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Smoke - N - Blues
Racer converted to a cruiser
Nidart / Boat Survey
05/03/2010, Mazatlan Mexico

May 3rd. Russ, I and the fur kids go ashore to catch the bus to the Mercado. We then walked a couple of blocks to Nidart. It took about a half hour but I did walk out with a leather mask. The eyes had to be modified a little. Now we need to come up with the rest of the costume. We walked back to the Mercado to catch a bus to the Mazatlan Marina where we are meeting Third Day. They are looking at a Hudson 50 Sailboat as a possible home. Russ is going to go thru it with a fine tooth comb. Nobody does a survey better than Russ. It's really too bad he is not licensed. After about three hours of going thru the boat we caught the Tereo Bus back to Club Nautica where the dingy is. Had a wonderful salad on board for dinner

Mazatlan, Mexico
For The First Time In Mexico
05/03/2010, Mazatlan, Mexico

For the first time in Mexico we were kick out of the Isla Palapa Patio. Here is how it went.

We are anchored out in the old harbor. It is a very short dingy ride to the dingy dock at Club Nautica. To dock the dingy for the day it is $30 pesos. With Taco and Lucy in tow we walk to catch the Sabalo Central bus for $9 pesos. This bus takes us across town to Marina Mazatlan. The Isla Palapa is a short walk from here.

We find a place and sat down at a table in the shade on the patio to finish our fresca's. It was 12:30 pm. We were sitting with Randy & Jenny from Mystic. The waiter came over and said that the dogs could not be there.

Keep in mind that the dogs are contained sitting in a chest pack on our chest. We continued to finish our fresca and at about 12:45 pm another guy who was starting the grill came over and told us we could not have the dog here.

I told them not to worry we will be leaving and that they just lost business. On the walkway leaving out of there the first waiter said "see ya later" I said "no you won't". We left and went over to Gus Gus and ate lunch. No problem with the dogs here and they were allowed to be on the floor with a leash. After lunch we caught the bus to the gold zone to look for a leather mask for me. We found one, but it did not strike my fancy. We caught another bus that took us to the market place and we walked over to Ken and Lori's place, where we have a really nice visit for a couple of hours.

Now it was time to leave and we walked to Nidart to check out the masks only to find out that they were closed for the day for a re-union party. Oh well, off to the Cathedral square. We found that a stage was all set up and there were about twelve guitars playing and one singer so we got a couple of chairs to sit and listen, to our surprise after the music there was traditional Mexican dancing. We watch until about 6:45 pm when we walked to Pedro Y Lola's to watch Ken and Lori play. We had dinner as we watched and the wind piped up at around 8:00 pm and we took a taxi back to Club Nautica to dingy back to the boat.

The anchorage is not the best holding so when the wind pipes up you head back to the boat.

We watched a movie and hit the sack. WHAT A GREAT DAY!

Mazatlan, Mexico
Exit Stage Left - Port Closure
04/30/2010, Mazatlan, Mexico

Well it all went like this. Russ checked the tides to find out when we could leave the Singlar Marina for Old Harbor. He got a little scared, when we came in there was a pretty good swell and the depth sounder read 0.0 under the keel in the shallowest part. We did not hit bottom. So the next morning at about the same time we put the dingy over the side into the water, placed the motor on and with sos suspenders (flotation device), depth sounder, he headed out the opening to check the depth of the bar.

Now he gets to check the tides and compare it to what we had coming in the other day. While he was gone I went and checked in the marina and paid for three days.

Well we had to leave a day early in order to get out through the bar or be stuck inside. We will have one day credit for next time since they do not give refunds.

Today is the day we leave (April 30th, Friday). I got up this morning to do laundry before we leave. Russ wants to be underway by 10:00 am. Only half the laundry made it to the complete dry stage, because Russ heard from a cruiser that there was a big swell running and we would have to time it going out.

