Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Isla Isabella and Chacala

We left Mazatlan late January 10th for an overnight sail 86 miles to arrive at Isla Isabella.  We sailed until 0400 then motored until we arrived at 9am January 11th.  We started sighting whales frolicking along the way.  We kept our distance.

Isla Isabella
Isla Isabella is a national park and bird sanctuary.  There's not much vegetation, and the anchorage is a  collapsed caldera.  The bay is small and the swells seem to roll in gently until they hit the rocks and explode in spray and foam.  Too bad we didn't take any photos.

It is a very small anchorage with known rocks, so with great care we dropped the hook over a patch of sand in 20 ft and spent the night.  Far from any town, the stars were brilliant, with the crashing surf invisible in the darkness.  A panga fished around us late into the evening, sometimes with a light, sometimes not.  It was eerry.

It was a rolly night, so we decided to press on to Chacala, where surely there was more protection from the swells.  (Ha!  fat chance)

The next day, we sailed a few hours to Chacala, "the postcard".  A beautiful, palm fringed bay, a small quiet village, with a few hotels and beach bars...   Aaahhhh.  BUT, with bigger swells and crashing surf.  Since we didn't bother with a stern anchor, the wind often put us sideways to the swells, so we rolled even more than Isla Isabella.  But it was so beautiful, we stayed a second night.

By now, the water is very warm, so swimming off the boat is nice,.  However, swimming next to the boat the swells start looking a lot bigger.

This is it!  At last!
      Jarana in the background

Well, as it turned out, Chacala rolled even more that Isla Isabella and we were always cross ways to the swell.

More from Matazlan\

We spent 12 days in Mazatlan. There's a lot to see.  Here are some photos:

colorful buildings


 men with hats

 culture and history


 friendly people

Onward to our next adventure....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happy New Year from Mazatlan

We had one of our best sails ever across the Sea of Cortez, a 32 hour, broad reach in 12-20kts under a full moon!  It was awesome.   In our enthusiasm, we arrived in Mazatlan late December 30th!  It was breezy and there was a goodly swell running.  Fortunately, the approach is wide open.  So with great care, we found the tiny entrance to El Cid and Marina Mazatlan.

We got a warm reception from Gilberto, the night security manager at Marina Mazatlan.  He liked our boat's name Jarana, which is a guitar from Veracruz, his home town.

There was a great New Years Eve potluck on the dock and we met a lot of folks.  It was a lot of fun.

Kathi: El Cid is the hero in the Spanish classic novel, El Cid.  I remember it as an incredibly boring book I had to read in college Spanish class.  I wonder why they named a hotel after him.   It's right up there with Candide, by Andre Gide, that we had to read in high school French class.  Did anybody else have to suffer through that stuff?