|La Paz with Marina Palmira in the foreground. It's a nice hike up a rocky trail from the marina to the top of the hill where these pictures were taken.|
La Paz is the only city on the gulf coast of Baja California. It boasts a population of around 250,000 including nearby suburbs. Mulege, Loreto, and Santa Rosalia are also located on the Sea of Cortez side of the Baja Peninsula, but I categorize them as towns or villages with populations of 4,000, 15,000 and 12,000 respectively.
Because of its location La Paz is the place where cruisers gather before heading up the Sea. Of course there is a fairly large contingent of cruisers who have become more or less permanent residents of this area, some of whom anchor out in the channel between the city and the El Mogote Peninsula, which lies between La Paz and the Sea. Hurricane Odile ravaged the Baja Peninsula last year, passing just to the west of the city and wreaking havoc ashore and among the boats in the anchorage. As we sailed down the channel on our approach to Marina Palmira, we could see evidence of Odile's fury in damaged buildings and torn up docks in the marina. Odile did almost one and a quarter billion dollars worth of damage in Mexico and took over a dozen lives.
|The pilings in the upper left are all that's left of the docks at the entrance to Marina Palmira. Notice the boats in the storage yard.|
|As far as I know, the Tramper picked up three boats in La Paz|
|This 40' racer/cruiser was picked up before our boat.|
|Before the boat is hoisted aboard the ship, they do a test lift to make sure it hangs in the slings the way they want it. If all is good, the boss gives the order to load the boat.|
|Our little boat was up next. It has spent many years cruising in Mexico and is headed home to Canada for a rest and refit. It got shoe-horned between the dark hulled C&C and the white boat with the black stripe.|
|With the job done, we climbed aboard a panga and headed back to shore.|
With Finisterra well provisioned, fueled and ready to go, we're heading out tomorrow for the islands to the north of us. The rough plan is to spend a day or two in Puerto Balandra, then a few days in the coves of Islas Espiritu Santo and Partida before heading further north to Isla San Francisco and beyond.