Saturday, January 3, 2015


We departed Los Frailes at dawn with the intention of going to Isla Isabella then on to San Blas and La Cruz for Christmas, but as frequently happens we changed our plans. The winds were relatively light and an almost dead downwind sail to Isla Isabella would be a slow and rocky sail so we decided to head up 40 degrees making a more comfortable and faster sail but now we were heading towards Mazatlan. I think it’s the first time we have changed our destination during a passage but it made sense.

We ended up sailing all but the last few hours to Mazatlan which was a distance of 170 miles so it involved an overnight passage. The seas were relatively comfortable so the passage was quite pleasant and we watched the stars rise and fall.

The anchor was dropped in the bay by stone island but we soon departed as the smell of sewage and burning was horrendous so we moved to the harbor where we dropped the anchor for one night.

Our friends on ‘Ohanna were in El Cid Marina so we hailed them on the VHF to check out what the facilities were like there and a positive reply came back so looks like we would spend Christmas in El Cid Marina.

El Cid marina is probably the best marina we have stayed at so far, not that we have stayed in many but the ones we have were not a patch on this one, Even Coral Marina in Ensenada seems positively 3rd world in comparison. It has a nice selection of swimming pools bars and restaurants and the staff is all friendly and helpful, again unlike Coral Marina.

Resident Iguana 

Sleepy Christmas morning

We spent time with old friends and made new cruiser friends, completed some boat servicing and repair jobs and did all the usual cleaning and washing. Exploring the city of Mazatlan was fun, taking the local bus into the old town and searching out the markets. The covered Mercado was very interesting as it housed a wide variety of stalls selling anything from clothing to fruit and veg and a whole host of meats in shops that would send any self respecting health and safety officer or foods standards agent into a catastrophic spin.  

Christmas day was spent eating smoked salmon on toast in the morning, opening presents and followed by swimming in the cooling pools and in the evening with friends and a potluck and a few drinks. To think last year we were in cold Victoria on Vancouver Island.

It was quite easy to leave the marina, nice as it is with all its amenities it’s also exciting to get underway again and see new places and spend some quiet time at anchor away from the crowds. So we went to the shops and carried out a big provisioning for 3 weeks away from the shops and off we departed on the 28th December bound for Isla Isabella.

I feel like I could have, or should have, written more about our stay in Mazatlan given that we spent two weeks there but we got into a routine where most of the time we were relaxing by the pool, reading, doing home school or working on the boat so there was not too much to report.

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