Bigger slips – Palmira has really big fairways; we could easily perform a last-minute U-turn if needed…and we did, twice. Plus, their slip widths are also wider, making docking less traumatic.
Mini-organic market – Each Wednesday, several vendors from the bigger, organic street market out in town gather at Palmira to hawk their wares: smoked salmon, homemade sausages, honey, ground coffee, fresh pastries, breads, vegetables, etc. We’ve happily purchased delectable cherry turnovers, sticky cinnamon rolls, flaky BBQ meat pies for lunch, fresh sourdough loaves and slices of sweet potato pie with dark chocolate topping. Mmmmm. This convenient little market is a huge plus in my book. We don’t have to make that trek into town!
Mini-mart – Here you can purchase the ever-important cold beer (for that last-minute get-together you were just invited to), Gatorade, chips, bread, etc. They also have minimal boating items and cleaning supplies.
Walk to town – It takes us about 45 minutes to walk the bayside Malecon into downtown. Doable. They do have a shuttle 3 times a day - just sign up for a spot early in the day. Many Palmira full-time cruisers have cars and we have been offered several ride-alongs to town. Their query invokes a canine-like enthusiasm: “You wanna go for a ride?” Our ears perk up...a ride? In the CAR? OOOhhh. Yah, yah, yah. I go, I go! (We refrain from jumping up & down or running in silly circles, but just barely.)
Construction – Marina Palmira is undergoing a significant overhaul. Just before we arrived they finished renovating the floating docks. Currently, the pilings are being restored, one by one. The mini-mart and marina offices are in the midst of moving into newly modernized spaces. Brand new restroom/shower facilities (I’ve heard they are very nice) should open soon, completing the circle.
People – We’ve met some very nice cruisers at Palmira. People who invited us over for margaritas or beers, given us some sage advice, have offered us rides, even told us we could use their truck (we didn’t/couldn’t… I’d feel weird driving around the car of someone we just met…still, very nice to offer).
Other amenities – 2 restaurants, good laundry facilities, friendly & helpful marina admin folks, a bit cheaper monthly rate. Two chandleries are conveniently adjacent to the marina: La Paz Cruiser’s Supply and Cross Marine Works. Run by two sets of very knowledgeable and nice cruisers, these guys are information gurus.
The walk to town – Yes, it can also be a disadvantage. Although doable, it’s pretty exhausting to walk the 2.5 miles one-way and back. But then again, we ARE out of practice. Costa Baja has many more shuttle times so it’s easy to schedule your day around them.
Spotty, sometimes non-existent internet – big surprise. No marina has seemed to corner the market on good internet.
Wind waves – The mouth of the marina is open to wind waves traveling right down into our slip. Indigo is constantly moving around in the surge, pulling and pushing and squeaking and squawking against her lines. And it’s been overly windy (still) almost every day since we’ve arrived. (Though, this water circulation does make Palmira’s harbor cleaner.)
It’s not nearly as bad as Marina Cortez, which is so unprotected from waves I once got seasick walking their pitching docks during a big blow. On the flip side, Costa Baja’s inner harbor is completely enclosed, so we rarely stirred an inch.
“A little bit louder now”
At Costa Baja, we had the Fun Baja boats directly behind our slip, constantly taking passengers out on snorkeling excursions, all day every day. At Palmira, once our piling was finally replaced, we lost our snug little 60ft slip to move near a highly active power boat. Nearly every day, several people are busily cleaning, blocking the dock with kayaks and equipment, blaring the same Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift CDs over and over. Yee Hah. If I hear “Call Me Maybe” one more time…
And then there’s the pterodactyl.
While Costa Baja always seemed to maintain a rotation of annoying little yippy dogs on vacation, barking from one condo or another, Marina Palmira apparently has a macaw. The first time we heard this thing we thought it was a recording… someone playing a prank. But it’s real. I cannot even begin to spell out the screeching noise this bird utters when it’s peeved. “Rrrrraaaach.” See, that doesn’t cut it. Just visualize Jurassic Park III, when the aviary cage breaks, liberating all those pterodactyls to freedom. Yeah, it sounds exactly like that.
“I’ll Be Back”
Overall our first impression of Marina Palmira is a good one; we may stay here again in the future. Except right now, we are just trying to leave. We have started looking for a 3-day weather window to cross to Mazatlan. It’s howling 26kts today and Mr. Wind doesn’t look like he wants to give us a break any time soon. At least I can’t hear Taylor or the pterodactyl over all this wind noise!