Hanging around La Paz

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks in the La Paz area, just hanging out and resting, with the odd (as little as possible) boat stuff.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Liz hung around for a couple of days after we arrived before she had to head back. We tried to do snorkelling with whale sharks but there was no room on the tour. Bah!
  • Spanish is really easy (compared to French anyway) and fun to learn and speak. I’m super into it.
  • Everyone in Mexico seems very nice and chill
  • My mum came to visit for a week and we tried to go snorkelling with the whale sharks – but it was too windy both days so it was cancelled. Bah! Instead we went around a number of local bays, which was very nice. On the way back to La Paz we managed to catch 2 largish black skipjack tunas (10 and 7lbs respectively) as well as two Bonito, so I am good for fish for the next week or so! I really need a fish cleaning table though – my side deck is becoming really stained and grotty.
  • In the bays we caught a bunch of interesting fish, including a triggerfish big enough to eat and a Pacific Sierra (another member of the mackerel family). Still hoping for that big Wahoo!
  • I bought a new 65watt solar panel and replaced the 50 that was in the center of the arch with it, and moved the 50 to the side rail, so I have a 50 on each side. I also replaced the 100watt flexible panel that was at the front (and had been broken for a while) with a new one – after first filling the junction box with epoxy. That should help with longevity.

Here are some pics from the last few weeks.

Next up, I have another friend Emilie coming to stay for a couple of weeks and we are going to head up North to the islands for that time. I’m excited to explore around there, as apparently the sceanry and the snorkelling is fantastic!

Also WordPress has changed EVERYTHING and it’s really terrible, so apologies if this post is formatted weirdly, or doesn’t display correctly. I haven’t figured out how to change back to the old editor yet.

edit: just figured it out. Woohoo!



  1. Sounds relaxing, more so than what Jeanne Socrates has been experiencing as she gets close to rounding Cape Horn!

    I’ve always wondered how one deals with fish on deck of the sailboat when cruising. I’ve only been out on dedicated fishing trips so I have my cooler(s) and bucket of water to manage my catch and minimize the mess but that system isn’t very conducive to cruising and sporadic catching of fish. Do you tie the line around the caudal are just to keep them on board or do you drag them in the water to bleed them out and cool them off? And if you do drag them in the water the question that begs to be asked is how many have you lost to sharks?

    That trumpet fish seems like it’d have perfectly shaped fillets for fish tacos, or fish sausages, or fish sticks…

    Dreary winter weather here, thanks for the sunny post.

    • Oh man, being able to toss them into a cooler filled with water and ice is the dream. I can’t fit one unfortunately, so basically I try to make up for it by doing everything immediately. As soon as the fish is onboard it’s killed with an icepick, then I do the gill/fin cuts and suspend it from the tail over the side, the water helps them cool down, dragging through the water as we continue on helps force the blood out and of course it keeps a lot of the mess away. Haven’t lost any to sharks yet – sure in the south pacific it’s a different story. I drag them for 10 minutes then immediately clean/fillet/steak them and then put them in the freezer for a couple of hours to chill down as quickly as possible. I’ll then move some to the fridge if I’m eating it soon.

      This works well BUT is super time intensive – especially when you get two fish at once (those skipjack were a double header) or you are in a real hot spot. It’s hard to keep fishing at the same time as driving the boat, cleaning the fish etc etc – having another person around helps a lot. I looked at getting a soft fish bag so I could just chunk fish in there and deal with them once I got the lines back out etc but they were a bit pricey.

      Usual sequence is

      Hook fish -> Crash stop -> get fish in -> kill fish -> bleed/suspend over side -> get back underway -> lines back in -> clean/fillet/steak fish

      • Thanks for the reply! Solo sailing can be difficult enough without throwing fishing into the mix but you seem to have it figured out. Bon appetite.

    • Oh and I met Jeanne – she came by the boat in the pre-swiftsure party and we had a good chat (though I don’t remember much of it due to being a bit toasty…)

  2. Hi Matt, I’m enjoying following your adventures from Comox where it’s too cold and miserable to go out on the boat. I was out fishing with local commercial fishermen on a punga boat, out of Todos Santos on the Baja one time. We caught a lot of those Tiger fish which they called cochito’s – the meat is very firm and makes good Ceviche….

    • Hey Jeremy!

      Yes, I heard they make good ceviche too – unfortunately I didn’t have any lime/lemon juice so just fried the fillets.

      I wasn’t super impressed – but I think I overcooked it to be honest. I’m going to try again as some point – and will also try ceviche.

      Did you clean them yourself? The skin is SO tough!

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