Mazatlán to Barra de Navidad

January 2007


Big fish


Sail down coast




Jungle trip


Palapa restaurant


Aquarium Marine Park


Anchorage at Aquarium


Barra entrance


Sailboat coming to entrance buoys at Barra


Sunrise on the boats anchored in the lagoon


Main street in Barra


Lagoon side of Barra de Navidad




We had a wonderful holiday and then left Albuquerque on December 28 to return to Mexico. We drove to Benson, Arizona, just ahead of a snow storm, and stayed at the Holiday Inn. The next day we got up early and made it to Nogales around 7:30 and crossed the border with no problems.

We made good time getting to Guaymas and immediately went to the bus station to buy our tickets to Mazatlán. We also found a lovely hotel just down the street in walking distance to the bus station and dropped off our luggage. We then drove back to San Carlos and arranged to leave our Jeep in a storage yard for the next five months. We were able to catch a bus from San Carlos to Guaymas and  returned to the hotel to relax and have dinner.

Our bus was scheduled to leave at 7:30 in the morning; however, our bus did not arrive because it broke down, but they put us on the next bus at 10:40. Almost 12 hours later we arrived back in Mazatlán--tired but happy to be back on the boat.

We spent the next day picking up our last provisions and preparing for New Year's Eve. We enjoyed our dinner and then at midnight (in New York) we enjoyed some champagne and went to bed. On New Year's Day Reuben the diver came to our boat in order to clean the bottom before we left. We said our goodbyes and around 12:30 we pulled out of Marina Mazatlán, steered through the breakwaters, and went to anchor behind Isla Venedos until morning.

We pulled up the anchor at five the next morning and headed south. We had hoped to sail; however, the winds were just too light to do us any good. We motored the whole way down to Punta de Mita in Banderas Bay and arrived at 6:30 the next morning. Liberty Call II was anchored there and Reverie was anchored a few miles away in La Cruz. We slept for a few hours and then went ashore with Ron and Anita to have some lunch.

The next day we took the bus to La Cruz and went to Philo's where we used the internet and ate lunch. We all then returned to our boats and prepared to leave the next morning. The forecast was good with winds between 20 and 25 knots from the north.

We pulled our anchor around 9 o'clock and headed south motoring for the first 2 hours so that we could charge our batteries and make water. As we headed around Cabo Corrientes (the southern tip of Banderas Bay), Steve hooked a large fish. He threw the fishing rig back into the water and proceeded to clean the fish (with blood going everywhere as usual). When he finished, he started to pull in his line and found that he had another bigger fish. He decided to bleed this fish over the side and clean it later. This greatly reduced the amount of blood on the boat. Unfortunately, when we got out our Sport Fish of the Pacific reference book, we discovered that the fish were not tuna as we thought, but we ate them anyway.

We had been motoring with our sails up, but now we turned off the engine and turned south. We had winds around 18 knots and were sailing wing-on-wing. It was spectacular and one of the best sails we have ever had. We enjoyed the ride for 12 hours before the winds died--completely--and we had to turn on the motor again. We arrived at Tenacatita at five in the morning and slowly entered the anchorage using our GPS and radar. Reverie arrived with us and then Liberty Call II, Pizzazz, and Cynosure all followed a little while later.

We just slept and relaxed the rest of the day and then had Ron, Anita, Gary, and Judee over for a fresh tuna dinner. The next day we all went ashore to have lunch at the palapa restaurant, and then we took a walk along the beach to the resort hotel. It was time to get back to the boats.

The next day we took off on the river tour with Liberty Call II, Reverie, and Pizzazz all joined us. We had done this trip last year, but it was still fun. We rafted up in the lagoon at the end of the trip and enjoyed lunch, and then we went ashore for a cerveza and a walk. We climbed up to the top of the hill, which gave us a good view of the anchorage at the Aquarium.

We decided the next day to enjoy a relaxing day aboard the boat. Phil and Madelyn from In the Mood had arrived so they came over for dinner--again it was tuna. The next afternoon we decided to go snorkeling around the point, and we found a beautiful spot where the fish were abundant and the coral was in excellent condition. When we returned we got the boat ready to move down to Barra de Navidad the next day.

We left Tenacatita around 10:30 the next morning and were able to sail out of the bay. We had to dodge several long-line fishing lines, which are a nuisance as they can get wrapped around the propeller. With our modified full keel, we just put the transmission in neutral and glide over the lines. So far, we have had no problems. We sailed until 2 o'clock when the winds died, and we motored the rest of the way. The channel into the lagoon at Barra is notorious for boats going aground as it is shallow and  narrow. We made it thorough just fine using our GPS waypoints from last year and dropped our anchor at 3:30 in the afternoon. Liberty Call II and Reverie had arrived just ahead of us. It was good to be back here, and we couldn't wait until the next morning when the French baker would come around with fresh pastries (low fat, of course).