Monday, March 28, 2011

Mazatlan

We arrived in Mazatlan on 3/17 and we are leaving tomorrow, 3/29, for La Paz on the Baja Peninsula.
Drew joined us here at a condo for 8 days and his friend, Vic, joined us for 4 days. We are now back on Loomba-Loomba in Marina Mazatlan getting geared up to head across the Sea.
Steve Jobs would be proud: New MacBook Pro, Old MacBook Pro that drowned, 
Drew's MacBook Air, Drew's new iPad, Drew's iPhone, Chrissy's iPhone, 
new NetBook and Jim's MacBook.

We enjoyed being in the condo - with a king size bed, big shower
and full kitchen - especially the dishwasher!

We toured the city, had some great meals, and enjoyed the condo beach and pool. It was great R&R for all of us and fun to spend some time with Drew.
















Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sailmail and Yotreps Position Reports Back!

Drew joined us for a week in Mazatlan and brought us his MacBook Pro and a Netbook for a backup.
He was able to take the hard drive out of my MacBook Pro (the one that drowned) and put it in this one - and everything works! So we are back in business. THANK YOU DREW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will do a blog post with Mazatlan pictures soon. We will be leaving Mazatlan for La Paz in the next day or two.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

LaCruz to Mazatlan

March 4, 2011 Back in La Cruz again. Tom and Claudette and Mike and Kathy Jackson arrived to spend two weeks on Anna. Jim and I have been having fun with the Anna crew and we’ve been getting some maintenance things done on Loomba-Loomba.

The Sunday market in the Plaza in La Cruz


Breakfast and wifi at YaYa's Cafe
Seafood Feast at Enrique's for Tommy and Chrissy's birthday

Jim and Chrissy took the bus into Bucerias (in between La Cruz and PV) one day to go to the dentist for a good teeth cleaning and check up (AOK) and to go to the “Mega” Supermarket to re-provision.


This alleyway leads to the main market stalls in Bucerias


We left La Cruz on Thursday, March 10th and arrived in Chacala that afternoon.
Friday morning we awoke to a Tsunami warning on the SSB net and from a fisherman driving by in his Panga who told us to turn the VHF to Channel 16 to get a message from the Capitan de Puerto. Essentially the Port Captain told us that all the Mexican ports were closed and we could not leave the bay. There were 5 boats in the bay and all of us knew that it would be much safer to be in deep water. We all raised our anchors and headed out as far as we could and still be in the bay and spent the rest of the morning and afternoon circling around the bay. There were a few surges, but nothing very noticeable and we finally went back in and anchored in the late afternoon. It was unsettling just waiting for the Tsunami and not knowing  exactly what to expect. We are thankful it was more or less a “non-event” for us, but so sorry for those that got the brunt of the earthquake and tsunami.
 Anna and Loomba-Loomba waiting for the tsunami.

One day we took the dinghys around the point south of Chacala to a secret beach 
for swimming snorkeling and a picnic lunch.

video
The Anna crew doing a beach landing.


While we were out snorkeling these two showed up. Apparently
they are trying to keep people off of the beach, but if you arrive by boat
you can stay and use the beach.
They were very nice and loved getting their picture taken!


Anna and Loomba-Loomba anchored in Chacala
Sunday March 13 we had a great sail up to Matanchen Bay outside of San Blas. We dropped anchor and Anna headed into the lagoon to the marina so it would be easier for them to visit with Mike’s high school friend who lives in San Blas. We were the only boat on the bay for two nights and then there were five!

 
Loomba-Loomba anchored in Matanchen Bay



While in Matanchen Bay and San Blas we swam in the bay, had shrimp empanadas and cervezas at the beach palapas, went to the city market, hit a few restaurants, wandered around town, went to Stoner’s surf camp to check it out, and had a wonderful shrimp feed at Kent & Luis’ house (Mike’s high school friend).

Family affair at the fish market.
The old customs house is now the town's Cultural Center.

 San Blas' version of McDonald's.

 View of San Blas from the old Spanish fort built in 1770.

Tommy, Claudette, Kent, Mike, Kathy, Jim

 This church near the fort was built in 1769. In 1872 the aging bells
were removed and this was the inspiration for Longfellow to write his poem,
“The Bells of San Blas”.

Stoner's Surf Camp is well known in the surfing world.
Shrimp feed at Kent and Luis'

We left San Blas at 6am Wed morning 3/16, buddy boating with Anna, and arrived at Isla Isabela in the early afternoon. We had time to snorkel and take a quick tour of the island before we left Anna and headed to Mazatlan. We had been to Isla Isabela in December on our way south. At that time the birds were all guarding their eggs. Now the babies are quite big!
Baby Boobie.
Baby Frigates.
Baby Iguanas.
video
We said “hasta luego” to the Anna crew and headed towards Mazatlan just as the sun was going down.  
With fifteen miles to go we ran into pea-soup fog that stayed with us all the way into Mazatlan.  



We tied up to the dock in Marina Mazatlan at 11:30 am on Thursday, 3/17.  Drew is meeting us here on Saturday 3/19 for a short vacation. 





Thursday, March 3, 2011

Las Hadas to La Cruz

Our first stop when we left Las Hadas  on 2/18 was Santiago Bay. It’s a beautiful Bay just north of Manzanillo Bay.  During the week there is not much going on, but Sundays it is a happening place.  Live music, lots of palapas serving food and beverages, beach vendors  with carts, tables and chairs and umbrellas to rent, jet skis to rent, and waterskiing.


The swimming was great.  Water temp was 79! Snorkeling was OK, but the water was murky so the visibility wasn’t too good.

Next stop was back in Barra de Navidad Lagoon.  We fueled up, got our laundry done, bought some more fresh food and waited for a bad weather system to pass before heading north. In the mean time we re-connected with some friends and made some new friends. It was Carnival (Mardi Gras) weekend in Barra – lots of partying going on!
The French Baker delivers fresh bread and other goodies
every morning to the boats anchored in the Lagoon.

Market day in the town square every Thursday.

We went for a walk one day out to one of the Grand Bay Hotel
beaches. This amazing stairway took us up around the cliff and
to a beautiful private beach.

Beach at the other side of the stairway
Waiting in Barra for the hard N'lys to ease off for our leg north around Cabo Corrientes (translates to: cape of Currents), which has a reputation equal to California's Pt. Conception, we took a short hop back up to Tentacatita.  Woke up the first morning to a S'ly! and Don Anderson's weather guru forecast that the dreaded Cabo Corrientes had settled down.  "It never gets calmer than this."  We hustled around getting the boat ready and raised anchor at 1030, got out into a light southerly and seas flattening out.  Passing Chamela, last good anchorage south of Banderas Bay in late afternoon, conditions still looked favorable so we carried on.
Two hours later the S'ly dropped and a 16 knot N'ly sprang up in 10 minutes time, right on the nose.  Going was good for a few more hours til it had built to 22-24 knots true, right on the nose, and VERY sloppy sea.  Double reef and Staysail, Loomba-Loomba got her decks and cabin well-washed.  We are fairweather sailors.  That's why we bought a Fairweather Mariner 39.  Sometimes it's just a matter of luck, even with the best weather forecasters.  32 hours later we dropped the hook in La Cruz, where we will stay for a few days to meet Chrissy's brother and hopefully buddy-boat north with the good ship Anna.