Saturday, December 19, 2015

Guaymas - Topolobampbo - Mazatlan

Guaymas fuel dock - ready to head out
On Saturday December 12th, we made passage south from Guaymas, Sonora to the tomato state of Sinaloa. Backup plan was a stop in Topolobampo on the way to Mazatlan, depending on weather and winds. We traveled with our friends on Three Hour Tour which was enjoyable to keep in contact and compare conditions. As a catamaran, they sail differently than our monohull and the southerly winds carried us both along on our unique tack for the first 24 hours. No other sail traffic joined us on the mainland side so our goal was to avoid shrimpers and freighters that are regulars along the coastline.

On day two, after a nice quiet evening and beautiful red sunset, the winds switched from the south to a northerly late on the second day as we entered a 30MPH squall that took us by surprise. We tacked differently to adjust for the conditions. The seas were rougher and the waves higher once the squall hit, so as we approached Topolobampo, our group decision was to stop for a break midway to Mazatlan. Conditions were quite lousy when we arrived at the entrance to the huge bay that leads into Topo. Three Hour Tour made the decision to continue their journey on to Mazatlan and we decided the fun factor was enough and went in.

shallow entrance to the bay at Topolobampo

kayak covers ripped off
by the winds and rain

a welcome sight- the hillside town of Topo
It took four hours from the first set of buoys to arrival at the dock at Marina Palmira, Mike hand steering as the high, following seas caused us to turn off our autopilot and manually steering provided better control of our vessel against the seas. We dropped the mainsail as we entered the bay, watching a moving rainbow dancing across the rain squalls.

the salt removal process!
Not a thing in the boat wasn’t tossed, turned or shaken up and we discovered a leaking port, this one in the forward head. We've stayed 6 days in Topo, chilling, working on boat projects and venturing in to Los Mochis on the bus. This morning, we head south to Mazatlan, ready for 40 - 48 hours' journey. We waited a few more days than originally anticipated to avoid strong northerlies that would have made our trip bumpy. Let's hope our timing is better.

We learn from each passage, we take all of life lessons in stride and although we write stories of exhausting experiences, we appreciate the opportunity to be out on the water doing what we enjoy. 

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