Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Heading West from Mazatlan!

We’ve spent a few enjoyable days in Mazatlan, mostly anchored in the old harbor then 3 days at El Cid Marina. Photos tell the stories:
Tonight at 11P, we head west across the Sea of Cortez with our friends on Interabang and two other boats from the Baja Ha-Ha. We’ll traverse an estimated 190 miles, around 36 hours transit time. Leaving at night, we’ll have 2 night passages and arrive at Bahia de Los Muertos in AM. Los Muertos is a few kilometers south of La Paz and a nice resting spot after a long journey.

Cruising Along Mazatlan Harbor

Its Saturday midmorning (3/24) and we’re traversing 14 miles north from Mazatlan old harbor to the estuary where the marinas and bird nesting areas are. We will spend two days at Marina El Cid to clean the boat, enjoy services and prepare for our voyage to cross the Sea of Cortez, known here as the Sea.

At the helm we’re experiencing a rich array of seabirds along Isla Pajaros (Birds Island) and serve as a source of their entertainment:

-           Magnificent frigates, perilously close, crisscross Pura Vida with their almost seven foot wing span and occasionally attack a lone Brown Booby sitting on the water

-          Bevies of Brown Boobies skim just before our bow and acrobatically zoom up then down into waves for food, checking us out rather closely in the cockpit

-          ‘Gangs’ of pelicans zoom like low riders barely missing the waves

And for dessert, as we approach the entrance a pair of dolphins skim a wave and say hello. The estuary entrance proves rather harrowing as the tide ebbed and waves crashed along the breakwater access. Mike deftly moves our heavy “Bessel” through the narrow channel. This access is all about timing: the tides, the dredge that keeps the channel open and tons of fishing boats that pass.

Bioluminescent Dolphin

During our night passage from Puerto Vallarta/Banderas Bay to Mazatlan, our most incredible nature experience yet. Thankfully, Mike woke me to share watching the awesome dolphin that played along left and right of our bow for 15 minutes. The night was very dark and blue bioluminescence encapsulated his body, serving as a spotlight for us to watch the show. Wow.

That night was illuminated by the rare proximity of Jupiter and Venus glowing brightly together in the western sky. Around 4 am, the last quarter of the moon shared its dim light against the star-filled sky and I anxiously awaited the first light of dawn, ready to approach Mazatlan harbor in the morning light.

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