La Paz

We departed Puerto Balandra for Bahia Falsa, just a short distance away. Bahia Falsa isn’t as beautiful as Balandra but it’s peaceful and we’re looking forward to some restful nights of sleep. I went to drop the anchor and after letting out about 30 feet of chain, it stopped paying out of the locker. We’ve had issues with the chain getting castled (the building up and piling of chain) in the anchor locker which impacts us when bringing up the chain, but we don’t have issues with letting the chain out. Turns out a big knot of chain was stuck in the chain pipe. In dislodging it, the rubber chain pipe fell off, and the chain runs through it, so pulling up or dropping anchor would be challenging without it in place. We quickly pulled out of the anchorage and back out to the sea, giving ourselves time to pull 30 feet of chain back through the pipe and reattach it. Once anchored at Bahia Falsa, we immediately go to work to alter the shape of the pipe to allow the chain to fall free and clear into the locker. If we’re in a bad situation, having this pipe fall down or prevent us from raising or dropping anchor could be dangerous. We haven’t had any chain issues since making our alteration.

There’s not much to do here in Bahia Falsa but relax so that’s what we do. There’s a little restaurant at the beach serving cold beer and decent guacamole. The beach, Playa El Tesoro, is mainly visited by locals and really pleasant.

Ferry leaving Bahia Pichilingue
View from Bahia Falsa of a ferry leaving Bahia Pichilingue.

After a few days, we head on over to La Paz harbor, where we drop anchor in the El Magote anchorage. Being anchored in the harbor is pretty interesting as it’s dominated by the ebb and flow of the tides which produces powerful currents due to a large body of water and a narrow harbor entrance. It’s a phenomenon and has a name – the La Paz Waltz. Boats swing around with the currents, some in different directions due to different hull and keel shapes. Once anchored, you’ll be facing one direction and start to notice that you’re very slowly turning completely around and facing in the opposite direction but the boat next to you is pointed sideways. It’s weird.

Boats facing all directions in La Paz.
Some rare calm waters in the La Paz anchorage.

We’re anchored not far from Marina de La Paz which offers use of a dinghy dock so we come into town often. La Paz is a good-sized city and we’ve enjoyed eating out, having tacos, ice cream, raspados and walking along the Malecón, a waterfront walkway that follows the bay for a number of miles.

On our way into town from Juniper.
This is what Viviane is so eager to get into town for.
This is what Viviane is so eager to get into town for.
View of the anchorage from the Malecón
A little sailing dinghy we see around the anchorage now sitting on the beach in front of the Malecón.

The best thing about the bay is the marine life. Tons of fish, frigate birds, and pelicans that dive bomb your boat, gobbling up the fish hiding underneath. The best is that there are dolphins in the harbor and we’re anchored not far from their mating area. Every day, pods of dolphins pass by our boat, usually about twice a day but sometimes 3-4 times a day. They don’t get too close to the boat that often, but there are schools of mackerel in the bay and there’s usually a school hiding under our boat, no doubt hoping the dolphins aren’t interested in swinging by a bunch of humans. Four times already we’ve had dolphins come right to our boat to feed on our fish friends. The most memorable experience was when a dolphin broke from the pod and swam over to the boat and flipped onto his side right next to boat where I was standing. I looked right into his eye. He then swam 20 feet away, head out of the water seemingly gesticulating, and swam back to where I was standing, thumped the dinghy that was in the water with his tail, swam 20 feet away again but this time jumped out of the water, and then swam back to where I was standing, on his side, to look at me again. There’s no words to express how excited I was! It was the coolest thing ever! There could be many reasons he did this, but of course I’m thinking he wanted me to play with him!

Some fish hiding from pelicans under Juniper. This does not fool the dolphins
And here come the dolphins
We loved seeing these guys every day.

Despite all the dolphins and other distractions, we managed to work on some projects on our boat. Which is good because like we’ve been told, La Paz can suck you in and we’ve been anchored here for what seems like forever. We’ve been here for so long that our anchor chain accumulated a lot of growth! We’re looking forward to visiting Balandra again. Yes, we’re going back because it’s a short sail away and just too darn beautiful. We’re watching the weather closely to avoid any nighttime antics and heading over as soon as we can. Fingers crossed!

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