Athanor Expedition

Our exploration of land and sea

09 September 2018 | Raiatea, French Polynesia
21 June 2018 | Mo'orea, French Polynesia
11 June 2018
20 May 2018 | Bora Bora
14 April 2018
24 April 2017 | Seattle, WA
02 October 2016 | Raiatea
02 October 2016
14 September 2016 | Papeete, Tahiti
22 August 2016 | Fakarava
26 July 2016 | Kauehi atoll
11 July 2016 | Raroia atoll - Tuomotos Islands
11 July 2016
02 June 2016 | Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands
06 May 2016 | Tahuata, Marquesas Islands
19 April 2016 | Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands
10 April 2016 | 300 miles to The Marquesas Islands
03 April 2016 | Crossing the ITCZ to The Marquesas Islands
28 March 2016 | Manzanillo, Mexico to The Marquesas Islands

The magic of Mazatlan

21 February 2016

Under the full Moon foreshadowing the impending arrival of February, we had a beautiful warm evening crossing of the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan. We caught our first Mexican tuna, a small but tasty skipjack that took our line late in the afternoon. The winds were quite fresh when we departed Los Frailles at sunrise, then dwindled over the course of the day until, at just about sunset, we turned on our motor and headed into the night.

When we pulled into the Mazatlan harbor, we intended to stay a few days. That few days turned into two weeks. It’s now been two weeks since we departed Mazatlan, but the vibrant colors, images, sights, and smells are still vivid in my mind. What lingers with me most is how hard the citizens in this city work to make a good life for their families. All the while, there is not a strong infrastructure to support them. Yet, the feeling is not one of despair, but of joy. I sensed the city’s pride and deep commitment to community.

Mazatlan has a very international cultural feel. Throughout the city, we found beautiful small outdoor plazas – near the central Mercado and in residential areas. On a Friday evening, we happened upon one such small plaza – a horse shoe of chairs set up, filled with folks older than us, dressed up, listening, as one after the other, beautiful Mexican love songs were sung. Some folks stood and danced, so naturally. As we strolled through Plaza Machado, I was brought to tears to hear young opera singers practicing; artists painting and working with clay; and actors rehearsing. And yes, Carnaval – our primary reason for staying longer was to participate in Carnaval, supposedly the third largest in the world next to Rio and New Orleans. Days on end of music, miles of vendors on the Malecon, dancing in the streets, and the most spectacular parade we’ve ever seen.

We stayed at Marina Mazatlan; reputedly once a very hip and popular marina with cruisers, the landscape belies stories of a quick rise cut short by the withdrawal of investment monies during the recession. All around are signs of….deferred maintenance. But there remains a core group of live-aboard expats, who create an amazingly strong community and are very welcoming of a steady inflow of folks such as us, folks new to these parts and heading south. In stepping into this community, we were able to tap into their local set of resources, and have had a chance to talk with folks who’ve “been there.” There is a morning radio net, where one can sign up for haircuts that will be provided on the dock on Thursday, learn of currency fluctuations, hear the weather outlook, be invited to Karaoke at the local bar, or hear about items available for sale / trade.

One of our best experiences in Mazatlan was meeting our first cruising friends – Dan and Tammy. Having sailed to the South Pacific 12 years ago (currently enroute to Cuba), we loved listening to their stories and especially loved adventuring with them.

We hope you enjoy the photos (found in the Gallery) – they tell the best story.

We’ll write soon,

Susan and Rob

Vessel Name: Athanor
Vessel Make/Model: Metalu Jade 48
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Robert Bordner & Susan Mitchell
About: One seasoned sailor & one adventurous novice
Athanor is an aluminum ketch, designed by Sylvestre Langevin, built in France in 1978. She is 48 feet LOA, cutter-rigged, with a fin keel, skeg-hung rudder, and round bilge, displacing 33,000 lbs. The name Athanor is derived from the furnace that alchemists are reputed to have used to change [...]
Athanor's Photos - Main
Most of the images in this album correlate with the blog narrative on our time spent in Bora Bora.
45 Photos
Created 11 June 2018
A few images of our life as we prepared Athanor to set sail again!
27 Photos
Created 11 June 2018
11 Photos
Created 2 October 2016
38 Photos
Created 5 September 2016
29 Photos
Created 21 August 2016
43 Photos
Created 17 July 2016
44 Photos
Created 11 July 2016
Our time on the islands of Ua Pou and Fatu Hiva. The images follow along with the blog post. Enjoy!
33 Photos
Created 11 July 2016
A month-long exhale.
46 Photos
Created 31 May 2016
34 Photos
Created 3 May 2016
25 Photos
Created 19 April 2016
47 Photos
Created 16 March 2016
34 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
35 Photos
Created 21 February 2016
30 Photos
Created 2 February 2016
9 Photos
Created 18 January 2016
11 Photos
Created 5 January 2016
11 Photos
Created 1 November 2015
14 Photos
Created 8 September 2015