MAZATLAN, Mexico

Isla-Partida.jpg (38011 bytes)Isla Partida

January 24, 2004

We set sail for Isla Partida, a scenic island close to La Paz, to spend time waiting for a good weather window to cross the 245 miles passage to Mazatlan. We enjoyed a leisurely sail as rain threatened behind us. We no sooner dropped anchor and the sky broke loose. It poured most of the night but our anchorage was secure and well protected, as the anchorage is actually a volcanic crater. The contrast between the red, chalky rocks, the turquoise sea and its beautiful sunsets makes an impressive view.

The following morning, we noticed a very large sloop anchored next to us, about 90 feet. What was peculiar was that there was a lady adorned in a stylish spandex outfit working out on a full size treadmill built into the deck of this sailing vessel. When she was finished, the crew appeared to put the equipment all away! Passengers on that sailboat were definitely not roughing it.

Later that day, Gary and Dale sailed into the bay to join us. They picked us up in their dinghy and we went to shore to explore the abandoned fish camp (pictured above). The water was very shallow so we waded quite a long distance dragging the dinghy through the water.

ascension 5.jpg (43470 bytes)January 25, 2004

We embarked on our passage to Mazatlan. We decided to sail around the island to check it out. We didn't have ideal wind conditions because it was somewhat on the nose but we still made fairly good time.

 What's wrong with the moon?

The first night I was in awe watching the moon set, falling  like a big bright ball into the ocean. I am used to the moon rising, but I observed it do just the opposite and "set" about 11:00 PM. Another curiosity is that the moon is "upside down" here. The crescent is laying on its bottom, instead of on its side. When the moon sets, the stars are so bright some nights you can see your shadow.

It was barely dusk when we heard a voice over the radio and realized someone else was out there with us. Once their position was established, we caught up with Moon Shadow, also going to Mazatlan. It's always reassuring to have someone else to talk to on a passage.

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Rough Seas

On the second day the winds and seas began to build into short steep waves, which made the passage very uncomfortable. We forego dinner as it was too rough to cook. There was much discussion with Moon Shadow as we weighed our options as to a route that would be the most comfortable course in the sea conditions we were dealing with. 

We had to wait outside the harbour until it was light enough to enter and we could enquire about the state of the bar that we had to cross. When we finally arrived at Mazatlan Marina there was only moments left before they shut down the entrance  for dredging.

Marina Mazatlan is a great place to stay. The cruising community here is very friendly and close knit. They have organized activities regularly, including pot luck suppers every Friday, a Mexican taco night when we arrived, beach parties, Mexican dominos, cruiser jam sessions and on and on. There is laundry service here, and water bottles are brought to your boat everyday. A vegetable truck comes 3 times a week and the beer truck is here regularly also. Generally prices here are a little less than La Paz except beer. We have to usually pay about 196 pesos for  24.

Transportation to town is easy. The longest we have ever waited for a ride is about 3 minutes. Golf carts are everywhere and fight over who can give you a ride. We have been paying 20 pesos to get to town. Or you can wait for a bus that runs every 10 minutes or less for 45 centavos.

January 28

Visit with Mom, Dad and Bob

We finally met up with the folks who came to visit us while we were in Mazatlan. There plane was delayed a day due to freezing cold temperatures in Alberta. My uncle Bob arrived the same day so it was a great reunion. They stayed at Isles del Sol, about 15 minutes from the marina. Their suite had a beautiful view right on the beach.

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There is lots of activity on the beach...parasailing, venders, swimmers, beach combers, and sun bathers. Unfortunately the weather in Mazatlan has not been all that warm and continued to be cloudy and cool the entire time Mom, Dad, and Bob visited.

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We enjoyed lots of
Happy Hours

in front of the hotel.

We found the restaurant food delicious. There was no shortage of places to eat, although it was fairly expensive to eat in the "Gold Zone" where the hotels are.

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El Faro Lighthouse

We took a bus to the far end of town and Gord & I climbed up the El Faro lighthouse, the second highest lighthouse in the world. The view from the top was worth the tedious climb.

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Here we are, Bob, Mom, & Dad, enjoying a cocktail in the cockpit on Ascension. And another delightful evening out having dinner at a restaurant on the beach.

One night we cooked up a mess of shrimp that Bob bought fresh from a local that morning.

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Sandcastle Competition

The sandcastle completion was very interesting with the locals getting their chance to be creative the following day. Even the cruisers had a team and built an award winning octopus.


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