Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Made it to Mazatlan

We made it to Mexico’s Mainland Mazatlan. When I left you last, we were in La Paz -- but since then broke free of the umbilical cord and sailed back to Ensenada de los Muertos, which means Bay of the Dead but has been renamed “Bay of Dreams” for marketing purposes, and Los Frailes and then 160 miles across the Sea of Cortez to the mainland. Along the way we thought heavily about Christina Bockius and her family. For those who don’t know Christina -- she recently had a horrible kiteboarding accident in La Ventana and was airlifted back to Oregon. Unfortunately, the doctors couldn’t help her and she died. I kept seeing Christina’s charismatic smile as we sailed by La Ventana. Her contagious love of the outdoors and her zest for life will endure in all of us who were fortunate to know her.

Before we crossed the sea, we stopped in Los Frailes to meet up with Wynn Pechous who lives in a blue house overlooking the bay with his wife, Anne and four year old daughter Hana. Wynn and Tim were about Hana’s age when they met in India. When Wynn said goodbye to us he told Tim “I hope it won’t be another 40 years before we see each other again.”

Our crossing to Mazatlan started out with a spinnaker but soon ended up with super light wind. The smooth seas enabled us to spot gulls resting on turtles. But the real highlight was a birthday delivery to Jason from Third Day, so named for the Third Day in Genesis where God created the seas. We discovered via the radio that Jason was celebrating his 10th birthday so Tim turned the kids’math lesson into the problem of how to intersect with a boat coming about 10 degrees north of us. They started their crossing at three in the morning from Ensenada de Los Muertos and we left Los Frailes at 7 in the morning. We could talk to Third Day on the radio and we could see them on radar. Tim showed Maya and Kai how to finagle the newfangled GPS as well as do some fancy geometry to figure out how fast and at what angle we needed to sail in order to meet up with them. They calculated correctly and about 80 miles out, we were able to pass Jason a gift. Captain Rich had just baked sourdough bread and he generously gave us some of his tasty bread. It tasted so good that when we reached Mazatlan, we found another boat, Perpetua, who gave us some real Alaskan sourdough starter which we have been feeding and just succeeded in making our own tasty bread.

As we entered Mazatlan’s narrow channel, coincidentally our friends in the catamaran Don Quixote was leaving. We spent three days at Marina Mazatlan and were fortunate to dock next to Sea Venturer where owner Michael, a former welder, fixed the dinghy davits (that’s what is on the stern of the boat). Being in a marina is always a luxury, one which gives us a chance to clean the boat with fresh water and give our sea legs a break. The special treat was watching the Chinese Circus which had some unicycling, spectacular gymnastics and, of course, an elephant that does handstands.

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