Diving & More Boat Projects


Diving at "Los Islotes" where the sea lions think it's good fun to chew on your flippers and snorkel as you swim by


Not just sea lions love it here though -- the ocean was literally full of all sorts of tropical fish


And a Leah! I did my open water course in Vancouver (with Sandra also) but I have to say diving here (without a drysuit and pyjamas underneath!) was even more fun than diving in Vancouver. This was a day excursion that Sandra and I did the very last day that she was here -- so much fun!

What was Jon up to while we were diving? Working on the boat of course! This is a picture of the cockpit, post-sanding but pre-varnish...


And this is after varnishing -- 6 of the 10 coats he wants to do. Seeing how amazing the wood looks has made me a convert -- I can't wait to varnish the rest of the wood outside!


Forgot that I had this picture -- this is installing the new batteries (which are amazing) in the quarterberth of the boat


*This* is not a fun boat project; this is a picture of the rudder shaft (where the rudder leaves the hull and goes into the water). And it's leaking. To get to this shaft you have to empty half the boat and crawl into a coffin-sized locker that is underneath the cockpit. I took a picture of Jon in there, but I am not allowed to post it (something about "unflattering angles" :P). The good news is that once Jon cranked down on the bolts, the leaking did subside a little -- bilge pump running only once a day (instead of every 30 minutes!!!).


Lastly, the fish tacos we've been living on in La Paz -- 10 pesos ($0.80) a piece and delicious, we're becoming regulars


Plus, you get your choice of hot sauces: "Lady Gaga" (mild), "Jennifer Lopez" (pretty hot), and "Shakira" (super freaking hot). All explained to you by the funny little chef as he flips your fish tacos and sneaks you winks over the stove




Life in La Paz

La Paz Mexico

Tonight's sunset

It’s been a busy week with diving, visiting, boat projects, and everything that goes with living on a boat… now it’s time for some serious prep mode for crossing to Mazatlan: waiting for a weather window before we make the 2-night crossing, trying to apply 10 coats of varnish to all exterior wood surfaces (Jon — not me!!!), working to install our autopilot (we got the windvane working a few weeks back, but truthfully have hand-steered nearly all of our sailing) and searching to seal up all our leaks (what leaks on the boat? try every stanchion, a couple of the chainplates, and a few suspect areas in the toe rail… damn boats).

As we add projects to the list we get to cross a few off too — our newly installed cheap-o Jabsco toilet is the greatest thing since sliced bread, our 6v golf-cart batteries are happily pumping along (pumping?? is that what batteries do??), and Jon’s spent the last week sanding all the old varnish bits off the exterior teak…

La Paz Streets

Looking down one of the many pretty streets in La Paz... I never realised how much more tropical it would be down here

I have to say, working, playing and living in La Paz makes it pretty easy to see how cruisers might get a little stuck here; it’s beautiful every day, there are 15 marine stores in town (with decent prices) and the tacos are 10 pesos ($0.80). But more on those tacos later 🙂

Desert Flowers & Sunny Skies

We’re back in the land of internet (something I will confess to be quite excited about — I don’t realise how hooked I am until I’m without it for a week, especially this last week: hiding out from the strong Norther that was blowing through, often cooped up in the boat, trying to come up with a creative recipe that involves flour, water, 2 potatoes, and a can of peaches).

Today we arrived in La Paz, which is where we will be for the next few days. My girlfriend is flying in on Friday (bringing Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips with her — something we’re quite excited about!), and we have a few boat chores to try to accomplish (new toilet, some tie down straps for the jerry cans, some canvas pockets for our bookcases, etc etc).

But nevermind all that… let’s just get to the good stuff 🙂

Sunrise over the Sea of Cortez... we live and breathe by the sun here, often going to bed at 8:00 (feeling pretty good about ourselves if we make it to 9:00!) and getting up at 6:15, when the sun first peeks over the horizon


The tienda in San Evaristo, where we spent 4 days hiding from a big Norther. Our little anchorage had gusts of 35+ but we held well and had time to explore the tiny fishing village in the bay. This little tienda happily sold us eggs and snickers bars 🙂


Sailboat Brio at Anchor in San Evaristo Sea of Cortez

Brio at anchor in San Evaristo ~ we scrambled up the cacti-covered hillside to stretch our legs and take a few pictures from up above.


Just me 'n' a cactus


An agave plant ~ one of the amazing things about our little exploration of the hillside was all of the plants and flowers. It had rained a couple of days before (a rare thing around here) so all of the little buds were coming out. Jon's mom gave me an awesome book to identify desert wildflowers, so I will try to post some identified flowers soon! 😀



A dorado! Caught with Jon's home-made corn-cob and a squid lure. In Vancouver Jon was always trying to tell me to slow down so he could fish... he wanted to go 2 or 3 knots... but here, we caught this sucker sailing downwind and going 7+ knots as we surfed down waves. My kinda fish 😀


One of the first quiet, calm mornings at anchor we've had in a long time. It was a beautiful thing to wake up to the sound of... nothing! It's a little crazy how attuned we've become to every creak and groan Brio makes... anything out of the ordinary and we're both wide awake, popping out the hatches to figure out what's changed.... So silence is a welcome sound too!


Jon beside a washed up tri-maran on the "Magote" (the name of the beach) here in La Paz.


Happy to be in La Paz


You know the funniest part of being in La Paz? 12 years ago, half my life ago in fact, I was in this exact same spot… but on a different boat, with different people and different priorities. When I’m trying to make a big life decision I think “What would 12-year old Leah say about this?” (because 12-year old Leah had life completely figured out)… and I have to say, I think if 12-year old Leah had looked in to the future and seen this happy little moment… she’d have approved, and, I hope, maybe even been a teensy bit impressed.

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