Art's son Todd is down visiting this week, so we wanted to take him out to the islands. We went to Caleta Partida, which we're been past a couple of times, but never visited. Nice spot. The coromuels cooperated (by not piping up) and we had two very pleasant nights there. Unfortunately, it's been uncharacteristically cloudy (it even rained a little yesterday afternoon and this morning), but it was warm, and the afternoons brightened up fairly reliably.
Before we left La Paz, we bought an outboard for our dinghy. We'd been trying to be purists and get by with just rowing our (hard) dinghy. That works fine when it's calm, but with any sort of wind or chop, it takes a really long time to get anywhere. We found a 2.5 HP Mercury at a shop here. Outboards are about twice as expensive here as they are in the states, but short of driving up there and bringing it back (hard to do, even if we had a car, which we don't) there's not really any good way to bring one down. So we paid up, and now have the world's tiniest four stroke outboard sitting on our stern rail. It works great, especially with the dinghy dogs on the Trinka. We aren't going to set any speed records, but it beats the heck out of rowing everywhere.
Todd and I each went for a paddle in the kayak - Caleta Partida has a passage at the back of it that leads between Isla Espiritu Santu and Isla Partida - it's too shallow except at high water to even get the dinghy through, but since the kayak draws about four inches, you can get pretty far back in it. We played around with the outboard on the dinghy (under the pretense of breaking it in), and did a lot of reading and lounging around. After the past two weeks, it was just what I needed.
They're not kidding when they talk about gin clear water. It felt like I was paddling around in a very large puddle of Bombay Sapphire. Except that wouldn't have smelled very good:
We have an inflatable kayak (the double/single one all the way at the bottom) with a frame and a backbone. It is one of my very favorite toys.
Sunrise in Caleta Partida:
On the way back to La Paz, we were boarded by the Mexican Navy. At least we think they were the Navy - they never actually identified themselves, but the uniforms and automatic weapons were sort of a dead giveaway. At first, we thought they were trying to sell us pictures of our boat (our Spanish, while a lot better, is still bad), as two of the guys had digital cameras and were snapping away like mad, but when we tried to tell them we already had a lot of pictures of our boat, it quickly became clear that that wasn't what they were interested in. They asked us all about our safety equipment, checked our paperwork (thankfully not dinging us for not having updated our crew list with Todd's name, which I think is technically required, but seemed like an awful lot of work for a three day trip), and then had Art complete some sort of customer satisfaction survey. He answered "¡muy bien!" to everything - with a guy holding an AK-47 about 5 feet away, really, what else was he going to check?
We're back in La Paz at Marina Palmira for a few more days. Next week, we'll move to Marina de La Paz, which finally has space for us. That's much more convenient to downtown, restaurants, etc. Marina Palmira is nice, but it's kind of out in the middle of nowhere, and you have to take a taxi or the three times a day shuttle to get anywhere. The bus, at 8 pesos, is much less expensive than a taxi, and more fun, too.
Todd goes home tomorrow. It was kind of a bummer that the weather was so cloudy and cool for the week of his visit - it was in the 70's and sunny all week in Menlo Park where he lives, but it sure was great to have him here.
Our friend Scott came down for a 10 day visit on the 4th. We had all kinds of plans - going to the islands, maybe even back to San Evaristo. However, on the 7th, I got the sort of call that I imagine all of us with an elderly parent fear: my 94 year old father was not doing well. A blur of arrangement making ensued. I flew out of Cabo rather than La Paz, because I would get into RDU earlier that way. I had, I thought, thought of everything. Everything, that is, other than how I was going to get to the airport. We had a minor panic when we realized that all of the car rental places didn't open until 9:00 - 9:00 + 3 hour drive to Cabo + 1:00 flight wasn't going to work. Art finally found a rental place that was open, and we all (me, Scott and Art) set off for Cabo. It is a very pretty drive, although we did get stuck behind a very slow moving Corona truck during one of the mountainous sections that had me wondering if I was going to make my flight. Made the flight, got into Raleigh approximately 18 hours after leaving La Paz, collapsed.
I was able to be at my dad's bedside for a couple of days, although I don't think he really knew I was there. He died peacefully on the 11th. He had a good long time on this earth and an awful lot of people who loved him, which to me marks a life well lived.
I had a previously planned trip to Seattle for "business" (boat part acquisition and medical stuff) the week of the 16th, so I came straight here from NC. I fly back tomorrow at the ungodly hour of 6:00 AM. I can't wait to get home to La Paz and Arione. I am one tired camper.
Art and Jaye are both former IT managers. We've owned Arione for 10 years. In August 2010, we are setting off down the west coast to San Diego where we'll join the Baja Ha-Ha to Cabo. Our plans are to cruise Mexico for a while.