Life continues at a nice leisurely pace here in La Paz. The sort-of-joke around here is about La Paz's bungee effect. Seems that almost everyone who sails in and then out of here, eventually returns. And we've certainly seen plenty of that already. For us it has more of a velcro effect. Just can't seem to get serious about tearing ourselves away.
When we pulled the boat into Marina del Palmar, it was primarily so we could be securely tied to a dock while I disabled the diesel propulsion by pulling the transmission to stop a pesky oil leak and pulling the raw cooling water pump for a rebuild. Also, it's so much easier to get the boat cleaned up (and, BOY, did she need it!) when you have running water at the dock. Well, all those chores are down now. We could leave any time. But we don't want to. We still have other chores to finish and it's so much easier at the dock. Let's see, what's on the list?
✓ Fix transmission leak
✓ Have the prop secured back on to the shaft (unplanned item)
✓ Install remote VHF radio microphone in cockpit
✓ Re-cover all the cushions in the saloon
✓ Re-sew the rotting seams on the dodger
✓ Rebuild the engine raw water pump
✓ Clean the exterior of the boat
✓ Clean the dinghy
✓ Apply for our FM3 (extended stay) visas
✓ Finish using up the remaining manila by making more rope fenders
✓ Make another sword mat for the other side deck
✓ Get a 3-way valve for the watermaker flush cycle (couldn't locate one here so our friends Jay and Judy on s/v Wind Raven are bringing us one down from the States
✓ Empty and clean out all the storage lockers behind the settee seats
__ Clean all the exterior stainless steel (Lulu's about 60% done with this project)
__ Put another coat of Cetol on the exterior brightwork (natural finished wood)
__ Fix dinghy seat (I ended up making 3 new oak seats to replace the original plastic ones. Seats are built but need to be sanded and painted)
__ Replace anchor light bulb with LED (ordered one today from Australia)
__ Go to the dentist to get our teeth cleaned
__ Get myself a new pair of glasses (old ones are terminally scratched up)
__ Clean the bilges
You can see that we're making pretty good headway on our list. However, we read some information about cruising in the northern Sea and realized that we need to take provisioning a lot more seriously. Once you leave La Paz, there aren't too many places to get the stuff you might need. We also apparently need to start stashing some cash as ATMs are only available in a couple of towns north of here on the Baja side.
We were scheduled to leave the marina on March 8. But, the first week of March is Carneval and we're told that it's pretty hard to get anything done that week. So that means that this week could be the end of our productive time. So, one thing and another, I went up to the marina office earlier this week to see if we could extend our stay until April 8. Turned out to not be a problem which is good because this is definitely the most affordable marina in La Paz.
So what are we going to do with all this extra time? Besides finishing the list above, we need to:
__ Lay in stores and provisions for our trip north. (So much easier at the marina than at anchor)
__ Hopefully get the FM3 visas we've applied for. Can't leave until we get them.
__ Wait for our friends Jay and Judy to arrive from San Diego with our new propane tank, 3-way valve, and spare prop nut.
__ Install said 3-way valve
__ Get another spare propane tank just in case (a cheap painted steel one will be just fine for our purposes)
__ Wire up and hang the various 12V fans we bought to make our summer in the Sea a bit more comfortable.
__ Put together a whisker pole since the one I bought off another cruiser is pretty much unusable as-is due to frozen pistons on the end pieces.
__ Eat more local food. There's LOTS we haven't tried yet.
__ Maybe, just maybe, build coamings on the sides of the cockpit to divert water away from our butts and give us something to lean back on when sitting in the cockpit. Sort of like these on W32 s/v Elena:
I guess that's about it. April 7-10 is Bayfest. One of the things that goes on are seminars given by other cruisers who have experience with things like sailing in the Sea in the summer, etc. Much of the info we've already gotten was from handouts from past seminars that John on m/v Doña Elena loaned us. We're looking forward to attending some of these seminars before we head north which we now plan to do shortly after Bayfest. By then the winds are supposed to start coming from the south and the water is supposed to at least start warming up. Maybe we'll even make it to Puerto Escondidoo in time for Loreto Fest
When we actually do manage to tear ourselves away from La Paz, the rending sound of Velcro being torn apart will probably be loud enough to hear all the way to the border.