Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Heading to the Sea of Cortez

 It was with a mixture of excitement and sadness that we finally departed La Cruz. When you spend 3 months in one place you start getting to be very familiar with a town and its people. Katya made some great friends during her time there and she will probably miss it the most. For me it has been a great place to get all my annual maintenance and other boat jobs that have been on my list for quite some time completed. We also took a great opportunity to have a stainless steel arch made which replaces the old davits that were slowly ripping off the pushpit. The arch also allows us to move the solar panels up high and out of the way of boarding waves from the stern, which happened to us a couple of time on the way down from San Diego and nearly took them out. We also included a few other features that make cruising life a lot easier such as proper mounts for the stern anchor, BBQ propane tank and two dive tank holders all of which frees up space in our storage lockers and gives us much easier access to them. We also included two seats on the stern which are simply a wonderful place to sit either at anchor or underway – Katya’s favorite feature.

Katya with the children from Pickles
We departed La Cruz on Thursday 23rd April in the afternoon and planned to sail through the night to Isla Isabella. The winds were forecast to be on our nose so we expected to motor all the way. We left the marina in gusty conditions and motored the boat through the anchorage to say our goodbyes to our friends on Pickles: Guy, Joanie, Julia, Christopher, Henry and William Moppel. The Pickles as they are known to us have been cruising for 7 or 8 years and are a wonderful family we hope to see again sometime. We motored due west in 15 to 20 knots and hoped that it would not be like that all the way but as soon as we headed around the point at Punta Mita they winds lightened and were surprisingly favourable to raise the sails which was unexpected, so we sailed through the afternoon and into the night arriving at the island just before dawn where we waited about 1 mile away for dawn to come and to drop the anchor.

Having found the small and only sand spot in the south anchorage we immediately went for a swim in the refreshing and clear blue water and checked that our anchor was properly set. Jude and I then went down below to catch up on some sleep after our first night passage for some time. Jude and I find that it takes a few days to get into a rhythm of sailing through the night but in the meantime we find it exhausting, very reminiscent of long haul jet-lag.

We decided that we would not stay overnight at Isla Isablella but we would have a night passage to Mazatlan arriving in the morning, so as the sun set we raised the anchor and headed north in light winds and flat seas. The night passage was uneventful and the winds did not pick up until we arrived in Mazatlan at 8:30am. We attempted to book in to El Cid Marina as I was looking forward to a swim in their great pool but they were full up so we checked into Marina Mazatlan, which although well protected and without the great swell you get in El Cid it is rather run down and has no facilities, it’s a bit of a depressing place really but we were only staying one night.

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