S/V INTREPID II - Cape Dory Intrepid 40

My photo
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 6, 2011

Mazatlan - We have arrived and Carnival is in full swing!

A quick update:

Pool area at Marina El Cid 
INTREPID II is hanging out on dock D at Marina El Cid.  No cruisers left the marina as planned and we therefore don't have the reserved spot on dock B just yet.  No electricity or other amenities on this second class dock and we need to hop a water taxi to cross the short expanse of water to the main marina.  The taxi stops at 6 pm which puts a damper on evening activities.

However, we are well and had a good voyage up from La Cruz on Wednesday to Chacala.  One night of rock and rolling there, but fewer boats than on our way south and we could tuck in much better. On the way we took the time to motor through the anchorage at Jaltemba, near Rincon de Guyabitas. It does seem a fair weather anchorage with too much swell to be comfortable, so on up to Chacala as we expected.
Isla la Pena at Jaltemba
Just another fabulous sunset - Chacala


Thursday was a foggy day as we headed up to Matanchen Bay.  The sun did come out along with some wind but not enough to sail, so the engine stayed on.  We had a reasonable afternoon and evening as we got ready to head north to Mazatlan.  Kelly braved the less than warm water to check the zincs, which were in good shape.  The water was too murky to see what was blocking the boat speed indicator from turning and a bit cold to stay in too long.  About half an hour after he got back on board and cleaned up, we spotted a black, rounded fin in the water zipping back and forth very near INTREPID II.  No it was not a dolphin!  This fellow was not coming up for air and our best guess was a black tipped shark.  A bit surprising and a little disconcerting considering the lack of clarity in the water.  Good thing the Captain didn't stay underwater too long.  Later the no-see-ums got us again in spite of our efforts to use mosquito coils, bug spray and our screens.
Light fog heading towards Matanchen from Chacala

Kelly checking zincs and keel - Matanchen Bay
We awoke to a foggy Friday in Matanchen, with over 20 fishing pangas in the bay along with another 5 boats at anchor.  Quite the crowd.  The fog started to lift as we prepared to leave and checked in to the Sonrisa ham net.  Anchor up and off we headed.
Sailboats heading out in formation in fog from Matanchen
The winds were either on our nose or light enough that at tines we could not keep the jib rolled out. The main stayed up for drive and stability. North of San Blas we passed by the rock outcrop Piedra Blanca de Tierra on which stands a statue to the Virgin Mary.  This statue had been the intended focus of the panga procession in early February coinciding with the feast of San Blas, which instead had to take place due to heavy seas in the more sheltered estuary.
Piedra Blanca de Tierra near San Blas
The sun set just after 18:00 hours and the moon set right after, so we had a dark night ahead.  Stars would come and go as clouds moved across the night sky.  There was some phosphorescence in our wake, but no dolphin visits.
Perfect sunset en route to Mazatlan












Our radar was in use all night and into the morning.  Pin pricks of light would materialize eventually into lights of trawlers or shrimpers, but we needed to know what vessels were out there well before we could see them clearly.  The night air was damp and the bimini and dodger were heavy with condensation.  We went from wearing light fleecies to wind jackets to our foul weather gear to stay warm and dry.
Cockpit at night - chart plotter glowing
Close to 5:00 am as the sky was becoming lighter we were in thick fog with 1/4 mile of visibility. Kelly slowed the engine down and at one point, nearing Mazatlan harbour, he was monitoring 18 boats on the radar screen, all moving in varying directions.  A bit stressful after a long night of little sleep.  By 7:30 am we still could not see even a glimpse of the city of Mazatlan.  We had passed the harbour entrance, so it was time to take down our main and prepare the fenders and dock lines.  Carol checked in to the Sonrisa ham net 'vessels underway' section to advise INTREPID II had journeyed this far.  It's always comforting to connect with cruising folk 'out there' over the ham net.  The VHF local cruisers' net came on at 8:00 am, so we announced our imminent arrival, assuming we could spot the breakwater entrance.  Someone advised it was sunny and clear in the channel and marinas which was a good sign.

Marina El Cid was not responding on the radio, but our Dolphin Tales amigos advised us they'd be waiting for us to tie up at the fuel dock.  Thanks to Debbie and Lynn, as well as John who also came to assist with taking lines.  We found there was no room at the inn as no boats had left yet as planned (or as understood by marina staff).  The fall back position was the temporary space on dock D - so we made a u-turn from the fuel dock and slipped into our temporary spot.  Next agenda item was sleep, which we managed for a time, in spite of the dredging machine working just beyond our stern in the channel.
Channel needs frequently dredging 
Water Taxi needed to connect to marina amenities
Later we hopped on the water taxi to check out the showers, got ourselves clean and presentable and sat beside the pool with margaritas to toast our stay in Mazatlan.  We were invited to join a group heading out to watch the fireworks.  Who really needs sleep?  Just above our heads at dock D a wedding celebration had begun, so there was a further incentive to head out.  With 7 other cruisers we hopped a little shuttle truck and eventually reached the Carnaval zone along the malecon.  People wandered everywhere waiting for the fireworks which didn't even start until 11:00 pm.  They were worth waiting for.  A great display of pyrotechnics up close and impressive.  All us sleepy cruisers made it back by 1 am.

Hola to our family and friends - hope your weather is improving back home.  Thanks so much for your thoughts and good wishes on these last few passages.

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