Daily Archives: April 16, 2015

Mazatlan

View of old Mazatlan from El Faro.

View of old Mazatlan from El Faro

Mazatlan doesn’t have any good close anchorages except in the old harbour which has the sewage treatment plant  in front of it, with predicable results.  Most of the boats head for the Marina’s just north of town where a dredged harbour is home to numerous facilities.  We stayed at the El Cid Hotel marina which gave us among other things swimming pools to play and lounge in.  For 5 days we were in with the docker cruising set, who could always be caught drinking cocktails by the pool.  Actually even though we did a little of that our boat needed a clean, re-provision and we had a mission to check out Mazatlan’s old town.  Needless to say we were busy!!!  Provisioning was easy because large stores were a quick bus ride away and here we found our favourite Mexican beer, Pacifico for 167 peso’s a flat (24 beers), this coverts to about 75 cents a beer Canadian, so we filled Josh’s closet!!

We hit the old market which was a hub of activity and then wandered around this very beautiful old city.  Lots of the old building was now being restored as homes and small businesses.  The other amazing thing about Mazatlan is the size of their malecon was many miles long.  It ran from the Golden Zone all the way to the lighthouse at the harbour entrance call El Faro.  We were tourists for a few days hiking around town to get a feel of this older tourist destination, ate some of the best gourmet tacos we have ever had, climbed El Faro and ….   With our window for crossing the Sea narrowing we headed out thinking that a little more time in that city would have been great, but the call of the Baja peninsula lured us away.

North to Mazatlan

 

Time had come for us to head up into the Sea of Cortes, we were looking forward to venturing to new cruising ground. The trip north we divided into three steps; the first two were shorter, day trips, the last would take us over night.  The prevailing wind is from the NW but a southerly would mean a sail, which is what we hoped for, but alas is was maybe a 30% sail.  We left Punta Mita with Josh looking longingly at  his favourite surf zone leaving all the great times we had in Banderas Bay behind. Chacala was the first stop which is a lovely coastal town with an open roadstead anchorage, that meant stern anchors were absolutely necessary!  We loved the town and surrounding country side, hiked up to the top of a nearby volcano who’s caldera was intact and the surrounding slopes were all cultivated in Guaba plants, had beer on the beach and took in beautiful sunsets.

On our way to Isla Isabella

Bella Via our way to Isla Isabella

Jack and Monica on Bellavia were our traveling companions to Chacala and our next stop Isla Isabella.

Anchorage at Isla Isabella

Anchorage at Isla Isabella

Isla Isabella is part of the Mexican Park reserve system and is a breeding ground for Bobbies and Frigate birds as well as others I’m sure.  The island  was not exactly a “protected anchorage” but well worth the stop and the conditions were very kind to us.  I have never been so close to wild birds before in my life and all those baby birds were a joy to see.  Isla Isabella is also a volcano and the short hike to the caldera was amazing.  It was time for our good friends to part ways, they heading to San Carlos via the islands north of La Paz to store their boat until the following year; we headed north to Mazatlan.