Wednesday, May 13, 2015

La Paz and drive to San Diego

Anchorage near La Paz

The main reason we came to La Paz is that it provides a relatively easy route for us to go back to San Diego, which we needed to do in order to renew our Mexican tourist visas which are for six months. Yes! We have been in Mexico for six months already. So we booked a hire car and drove the 1600 kms or 1,000 miles up the arid Baja peninsula, enjoying the changing scenery as we went. We did a marathon trip, travelling 13 hours in the first day stopping off at the well priced and good quality Cactus inn and then the final 3 ½ hours to San Diego where we had the usual shenanigans at the US border patrol. I won’t bore you with the details but the officials did live up to their reputation of being ill mannered, ignorant and petty.

Budget hotel
We checked into a budget hotel in San Diego that reminded me of a tenement block in Sheffield England, but it was cheap, the rooms were clean and it was close to the city what more can you ask for $60 a night. 

The next few days were spent dashing around all the shops picking up boat parts, new clothes and items of food that we cannot get in Mexico. We packed the car to the brim and worried about our border crossing back in to Mexico.

As it turned out the crossing back into Mexico was no issue at all, so much so that it was a problem, if that makes sense. For one there was no border officers on the US side so as green card holders we could not check out and on the Mexican side there was only one official who waved us on which meant that we did not get our visa renewals, the main purpose of our visit (although I now suspect shopping was the main aim). We therefore had to stop off in Ensenada and go to the familiar immigration office and get our Tourist Cards which was pretty simple given we had been there before and knew the procedure.

We set off south towards La Paz stopping off at the same hotel before doing the 13hour stretch the following day. The scenery is quite spectacular and the roads are great, despite being only one lane each way there is little traffic and you can do a steady 75mph. The landscape changes from fertile farmland in the north where strawberries grow, to wine country, large areas of sand dunes, and high sided cactus strewn canyon landscapes with red rocks.

We arrived back in La Paz at about 9pm, tired and hungry as we had only stopped three times for 5 mins each in the 13 hours since we left.

The following day Katya developed a nasty ear infection so we got on the morning VHF net and got the name of a good ENT doctor in La Paz and made an appointment. She was given medication and suggestions for altering her diet in what we thought was one of the best doctors’ consultations we have ever had, not that we have had many, so Katya is on the mend. The next day Jude lost a crown on her tooth so we found a dentist and all trouped off to get it fixed.

Our plans to leave La Paz and head north have been delayed a week or ten days as we have to wait for KJ’s ear to get better and Jude to get her teeth fixed but in the meantime we have headed out of LP to see some of the anchorages closer to the City.

We have enjoyed our short time in La Paz and I think overall we prefer it to La Cruz. It is larger without being too large. It has a less humid climate (so far) and the marina has a pool but probably more important is the fact that it has some stunning anchorages only a few hours away unlike La Cruz where you have to travel a significant distance to find a good place to escape.                                   


  1. Always look forward to your missives. Glad to have you back and know you are still alive! Hope Katya's and Jude's repairs go well.

    Regarding US Customs...maybe you should get Katya's US citizenship and she could sponsor you through? :)

    1. I have a posting to write in my Whinging Pom section about US CBEP experiences. Watch this space. I hope the garden is looking good at that you have managed to get out on Strider

  2. It's good to hear things are well (despite a couple of health bumps in the road) with you guys and that you're getting some good sailing in (jealous!). Question about the new arch: did you move all 3 panels or add to your array? And how much did taking boom shading out of the equation help (assuming you moved them).

    1. Hi guys. I saw from your last post that you were about to head across Dixon entrance into Alaska!! great for you. We did move all three panels to the arch with the two outer most ones having the ability to tilt, given this we don't believe that we have lost much production against the old installation, perhaps a little as we can only tilt one of the panels at a time towards the sun. We currently use about 200 amp hrs at 12v over a 24 hour period and over the last few weeks we have pretty much recovered this by around midday so we have plenty of excess production even on a cloudy day (down here at 24 degrees) anyway. I have seen peak production at around 600 watts for the 720watt array but mostly it peaks at around 500 watts. Have fun guys!