|La Paz cathedral|
|This is how they do pork at The Shack|
|This is in the courtyard of a really funky hotel|
We had been keeping a close eye on the elecricity consumption and it was pretty obvious that the fridge was taking a lot more juice here in the heat.
On one of our trips up to the marine store we noticed a store selling solar panels across the street. A quick inspection showed that they had IN STOCK the exact panels that we needed. The old VISA took a big hit and as it turned out the panels, made in Mexico, were actually less than at Downwind Marine in San Diego. It took a couple of days to fit then but presto all of a sudden we were pretty close to being self sufficient. It was very good not to have to worry about running the fridge or any of the other 12 things.
|For all my Kiwi friends|
|It is not all work, you know|
|The Shack "Wall"|
We finally have a weather window and are heading out in the morning to the Isla Espiritu Santo (only 20 miles away) - going into Partida Cove an island just to the north east of us and protected in all weather. After that we will be off to a place on the mainland called Topolobampo ( NE 107 miles). The plan right now is once we arrive we will be taking a land based trip to the Coppper Canyon for 4 to 5 days.
|Sunset and another night at sea|
Our weather forecast on Friday was for little or no wind all the way to Mazatlan for our 210 miles journey. We came out of Topo 12 miles channel under engine and continued to motor all day and night and until the wind began to pick up Saturday morning.
We had alot of large whales but no one putting on a show for us. Several large frigate birds tried to land on the top of the mast. We fished all day but catch nothing again. Finally able to turn the engine off we sailed under 8 knots of wind until about 4 and then all hell broke lose again. Gusts up to 19 knots and with the wind behind us we were moving well around 6 to 7 knots but we had another problem in that if we kept going this fast and if the wind continued all night we would get to Mazatlan at 2 in the morning and no one goes into this harbor at night. SO when we finally get some wind to sail we have to take all the sails down and go around 3 knots and it is like being in a washing machine - steep short seas from behind.
We had the most beautiful sunset ever that night. When it was my watch time at 2 am there were at least 20 shrimp boaters around. Most along the coast but 4 directly in front. Leif says - you will be fine and so my eyes are glued to these boats. It is so very hard to tell the direction they are going as they have such bright lights and distance is so hard to judge at night even when the moon is out. Well all was well for about 30 minutes and then 2 were coming straight at me one from each side. When you can see the crew moving on the deck they ARE CLOSE!!!! So I panic and shout for Leif and together we managed to dodge them.
We made landfall at about 10:30 on Sunday morning and was so glad to get in as the wind was really starting now and all we could do was think of our friends from Vancouver out for another day in this wind. Hot showers and Mexican laundry service always make one appreciate the finer things in a sailor's life. We have an all inclusive hotel facility here - 2 pools and the hot tub and all the activities if one wants to participate. We will stay for a couple of weeks before heading out to Pueto Vallarta to meet my brother coming on the 7th of Jan.
I am sure you all are in the Christmas spirit and rushing about to get everything done before Sunday. We are very laid back - have a little decorated Christmas tree that Kirsten gave us before we left on the table. We will be appreciating the Mexicans version of Christmas which I think is just as hectic as back home seeing the shoppers with all of their packages on the bus yesterday. About 20 of us are getting together to do a large pot luck with all the trimmings by the pool - my first tropical Christmas - do I miss the snow and the rushing around? - NO - but we do miss the family:( We hope to see them down here in the new year. London is already packing for the trip to see Bama and the beach:) We talk to them almost everyday on Skype so that helps.
We did not take a ride in the "pneumonia", a form of open air taxi that abounds in Mazatlan. We did however get a ride in a pickup with benches in the back and a covered roof. There are some great restaurants like The Fat Fish-for the best pork ribs, a great hamburger place in the old town, don't miss the Topo for a terrific Mexican meal, and I don't mean tacos-best coconut breaded shrimp ever and of course the ever present street venders who serve up good food real cheap.
We got a little spanish lesson here, we had the birria de borrego, it tasted delicious. However we later learned that it was sheep, something we usually avoid. Just goes to show you that there should be no preconceived notions, especially with food!
|Mexican Santa Claus|
Santa found us in Mazatlan! The marina put on a Christmas dinner for those in the marina. They did an excellent job and the food was first class. We really have to take our hat off to the El Cid they certainly try to make your stay memorable. However it wasn't too long after Christmas that we had to leave if we were going to take in Isla Isablea and get to Puerto Vallarta to meet up with Jacki's brother, Doug and our son Christian was coming as well. We left feeling a bit sad leaving Mazatlan but were looking forward with catching up with family.