Muertos to Mazatlan     


We had a fantastic sail from Los Muertos, some of it under a reefed main alone just to keep our speed down. But most of the trip was under a double reefed main and a partially rolled out jib. The wind was really piped up, mostly in the 20's and had us moving along averaging upper 6-7 kts. Fortunately we had a double hook up on the fishing lines which slowed us down to nothing for an hour and a half, so we were able to slow down enough to make it into Mazatlan just after daybreak.

About the fish - it was such fun, we caught a Big Eye Tuna (also known as Ahi) on the heavy duty rod and reel and a 52 inch Dorado on the lightweight Salmon rod and reel. The Dorado was by far the most exciting and the most fun landing, though he put up an awesome fight for about half an hour. His first run he almost spooled the line - Greg was debating pouring water over the reel since it was getting so hot (we had just seen Jaws so this idea was fresh in our minds). 

  Greg and his 52 inch Do-Do

  Matey licking her chops in anticipation of her sushi - her new favorite treat.

  A cozy dinner underway...

Matey had to be confined to her room, so she spent the entire time peering into the cockpit through her teeny tiny window, of course accompanying that with her signature piercing bark. We did bring her up to the cockpit so she could see the fish after they were both landed and all the fish hooks and gaff was safely put away.

For me, this was the biggest filleting job I've done, that Do-Do barely fit on our settee, so in a rolling sea, it was hard work. Luckily I had made up a number of meals for the passage (we knew it was going to be windy and rolly due to all the Northers going through) so I didn't have to worry about cooking.

After sailing through the rest of the night, we made it into Mazatlan the next morning and had our anchor down by 8am. We had a little nap, then were off to explore the city. It was a nice surprise at pulling in and seeing a single-handing friend we had met in Mission Bay. He informed us about the services in the area and let us know about the dinghy motor theft in the anchorage (4 had been stolen in the past 2 weeks). So we knew to lock down at night.

  Scary Showers at Club Nautico.  I was happily staying with our sun shower.

  Scary walkway.  You can't tell in this photo but it's a long drop off on both sides of this path.  Definitely not something they would allow in the States.

  Sentry on guard.  This guy would bark from high above, then 3-4 dogs would come running to this intersection this was near.  Luckily the dogs just wanted to smell and left Matey alone for the most part.

We played around the central mercado which is in walking distance of the anchorage. We've read how the holding isn't good in the anchorage, but we've found it to be fine. The anchorage is also really great in that it's walking distance to a lot of interesting parts of town. There are a couple of main bus stops nearby that can bring you anywhere you want to go. We also think it's just more interesting to be in a working port. 

   Church at town center

  Smart dog in the central mercado.  These guys were really trying to shoo the dog away but stopped for a moment so I could get a photo.  But we are still leary of bringing Matey in food stores even though we've seen numerous times where dogs are walking around inside them (none on leash, of course).  You know when you see a leashed dog, it's a foreigner.

   Carving ribs...

  Mazatlan street.

One of the main things we had to do here is see a vet for Matey. While in Muertos I noticed she had a huge amount of tartar build up on her teeth. I used to be really good at brushing her teeth, but got lazy over the past couple of years. Luckily I stocked up on doggie toothpaste so I can get back in the habit of it. Anyway, I did get the name of an English speaking vet whom the ex-pats go to, so we called him and set up an appointment to see him the next morning. At the visit, it was determined she did indeed have a lot of tartar and he would need to put her under to remove it - all of which we expected. As for the office, it was clean, the people friendly and the vet talked to us in detail about what he was going to do to Matey. So we felt confident in his work, she would have her teeth cleaned, and her nails trimmed, on Monday.

  After her initial vet visit we took some time to have a little of fun and romp on the beach.  Matey also got to chase rays in the surf.  Not really our most comfortable of her activities, so we pulled her out since we weren't sure if they sting.

  Mazatlan has a number of these racy artsy statues on the waterfront.  They really are beautiful.

  On our walk back to the marina we came upon these hard working folks.  I don't think I'm going to be looking for this kinda job after this adventure ends...

   We also hiked up to the top of the lighthouse which is supposedly the second tallest working one in the world.  That's the anchorage to the right and Pacifica is the furthest white dot you can see.

  This is the Sea side of Mazatlan and the marina district is just past those Islands and to the right.

