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Friday, June 3, 2011

6/3/2011 - La Paz to Balandra

We departed La Paz today right on time: 1240. The ebbing tide helped carry us out. It took us awhile to get everything ready to go. Amazing how unprepared your boat can become in only a couple weeks. But we got it all taken care of. Lulu took charge of getting things stowed and secured down below and I took care of the topsides. We both worked together to fold and stow the dinghy.

As per usual, there was pretty much no wind once we actually started moving. But that's okay as the batteries needed some charging anyway. Originally we planned to go to Ensenada Grande but, after looking at the logbook to see how long it took us to get to LP from EG we realized that we wouldn't get there until 1930 or so. We decided to skip it and just go to the first stop along the way: Bahia Falsa.

We needed to calibrate the flux gate compass in our new autopilot. This allows the a/p to compensate for any large metal items or magnets that happen to be near the compass. What we do is push a couple of buttons on the a/p and then slowly motor in a circle 1.25 times. The first time, at the end, the long beep told us that the calibration failed. We tried again: another failure. One more time: failed. I don't think there are any particularly large pieces of metal and certainly no magnets near the a/p so I don't know why it's failing. However, I treated it like it had passed the test and guess what? It worked just fine. I think it just needed someone to believe in it. We must have looked pretty strange as we turned about 7 full circles out in the bay before we were through.

By 1400 we were ready to pull in to Bahia Falsa but that just seemed too early so we opted instead to go to Puerto Balandra where we'd never anchored before. We got to Balandra right on time, about 1630. By 1640 we were securely anchored in 19' of water on 120' of chain in a sand bottom with water so clear we could see the anchor chain laying on the bottom. After we got things secured, Lulu jumped in the water for her cooling-down swim. I stayed aboard and cranked up the Bob Marley and finished the porthole screens. This is another one of those picture-perfect anchorages.

We'll just be here overnight and then we're off to Ensenada Grande, or I suppose, if it looks like we're going to get there too early, Isla San Francisco. But, since we have no plans to get up early tomorrow, I suspect we'll just go to EG. We're going to kind of rush through these first few anchorages so we can get to some new territory. Then we'll slow down.

It's blowing like crazy right now and has been since early evening (it's 2230 now). But we're securely anchored and there doesn't seem to be much in the way of rolly seas to accompany the wind, so we're good. There is some cell coverage here but it's kind of off-and-on so I decided to send this via the radio waves.

We are so glad to be back out again. We love La Paz but we really missed the cruising lifestyle we'd gotten used to before we had to return for repairs. Things are just slower and simpler. And we get to wear fewer clothes. Bet you're glad we can't send pictures now, huh?

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