Log #62o Mazatlan

February 19, 2019 in Log Series 60-69, Logs by Series, Series 62, Series 62, The Logs, Uncategorized


 Log #62o Mazatlan
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
March 11, 2018

Small world! In Marina El Cid in Mazatlan we came across a familar boat, Shannon Spirit, Canadians from B.C. with whom we spent last Christmas and New Years in La Paz and have known as Ontario 32 owners, as they originally had an Ontario 32 #1 they called Shannon. Carolyn and Cathy now have a Catalina 34 they appropriately called Shannon Spirit. It was great to reconnect with them. 

We decided to stay at El Cid Marina for a few days, as the rate was economical at 75 cents a foot (US), as opposed to the inner marina of Mazatlan Marina at 95 cents a foot, without the benefits of the El Cid Resort. The washrooms and showers were in good condition, and the water on the docks was drinkable as it was RO (Reverse Osmosis) pure water. There were two large swimming pools, one with a hot jacuzzi pond which I enjoyed several times.

In this picture the pool in the foreground is a hot jacuzzi. There is also a good breakfast restaurant at which we enjoyed Eggs Benedict a couple of times to treat Judy. We also enjoyed an International Buffet at the main restaurant for an economical 270 pesos each ( $15.00 US ) which included three Sangria drinks each, courtesy of the restaurant. I had to carefully escort Judy back to the boat.

We were able to catch a local bus down to a large grocery store for supplies and a taxi back. Another day we bussed downtown and walked over to the ferry docks to look at the southern entrance and anchorage for Mazatlan. We were glad that we didn’t decide to try the anchorage there. It was open to swells from local fishing boats and ferries, no place to land a dinghy, and in a poor part of town.

The Malecon goes along the waterfront, with large modern and not so modern tourist shops, resorts, and condos fringing the landward side of the main roadway. It is a wide pedestrian and bicycle friendly paved walkway extending a couple of miles along the shoreline. We didn’t bother walking it as the bus went along much of it on our way down and back from El Cid. Instead we wandered around the old town of Mazatlan.

 There are a few large parks geometrically designed with pedestrian walkways radiating out from central bandstands. Tropical foliage and palm trees fill the inner spaces, providing pleasant shade from the hot sun. Across the road at one side of the main Plazuela Machado is the colonaded city hall decorated with neon Carnival masks. There were quite a few people around, as that day was election day and several voting polls were doing a brisk business. I did not find the internal plaza very attractive, no ornamentation, and nothing in the middle of the plaza, just open space.

 We wandered down side streets, as I like the Spanish architecture of the homes and buildings. I saw a couple of large buildings with classic architecture, but mostly empty. At least the facades are maintained, while portions inside are derelict. I have found similar buildings in several other small cities with beautiful facades, but empty inside, some portions without roofs as is the case in this building above.

 Usually around the main town plazas are found the city hall, colonaded merchant arcades, and the main town church. I enjoy visiting churches for the cool and tranquility they provide on a hectic tourist itinerary of the area. I also enjoy the architecture and the icons, even though I am not Roman Catholic. Down here the churches are open even when no services are ongoing. Not so in many cities in Canada and the U.S. 








  I also went through the Angela Peralta Theatre, named after the town’s and Mexico’s famous operatic soprano Angela Peralta. The theatre was destroyed in a fire about fifty years ago but has been rebuilt in its traditional splendor. Behind the pillared entrance is a courtyard with overlooking balconies before entering the theatre proper. Many classical artists are featured here. 







A highlight for Judy was an Eco tour, expensive, but worthwhile for bird watching on a ranch outside of town. We had two knowledgeable guides just for the two of us, driving and walking around the ponds, streams, and hills and a feeding station by a pond where the birds fluttered down by the dozens.


                                         Yellow-Winged Caciques                               Purplish-Backed Jay & White Winged Doves

None of the above birds are found in Canada or the U.S., except the White Winged Doves which may be found in the southern U.S.

 El Cid provided a ferry that crossed the entrance channel to a luxurious beach, complete with chairs, sun shades and cabanas. One day beyond the beach I went to a vegetable truck that comes down weekly for boaters and area residents, to get some veggies and a kilo of shrimp to make a gazpacho and a ceviche, cold soups for a hot climate. Mmmmm!
Cathy and Carolyn provided us with some good navigational tips as they had cruised the area before. They also invited us out to a local cantina that featured two for one barbecued ribs and drinks that particular night. The place was crowded, and we had to wait a few minutes to be seated, but it was worth it. The ribs were delicious!

Next day at 1400 (2:00pm) Cathy and Carolyn helped us leave our slip as we backed out of the marina into the main channel. Thanks Carolyn and Cathy!

We debated whether to hoist the main while motoring out the channel, but decided not as there was an S shaped exit which might have given us trouble with the wind. In hindsight we should have done so, as once we got out of the channel into open water we were pounding into a force 4 wind (about 15 knots) against an ebb current, creating short steep 3 metre waves.

We put on our safety harnesses before going on deck to raise the main, but they created more problems. We attach the lanyards of the harnesses to jack lines running fore and aft on both sides. We replaced the lines this year. However we did not know that the new lines stretched when wet! Normal webbing does not do so, but these did. I was hooked on to the port line when I left the cockpit, and went forward to the spreaders to detach the shackle from the main halyard and attach it to the headboard of the mainsail. However as I stretched to attach it, my harness line had wound itself around the stretched now floppy jackline, and did not give me enough slack to reach the mainsail headboard. As I bent down to free up my harness, I could not reach it and hold on to the halyard, and I lost the halyard!

It went flying out in the 15 knot wind and wrapped itself high around the aft stay. It was too high to reach it with a boat hook, and would have been too dangerous to have tried to stretch up to reach it. We elected to turn around and return to the marina channel and then hook it down and hoist the sail in the protected waters of the channel. Even the turning around was a dangerous manouver as for several seconds we were beam onto the wind and steep waves, with Veleda wallowing violently side to side.

 Returning to the channel was also dangerous as the channel was closed because of the high winds. The swell and waves pounding into the channel made powering Veleda into it a tricky manoeuvre. However once in the channel the winds and waves eased off and we were able to go down to a widening of the channel to rescue the halyard. We turned back into the wind and hoisted the mainsail in the protected waters before venturing out for a very heavy sail for 140 miles for the next 28 hours.

More about this passage in my next log