|This journal entry finds Southern Belle and her crew still holed up in La Paz. We are still working on boat repairs and are getting
anxious to be mobile again. However, we all agree there are much worse places to be stuck than La Paz. We are still dealing with
the major issue... rudder repair. It turns out that we are having to replace both rudders. The port side obviously because it broke
off and hit Davey Jones on the head, and the starboard side because we took it off for inspection and found that it too was getting
ready to go. We don't want to make old Davey too mad. Both rudders were failing due to electrolysis. In the meantime we are
also dealing with a few other issues such as rigging, engine maintenance, refrigeration, and the ever popular holding tank macerator
pump repair. Ugh! The local shipyard is fabricating the new rudders and appear to be doing a fine job at a fair price. So hopefully
we will be functional within a few days.
We are staying at Marina Costa Baja which is the newest marina in La Paz. It is managed by Gabriel Ley who was the manager of
Cruiseport Village Marina in Ensenada when Southern Belle was berthed there. Gabriel is a great guy and remembered us from
Ensenada. He is giving us a very affordable slip rate while we are taking care of repairs. The services here are fantastic! They
even have a swimming pool, which is great for Joshua. We've got to get out of here before we get too spoiled. The other boaters
who make up the cruising community in La Paz are super friendly and helpful. We have even run into old friends from the Long
Beach area who are down here exploring Mexico. Joshua is still paling around with his buds from la Calou, Antoinne and Francois,
and now has a new friend, Fiona from the sailing vessel Caravan.
In between boat work we have taken some time to explore La Paz and the surrounding area. We experienced the Mexican national
holiday on November 20 (Gabriel and Justin's birthday) celebrating the Mexican Revolution. The locals had a big parade down
Abaroja Street which runs along the waterfront. We visited some local beaches, drove to the small artist community of Todos
Santos on the Pacific side of the peninsula, took part in the annual cruisers Thanksgiving Day dinner and celebration, etc., etc. I
have posted a few pictures that I hope will paint a nice picture of La Paz.
Another thing we have been experiencing in La Paz and the Sea of Cortez are the winter northerlies. It's a weather pattern that
occurs when a high pressure cell is situated over the four corners area in the US. The high pressure pushes wind straight down
through the Sea of Cortez. The wind blows like stink for a number of days resulting in very unsafe sea conditions for passage
making. We have counted ourselves lucky for being safely tied up in a Marina during these windy conditions. The bay in La Paz has
a large shoal area that separates two channels which boaters use for anchoring. During the calm conditions you can't see the sand
bar that makes up the shoal area, and you must have local knowledge when navigating around the bay. During a northerly the sand
bar is easy to define because it is covered by breaking waves. The first norther of the season was a real stinker with winds in
excess of 30 knots. When we are ready to depart La Paz, we'll be careful to pick a nice weather window between the northers.
I would like to give a shout out to all the members, both new and old, of the Krewe of Coleen! We'll be celebrating in New Orleans
this year for what I am told is the final ride for the self-proclaimed Queen of Mardi Gras. Of course, the Queen has had more
farewell performances than Kiss... but who's counting! You can check out the Queen's blog at:
Mardi Gras is February 20, 2007 so put it on your calendar, get yourselves down to the Crescent City, and Gimme a Dollar! Yeah
We will update this journal again sometime in the near future. Until then, Hasta la Vista Amigos y Amigas!
George, Melinda, and Joshua
The Crew of Southern Belle