Saturday, December 10, 2011


Stone Island anchorage was a nice place to rest so long as the wind was blowing.  The first two nights we saw fifteen to twenty-five knots from the northwest and the boat was steady.  Each day we made the spirited dinghy trip out of the protection of the anchorage into the open water around Isla Chivos and on to the Club Nautico facilities behind the breakwater.  The return trips were wild rides with heavy afternoon winds blowing us home over large following waves.  Trisha wasn’t the big fan of either direction.  On our last day at the anchorage we took the dinghy ashore on Isla Chivos, explored Stone Island Beach, and had a shrimp and garlic pizza at Pizza Benji’s.  That night the wind died and the absence of northwest wind waves allowed a southern swell to enter the anchorage and we rolled the night away.  It was time to move into the harbor.

Trisha made a new friend
Mazatlan harbor is a busy place and the entrance is quite narrow.  Port control manages the traffic and requires that vessels contact them for clearance before entering or leaving the harbor.  With my weak Spanish this was an intimidating proposition.  I put together a little script for the occasion, knowing that I would be in over my head if things got complicated.  Fortunately, when I hailed port control in English a thick accent responded in English.  We were soon anchored in the calm waters of Old Harbor ready to explore the city.

Old Harbor had it’s hey day in the years before the marinas were constructed (ten or more years ago?).  The sailboats at anchor here now are, what Trisha likes to call, scrappy cruisers.  There is no charge for anchoring and the only available dinghy dock is at Club Nautico.  The club charges fifty pesos (about four bucks) a day for dinghy docking, internet, taking trash, and showers.  This is definitely the other side of the tracks.  Five miles away is the marina harbor were a slip for Interabang would cost more than forty dollars a day.
Trisha studies the map of Old Town
The cool thing about Old Harbor is its proximity to Old Town, a well maintained historic district, and the light house.  We enjoy shopping for groceries in the open market, a building that takes up an entire city block and has about a hundred vendor booths inside.  The space is organized by product type and grocery shopping requires wandering through the vegetable, meat, and packaged food areas.  As if we aren’t doing enough walking already, we climbed the steep hill to the lighthouse for exercise.  There we met a New Yorker that lives in Mazatlan.  He gave us an interesting local history lesson, provided some sightseeing and shopping tips, and took our picture with Interabang at anchor in the background.  
Interabang is the boat closest to the left of Trisha's head

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