We normally have a case of “itchy feet” when we are in a port for too long. This season of cruising has been short on cruising and long on staying in La Paz, BCS, Mexico. As has been detailed here and on Sandy’s blog we started out with a longer than usual stay in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico to get some much needed work done on Faith. The new auto pilot, the painting, the rudder repair and so forth took about two months of our season and we thought we were doing really well with getting so much done and on our way. It turned out, of course, that we weren’t really ready to leave because we soon discovered that our alternator was toast and we limped into La Paz.
This first problem was solved within two days with a fresh alternator of the correct sort and we could have proceeded with a great season by crossing over to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (Nayarit) on Banderas Bay near Puerto Vallarta (Jalisco). That was before I had the inspiration to contact Sergio Galinda, a welder of some repute, to give us an estimate on building a stern arch to house and reconfigure how we collect solar power and raise the dinghy and outboard motor. We had seen his work a few years ago and enjoyed his vision of how such a thing could be created. The way I thought it would go was not how it turned out to go. That is, my vision was that we would get an estimate and be told that he was far too busy right now to complete the work right now. That would likely entail bringing the boat back sometime, say, in the summer, and having the work done. Surprise!! Sergio said here is your quote after about fifteen minutes of discussion about what we wanted to do and it was more than reasonable but the scorcher was that he had time right NOW to finish the work, probably before the end of February!
THAT was just too tempting. We started the work. Slowly at first the measurements led to the first arch piece showing up and adjustments being made. Then as things began to fill out we decided that we would be here a little longer than anticipated and signed up with the marina (Palmira) for a second month. With that I went to retrieve the car from storage in San Carlos and life took a pleasant turn. We were comfortably installed in La Paz. We had the mobility we normally do not have while cruising. We filled in the time with trips to Todos Santos an artsy town, Los Barriles and Balandra beach to name a few. It gave us full motion to explore La Paz as well. Going out to eat was a regular feature of our time spent. We discovered a lot more of what was available in the area.
Before long Sergio was finished and we were left with the finishing touches to install the wiring for the new additional solar panels and wind generator. I had not brought along the necessary controllers but found much of I needed and got the solar panels working for us… the wind generator would have to wait until I can retrieve the special controller it needs from our home base. In any case, we also added replacing some foam in the settee cushions and having a cockpit cushion rebuilt. I also changed several electrical items and rebuild the aft head (oh joy) while hanging around.
A day or so ago I bought the ferry tickets needed to take the car back to San Carlos and we are starting to think about the end of the season already. We have friends that have gone on to cruise our other favorite places. At this point they are heading toward us and we might as well stay just a little longer until they make it this far.
That is the story of how you get vortext-ed. You get slowly lulled into staying put. We have seriously itchy feet now but feel like we have had good season with a bit more to follow. Certainly we have one of my favorite times ahead and will have considerably more comfort because of our improvements.