Monday went without a hitch, we dropped her off, he gave her a little sedative while we were there and he even just let her hang out in the front office area so she wouldn't be alone in a cage (though knowing Matey she might have actually preferred that - the darker and more cavelike the better).

    Matey at the vet...

When we went back to pick her up in the afternoon, we had an extremely groggy little girl. The only other experience we have with anesthesia for Matey is back when she had her Jaw thing. She was definately not as groggy that time as she was this time. She was barely awake. Greg carried her because we couldn't stand to watch her wobble like a drunkard after the last call. The vet gave us some antibiotics for her to take for the next week and we were on our way home. We were such a sight walking the 3 blocks to the main road so we could catch a pulmeria back to the boat. Lots of people gave us giggles. See, they normally stare at us because you really don't see people walking a dog on a leash around here. So to see someone carrying their 45 lb dog down the street was kinda funny, especially one falling asleep. By the way, the pulmerias here are wonderful. They are open air little buggies (kinda a cross between a golf cart and a volkswagon bug). They are a little cheaper than a taxi, and much more interesting. So, when we had Matey with us or just needed to get somewhere fast, we take these instead of the bus which winds around streets and can stop anywhere.

Anyway, by this time, we had moved into Marina El Cid for a splurge and a chance to wash the salt from the past couple of months off. Boy are we glad we came to this marina. We had originally thought to go to Marina Mazatlan which is a little cheaper, but we were hearing tales that the internet was down, as was the water and power.....well, duh, those are the things we wanted. So we decided the extra $5 a day was worth it to have reliable amenities. But oh, the pool.... if they had mentioned the pool!!!! This was the most amazing pool I have ever seen (I'm not really a 5 star kinda place person). Not only did we have our choice of pools, but the one closest to us had a hot tub, a couple of slides and a cave to meander through. And all of it was designed with stone, so it had a very natural feel to it. It's so hard to describe, but it didn't feel like a pool but more like you were in a fresh water oasis in some tropical cove. The first couple of times down the slide I got a mouth full of water because I couldn't keep it closed while I giggled. There were also a number of water falls, some with caves - or caverns for you to swim through leading to other pools. I'm going to miss the pool more than the unlimited fresh water - and anyone who has cruised before knows how special that is!

   Iguana at Marina El Cid.

Another high point of Marina El Cid was that we got to spend some time with Dave and Mary Ann from Star Dancer. They are also from the Berkeley Yacht Club and before they left were on the same dock as us in Berkeley. Though we didn't get to know them back at home since we had just moved there and they were about to depart on their open ended adventure. It was great to share a dinner with them. They prepared some of the Dorado that we caught a couple of days earlier and we had a wonderful evening aboard Star Dancer. They were also able to help us with contacts to get some things done and of course helped us with our lines as we departed. We were in a slip that with our prop walk to port and the row of rocks in an 'L' shape behind us we would never had gotten out without someone holding a line to our stern. Since we are on the same schedule to head down to Z-town, I'm sure we will see them often over the next few months.

I forgot to mention that on the way to El Cid, we anchored for the night at Isla Vandanos. You see the marina's in Mazatlan can be treacherous and we had heard that the morning is easier to enter than the afternoon. Remember the dinghy theft warning at the anchorage? Well, we thought that since we were about a mile from shore that we really didn't have anything to worry about here. But while Greg was surfing the net from the shore wi-fi connections, at around 11pm he noticed there was still a lot of panga activity. So he decided to slap our lock on the dinghy and outboard (which was on the stern). Then at around 2am he heard a knocking sound and went up to investigate. But upon not seeing anything, did his business as only a male can do, over the side. That's when he heard, then saw, two guys in a panga right at our stern starting their motor to leave. Upon further investigation, we noticed they already had the lifting harness detached from our outboard. So we had a theft that was thwarted....

Right now we are back at the old Port in Mazatlan. We left the marina yesterday, anchored for the afternoon at Isla Venados until Greg started to come down with turista. Since Isla Venados is pretty isolated, I pulled up anchor just before dark and brought us into the main port in case we need anything from shore (yes, I did it by myself, mostly, Greg did come up to steer when we got to the new anchor destination).

Greg is all better and we'll be heading to Isla Isabella this evening.