Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rudders, bigger boats, and explorations in Mazatlan

It has been a while since the last post and time has flown by here in Mazatlan. Other cruisers told us that we would end up staying here much longer than we anticipated and they were, of course, correct. We have been working on various boat projects, have looked into moving up to a larger boat, and have managed to find a few hours to explore this part of Mexico. We have met some great people in our marina and enjoyed warmth and hospitality that seems to be part of any group of cruisers who stay in one place for more than a few days.

Big church in a small dusty village.

Fields and orange groves in Sonora state (north of Mazatlan).

First the projects... We had put off a number of projects that are easier done alongside at a marina. We repaired some gelcoat damage where the anchor chafed after it came unstuck during our crossing. We dropped the rudder out of the boat (a bit nerve-wracking because this leaves a 'hole' in the boat where you can see water sloshing around). We scraped off some epoxy barrier coat that had not set up correctly and re-epoxied the rudder before repainting it.

Apparently, the horses speak better Spanish than Chris. Our cruising friend Marv is on the right.

Next, we re-painted the blue stripe along the hull below the deck (the boot-top). Rani is sewing up some instrument covers to keep off the tropical sun and I am in the middle of varnishing the bits of wood on deck after scraping off the old varnish with a heat gun and scraper (fun fun fun!!!). Ladybug looks pretty smart!

Spear fisherman Oscar with a relative of yellow fin tuna called El Toro.

Before we left on this trip, we thought about buying a larger boat. We decided to do the trip on Ladybug because she was a known quantity and we felt she was more than adequate for a cruise to Mexico. However, we are enjoying this whole cruising thing and would like to stay out here a bit longer and possibly head offshore. A larger boat with more room below and one designed for ocean crossings would be nice.

View from the lighthouse hill out over the port and old town area of Mazatlan.

We have looked at some boats here in Mazatlan and on the weekend drove 800 kms north to San Carlos to see a few more. We are in the process of putting an offer on a boat and if this works out, will put our dear Ladybug on the market. The plan is to list Ladybug here and in Victoria and to leave her in Mazatlan until the end of April when we will sail her home to BC, if she does not find a new owner here. It has not been an easy decision to move to a bigger boat, because Ladybug has been such an excellent platform for our adventures!

Marina at San Carlos. I believe the hill behind is known as the Goat's Teats

Masks at market in Alamos.

Apart from looking at boats, we have done a little sailing with friends Marv and Ardy on Odyssey (the Peterson 44 we met on the crossing to Mazatlan). Their blog can be found here. We have explored the old town here and watched some traditional Mexican dancing. Old town Mazatlan has a couple of lovely European style plazas and some small
but good quality museums.

Alamos cobbled street. Note horses in background.

On our trip to San Carlos, we stopped off at an international music festival in Alamos. This town is lovely with narrow cobblestone streets, haciendas with beautiful courtyards, a market square and a beautiful setting in rolling hills about 50km inland. We listened to the Latin American String Quartet play Mozart (bet you didn't know he was a Mexican!) and enjoyed a colourful play in the square.

Play in square at Alamos.

Colourful pottery at market in Alamos.

Latin American String Quartet in Alamos.

Ardy and Chris on the Peterson 44, Odyssey.

Rani at the helm of Odyssey. Ardy's brother David in the background.

If the boat purchase goes through, we will probably be up in San Carlos for a couple of weeks and then sail the new boat back to Mazatlan. Stay tuned...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We hope that Chris will find new "mistress" soon with Rani's approval. Be good to Ladybug in the mean time.

Jitka and Michal