Crossing the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan

Continuing from being stuck in La Paz, we had some luck come our way.  The new IridiumGo arrived four days earlier than scheduled.  Saturday afternoon Chris picked up the unit, installed it and we were ready to go that afternoon!  The weather for the two night passage was forecasted for winds at least half of our trip.  We were excited to be sailing but you probably know where this is going.  We motored the entire 40 hours.  Ugh.  

The seas were so flat.  How flat do you ask?  Well, it was so flat that when the birds flew low to the water, the air movement from their wings left a ripple on the surface of the water. That’s how flat it was.  But there is always a silver lining to every cloud.  We were greeted by a pod of dolphins.  I really believe these playful creatures enjoy showing off.  They swim off the bow of our boat for a bit, then swim aft.  Then returning to swimming along to view them from our cockpit.  Zoom, off they go to ride our bow again.  We never tire of visits from Dolphins. 

Later along the way, we also saw Sea Turtles, which looked like leatherbacks but not for sure. We counted 58 slowly swimming in the opposite direction.  It was very surreal with the flat seas, no one else to be seen, and one by one, a Sea Turtle would swim ( more like float), by our boat.  Our only conclusion is that we observed a Westward migration.  What a gift to witness.

The passage was uneventful and our arrival time was 60 minutes before sunrise. Like any time we arrive early to a new anchorage or marina, we slow our speed down and circle the area until we have decent daylight to drive into the marina or anchorage.  At this point in our travels, it is all new.

Motoring into the sunrise with Mazatlan on the horizon.

El Cid Marina and Resort has a nice marina and allows access to the two lovely swimming pools and hot tubs.  We found this funny; the Resort has a rotating happy hour starting at 2:00 and ends at 3:00pm at the first location, then 3:00-4:00 at the second location and continues this for two more locations.  Each day of the week it starts at a different location.  But we were pretty beat from the passage so a quick dinner out and then early bed was in order. 

The next day we went into Old Town Mazatlan.  Mazatlan central is buzzing with tourists and shopping fans.  The large indoor Mercado is half mercantile and half market that includes specialty foods you wouldn’t find in a standard Mercado or tiende.  Chris enjoys food shopping, particularly specialty foods. Food surprises are always brought back to our boat (home).  

We visited the Basilica Cathedral of Mazatlan. Located in the town square of the historical center; it is the main religious building in Mazatlan. The works of this church began in 1856 by a bishop and years later a priest takes over to complete it in 1899. The church is heavily visited.

Along the Malacon are activities to view or participate.  One popular spot on Sundays is the Cliff Diving, aka “El Clavadista” by the Mazatlecos.  And it would have been impressive to personally view the diving.  The waters the divers dive into look too sketchy (unsafe in my eyes), even when they divers take advantage of the slightly deeper water depth on the incoming waves.  We understand from others that at 50’ high on a platform, the water is just a few feet deep.  Maybe next time we’ll be there on a Sunday.

Chris shows me how he would dive off the cliff.

During your walk to or from the Malacon, catch a walk down the Calle Angel Flores.  It’s an easy treat on your eyes to view the immaculate care of the colorful homes on this street.  It is said that famous residents once lived in these homes.

Now let’s talk about laundry.  Since we left the USA, we have not washed our own clothes.  The laundry services here in Mexico are wonderful.  For 70 pesos per load, or approx. $3.10 US,  our laundry is washed, dried, and neatly folded and placed in a thick plastic bag per load.  And the clothes smell so good!  Traditionally, you drop off one day and pay at pick up the next day.  In El Cid, the gal delivers your laundry to your boat!  What a delight. 

And now there is “The Ditch”, as our friends on Starfire (the folks in the above photos) lovingly referred to it [enter sarcasm], is the short yet narrow entrance canal to the marinas of Mazatlan. The key thing here is there is a dredge that runs pretty much year-round that keeps the silt out of the entrance so boats can pass.  It’s important maintenance to avoid boats running aground.  However, with the dredge in the canal sharing the width of the entrance, it makes passing the Dredge a bit stressful because now the narrow width is shared, and they secure the dredge with an underwater cable between them and the shore. You experience this both entering and exiting.  There is no other way in or out.  Going through this small entrance was more stressful than the 40-hour passage beforehand.  Ha haha

Dharma Girl at end of dock. The ‘ditch’ is located at center and far back of photo!

But again, once you are in … it’s nothing but pools with a slide, laundry service delivered to your boat, friendly locals willing to help you, and good times to be had.  So to avoid being sucked into the comforts this marina offers, we decided to leave after four days.

We leave MZT to visit Isla Isabelle.  

3 thoughts on “Crossing the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan

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