Barra de Navidad to La Paz 2006
Anchorage at Las Monas east of Isla Isabella
On our way in to Marina Mazatlan
La Paz Crossing
as viewed through
Approaching Cerralvo Island
San Lorenzo Channel
La Paz Square
La Paz Malecon
View of Marina Palmera from La Paz
It was time for us to head back north, so we left Barra de Navidad headed for Tenicatita on March 14 along with Polar Bear. We had a lovely south wind, so we were able to sail for most of the three-hour trip. Along the way we saw several schools of manta rays.
We anchored in Tenacatita, and later in the afternoon, all the boats had a dinghy raft up for cocktails and treats. We met some new people and had a chance to talk with others that we had already met. The next day we made the river trip again with Dave and Jan from Polar Bear and their friends Bob and Patricia on Indigo. It was a lovely day, and this time we didn't have any problems making it through in the dinghy. We had lunch ashore and then returned to the boat in the early afternoon so that we could get the boat ready to leave for Chamela in the morning. Happily, the two resident dolphins were still in the bay.
Our trip to Chamela was uneventful with moderate winds. When we arrived at Chamela, we had logged 5,210 nautical miles since we left Anacortes in May of 2005. The next day, we went into town and walked around for awhile along with John and Linda on Nokia. We decided to eat lunch, and Christie on Island Girl also joined us. They planned to leave that evening for Puerto Vallarta making an overnight passage to round Cabo Corrientes early in the morning when it would be calm. Two other boats, Night Flight and Topaz, planned to leave then also so we decided to tag along instead of waiting until morning.
Around 6:45 in the evening, we left the anchorage and headed out of the bay for the open water. It turned out to be terribly rough with large swells, and it was very uncomfortable. I had taken some medicine for seasickness, but it didn't help me that night. Steve went up on the bow, and I watched as he went about 10 feet up and and then 10 feet down from our level position. At about 9:30 in the evening, I got sick (for the first time ever on our boat and only the second time in my life), and it was about six hours before I could come up on deck to help Steve. He had to stand watch almost all night.
We rounded Cabo Corrientes with very mild conditions and entered Banderas Bay. We couldn't make it into Paradise Village in time for the tides, so we anchored at La Cruz. We had about 20 knots of wind our last hour or two in the Bay so we were happy to get anchored in La Cruz. We decided to just relax for the rest of the day.
On March 19 we headed for Paradise Village. We needed to have our alternator repaired and pick up our new cockpit cushions. We enjoyed our four-day stay as we were able to visit with Les and Tammy on Epifania and John and Sylvia on Sonrisa. Les and Tammy have decided to stay in Puerto Vallarta and start a business, but John and Sylvia will be in the Sea later in the spring. We left Paradise Village on the 23rd and anchored in La Cruz for two days waiting for the alternator. We finally decided to leave and asked Sonrisa to bring it with them.
We left for Mazatlan on March 25, and as we were headed past Punta de Mita, a large group of dolphins were coming toward us from our starboard or right. When they got to our boat, they all turned and swam with us for about 30 minutes. It was just wonderful to watch them, and I got some good video. I decided that still shots just didn't work well when they were moving so fast, but the video clip worked just great. We arrived in Mantanchen Bay that evening and spent the night.
The next morning, we headed out to Isla Isabela. We had not been able to stay there on our way down, so we were determined to stay there on our way back up. The first part of the trip was very easy, but the last 2 hours became quite rough, and we found ourselves beating into the wind. We arrived at the spires or "Monas" around six that evening and anchored in about 22 feet of water. Steve dove on the anchor to make sure that it was set and found that it was only partially buried, so we reanchored, and this time the anchor was securely dug in.
On March 27, we left very early in the morning so that we could make it to Mazatlan by evening as we wanted to avoid all the shrimping vessels this time. Mazatlan has the largest shrimping fleet in Mexico. We motor sailed the whole way since the winds were light. It was a very easy passage, and we dropped anchor behind Isla Venedos around 8:30 that evening. We would have to wait until the next day to enter the channel to Marina Mazatlan.
While in Mazatlan, we cleaned the boat, and I started working on the covers for the jerry jugs but didn't make much headway. The sun is very hard on everything, so I try to cover as much as I can with Sunbrella fabric. We went to "Happy Hour" and met Stan and Rhea on Vagari and Lisa and Steve on Flying Free. Also, Liberty Call II had just come up from San Blas (Mantanchen Bay) so we were able to visit with Anita and Ron. We met several other couples and had a great time.
We left Mazatlan on April 8 headed for La Paz. We had planned to leave earlier, but the weather was not cooperating. Strong winds and high seas had been forecast for several days, so we were delayed in leaving. Liberty Call II and Vagari joined us, so we had other boats to travel with. We headed north in the beginning, and the seas had some large swells. They settled down after a few hours, so it turned out to be a comfortable ride. We headed north motor sailing for about 85 miles, and then around 8 o'clock in the evening, we turned west and headed for La Paz. The next day was also very nice with mild conditions. We made better time than we thought we would, so we actually had to slow down so that we would arrive at La Paz during daylight hours. That night while on watch I saw a large halo around the moon. Unfortunately, we have not seen much sea life on this trip.
Around midnight we arrived at Cerravlo Island. We had to pass north of Cerralvo Island and had to be careful because Arrecife de la Foca (Seal Reef) is 4 miles north of the northern tip of Cerralvo Island. The reef has a light on it, but guess what--the light wasn't lit! We have become accustomed to buoy lights working only about half the time. Anyway, the buoy showed up clearly on our radar so it was no problem.
Our course then took us down San Lorenzo Channel (named for one of the many shipwrecks in the area). We had slowed down quite a bit, and now it was nearing daylight. Most of the channel navigation lights were working, so it was easy to get through the channel, and we pulled into Marina Palmera around 9 o'clock in the morning. When we entered the bay, we did have two large dolphins come over and swim just under our bow for a few minutes, and we also saw a seal, which was the first one we had seen in a long time.
Marina Palmera is a fairly new marina a few miles from La Paz. It is a very nice facility with a pool, wireless internet, and a laundry. It is always nice to pull into a marina since it gives us a chance to wash all the salt off the boat, and it always amazes me just how much salt there is. It is definitely warmer on the Baja side than the mainland side, but our sun awning shades the boat, and we have fans down below to help keep the air moving.
La Paz in located on the peninsula of Baja California. Herman Cortes arrived in the bay in 1535 and named it Santa Cruz Bay. Sebastian Vizcaino renamed it La Paz in 1596. The bay became a refuge for pirates. The mission of Nuestra Seņora del Pilar de la Paz Airapi was founded in 1720 by the Jesuits, but because of the rebellions of the native people and the lack of water, the mission was later abandoned and moved south to Todo Santos.
We went into La Paz several times to take care of groceries, visit the marine hardware store, and try out some of its restaurants. La Paz is a lovely town much like Mazatlan but not as large. We did arrive here during Holy Week so we had to wait to receive our mail package from the states. On Good Friday we found out that DHL had received the package and was holding it for us as we requested. Well, we requested it to be sent to the marina. We are becoming more acquainted with how to do business in Mexico. I will say, however, that the local people we have met have all been tremendously friendly and helpful, and we have enjoyed meeting and talking with them.
We will leave La Paz on April 18 headed north for Loreto and Loreto Fest, which will be held May 4-7, and I hope to update the site at that time.