S/V INTREPID II - Cape Dory Intrepid 40

My photo
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.

January 31, 2010

Where has January gone?

We have just returned home to INTREPID II after a very enjoyable evening aboard SV Rosebud, with friends Linde, Ken and ship's dog, Roger. We were treated to good food, conversation and posed for pictures taken wearing Linde's favorite panama hat - a must for all her guests.  Thanks for the great time! 

Today was spent researching ways to replace our fluorescent light fixture and in downloading and editing more pictures from around La Paz, which led to us wondering how a month had gone by so quickly.  It has never been in our cruising budget to spend this much time in one place, at a dock.  We can see from our postings and photos that we have spent it very enjoyably for the most part; however, other anchorages await and we keep our fingers crossed that in the next few days all the loose ends will be tied up, the weather stays good and we can head out.
The sunsets continue to be fabulous.....
We discover new places to enjoy good food.  Most recently we stopped in at Rancho Viejo to have a cold drink and wait for a shuttle ride back to the marina.  This restaurant has been a La Paz favorite with cruisers and others for many years.
Kelly found another piece of diving/fishing gear - a "Hawaiian sling"  - low tech spear gun which he hopes to use to provide us with dinner from time to time once we leave La Paz.
Another piece of diving equipment 
The past few days have been frustrating as far as Internet and phone connections go.  On Friday the TelCel phones and Internet connections were down throughout La Paz for some mysterious reason.  Although we never planned on being tied to communication systems, they are very important for staying in contact with family and friends,and we hope you understand when we can't always reply when we'd like.

Tomorrow is February 1st - banks are closed in lieu of February 5th - Mexican "constitution" celebrations.  Carnival is coming February 11 - 16th.  These celebrations are similar to Mardi Gras, we are told, with parades, music, midway rides and good food, as a prelude to Lent.

January 27, 2010

Canvas work is nearly complete

A brief update:  We are doing day to day activities - going to the market, dropping by for coffee, checking for mail at Club Cruceros, saying 'farewell' to friends we've made who are heading out to the islands or across to the mainland.  In between we are connecting with Danny of Pacific Threads, who is diligently working on our bimini and dodger and side curtains.
Canvas work in progress - looking great
If all goes well, we will have the finished canvas work for this Friday and we can actually head out ourselves for some sailing to the islands.
Henry on keyboards and vocals - Baja South Band 
We had fun at the Club Cruceros' beach party last Sunday, which had to be moved to the Papas and Beer restaurant and bar nearby due to strong winds.  Several friends chose to stay on their boats in the La Paz harbour to ensure all was well as the "waltz" was definitely taking place.  The "Baja South Band" was in great form. Our friend Henry plays keyboard and sings and it was a treat to finally hear him and the entire band perform live.

Kelly walked his feet off today in an effort to find parts to fix our large fluorescent light fixture above the dining table -- no success, so he'll continue the adventure tomorrow.  Carol attended a "Sisters acquiring sea skills ("SASS")" luncheon today for a presentation on recommended anchorages in the Sea of Cortez and came away with some good additional information to complement the various cruising books we have -- first hand experience is always helpful. 

We are getting more frequent winds from the south and bits of light rain - which is apparently signs of Spring, not winter, weather -- perhaps being an El Nino year is impacting the weather.  This could make for good sailing but not as good anchoring in the anchorages exposed to the south - we'll have to see for ourselves.

January 17, 2010

Olympic Torch Relay - Congratulations Sarah!

We just received some wonderful photos of our niece Sarah, running in the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay yesterday, January 16th - southeast of Calgary in the town of Brooks.  Wish we could have been there to cheer her and the other runners on, but we are proud of her and thought we'd share these photos. 
Congratulations Sarah!

January 15, 2010

On the way to the Market

A few pictures from a recent trip to the Farmers' Market - Mercado Nicolas Bravo

Fresh produce, bright colours

A visit to "The Bread Guy" on Ocampo - excellent rustic bread, scones and lemon cookies
A brief stop at the Cathedral to admire its interior
Keep your eyes open when navigating the streets of La Paz - Kelly has to duck in spots as the trees are trimmed a bit low for his height!

January 12, 2010

Splashes of Colour - for family and friends in rain and snow

Hope these photos brighten your winter day!

The Doors and Gates of La Paz

Interesting for their shape, colour, texture, context....

A door within a door
Side door of the Cathedral
Inviting yet secure
Artwork - shape and form

La Paz has a bungy cord!

That is a phrase someone mentioned the other day as we discussed how difficult it seems to leave this setting to continue our explorations of the Sea of Cortez -- even for a few days at a time.  The city is hospitable, the weather pleasant and in spite of some frustrations at finding certain things, the searching and challenges are still worthwhile. In the meantime, we usually find some other place of interest, or meet new people, locals and cruisers alike.

We were all set to leave this morning for a few days, knowing the next 'norther' was due by Thursday, but it appeared to be accelerating with winds forecast to shift to the west by Wednesday. Our anticipated anchorages on Isla Espiritu Santos would be somewhat exposed and rolly.  Hmm -- let's wait until Friday and then we can go out for a few nights and be back in time for the fitting of our new dodger and bimini.  This will also give us more time to get energized as we aren't exactly bouncing back 100% from our post-Christmas flu.

Judy and Jordan - SV Sea Turtle
Last night Kelly bbq'd some scrumptious prawns we bought at the marina here from a local who often stops by with seafood to tempt us.  We had also gone in to Club Cruceros Monday morning for coffee hour and managed to score some tamales from Imelda, a well-known local vendor of very tasty Mexican food.  These provided us with an interesting but tasty combination for dinner.   For our BCA fleet readers: we heard SV Sea Turtle announce their arrival yesterday on the cruisers' net and we had fun catching up with Judy and Jordan over brunch and introducing them to a few friends we'd travelled with along the way.

