Christmas Chill

Just before we left La Paz we hopped on a luxury tour bus for the 1 1/2 hour trip  to a small town called Todos Santos. It’s a quaint, artsy tourist town with many galleries and shops full of local artist’s wears. It made for a great road trip and total cost for the return bus fare was $25 each. Speaking of costs, Barb and I got our hair cut in La Paz. We found a barber shop and the lady cut both mine and Barb’s hair. With the tip it cost 200 pesos (about $12 Canadian)

Todos Santos Street
Flower Vendor and his wheel barrow
Great spot for lunch
Mosaic wall decoration – 8 ft. in diameter
Typical Mexican colours

We departed La Paz and headed back to Los Muertos. Winds were gusting to 25 knots with waves about 6 feet so it was a bit lumpy but once through Canal de San Lorenzo it was a down wind run so it was not a bad day of sailing. An early night in Los Muertos and a 3 am start for the crossing to Mazatlan. What a difference a few hours can make. We went from 25 knots to just about nothing and we ended up motoring or motor sailing the entire 190 miles across the Sea of Cortez.

I wish there was a good way to take pictures in the dark. The night crossings (on calm nights) are pretty amazing. Looking around at the stars is like being inside a ball with the top of the ball poked with millions of holes letting little bits of light through. Interrupted only occasionally by a shooting star streaking across the sky.

As the boat passes through the water it disturbs micro organisms. At night they emit their bioluminescence. It often looks like a lightning storm.  sparking and streaking  in the waves and wake of the boat. Words cannot describe how cool all of this can be. Then you cap it all off with a sunrise like this.

Amazing Sunrise

We had an uneventful crossing (except for catching and releasing a 5-foot Marlin) and arrived at the El Cid Marina in  Mazatlan 30 hours later. We have since had the chance to do some of the typical tourist stuff. A trip into old town,  walks along the Malecon and the Golden Zone.

Marlin on the line
Sign says it all
Old town Mazatlan
Some of the fishing fleet along the Malecon
Old town market shop
Market butcher
Malecon Statue
Cliff Diver in flight

Now the Christmas Chill part. The El Cid Marina and Resort is an all-inclusive resort with a marina, so we get the use of the resort facilities as part of our moorage package. Two pools, hot tub, pool side beverage service, a couple restaurants, beach cabanas, etcetera. When we are not too busy we are chillin’ by the pool. Feeling sorry for us yet? The boat is here for a month and we will fly back to Vancouver for a couple of weeks to celebrate the holidays with family.

In the mean time you’ll find us by the pool. Feliz Navidad

Island Time

We just spent a week exploring a few of the beautiful islands north of La Paz. After a lunch stop at Puerto Balandra and the famous mushroom rock, it was onto Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida.  Over the next 5 days we anchored in Ensenada de la Raza, Caleta el Candelero, Partida Cove and Ensenada Grande. All were lovely bays with clear water and large beaches. Great places to do some snorkeling, kayaking and beach combing.

Mushroom Rock
Isla Espiritu Santo
Island Sunset

In Ensenada Grande we even went searching for Boobies. Settle down guys! These are the famous Blue Footed Boobies and they are a species of bird. Yup, your right not nearly as interesting 😊 Either way we did not manage to see any.

From Isla Partida we moved to Isla San Francisco. It’s a good thing we had guide books with pictures of the bay and our iPad with Navionics charts because the Garmin charts we run in our chart plotter were completely wrong. The red overlay in the picture shows the radar image of the bay we are in. The yellow in the chart is what is supposed to be the land and it does not even show the bay.

Radar in red shows the real island and bay

There is an awesome beach in the bay and trails that lead you to the top of the hills surrounding it. The views are amazing!

Hiking along the ridge. (No its not a suitcase it’s the drone but the video did not work out)
Looking down into the bay

We had to do the cruisers equivalent of mowing the lawn as well. This involves jumping in the water with a scrub brush and cleaning all the sea weed growth off the waterline of the boat. Its hard work trying to hold yourself in place while the current is moving you, the wind moves the boat and every motion you make pushes you in a different direction. But its 28 degrees outside and the water is 25 degrees so its still better than mowing the lawn.

Kayak time

Partida Cove will likely to be one of our all time favorite anchorages.  During the day we spot turtles and even a pod of dolphins came through the anchorage.  When its dark, we turn on our “fish movie”.  The blue underwater lights attract all kinds of sea life, everything from sea lions, rays, tons of fish and pelicans that appreciate their dinner lit up for the pickings.  We walked past the fisherman’s shacks and noted the unique construction that still managed to include a satellite dish in there.  

Dolphins in the bay

Fisherman’s shacks
Satellite TV ?
Cool rock formations
Dinghy at the beach
Anchored in Partida

We are back in La Paz for a few days before we cross the Sea of Cortez to the Mainland where we will leave the boat in Mazatlan while we go home for  Christmas.

Will update in a bit.