It wouldn't be an entrance to Banderas Bay without a ride-along welcome from some dolphins. Stand on the bow and watch 'em go - unbelievable that something can move like that. We round the headland. It's good to be back.
Mazatlan to Punta de Mita12/15/2011
Departed Marina Mazatlan at first light for a 27-hour overnight passage to Punta de Mita. We are buddy boating with "Risk Taker," who we met and buddy boated with across the Sea of Cortez. Good boat, good people! And look at that Solar Stik. And that Manson anchor! Obviously excellent taste in gear. Rebecca recommended this photo of them and the full moon. Not much wind in route but calm sea state - and good conditions for a 2:30 a.m. engine belt change whilst underway. "That was record time," said Duane on "Risk Taker," and that's a compliment, because I know he's a bit of a wrench turner. By the way, I won't be telling this one on the VHF net - but long story short, we motored 168 miles with a bag taped on the prop. Boy, our fuel consumption and drive shaft vibration has improved immensely since I whacked it off with a knife offshore in Banderas Bay. Yeah, I'll be telling that one on myself for a while.
Gas 'er and go12/10/2011
All good things must come to an end, and for Liberte, that means saying adios Mazatlan, and back to sea we go. We're buddy boating with "Risk Taker" at first light manana, so we ran a few more errands today - like fueling up from the gas station across the road. As I rolled my fuel across the cobblestones, I was grateful to David and Vernice Cohen for the generous gift of this cart which they left with Liberte. David, please note the newest advance in stacking techniques - muy facile! Behind is Liberte at the ready for her passage - with Rebecca's latest "yard sale," all the contents of the line bag being sorted. "I love having time to do stuff like this," as she said. The week or so of little chores have brought their own satisfaction to us Type A compulsives, and the boat looks shipshape, tidy and a lot like home.
Mazatlan has a thriving cruiser's community. Excellent boat services, proximity to the city, good climate and great people make it a fine place to be. We enjoyed some waterfront dinners, the NFL on TV a night or two, a presentation on the El Salvador Cruiser's Rally we're signed up for this year, and a book signing for our friend Virginia on "Harmony" who wrote a book about relationships on boats called "Harmony on the High Seas." And the best place to be at sunset is the Dock 6 party - thank you to our awesome friends on Slacker and all the other Dock 6 denizens. The swap meet at Marina Mazatlan is a chance to share treasures of the bilge and maybe swap a story or two while we're at it. This is an interesting tribe we belong to.
My friend Ed from "Resolution" on Dock 6 - and from Sandpoint, Idaho, it turns out - invited me to the bullfights. It was the Festival of the Forcado, in which local teams compete to see who can wrestle the bull the best. These are largely bloodless for both man and bull, although there were a few close calls with guys diving behind the walls just in time. You can see the lead guy literally taking the bull by the horns - he actually folds his body around the head as the bull charges - then his teammates grab hold in sort of a rugby scrum and the brass band plays a triumphant chorus. Good spectacle.
Night in the old city12/10/2011
Sidewalk table at El Bife, with Argentinian food and good people watching along the Plaza Merchado. The Artwalk event introduced us to some really neat galleries, and gave us free tickets to a performance at the 19th-century theater that's been restored to former beauty. We hailed a "pulmonia" open cab back to the boat for a full night on the town.