Feature Spring 2018

La Paz
Great Cell Phone & Data Coverage

By Bill Martinelli, C470 Commodore’s Message • Photos by Julie Lynn Olson

Every three months I need to come up with a subject to write about for this magazine. This time I don’t have a clue as to what to write. Therefore, I will tell you what I’m presently doing, which is essentially nothing, just sitting here trying to come up with a topic.

Presently, we are about five miles north of La Paz, Mexico anchored in a cove called Bahia Falsa near the commercial port of Bahia Pichilingue. Along the land edge of this cove is the main road to Pichilingue, so a good portion of the port traffic goes by here. There is a grade on both ends of the road, so that most of the time we get to listen to the Jake brakes (also known as Jacob’s brakes) of the heavily loaded tractor trailer trucks. While below deck I keep thinking that another cruiser is coming by with a noisy outboard. That comes to mind because boat motors is all we’ve heard for the last two and half months since we left this area.

So why are we here? Well, we have a reservation for a slip in Marina Palmira in three days and can’t get in any earlier since the slip we prefer is occupied. We could have remained up in the Sea of Cortez and continued to play in the islands but the weather forecast was for four days of continuous 20 to 35 knots winds from the north. Delaying our departure, and depending on our location at the time, would have been a 30 to 120 mile downwind run. If you think that sounds like fun, you haven’t been through a “norther” in the Sea. To say this area of the world develops some odd wave patterns is an understatement. Think about short square waves with rollers from two to three different directions for 5 - 20 hours. Really sounds like FUN!

So instead, we decided to come back to the La Paz area a bit early to hang out and do nothing for a few days where we have great cell phone and data coverage available to us and not get beat up.

Of course, the battery in my Ipad Air2 decided to die recently. When it started to act funny and not start up consistently, I guessed this was the case. This was confirmed when I contacted Apple Support. Their online chat was busy but they offered to phone me, which they did within a few minutes! I managed to get the Ipad to run while Apple connected to it and ran an analytics program that confirmed the battery was kaput. What was interesting about this sad news was that we were nine miles from a cell tower at one of our favorite anchorages while they ran the diagnostic. There might be a third party vendor in La Paz that can replace the battery, I’ll find that out next week when we are back in “town.”

With the Ipad not working, I can’t sit in the cockpit and surf online for things I don’t need to buy. (Unless Julie shares her tablet with me!) So, I need to find other ways to amuse myself. I could go outside and polish our stainless but within a few days, I can pay to have that done for about 2000 pesos ($100 USD) back at the marina. It’s not worth it for me to wear myself out in the hot sun while cleaning our rails, arch, and other shiny bits. Many services and restaurants here are quite reasonable, although the marinas are not especially. The marina prices are equal to if not more than many rates in California. We are paying close to four times the price that we paid in our former marina in San Francisco Bay. Ouch!

We’ve now been down here over seven years, after coming down on the 2010 Baja Ha-Ha Rally. A number of the people we met while on that rally are still here. Many also spend some time in the states each year as we do. Julie keeps in contact with everyone, which gives us a network of friends coming and going to get parts shipped in. That helps everyone out a lot. We can get many things we need here, but there are some items that are not available.

It makes one appreciate how easy it in the U.S. to shop, and get things quickly! In the States, I could drive three miles to the Apple store and have my Ipad battery replaced. If I don’t find someone in La Paz to replace it, I’ll have to get someone to bring a battery down here and the tools to replace it. They’ll probably have to be driving since the battery is lithium and flying with it is in doubt. Or, I may have to wait a couple of months until we go back to California for our winter “break.”

Still need to come up with a topic to tell you about!


Plus, discover more articles in the Spring 2018 issue!



Safe Journey
By Jesse Krawiec [C310]

Change of Course

by Steve & Margie Cooper [CM440]

View From The Bridge

By Bill Templeton [C350]


La Paz – Great Cell Phone & Data Coverage

By Bill Martinelli, C470 Commodore’s Message Photos by Julie Lynn Olson

"Presently, we are about five miles north of La Paz, Mexico anchored in a cove called Bahia Falsa near the commercial port of Bahia Pichilingue..."



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