We pulled into Mazatlan and topped off the fuel tanks and headed right back out to start our 2 night crossing to La Paz.
Good thing we fueled up as the wind that was supposed to be from the north was coming out of the west and yup, right on the nose. We motor sailed almost all the way across.
Another beautiful sunset at sea.
Between Mazatlan and San Blas is where the fishing fleet sets up shop. During the day you have to watch for the pangas and their long trail of nets only visible by the plastic coke bottle floats and maybe a few bleach bottles. What you have to do is look for the panga and head toward it, the fisherman will then direct you to a spot at which they want you to cross the net. Our practice is to get up a head of steam and just before we are going to cross over the net we slide into neutral and glide over the nets. We figure that this way our prop is not turning so if we do catch a net we won't foul to bad. We then watch to see if any of the bottles quickly start following us, if not we are cleared and back into gear we go and start watching for the next group of fishermen.
As the sun starts setting we start looking for the line of the larger fishing boats. They are all lined up as far as the eye can see. What we do here is find the line and wait for a gap and cross to the outside of the fleet and head out to give us a good 5 mile distance. We then set our new course and keep an eye on the radar for any stray fishing vessels. It has always been very interesting on this leg of our journey.
After a 3 1/2 hr sail from Chacala we dropped the hook in Matanchen Bay and enjoyed a lovely dinner and drank a bottle of wine while watching another beautiful sunset. After a relaxing evening and a no rush morning we pulled the hook at 11:00 am to start our 24 hr journey up to Mazatlan.
February 19th we departed La Cruz to start our trek back north, our first stop was Chacala. We were stopping by to visit Lyd & Dwayne who had been here camping for a week. As we pulled in we saw them sitting on the beach waiting for us to drop the hook. After our onboard landing rums we went to shore for a visit and more rums. The next morning before we left they swam out to the boat to say goodbye.
Thank you Lyd & Dwayne for waiting the few extra days for us to get there. It was great seeing you after all these years and we look forward to catching up while land yachting this summer.
Our first evening in La Cruz anchorage and this is our view
A pool side jam session and this guy is carrying a flower looking for a date, I am sure that he was of course, inspired by the music.
The streets of La Cruz
Welcome to San Blas
A sleepy little Mexican town away from the busy tourist areas, quiet and laid back. We walked up to the main square where we found the church with its newer edition. The afternoon was spent walking all around the streets and of course we got re-energized with a fabulous lunch.
The Jungle Tour was amazing and as we wound our way up the lush narrow river we were introduced to a unique paradise filled with crocodiles, turtles, iguanas and a variety of birds.
To end off our time in San Blas, dinner for nine was held on "Euphoria". In the great pot luck tradition of cruisers another fabulous meal was prepared and the feast was on. A shrimp theme with deep fried coconut prawns for an appetizer and lemon butter shrimp & pasta c/w coleslaw for the main. Plenty of wine complimented the meal as well as this great group of people.
From left to right we have; David, Jamie & Elaine (s/v Tardis), John (s/v Scot Free Eh), Robert & Delphine (s/v Wahkuna) and Deb (s/v Scot Free Eh). Renaye was opening more wine and Rocky was taking the picture.
The streets of Old Mazatlan, what a beautiful place. This is the town square where there are lots of restaurants and benches, people sit in the cool shade and enjoy the day. Ahhhh Mexico..
Off we go ! All provisioned up and the weather window has opened. Our friends John, Deb & Pep Eh are buddy boating and we stayed within 2 miles of each other all the way across. Love those sunrises on the morning watch.
When we are on a crossing we usually do 4 hour watches and if the person on watch is still wide awake, sometimes they're longer and the off watch gets more rest. During the days we just have little cat naps but generally we are both awake. The wind mostly cooperated and we sailed almost the whole way. The crossing was 46 hrs and 20 minutes. and we only started the engine twice for a total of 15 hrs. So all in all it was a great 31 hours of sailing.
Here is our track from the Islands to La Paz to provision and then across to Mazatlan.
A fire in the sky sunset on one of the four nights we spent at anchor in El Cardoncito Bay.
These sea caves were so cool to explore.
These are the amazing Blue Footed Boobies that we finally got to see. They do this neat mating dance but we did not get to see it this time, maybe another day.
We have finished up our time here in the Islands and it is time to move on. We will provision in La Paz and head out tomorrow and cross over the sea to Mazatlan. After a few days there we will work our way down to Puerto Vallarta and hang out there for about 3 weeks before returning to La Paz.
It's hard to tell in the picture but these seas are 8 to 10 feet. We had a great sail south with 15 to 20 knt winds and a boat speed of between 8 and 9 knts. We pulled in and anchored every night but this is the conditions we had every day while sailing.