Back on the Mexican Mainland
18 January 2009 | Mazatlan
We arrived LaPaz and stayed there for about a week waiting for the best weather to continue south and then back across the Sea of Cortez. We absolutely love LaPaz...it's a great city without all the tourism of Cabo. Great restaurants and beautiful beaches are abundant. We plan on staying in LaPaz at a more relaxed pace upon our return to the sea in March.
After refueling with diesel, replenishing our water tanks and a good wash down to get the salt off of everything...we left LaPaz and sailed further south to another great anchorage called Muertos. The anchorage is normally very well protected from the north winds and swells with a good sandy bottom to hold our anchor firmly to terra firm...in about 20 ft. of water. Unfortunately, the day we were there...the winds at the anchorage were about 20 kts and approaching the anchorage we sailed through 33 kts of wind. We went from a nice 15 kts wind speed sailing downwind to almost an immediate 30+ kts rounding the point heading into our anchorage...we were way over powered and the boat went from a nice 7 kts to over 9 kts of speed and heeling over where everything was falling on the floors...what a mess. However, once we got into the anchorage, we got everything put back in place and called it a day.
Just after the sun set, the wind subsided and we had a nice dinner...all was well. We got up the next morning around 5:00AM and pulled the anchor around 6:30AM. We only had a short 190 miles to sail over the next 28 hours, but it went quickly. Lucky for us...the seas were calm with only 15 kts of wind maximum. We had a beautiful sail all day long, fished most of the day, napped at our leisure, listened to XM radio...mostly Obama festivities, sailed into the night, watched the stars in an incredibly beautiful night sky and finally sailed right into the sunrise. After the sun came up we saw several whales welcoming us to Mazatlan...how majestic they are! By 10:00AM that morning we were entering the main channel in Mazatlan and by 10:30 we were at the fuel dock and registering into the marina at El Cid. We had crossed back over the Sea of Cortez at its most southerly end and were basically entering the Pacific Ocean. The crossing went by fairly fast and we had fun fishing. Life is good!
So we have been at El Cid Marina for two days now and cruisers that we met last year and the year before are coming by the boat to welcome us to Mazatlan and wanting to catch up on things since they saw us last. I had forgotten how close the cruising community really is here...and it feels nice.
Tomorrow we will go into Mazatlan to do some shopping (Home Depot and Walmart...just like in the USA, but everything in Spanish...can you believe that!) and try to find some boat parts that have failed. The external speaker on our VHF radio in the cockpit for some reason has simply failed...not a big deal, but I'd like to replace it. Also, a light bulb in one of our courtesy night lights has blown out and I'd like to buy a new bulb, but finding that bulb here in Mazatlan probably will not happen. We still have not started our water maker because we are moving from port to port so fast.
We were planning to depart tomorrow, but there is a weather system stirring up the sea...so we will delay by 24 to 48 hours to let the sea lay down. Forecasted seas for tomorrow are 5-6 ft seas every 5 seconds....Very Uncomfortable!
I think we will leave on Tuesday afternoon and sail to the south end of Mazatlan...one hour total. We'll anchor there for the evening and then depart again around midnight Tuesday night for Isla Isabella...a very small island which is a bird sanctuary. From there we will sail to another anchorage called Chacala and then on to Puerto Vallarta. From Mazatlan to PV should be about three to four days total travel time. We have sailed approximately 480 miles out of the 750...we are about 2/3 the way to our final destination...Barra de Navidad.