Christmas in Mazatlan

 

Leaving Marina Costa Baja on December 20th

Clare took the boat from La Paz to Isla Partida.

As we left La Paz we were accompanied by a charming fishing boat.

Two way traffic passing Isla Espiritu Santo

Positively rush hour

Ironbarque anchored in El Cardonal on Isla Partida on December 20th

“Can I go in now?”

“How about now?”

The new pulpit makes a great dive platform.

Drew took a while to drum up the courage to leap into what he had spent so much time keeping out of since the Atlantic.

While Isabelle bravely nursed the 17 stitches newly trussed along her thigh the boys leapt overboard.

Nothing could stop Nico’s joyful leap.

Nico’s waterskiing life jacket is not only comfortable on deck but proved a perfect swim aid.

Three boys who have clearly spent more time hitting the books than the water.

Ken took time to see what there might be for supper.

The full moon rose between the hills on the evening of the 20th

The moon finally rested completely overhead and at 11:45 pm a smudge appeared on one side, which took until 1:15 am to completely overshadow the moon’s ruddy face.  Then suddenly the whole sky punched back with the full depth of all the fainter, further stars as if we had put on 3D glasses.

Caves dotted the beach and the cliffs.

The kids found that if they positioned themselves precisely opposite some of the caves in the cliffs they could get a complete echo of what they shouted out.

Nico enjoying the “see-through” water.

Between a rock and a rock.

Matt and drew snorkeled until toxic looking fish brought them back to shore.

The cool waters of the Sea of Cortez are responsible for the abundant sea-life but the lack of evaporation off the water means the land remains parched.

A fish out of water

There is a saying that cruisers write their plans in the sand while the tide is out…

Boy Friday

Never go up a creek or into a bay without a paddle.  While we were on the beach the tide went out, leaving a shallow covering over the scattered rocks.  Matt and Drew had to paddle the rest of us back out to deeper water where the outboard could be lowered.

Raising the colors.

After a rocky noisy night in the anchorage we decided to leave before we lost so much sleep we couldn’t cope with the crossing.

Heading out of the anchorage into the Sea.

The Ensign flying over the Sea of Cortez.

Rounding the islands on the Sea.

Drew is alerted to a bite on the line.

“See, I told you there was a bite”

“Dinner anyone?”

“How about an anatomy lesson?”

Paint your palette blue and grey….

The firmament of the heavens.

At least one ship came sailing on Christmas Eve in the morning. Approaching Mazatlan after a bumpy two days and nights with the wind behind us.  The access to the marina is via a very narrow and unnerving dog’s leg breakwater, which Ken handled beautifully in the big swell.

The improbably dubbed ‘Gilligan’s Island’ in the middle of Marina Mazatlan.  Sadly it never quite got to see its better days.

Shells of condos and mansions that never quite made it on ‘Gilligan’s Island’.

Others on the other side of the island in bright contrast.

Having pulled into Marina Mazatlan on the morning of Christmas Eve it was all hands on deck to decorate the boat.  Drew was in charge of converting boxed boughs into a tannenbaum.

Exciting treats hanging on Christmas morning in The stockings Isabelle knitted.

Christmas tree 2010.  Our first artificial tree, but we scented it with sprigs of spruce clipped from the office tree by the delightful harbor mistress of Marina Mazatlan, Elvira.  It is slowly acquiring new Mexican ornaments.

Isabelle’s new blouse