The Crusty Sailors of La Paz

Yesterday, Julie, Mike, and I all headed to La Paz for an afternoon getaway. It’s about a 90 minute drive away and it’s the biggest town down here in Baja at somewhere around 200,000 people. We headed down to the waterfront and spent some time in the touristy part of town. Not usually our thing but good none the less to see the highlights of the guide book in person. We grabbed some lunch at a gringo friendly(though not very vegetarian friendly) restaurant and then as has become tradition with Mike, got some ice cream before then heading down to the yacht club.

Sure enough, as Mike had expected, there were a few old guys sitting around drinking beers housed in big Styrofoam koozies at one in the afternoon. We told them our story and ended up sitting down and talking for a good hour with them. We asked about the cruising life, how to go about buying a boat, what they cost, living in Mexico and marinas. They didn’t take much prodding and were soon telling us all sorts of stories along with all the local gossip about who did what, what boat was for sale, and all sorts of other interesting details about life in the marina. One of the guys even gave us a tour of his 38 foot sailboat. He didn’t really sail it much anymore but it was his retirement home and he seemed pretty content with it.

We also went to the local yacht broker and shared our story as well. They were excited and immediately said the boat for us would be a Westsail 32, a “bulletproof boat” and great for long travels for newer sailors concerned about safety. They had some around and we may even go back to check them out later this week.

Thankfully, (or maybe not depending on how we look at it) we already have return tickets and we have races we’ve signed up for because the old crusties said a couple like us could easily find boats to crew on and sail all over the world. And the yacht brokers had boats that would fit us and our needs and actually be in our price range. So had we not bought tickets and made all these other plans, we very well may have found ourselves sailing on out of here. However, as it stands, we’re both quite pleased with everything we have in store for us. This was a good opportunity though to meet with some actual people living the sailing life and getting some solid first hand information on how we could actually go about getting into it.

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