It has been a productive start to this week.  We found me some scuba fins with a foot pocket, as the ones I brought are for my drysuit and hard to keep on in bare feet.  I also found a 2 mm shortie wetsuit, which should work over my lycra diveskin to add another layer of warmth, and today we found some neoprene dive socks; all I need now is a bcd - buoyancy compensator device - and we can both go diving.  Otherwise, I'll snorkel and keep Kelly in view as he dives.  Many people tell us the water is 'cold' - we'll see for ourselves and let you know.  It has been a bit of a challenge to locate the annual park passes we need to explore the islands -- they aren't available yet - but an agent at Marina de La Paz is now providing a receipt for payment and will exchange that for the passes when they actually arrive from the government offices. 

I'm posting separately recent pictures taken on our walks -- doors, flowers, other things that catch our eye as we continue to enjoy and absorb the sights and sounds of La Paz.

January 5, 2010

La Paz - still tied to the dock - Jan. 2010

We are easing into 2010 - feeling better but not 100% - so we will likely remain here in Marina Palmira a few more days before casting off the dock lines for a few weeks and heading to "the islands".  The days are warm, the nights are cooler than in December, but still in the 50 degree F. range - good for sleeping.  The winds come up strong, sometimes in the morning, sometimes mid-day but have been calm overnight.

Our canvas measuring appointment had to be postponed from Monday until today because of the winds, but Danny of Pacific Threads spend a good part of today with Kelly, realigning the dodger frame to make it a bit higher, replacing fasteners, and working with the fabric to get an initial shape.  He will return tomorrow to finish up his measuring and then go off the produce the finished product.  We are also getting stainless handrails on either side of the dodger to provide a much needed handhold when getting out of the cockpit or going forward.  The cost of a new dodger, bimini and related accessories is reasonable although not a great savings over quotes we received back home.   We hope to get the remaining canvas replaced over time as well in the lighter colour "linen" Sunbrella shade we have on the mainsail.
Kelly with Danny of Pacific Threads 
We dropped into Club Cruceros on Saturday morning after a week's absence to trade books and return DVDs and catch up on news and check the mailbox -- still hoping to find the Christmas card which is making its way to us from Canada.  We understand our cards, mailed in mid-December here in La Paz have not arrived there either -- it's the thought that counts.  Yesterday Kelly walked into town to the main office where park permits are purchased to allow visits to the marine parks -- but they still aren't available, and haven't been elsewhere for awhile.  I took my lycra diveskin in for repairs and we checked the prices of bikes.  It would have been great to have folding bikes for our stay here and elsewhere, but we adapted by riding a colectivo to a huge CCC ('say say say') supermarket and taking a taxi back to the marina.

The colectivo is a small or larger bus which can be waved down on its route and we paid 8 pesos each, or 65 cents for our ride. While not knowing the exact route or how long it would take to get us there, it worked out well.  This is the larger CCC and we did find some favourite items at last - extra sharp cheddar cheese, chive cheese, popping corn but still no really good coffee beans.  The ride back in the taxi was 70 pesos -- still reasonable for the distance.

January 6th is the feast day "Dia de Los Reyes" (the Three Kings or feast of the Epiphany)  - an excerpt from the local website explains:

Día de Los Reyes: This is the celebration of Epiphany, when the Three Wise Men arrived bearing their treasured gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the baby Jesus. On the night of January 5, one tradition is to add the figurines of the Three Wise Men the nativity scene. Children at bedtime place their old shoes under the bed or in the living room, where the Wise Men will leave presents. They awake to see the gifts that the Three Magi have left. Jan. 6 is also when a traditional wreath-shaped bread called “Rosca de Reyes” is served, often with hot chocolate and tamales. Baked into the Rosca are several figurines of the baby Jesus. Those who find the figurines in their slice of bread host a party Feb. 2, Día de la Candelaria.

The Rosca was being sold at a local supermercado - too big for the two of us, but fun to see and be aware of another important celebration.  We are enjoying our days here and wish you all well as you move through the first week of 2010.

January 1, 2010

Photos - El Triunfo - Dec. 28

And on to El Truinfo, the once bustling mining town.....
Roadside shot from inside the warm, dry car
Main street El Triunfo
The Church - wish we'd taken time to go inside

Another view of smokestack

Doorway in a somewhat restored building
El Gallo taking a stroll

Caffe El Triunfo - closed Mondays - guess what day it was we visited?
Next door - Casa Municipal - closed up tight also - no chance to ask or a Town pin!
Fascinating doorway
Colour and Form - a break from stone and wood
Caffe toting bandito - we could have used some java outselves to warm up
Homeward bound back to La Paz and the sailing life

Misty views
Greening up quickly after the rains

Photos - Todos Santos - Dec. 28

A few more photos of our road trip....

Galerie Logan - artist Jill Logan in residence - vibrant paintings
Admiring artwork

The 'legendary Hotel California' - a fascinating emporium, jewel toned lobby full of fantastic artwork, chandeliers and 'mystique'

Exploring Todos Santos in the ever-increasing rain.  Russ, Heidi and Kelly seen through the archway of Hotel California
Artisan shop in historic building
Nativity scene
Mural at Los Adobes restaurant
Mision de Nuestra Senora del Pilar - with the usual assortment of feathered friends
At least the rain is warm!