We have spent a lovely week in Mazatlán doing boat jobs, going for walks and kayak rides and visiting our favourite restaurants.
We have had the diesel engine serviced by Rafa’s Boat Services. He has looked after our engine since we first came back to Mazatlán in 2013 and have been very happy with his work. We had Hector from Tony’s Boat Management clean the deck and hull. And Ruben changed out our zincs and cleaned our propeller. So Snowaway is ready to sail to La Paz.
We walked along Brujas Beach enjoying the birds running in the waves. We kayaked along the estuaries seeing many birds: ospreys, yellow-crowned night-herons, little blue and great blue herons, oystercatchers, king fishers, whimbrels, willets…. We also saw lots of iguanas of all sizes and colours.
We visited Zab Thai in the Gold Zone for Thai food (they actually have tofu!), Restaurant Las Palmas on the malecón for pescado zarandeado, La Tramoya on Plaza Machado for spinach crepes, Mr. Lionos on Playa Brujas for lunch, Topolo’s in Centro Historico for mango margaritas, Fat Fish in the Gold Zone for the bar-be-que ribs, Gus-Gus at the marina for the shrimp.
Today we will be checking out of Mazatlán and preparing for departing on Saturday morning. We will be out of internet range for the next few days.
We moved onto Snowaway on Karen’s birthday although we had her main birthday celebration on the 4th. Mazatlán has an Art Walk on the first Friday of the month during tourist season. So we enjoyed visiting several of the galleries in Old Mazatlán before having dinner on Plaza Machado in our favourite restaurant. On Karen’s actual birthday we splurged and had a rack of ribs at the Fat Fish. It is a great deal, 2 dinners for 190 pesos (about $15 Cdn) including salad! We don’t often eat meat but we always have ribs once in our stay in Mazatlán!
On Richard’s birthday we did his traditional meal and went to Las Palmas on the malecón for fish zarandeado. Richard enjoyed discussing the various fishes the restaurant had to offer before choosing one to have. The fish was cooked perfectly, as usual, and we enjoyed the cold beer and perfect setting for Richard’s 60th birthday!
We flew into Mazatlán on November 28th and were very fortune to be able to stay at the El Cid Marina Resort courtesy of Karen’s brother and his wife. Maurice and Pam gave us a week at the El Cid as we got Snowaway ready for sailing. It was a great week; we spent mornings preparing Snowaway and afternoons relaxing at the resort!
When we arrived Snowaway was in great shape. We could have moved on board immediately thanks to the great work of Tony’s Boat Management. We did not see any dirt nor mold anywhere!
We were happy to see some cruisers that we have become friends with over the last few years in Mexico. We had a lovely dinner at the Fish Market getting caught up on all the news with Graciela and Hugh from Gypsy Dream.
We had Snowaway washed and waxed by Beto’s crew from B.B. Marine as we hanked on the sails and replaced all the canvas.
The boat was ready for us to move onto for Karen’s birthday…
We arrived safe and sound albeit very sleepy after a 250 mile sail/motor from Bahia Chamela, about 50 miles northwest of Barra de Navidad, to Mazatlán.
The winds were favourable throughout the trip, meaning we never had strong winds on the nose – we had waited about a week for a good forecast and timed it well – we even got to sail past treacherous Cabo Corrientes, south of Puerto Vallarta, with a nice west wind and south current pushing Karen to a daily best of 7.6 knots!
Although the first night was scary with many clouds glowing with lightning we altered course and never ended up underneath one of these “bombs”.
Some of the joys we experienced on this trip:
* dolphins coming to swim in our bow wave
* many turtles just floating along
* hundreds of rays jumping clear of the water for 2 hours
* one whale breaching (jumping out of the water) on the horizon
* listening to my iPod playlist the second (clear) night while watching Orion and Taurus constellations float across the sky
* catching a pretty good “green flash” sunset
* entering the marina slip with two marina employees to help us – nobody ordered to “JUMP” to tie the docklines!
We arrived in Mazatlán a little early (about 1 AM) and snuck between two islands to anchor – and two fisherman guided us past their nets so we would not foul our propeller. Our windlass is broken so I had to pull up the anchor and chain by hand in the morning – years of working out with weights and rowing pay off when you can still do this crap at 59!
All is well with the crew and boat; we will rest today and consider when to return home in light of Karen’s father being in hospital.
We worked hard for the last 5 days getting Snowaway ready to go back into the water. The main job was having her bottom sanded and painted by Total Yacht Works. There was enough paint for 3 coats so we were happy about that. If all goes well, we will not have to have Snowaway hauled next year which will make it easier to get ready at the start of next season. Other jobs we did were: installed new wind instruments, recaulked the refrigerator and kitchen sink, cleaned and painted the anchor locker and put on new primary chain (we now have 250 ft of chain on our primary anchor), serviced the outboard engine, cleaned the stainless on the dodger and bimini, installed a helifan in the rear head, replaced all zincs, and of course general cleaning…
While Snowaway was on the hard we stayed at Bungalows Mar-Sol, a short bus ride away. It was so nice to leave the boat and go to an clean, tidy room! We stayed in room 3 for a few nights but we found the street noise too much to allow us to have a good sleep. We asked to move and we were put near the back and had a great view of a typical Mazatlan residential street. We also had great sleeps there.
We were put back into the water at 16:50 on December 16th, the staff ends work at 17:00 so they were in a bit of a hurry.
But all went well and we enjoyed watching the cormorants heading back from their feeding grounds…