Sunday, July 31, 2011

Where to spend the summer - decisions, decisions...

During the hurricane summer season in the tropics you need to find a secure place to keep your boat or move the boat outside of the hurricane area. Our first summer in Mexico we went to San Carlos up in the Sea of Cortes and we swore we would never return. It was very hot and humid and the town closes down in the summer because everyone leaves. The only positive thing that can be said about it is it's only 6 hours from Tucson where Linda's son lives. To give you an idea of the heat in San Carlos, we would drive to Tucson in the summer to cool off. Tucson is hot but dry, San Carlos hot and humid.

Last summer we took the boat up to Ensenada just south of the California boarder. It was a 900 NM trip but the marina was clean and cheap and it was only 4 hours to downtown San Diego. It was cold, we had to wear long pants and shoes for the first time since we've been in Mexico. But it was 900 NM up the Baja outside and took us 300 gallons of fuel each way, no trivial expense now days.

So this year we thought we would stay in Mazatlan. We like Mazatlan, the marina is nice and not very expensive and they don't get many hurricanes. The downside is that they're having some drug violence and it's not only hot and humid but they have tropical rain showers and lightening every day and with the rain comes bugs. Lots and lots of bugs, the big flying type of cockroaches. One person described Maz in the summer as a 'swamp land'. Not an appealing image.

That brings us to La Paz. Beautiful city, nice marinas, hot but not too humid but they do get the occasional hurricane and the marinas don't give summer discounts like marinas in other Mexican cities. There are three main marinas in La Paz and the one we prefer is Marina de La Paz, which is also the least expensive of the three. Is it worth it to us to spend the extra $2000 to stay in La Paz vs Mazatlan for the 5 summer months?

Other summer expenses will include a $1350 extra insurance premium for named storm coverage in the hurricane zone, which includes both Maz and La Paz, and electricity which can run a few hundred dollars a month when using the A/C.

After some soul searching we decided to stay in Marina de La Paz. Mazatlan just had too many negatives with the violence and that 'swamp' thing. We spoke with the owners at Marina de La Paz and were reassured about their procedures in case a hurricane came their way so that's where we'll stay. The extra money for the better quality of life seemed like a good deal.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Blogging Again

We got tired of writing simple travel logs, today we are here, yesterday with did this, blah, blah, we're going to try something different and write about interesting subjects that we come across while floating around. Most of the time it will be related to boats and cruising, sometimes not. We'll see how it goes.

So this is a recap of what we've been doing on the boat for the last few months -

While in Maz we decided not to travel south on the mainland and rather returned to Baja to meet up with some people we met in Ensenada that have boat like ours. We met them in Agua Verde and then went to Puerto Escondido with them. After 4 days they had some issues with their refrigeration, became disillusioned with Mexico and decided to cut their trip short and return to La Paz and then go north to their home port of Portland, OR. After they left we stayed in Baja and lazily worked our way back to La Paz over the next 4 weeks where we were to meet Linda's brother and wife who were coming down from Minnesota for 10 days.

We stayed in Marina Palmira in La Paz for the first time and played the tour guides for 10 days traveling around La Paz and southern Baja in a rented car. It was good to see Jeff and his wife and we hope they had a good time here.

When they left we had to decide where to spend the summer. We had thought we would return to Mazatlan and had made reservations there but we did have some second thoughts about it. Maz has had some drug related violence recently and during the summer it has rain as well has high heat and humidity turning the place into what one person described as a 'summer swamp land'. Not an appealing image.

more to come...