There we were casting off dock lines when over the radio we heard that the port captain has closed the entrance. Now I am begining to think that we are stupid or something. Russ brings the RPM's up and we are hightailing it. As we pass El Cid Marina there were two guys at the flag pole taking down the yellow flag and putting up the red flag. I guess we are ok since the red flag was not up (yeah right). We get to the entrance and I am praying for a lull to get through the shallows. Well he listened because we had flat calm over the bar with .4 under the keel. Now after the bar we motored out into a 5-6 foot swell. I took the helm and Russ put up a reefed main.

I asked what the anticipated arrival time at old harbor was and he told me we had all day. Well he now knew I was a little unhappy about this. I have wet laundry to air dry, a fridge that has water in the bottom and a bed that needs to be made and that is just a few things that had to be done today. We head Southwest to get sea room and then exit stage left. As I sit here in the aft (back) cockpit I am watching the depth sounder and the wave heights are 5-7 feet some are 8 feet. It took about three hours to get to old harbor. The entrance is so narrow that if a cruise ship were coming out or in there is literally no room for a boat along side. Before crossing or entering the channel you have to call the port captain to make sure it is safe to enter. We heard that the port captain closed the old harbor entrance for a few hours and we were lucky that it was not closed when we wanted to come in.

We got in and the anchor was down and held fast in about three and a half hours. The weather we have here is do to a Norther on the outside of Baja that is making its way here. We had a great evening until about 4:45 am when the wind was blowing twenty knots and we got up to check our position to make sure we did not drag anchor and that everyone else was in their position.

The wind has been blowing all day today until about 5:00 pm. One boat drug anchor from the anchorage out in to the entrance channel and had to have a panga tow him back to re-anchor. The other boat was dragging ever so slowly and they did not know because they were doing projects down below. Rich on Third Day called us and asked us if we thought that boat was dragging. Rich decided to jump into the dingy and go over to tell them. They picked up anchor and re-anchored.

That is the drama today and it appears that it is over for now.

Mazatlan, Mexico
Tel Cell and Mega Grocery Store
04/28/2010, Mazatlan, Mexico

The dock lines were secure at 7:00 am and we hit the bed at 7:45 am for a well needed nap. I woke up at 8:30 am and gave Hot Spur a call on the VHF radio. Mari was headed to town so we met up at the Singlar office, walked to the bus stop. I was headed to Tel Cell and she was headed to the TV repair shop. We parted way at the get off stop for Tel Cell since that stop was first. It is always interesting to deal with businesses here in Mexico.

The Tel Cell Representative in San Blas said that I had to go to Tepic to give them my passport number for my Banda Ancha 3g internet modem to work. I elected to wait until I got to Mazatlan. So the saga continues. I go in and tell the information counter lady what I need and she hands me a printed piece of paper with the sim card phone number on it and tells me to go stand in line. My wait was short only two people in front of me. It is now my turn up at the counter. I ask if the representative speaks English. The answer is a little bit, so I explain that the 3g does not work and what the representative said in San Blas. Now he looks at me with a confused look, tells me I do not have to register my passport number to this type of device and that maybe that their was a system problem when I was trying to activate it. He took my passport to check the numbers with what was given when I purchased it. All looked good. He then put the sim card into a cell phone and activated it and said it was good to use. I thanked him and went on my way. That had to be the easiest problem to solve. I wished all would go so smoothly.
Now down to the real fun stuff. Two blocks down is a MEGA. In case you don't know what a MEGA is, it is a SUPER Grocery Store. It has almost all the items you miss from home. Yes Real Swiss, pepper jack, cheddar cheese not to mention real chips and Salted Butter. I purchase so much I had to take a taxi back to the marina. And now I end the day with this blog.

Mazatlan, Mexico

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Smoke-N-Blues at Moro Bay, CA
Who: Capt. Russ Fields, Co-Capt. Jodee Fields, Taco & Lucy guard dogs.
Port: Sparks, NV
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