Tuesday, December 10, 2013

El Hongo

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Dave and I found a lovely anchorage ten miles from La Paz and spent Thanksgiving weekend at Puerto Balandra, home to the famous Mushroom Rock or "El Hongo" (see if you can find it in the picture). With a white sandy beach and small reef for snorkeling, this anchorage is apparently very popular with the locals (and tourists). A mile walk north along the road brings you to Playa Tecolote on the other side of the point, where a handful of cantinas and restaurants line the beach. We plan to bring the kids to this area when they visit next month. Dave and I are basically hanging out around La Paz for the month of December, waiting for Rachel, Phillip, Kayla, Matt, and Brett to visit the first two weeks of January. We are using this time to explore locally, but also perform maintenance work on the boat (it seems to never end)! Yesterday, we finally finished sanding teak for the entire cockpit (four iterations!) that we had started in Oxnard. Dave is currently putting the first layer of Cetol down and will do about six coats over the course of this week. The cockpit will finally be done in another week and should look absolutely gorgeous! Other "blue" tasks that Dave completed after replacing motor mounts were replacing the bilge pump along with the lift pump on the engine. We also believe that our hot water overflow woes (after speaking to technical support) are due to sediment/corrosion of the overflow relief valve and a new one is on the way for replacement this week. After this repair, hopefully we will be back in good shape! After the kids visit in January, our plans are to head on out to Puerto Vallarta mid January, which leaves a little more than a month to get ready for the South Pacific "grande" crossing early March! We have found La Paz to be a lovely town. Aside from some petty theft, it seems to be a relatively safe area with local hard working, friendly people. We have met several "gringos" from various areas of the US and Canada that were only passing through and find themselves here nine, twenty, or even thirty-three years later! I'm not sure I would go that far, but it has definitely been an experience. Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season (yes, they are already upon us)! -Dave and Gail