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Back in La Paz for a While

We're back in La Paz for a while again. This time it is waiting for new anchor chain. We just don't have enough to be ready for anything. The boat came with about 150 feet of chain which is enough for depths of 25 feet at high tide with good conditions but only 16 feet in more sporty stormy situations. It makes me wonder about the prior owners' anchoring experiences. We ordered 400 feet of chain which will be good for 75 feet in normal conditions and is more than we should ever need. As with most things that we have gotten shipped here it is a complicated process and will take a week or so to get here. So here we are, hanging out. Weather permitting, we will most likely head out for another quick getaway in the meantime.

We had 2 things happen last week, one good and one not so hot.

First the not so hot. There is a dock where smaller cruising vessels (150 foot long ish) tie up at the malecon. The Port Captain recommends you not anchor near the dock and we saw why last week when a 170 foot small cruise ship tried to dock. It was a really windy day with winds in the mid-20 knot range. There were 2 boats anchored out off either end of the dock which meant that the ship couldn't line up and then crab its way to the dock like we had seen them do before. Rather than either not dock in the horrible conditions or ask the 2 poorly anchored boats to leave, the ship tried to thread through and then turn upwind to come alongside the dock. This is tough in good conditions. The wind caught the bow and started turning the ship and blowing it into a third anchored boat (which was also pretty close to the pier). To make a long, sordid story short, the ship ended up hitting the bow of the sailboat in a reverse T-bone. The sailboat's bowsprit was damaged and they had to abandon their anchor, but they were able to get away and tie up safely at a nearby marina. In the meantime, on Calla Lily, we got our motor started and were ready to get our anchor up and get us out of the way. It was pretty scary and traumatic, but the ship got itself under control and eventually docked and we escaped un harmed.

The fun story involves the key to the lock that secures our outboard to our dinghy. It fell out of Mike's pocket when we were coming back from the marina. It was (we now have a spare) the only key, so we headed out in the dinghy to see if we could find it. Luckily it was a calm day so we only had the current, which was heading out to sea then, to deal with. We couldn't find it. The next morning on the "Lost and Found" part of the morning VHF radio network get together, we reported our lost key and another cruiser told us he had heard the Port Captain announcing that someone had found a key on an orange key ring like ours. With our Spanish-speaking daughter's help we radioed the Port Captain and found out that they did not have it but that a boat called La Loba had told them they had it. Out in the dinghy we went to shore and the first boat was La Loba! The driver was found and the key retrieved. A guest on a whale watching trip had spotted the key floating in the middle of the channel about 2 and half nautical miles from our boat.

We are lucky cruisers


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Is that your 2nd lost dinghy key???


David West
David West
Feb 07, 2022

No way!! I think you guys might need more than one spare dinghy key..,

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