Cabo to La Paz

Tropical splendor

View into the port

 We are enjoying Cabo - very warm here - probably in the 80's (28 or so) and the water temp is also 29. We have been anchored out since coming as in the marina they get very little air moving -  so even though the anchorage is a little rocky rolly  we sleep well with all the hatches open as it does cool off enough at night.  Doing a few jobs and did a quick provisioning this afternoon as we are going to leave tomorrow to make our way up to La Paz.  Slow going and just day hopping North until we get there.  There is some weather coming down the inside from San Diego so may be slower yet.
We got our papers within 24 hours but it is always a bit of a production when they were doing 100 boats at a time - we were supposed to be inspected but no one showed.  No problems with the documents,  just pay lots of money. We will import the boat in La Paz in case we decide to leave it for the next  season. It also allows us to bring in equipment for the boat tax free if anything should go wrong.
Las Frailes
We are getting to know this place a little too well so it is time to leave.  We had planned to go a few days ago but a storm was coming down from the north which would mean the wind on the nose.  Don't need any of that!! As that would be the direction we are heading -  up to a small anchorage 45 miles away - Los Frailes.  It is in the right direction for us to arrive in La Paz in a few days as long as the wind behaves.  The next stop after Los Frailes  is Ensenada de los Muertos again 45 miles.  We will take it slow and are travelling with 2 other boats - a couple from Sarnia, Ont. and another couple from Anacortes, Wash. Both of these anchorages are isolated  and we think after busy Cabo they will be restful and peaceful.  Lots of the Ha Ha group have already made there way north as we have another big get together on the 19th in La Paz.  Then of course the Amercians are all gearing up for their Thanksgiving the weekend after that.
Cabo is a great place to party and have a good time - it is very Americanized and has a young party crowd.  We have had a few welcome clouds these past few days but temp still in the 80's. We are still getting use to these warm days and love it when we get a fresh breeze blowing.
Baja sunset
When we left Cabo at about 6 am on the 10th we had a great sail for about 25 miles of the 45 miles to go. As we headed north around the tip of land just north of Los Cabo we could see a wall of very dark water with a lot of white caps. The wind was on the nose for the next 20 miles with a very messy chop and we were not able to go more than about 3 knots - needless to say we had a hard slog - took alot of water over. The only good thing was that it was warm. I radioed the boats ahead to see what the conditions were like in the anchorage and reports came back good. We finally reached Los Frailes just as it got dark, dropped the hook and made a curry, then had a good sleep. A beautiful anchorage with sandy beaches but very deep water, a few houses on the beach and lots of Ha HA boats (35) around.
Some shack
View of the anchorage
Fishing boats on shore
We were up early and determined we were going to make Los Muertos before dark which was another 45 miles north. Not a bad sail but wind was still coming from the north and on the nose. We made it before dark and dropped the anchor in 5 meters of water. Again paradise - white sandy beaches - you could see the bottom and there were colorful fish all around. We had a barbeque and relaxed after another day at sea. I was determined we were staying here for a least a day. The next day we did a few chores and then went exploring. We had went to the pub (Giggling Dolphin) ashore for a cold beer around mid day and as we were sitting there the seas began turning a funny color and within a few minutes the wind had come up and began blowing directly into the bay. By 4 we where hobby horsing so bad we were afraid our anchor would not hold and of course being on a lee shore was a worry. We had planned to leave at midnight to catch the tides up the Loranzo channel and wanted to hang on as long as possible. We were on constant anchor watch and when the wind changed direction we were then side on to the large swell coming into the anchorage. Very uncomfortable - we finally left at about 11 p.m. and had this incredible moonlight sail on a beam reach all night arriving in this beautiful place called  Balandra.
Dinghy at the beach
Balandra is open to the west but  as there was no wind we felt quite safe. After breakfast we slept a few hours and then went exploring in the volcanic rock formations. We saw baby rays all over the place and the water was a beautiful green color (picture perfect) and so shallow you could walk knee deep forever. It seemed that there were shells and fish everywhere. It was a Sunday and this bay had alot of locals from Las Paz enjoying the day and picnicing on the beach. Then again we had the wind pick up and it continued to get very dark in the sky. They get 3 days of rain a year here and we lucked out to be here for this event and at about 5 the skies opened and people were scrubbing their decks and enjoying this warm shower.
Well the shower continued to be a full on rain storm with winds over 25 knots and coming again straight into the bay. Again we hobby horsed so violently everyone was on anchor watch again - hoping that things would get better. One boat cut his anchor as he began to drag - 6 more lost their snubbers on their anchor and we - well just say someone was watching over us. Leif went forward with lifejacket and harness on at about 4 am to find our 3 strand rope down to 1 very tiny strand - so within a few minutes we would have been in big trouble. We immediately lifted the anchor and in 25 knots winds (someone said 30) - with probably 8 foot seas managed to get out of the harbor. Even with the engine roaring away we were still only going about 2 knots and the seas were so rough and confused and breaking over us. All that nice fresh water had cleaned all the salt off the boat and now it was all back. We managed to make way towards La Paz and after about 4 hours the wind and seas started to go down to 20 knots which was still too much wind but better than 25. We finally dropped the anchor around 10 am in a very calm anchorage, just outside of the main harbor and oh it was so good to shower off all the salt and have some food and a sleep and have a boat that was not moving.
The wheels work great
Get a load of those muscles

La Paz is a great place - very peaceful, loads of good food and very friendly people. A lot of the Ha Ha boats are here and everyone was sharing stories of their ordeals of  the last few days. None of this weather was forcasted which makes for very difficult planning and picking the right spots to anchor.

Only 1 strand remained!

We will stay here until next week and then make our way to the mainland with Mazatlan our next port of call. We have another beach party tomorrow - temps today in the 80's and Leif is doing a few repairs to the boat while I sit in the coffee shop and type away.

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