Thursday, February 20, 2014

Connie Visits and New Crew--- Goodbye La Paz!


For the past couple weeks, Clif and I have been enjoying the changing of seasons: from chilly north winds to hot stagnant days. It seems like in a matter of weeks, La Paz has turned into a hot desert metropolis, rather than a cool cruisers oasis. We’ve heard more and more folks chatting about headed up north, trying to escape the impending spring and summer heat. We, like many, plan to dry dock Sound Discovery up in Guaymas, on the mainland (just a hop, skip and a jump from the Arizona border—300 miles).

We had another crewmember join us last night here in La Paz! Jonathan, from Seattle, who we stayed with in September on our way down the coast, has come to spend two weeks with us cruising up the Sea. Jon sailed his S/V Moment up to Juneau and back to Seattle this past summer. We ran into him as we were crossing the Canadian/US border, waiting on the customs dock in Friday Harbor. He helped us immensely in Seattle when we installed our wind vane and opened his home to us as well. We are excited to have another sailor on board and ready to get out on the water again. You can imagine Clif singing to the tune of Willie Nelson, “On the boat again, just can’t wait to get on the boat again!”

Hiking down the rocky steps to swim.
Clif and I dropped off Connie at the Los Cabos airport on Tuesday morning, after a fun week of playing tourist (in the more traditional sense). Connie and I spent two days in La Paz, laying on the beach and swimming with whale sharks (Yes! That happened!). We rented a car for our first Mexican driving experience… only slightly terrifying, mostly fun… drove down to Cabo Pulmo for a romantic, candle-lit dinner for two at Nancy’s. Throughout the week, Connie and I managed to get in some serious tanning sessions, swam in the Sea, and drank some excellent margaritas. Success! 

At the suggestion of my girlfriend Jill, we sought out a swimming hole in the Sierra de Laguna, a mountainous area just west of Cabo Pulmo. We drove through the small town of Santiago, winding our way over dirt roads in our little red rental car, until we arrived at a small rancho. We paid $6 US dollars for the use of their private desert oasis, Cascada Sol de Mayo (as depicted in the awesome dive shot I got of Clif). The trail to the swimming hole was fairly easy and quick. We were joined by a small classroom group of Mexican schoolboys and their teachers. The water was very cold, much colder than the ocean water in the Sea of Cortez, but the small waterfall feeding the pool was warm (fed by a warm spring up above, highly in the mountains). The whole experience was beautiful, picturesque and very refreshing.

Clif diving into the Sol de Mayo pool oasis!
By this time, Clif had joined up with us on our Baja trek. Clif spent several days helping a couple sail their 45’ Hunter across the Sea of Cortez from San Jose del Cabo to Puerta Vallarta, which was fairly uneventful (the perfect crossing is an uneventful one). He flew back to Cabo San Lucas and managed to hitch a ride up to a town outside of Cabo Pulmo. Through the magic of our InReach satellite tracker texting, we were able to drive and pick him up before he had to hitch hike any farther.

Cabo Pulmo Sunrise! No Photoshop!
Connie’s last full day in Baja was in Cabo San Lucas, enjoying the amenities of a hotel, pool, pool bar and buffet breakfast. We spent some time on the beach, played some ridiculous bar games (I won us some free beers with my movie theme song knowledge) and we pretty much had a blast, having our own personal “Cabo Spring Break” evening—dancing, pina coladas, swim suits… the works. Witnessed some crazy tourists from the Midwest (lots of folks from the Midwest down in Cabo escaping the cold).  It was much more “spring break” this time around, compared to our visit with Dad in December, when we saw a lot of young families for Christmas/Winter break.

So we managed to fit in quite a few activities during our week, and send Connie back to Minnesota with a swimsuit tan line! Thank you Connie for such a fun visit.

Now, back in La Paz, Sound Discovery is preparing to cast off at high slack-tide, around noon, and head out of the La Paz Bay for the last time this spring. Guaymas or bust! We’re going to dink around on the islands, do some snorkel exploration, and hopefully get some sailing in, now that the north winds have finally calmed down. Jon will be with us until March 6th, and will be flying out of Loreto. We will then continue our way up the Sea to Bahía Conceptión, Santa Rosalía, and make the 75 mile cross to Guaymas. In Guaymas, we will prepare the boat to be pulled out of the water and dry docked for the summer. It’s going to be quick a chore cleaning everything out and getting ourselves ready to head back to the states, but will be states-side before the end of March.

I will be back in Juneau of April 4th, just in time for the Alaska Folk Festival, while Clifton will head up to Clear Lake in California to help with some work on their family cabin. March and April are both going to be fun months with lots of adventures. I won’t be updating the blog until Loreto, or possibly Guaymas, but will do my best to wrap up our cruising season with some nice writing. 

Adios, La Paz! It's been real! Until next time...

Looking forward to seeing friends and family soon!
Love, Giselle


Nancy makes the morning Coffee.
View into Nancy's Library




Connie chatting in the morning,

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