Claiming La Paz: a trilogy.

Our 'backyard' view, anchored in La Paz.

Our ‘backyard’ view, anchored in La Paz.

Encarta Dictionary 

“Adventure is the participation or willingness to participate in things that involve uncertainty and risk”  

La Paz, Baja California Sur is home sweet home for now.   Seamore Pacific dropped her anchor yesterday after three days of day sailing and two nights of sleeping on the hook (anchor) in remote Mexican bays.  La Paz is everything I hoped for and thank goodness, because otherwise Seamore Pacific would be for sale today.  The accumulation of uncertainty was battling with romantic expectations and expectations was losing.  But today, instead of visiting the local yacht broker and placing her up for sale, I’m loving being anchored in La Paz, and enjoying the flashbacks of dating Captain Chameleon when he lived on Windward of Hamble in Boot key Harbor in the Florida Keys.  Boot Key has Dockside lounge and La Paz has the Dock Café.   If I hadn’t lived the experience of sailing from San Diego to La Paz, as I peer across the bay to the mangroves, I would think I’m in the Florida Keys.  Sailboats line the horizon; all sizes, types, and degrees of being forgotten by well-meaning sailors.  Every single boat here has a story.  And if La Paz is like Boot Key Harbor, it’s an easy place to call home.   Or, in the case of forlorn boats, the sailor just got fed up with living on a boat, dropped the anchor, and moved ashore.

Abandoned boat is home to Pelican Sam.

Abandoned boat is home to Pelican Sam.

The natural beauty between Cabo San Luca and La Paz is stunning. Paradise.  But sometimes even paradise can turn the stomach sour or change one’s heart.  To ignore the moments that turned my stomach or threatened to change my heart about Seamore Pacific would in essence be going through the motions and pretending.  So instead, I’ll claim them.

Claim it.  Write about it.  And continue the adventure…

Part 1:   Going from Cabo San Lucas to Los Frailes.   I woke that morning relieved to no longer be dreaming.  All night I sailed, and sailed, and sailed.   The alarm when off and I was tired from ‘dream sailing’ and yet wide awake and ready for new horizons.  Cabo had been fantastic in many ways, but the Sea of Cortez was calling.  Also, we felt a bit rushed because with the Ha Ha over, a surpass of cruisers would be heading out with  the same plan as us, and the Mexico Boating Guide said Los Frailes could only handle about 6 boats at anchor.  The race was on!  Hoist the sails and let’s beat the others there.   We hoisted the sails and left the bay with 4 other boats in view.  As hard as we tried, we just couldn’t make time because the wind was coming from the exact same direction as we wanted to go.  Our choice was to tack the entire way,making it to Los Frailes the next day…or motor.   Not wanting to turn a 10 hour trip into a 20 hour trip, we motored.  Disappointment began to set in.  Didn’t we ‘sign- up’ to sail the Sea of Cortez?  Here we are in a sailboat, motoring.  Suddenly and casually Captain Chameleon remembered a detail about cruising the Sea of Cortez that he had read.  “Most sailboats have to motor in the Sea of Cortez because the wind is always coming from the direction one wants to go.” No wind on the nose Oh.  Okay then.   Must be why most of the other sailboats around us are motoring.  Keeping our noses to the wind, we half sailed and mostly motored to Los Frailes, hoping to be one of the six boats to anchor overnight.

As Los Frailes came into sight, my stamina started to flutter.  Tired from the previous night’s work of dreaming that I was sailing and then today’s motoring through a north wind, I was tired and loathing the thought of having to pass Los Frailes and navigate through the night.  With me at the helm and Captain Chameleon at the binoculars, we tried to predict our fate.  Were we one of the six boats to make it to Los Frailes?

“How many masts can you make out?”

“Eighteen.  I think I see eighteen.”

What?!  Eighteen boats anchored in a little anchorage that is supposed to only fit six?  Well, it’s going to be nineteen then.  And so we anchored with 22 other boats in Los Frailes (3 came after us).  It was a cozy clan and if not for knowing we were anchored inches from the abyss and could easily drag anchor, we would have slept soundly that night.  Instead, we took turns waking to check that we were not drifting south and into the Panama Canal.

“Muchos gracias” Bahia Los Frailes for your outstretched shore and receiving us for the night.  Your beauty was worth motoring for, despite my disappointment that we didn’t sail to greet you.

Too be continued…

Simple pleasures:  morning java in La Paz from a ceramic cup.

Simple pleasures: morning java in La Paz from a ceramic cup.

Sun is rising as we leave Bahia Los Frailes

Sun is rising as we leave Bahia Los Frailes

Leaving Los Frailes with another boat.

Leaving Los Frailes with another boat.

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2 thoughts on “Claiming La Paz: a trilogy.

  1. So happy to see this post this morning. La Paz is wonderful, right? And a well-earned rest also. You didn’t sell your running shoes after your 100s, so I doubt that I’ll see Seamore Pacific listed in the Boat Ads anytime soon. You’re a strong team, you have what it takes to do this, and still, I hold you in my prayers every day.

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