S/V INTREPID II - Cape Dory Intrepid 40

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Intrepid II is a Cape Dory Intrepid 40 sailboat, hull #2, designed by Chuck Paine and discovered by the Captain in Blue Hill Maine in 2006. The crew are Kelly (Captain) and Carol (Admiral and Blogger). In 2009 INTREPID II embarked on her West Coast journey from Victoria to San Francisco, the Baja Sur Peninsula and into the Sea of Cortez. In 2010/2011, we sailed ifrom Guaymas, south to Bahia Banderas and back. In 2011/2012 she left Guaymas, headed south to La Paz, spent three weeks at anchor on our northward journey and rested on the hard in San Carlos. Her 4th, 5th and 6th seasons were Boat Projects related. Season 7 - we are hoping to cruise again at long last.

December 17, 2009

Our First Week in La Paz

SV INTREPID II and her crew have now been in lovely La Paz for one week and we're learning to relax and enjoy ourselves.  The boat projects are moving along, some more slowly than others for lack of parts, others because the "northers" have started to blow at times and make it too windy to work on them (varnishing comes to mind).  INTREPID II has been given a thorough washing, Kelly is starting on the polishing of the stainless steel as I write this and we are keeping our fingers crossed that the carburetor checks out once we put the motor on the dinghy when the wind dies down.  The current and wind really require a well running outboard.  Rowing any distance in the harbour is not on the agenda.

Marina Palmira offers cruisers rides in a shuttle van which leaves at 9 am, 1:30 and 5 pm and goes into La Paz (3 miles or so) along a regular route and drops you off along the way.  Most often cruisers are headed in to the Club Cruceros at Marina de La Paz for coffee hour at 9:30 am; other times it is for provisions, boat parts, or meeting up with friends.

Club Cruceros clubhouse (courtesy of website - a better photo than ours)

We've walked back to our marina and Kelly has walked into town more frequently, but it is less pleasant when carrying groceries and perhaps a 6 pack of cervezas.  The Malecon is the best place to walk along as it is in the best repair - sidewalks here require constant attention due to much unevenness, missing bricks or concrete, holes and rebar sticking out here and there.  Infrastructure deficit for certain, my local government amigos!  We take our maps along - although very few streets have signs and our English-Spanish phrasebooks whenever we head out.

The local people are friendly, helpful and have much less English at their disposal than in Ensenada or Los Cabos, so we try hard to be understood in our basic Espanol.  Fellow cruisers are helpful as well and have a daily radio net at 8 am on VHF channel 22A for a half hour or so - emergencies (rarely), tide and weather info, general announcements, swaps and trades (for coconuts - can't sell things if you aren't licensed), as well as "where can I find...?" and throughout the day it is used as a hailing channel from boat to boat. 

We've met new people, caught up with others we met at anchorages or docks along the way and have had a chance to check out auto parts stores, chandlers, open air markets, the post office and some historical buildings under reconstruction.  Last night we enjoyed the weekly jam session at one restaurant where locals and cruisers entertained the rest of us - some excellent performers and good fun. 

One wave of cruisers was just leaving for the mainland when we arrived last week and then we had the strong northern winds blow in, so the next  batch is leaving today -- the seas should be down to 2 feet or so and the wind down to 10 knots - so a reasonable downwind crossing to Mazatlan or Puerto Vallarta.   Others keep their boats on the Baja side and just keep returning.

We'll wait a bit longer to consider a few days over to Isla Spiritu Santos where good snorkeling and diving are to be found.  Carol still needs a buoyancy compensator, but they are in short supply - we should have brought her leaky one along.  FYI for family and friends - thanks for the birthday wishes and messages. It is so different to be celebrating a December birthday by having dinner outside in a lovely courtyard.  We came a bit too late to purchase Christmas lights, but still hope to do a bit of decorating on INTREPID II.  There are a few gatherings planned that we know of for cruisers staying here - a potluck with appetizers and dessert gathering at the Cruceros clubhouse on December 24th; perhaps a gathering at this marina. 

We've received a quote for some canvas work although the fellow can't start until January, but we hope to get a new dodger and bimini made, and perhaps other canvas work as well.  In the meantime, it's good to have a home base and we are looking into Spanish classes.  Take care and we hope you are staying warm way up north!