S/V INTREPID II - Cape Dory Intrepid 40

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Intrepid II is a Cape Dory Intrepid 40 sailboat, hull #2, designed by Chuck Paine and discovered by the Captain in Blue Hill Maine in 2006. The crew are Kelly (Captain) and Carol (Admiral and Blogger). In 2009 INTREPID II embarked on her West Coast journey from Victoria to San Francisco, the Baja Sur Peninsula and into the Sea of Cortez. In 2010/2011, we sailed ifrom Guaymas, south to Bahia Banderas and back. In 2011/2012 she left Guaymas, headed south to La Paz, spent three weeks at anchor on our northward journey and rested on the hard in San Carlos. Her 4th, 5th and 6th seasons were Boat Projects related. Optimistic that there will be more cruising on the horizon!

March 9, 2011

Carnaval - "Return of the Muses"

Mazatlan Carnaval 2011
Our Dolphin Tales friends ensured we wouldn't miss out on Carnaval activities when we arrived in Mazatlan and we thank them for their generosity.  We enjoyed the fireworks and the Sunday parade, along with the crowds, incredibly loud music and overall excitement and colour of the annual celebration.  This event leading up to Ash Wednesday and the observance of Lent is held in many places throughout the world.  Mazatlan has celebrated 'officially and unofficially' according to a local newspaper, for 200 years.  The theme for 2011 is 'Return of the Muses', a reference to the nine Muses in Greek mythology.  This Carnaval is focusing on four very attractive 'goddesses' who are on posters, the entrance ways to the cordoned off areas and adorn souvenir shirts.

Kelly at entrance to Carnaval area - the day after parade- no crowds!
Saturday's fireworks extravaganza was called 'Combate Naval' to commemorate the ship to shore Battle of Mazatlan of 1864 between the French and Spanish.  Nine of us rode an open air truck taxi from the hotel into the Old Towne, paid our 25 pesos each to go through into the pedestrian only area of the malecon and found a restaurant for dinner at sidewalk tables.  The restaurant was experiencing electricity problems, so we dined by candlelight and street lights while anticipating the coming displays.
Waiting for fireworks - view south
Our ever-resourceful friend Debbie determined we could buy seats under a canopy and right in front of the beach for $3 US, which we did. After dinner we were well positioned for the pyrotechnics from the offshore barge and the beach.  We were actually brushing sparks off our jeans on one occasion (shades of the San Blas fireworks).  The offshore barge display started first, with the beach based display joining in accompanied by full orchestration.  The effect was much like the Symphony of Fire displays we enjoyed while in Vancouver, at English Bay.
Combate Naval at last - but none of our photos do it justice
Mazatlan has had recent shooting incidents which some cruise lines used to halt stopovers in this port.  The police and politicians have responded with a much more obvious security presence with foot patrols, helicopters flying overhead and Navy boats making passes back and forth along the beach.  While we were in these very crowded areas all seemed well.
Navy boat patrolling beach at sunset
As anywhere, after the fireworks ended it was difficult to find rides back to the marina.  Our taxi truck could not return to our drop off point, so we headed towards the bus stops on Juarez and eventually rode another truck taxi back home, leaving the after hour festivities to more resiliant carousers.

Sunday afternoon we again joined cruiser friends to head to Hotel Aqua Marina for an elaborate buffet meal in a banquet room overlooking the malecon, then made our way to assigned seats on bleaches in front of the hotel and across from the beach.  So nice to see over every one's heads and be sitting down! 
Waiting for Carnaval Parade

Pre-parade view from Aqua Marina looking down malecon
The parade was colourful, with floats representing various mythological and other themes.  Marching bands, dancers, the Pacifico Light float, horses....everything imaginable.  When it ended, we headed for the buses home and with a few detours were delivered back to the marina in about 40 minutes.
Pacifico Light float
Dragon float
Japanese mythology
Egyptian theme
Reina de Juegos Florales (Queen of Floral Games)
Rey de Alegria (King of Joy)
Great float - not sure of just what!

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