Archive for April, 2008

A Ton of Fun in Mazatlan

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Around here, the prevailing winds are from the northwest, which makes sailing to the northwest challenging. All in all we had a great passage from San Blas to Mazatlan. It took us 33 hours, but we put only 14 hours on the motor, so we were quite pleased.

We anchored in the Old Harbor, which is very conveniently located near Mazatlan’s lovely historic district. What’s not so lovely about the Old Harbor is that it is also the home to the city’s sewage treatment plant. Depending on the wind angle, this can make for some odoriferous evenings! But even this stinky cloud has a silver lining: whenever we take one of the little red taxi trucks back here, we don’t even have to watch for our stop. We can just take a quick sniff and know when we’re back!

Mazatlan is a big city (500K people), and at first we were a bit overwhelmed by all the hustle and bustle. We didn’t realize that we’d become country bumpkins! On our first trip into town, we took a pulmonia (a sort of golf-cart taxi) to the central market, where we were besieged by vendors. It was a Tuesday, and there were no cruise ships in town, so they were working hard to make some sales. We made a beeline for the exit and found a quiet cafe instead. (more…)

San Blas, Take 2

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

The passage north from Chamela took us about 30 hours. Because we arrived in the middle of the night, we decided to anchor in nearby Mantenchen Bay and make the short trip into the San Blas estuary the next afternoon, on the rising tide. On our previous visit to San Blas we’d seen 8 ft depths outside of the San Blas channel, so we wanted to make sure we’d have enough water under our keel.

Our friends on Passat II also told us some scary stories from when they’d entered the estuary. They were knocked down (a wave pushed them all the way over so that their mast was parallel to the water); the boat that came in behind them lost their rudder; and a power boat towing their fancy $20K dinghy had their dinghy flip, damaging the outboard engine. With all of this in mind, Capn FretALot was a bit on edge.

“It’s ok,” I reassured him. “This is a perfect opportunity to break out your new Big Girl Panties!” You see, my family loves Toro, and when they read that his old pair had gone AWOL, my mom and brother Bob teamed up to find a replacement pair. My brother delivered them when he visited us back in February. (more…)

Back to the ‘tita

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

After Barra, the “Kid Posse” (Sugata, Sassona and Theophilus) returned to Tenacatita for about 5 days. Now that the sun is even higher in the sky, the solar cooking conditions are fantastic. One day we made “deckadillas”, which are quesadillas cooked on deck.

The water had warmed up just a degree or two, but that was enough to make swimming more enjoyable. Everyone has said that this year is much colder than last year, and indeed, we have spent much less time in the water than we expected. After being a bit uneasy swimming off the boat, Koiya’s fear kicked into high gear after another cruiser told us about some nasty jellyfish. She wouldn’t go in without another person already in the water, and she’d only jump in next to the swim ladder, to be back on the boat within seconds. Well, somehow in Tenacatita she got over her fear, just like that, even swimming from boat to boat all by herself! She seems to be in one of those blossoming phases that kids go through, when they lose teeth, grow taller, and outwit Todd at games requiring mental agility. (more…)