove between the islands of Isla Partida and Isla Espiritu Santo, we stopped into the fishing camp, and for about $8 we bought the best sushi fish (yellow snapper) we may have ever eaten.  The fish also held us for a fish taco dinner the next night.  It was so good that we IMG_8574 went back for more, this time for the barbeque (half with blackening seasoning and half with a grill seasoning).  Michael laughs at how satisfying I find it to be able to create delicious, nutritious and beautiful meals while on a boat with limited kitchen resources.  I think my kids have learned that from me as they have started to treat us to a dinner once per week (or maybe it’s that they get out of dishwashing/setting/clearing duty for that night?).  They made home-made pesto, home-made croutons, home-made ceasar salad dressing, and luscious lemon squares.  A complete hit.  I can’t wait to see what they’ll do for next week!

IMG_8566Caleta Partida was also a cool anchorage in that you could dinghy over the sand bar that runs between the islands to the west side of Isla Espiritu Santo where there are several caves big enough to dinghy into.  The kids and Vicki even swam in them.

At Ballandra Bay, we kayaked through the mangroves into a beautiful lagoon.  Danielle stepped on a dead puffer fish on the beach there – think: porcupine quills.  She is fine now but it was certainly painful for her.  We spent 4th of July there (our first as American citizens) and launched some expired flares. For better or for worse, all the flares went off without a hitch, and luckily, the Mexican Navy did not appear.

Here we are now, back in La Paz, and on the docks for the first time since Mazatlan.  We are preparing for our friends who are coming from NY and CA.  Michael’s “Soggy Duck” annual camping trip is in its 21st year, this time a kayaking trip through the islands of the Sea of Cortez this coming weekend.  Two of the other three wives are coming to keep me and the kids company, one of which is also bringing her kids.  It will be great to reunite with old friends.  Michael got a panicked look on his face when I told him I might take the boat out for a spin…

We have bid adieu to Vicki and Larry on Rocinante as they head further north into the Sea while we will be delayed for 10 days.  We are sad to see them go but plan to reunite in September, back in La Paz.

It’s great to be back in familiar territory. La Paz has an amazing cruisers' community, coffee hour three times a week at the clubhouse with a book and CD exchange/library, and everything is in walking distance.  We've pulled out our bike and have started looking into getting a second one. We are taking care of the regular business, like getting new glasses for Danielle, regular doctor check-ups, getting the boat cleaned, and so on.  Our homeschool program is finished for the year, although we will continue with some low-key homeschooling over the summer once our friends leave.  It includes weekly blog posts by the kids, so stay tuned!

-Barbara (in La Paz, Baja California Sur)

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear that you are back to relaxing and enjoying all the activities that you have become accustomed to - fishing, swimming, cooking, sailing, exploring - and learning so much about Mexican life, culture, geography, etc. To us it seems like you are all on one big summer holiday, although, after having spent time with you, I know that there is always lots of work to do, some of which is entertaining guests - which you also enjoy doing.
    Enjoy the the time with your new guests...and, being in charge of the crew, don't do too many "brave" things without Michael there to give you a hand.
    Your blog was really interesting and fun to read. I can always visualize being there with you.
    Love and hugs to all of you...