April 16, 2005

Leaving Mazatlán

Hi Everyone!

We've had a wonderful week in Mazatlán.

We left the dock this morning at 830AM MDT for a passage across the Sea of Cortez to the Baja side.

We are heading to Ensenada de los Muertos, a nice anchorage just south of La Paz on the Baja peninsula. We'll be going from the Marina El Cid entrance at 23 16.142 N - 106 28.118 W to the anchorage at 23 59.360 N - 109 49.730 W. The trip is 189.7 nm at a course of 273 Magnetic. We're about 14 miles into the trip right now. We should arrive around noon tomorrow.

We only have around 5 knots of wind with flat seas, no swells to speak of and haze. Visibility is around 5 miles. We're motoring again, but could possibly sail later as what wind there is coming from 50 degrees to port of our course (i.e. it's mild southerly).

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Mazatlán is a great place to visit. It's real easy to get around by bus, taxi or pulmonías (Open air golf carts built on VW Chassis that are unique to Mazatlán).

The Marinas are 7 miles up the coast from the main part of town, but it's only an inexpensive bus ride. Interestingly, each bus line here has two classes of bus. The older style (basically like a School Bus) charge 4 pesos ($0.36 US). The newer tour bus style busses, with air conditioning charge 8 pesos ($0.73 US) per person per trip. We've ridden both.

Between the Marinas and town is the Zona Dorado (Golden Zone), i.e. the tourist area. Downtown itself is less touristy than PV, except when a cruise ship is in. Even then, the turistas generally head to the Zona Dorado.

We're mystified at how all the Senior Frogs Official Stores stay in business. In the tourist areas there seems to be on every few blocks - all selling the same T-shirts, etc. Maybe we're just getting old, but the stuff is pretty tacky.

The historic section of town has a interesting renovated area, with many good restaurants, a great market and many interesting architectural features.

The weather in Mazatlán is much more humid than Puerto Vallarta. The days are the same temperature but the nights are 10 degrees colder. Most mornings the boat is totally covered in dew, with some large puddles. I know it seems strange, but we still haven't seen any rain since a brief shower in Turtle Bay (not counting our visit back to the US for 3 weeks in Feb/Mar.).

More news later.

Cheers,
Bill and Mary
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