Are you excited yet? I know we are and we can hardly wait to see you all and to share this amazing area of the world with you! I wish we had a whole month! There are a lot of moving parts to these trips and we want to start sharing information with you to help make your trip more rewarding.
Unless you have been on another planet, you know about the trip specific website setup by our volunteer Julie Thorndycraft. She has dedicated a lot of time to put the site together and keep it current for you. Be sure to go over everything on the website carefully as the answers most of your questions will be there. A huge thanks to Julie for all of her work helping out on the WWS Rendezvous over the years!
Here are the high points of things you need to know to have a fun filled adventure…
Be sure you are in La Paz in time to attend the Welcome Dinner on Friday the 5th! More details on this later…
As discussed on the website, Julie is coordinating shuttles from the San Jose Del Cabo airport to La Paz. Send her your flight and hotel info so you can get on the list. NOTE: As you exit the airport, you will be overwhelmed by dozens of taxi drivers and timeshare reps, trying to get your business. Just smile, keep going and look for the Mahalo Sailing signs. Don’t go with just anybody…
If you are flying directly into La Paz, look for other WWS members and get a taxi to share, right out in front of the airport. There’s a guy who will ask you where you want to go and find a driver for you. It will cost you about 200 pesos which is approximately $10 USD.
You can convert your dollars to pesos in the airport or wait until you find an ATM somewhere downtown, but I always get my first $300 worth at the Cambio (exchange) at the airport. They all speak English.
There was a question about Tourist Visas. Your tourist card will be given to you on your flight into Mexico. Fill out the form before you land so you can zip through customs. The visa will be stamped along with your passport. KEEP THE CARD THEY GIVE YOU!!! If you lose it, it is a very painful process, will cost you money and may cause you to miss your return flight. Tuck it in the back of your passport or other safe place that you won’t forget and don’t lose it. You will turn it in when you check in for your departing flight.
We have scheduled two group dinners. One is the Welcome Dinner on Friday night, April 5th, which will be at Hotel La Perla, on the Malecon. (the big street on the La Paz waterfront) The cost is $17 per person. Adult beverages are available at a cash bar. Dinner will be buffet style with several options to choose from. More details including payment method to follow as we get closer.
The second dinner will be in San Evaristo, the only village in our cruising area. We are a huge group for the tiny restaurant to feed, but the food is amazing. Please bring your best smile and patience for this meal. Cost and payment method will be determined shortly.
San Evaristo is about as remote as it gets and also where our donations are going. Details on donations are HERE and we are working on a possible tour of the school. Our dear friend and WWS member Sherri Brenner is there on her boat and is our gal on the street, helping to coordinate the dinners as well as the donations. Give big thanks and hugs to Sherri when you see her!
This is a great way to learn about who is on this trip with you. It’s kind of like a High School yearbook, so be sure to send your info to Julie by March 1 so she can put it all together. BYOBoats, be sure to tell us about your boat, where you are from, how long you have been cruising and what your plans are, if any.
Attached are two forms for you to fill out and return to us. This information is required of everyone on the trip and the sooner the better. Please write yourself a note so we don’t have to chase you down for these! There are a whole lot of you…..
You have already received an on-line questionnaire via email. Please complete it promptly if you haven’t already. If you did not receive the questionnaire, please check your junk mail folder. The email was sent from email@example.com. All of the requested information is required. For example, we need your passport information for the manifest that we must submit to the charter company prior to picking up the boats. Additionally, we need to know about any FOOD allergies and your dietary preferences. Your crew (Captain & First Mate) will plan meals for your boat and if you have food issues that we aren’t aware of, please don’t be upset if we serve you exactly what you can’t eat. We will do our best to accommodate everyone based on the information that we receive. Please be aware that there are exactly ZERO places to shop once we leave La Paz and the entire fleet can’t go all the way back to remedy a unreported food issue.
SHOPPING AND BOOZE
You have probably figured out by now that we are going to be away from civilization on this trip. There is nowhere to reprovision once we depart the charter base. Our trips are always BYOB, so please get what you think you will want for the entire week and maybe a bit more, before we board the boats in La Paz. That includes mixers. There are several large grocery stores in La Paz and they have pretty much everything that we have here in terms of alcohol and mixers. What they do not have are the craft beers that we are used to at home. Generally only Mexican beers are available – Corona, Dos XX, Modelo, Pacifico, etc… If you are a wine drinker, be sure to only buy it at an air-conditioned market – the wine goes bad in the heat of un air-conditioned stores.
It’s a bummer when you have been saving a bottle of wine for the last night, only to discover that someone drank it by mistake or because they didn’t bring enough for themselves. So make sure you buy yourself enough and then keep it in your cabin….
If there is some particular or out of the ordinary food item that you must have, please pick it up at the market before we head to the charter base. There are no grocery stores within walking distance of the base.
Once we leave La Paz, there will be no pub crawls, very little cell service, no wi-fi and no shopping. What we will have are the most amazing stars you will see anywhere and our own onboard parties and other silliness as we experience places that haven’t changed for thousands of years.
SWIMMING AND SNORKELING
The charter base provides fins, masks and snorkels which you will choose for yourself before we depart. If you have special ones from home, it’s ok to bring them. The water is beautiful but won’t be super warm this time of year, so if you are a cold water wimp like me and Jo, you might want to bring a light-weight wetsuit or wetsuit shirt to swim in. The water should be in the mid to high 60s.
We are doing our best to organize swimming with the Sea Lions at Los Islotes as we did last time on Rendezvous #2 but that area is now protected and a guide is required. It’s well worth the effort though, so cross your fingers. Swimming with Whale Sharks is also a must do, but you will need to do that in La Paz before or after the charter. You can book a trip with any of the guys along the waterfront or at the hotel. Go with some other WWS’ers so you can work them over for a group rate!
Be sure to watch the packing video and follow the attached packing list. You really won’t need many clothes and you will hate living with your extra clothes taking up room in your cabin. So will your cabin-mate. Remember, whatever type of bag you bring, you very likely will have to sleep with it after you have unpacked so no hard suitcases or big roller bags!!! We have actually had to have guests to leave bags of clothes behind as there wasn’t enough room on the boat and they had to use a trash bag to bring their necessary clothes.
Yes, we have rules to follow so that everybody has enough water, toilet paper, food, personal space and you aren’t tempted to throw anyone overboard. All these guidelines have evolved over time because of necessity. Oh, the stories we could tell…. Please read the attached file so you have the best trip possible. Feel free to use it for your own boat guests.
We will send out other info emails, but we don’t want to overwhelm you with too much right now. Get this stuff dialed in and keep checking the website for updates. Trip t-shirts are in the works…!
We also have a very few spots left on our Baja Whale Safari, Feb 26 thru March 3. This is a life-changing trip to the Pacific side of Baja to spend 2 days on the water with Gray Whales. Yes, we even pet them! There is more info on our website. This is not a women only trip, so you can bring your DH, and it’s not a sailing trip but it is full of history, natural beauty and the most amazing experiences interacting with the magnificent gray whales. Watch our whale video and be amazed!
Ok, that’s it for now. Thanks for filling out forms, reading attachments, sending your travel info and bio, and RSVPing to the Welcome Dinner. More soon!
Holly and Jo