Arriving in Mazatlan to a Warm Welcome

Singlar Marina, Mazatlan, Sinaloa

Humpback Whale Mother and Calf, Approaching Mazatlan

Well I guess we paid our dues the other night rounding Cabo Corientes in that mess.

Our 185-mile passage north to Mazatlan was … dare I say … spectacular. We had little to no wind, with the anemometer showing between 9 and 11 knots relative and subtracting our speed of around 7 knots we can safely say we saw less than 6 knots of real wind the whole 25 hours.

And with that little wind, the sea was almost mirror-calm with little cat’s paws raking the surface every now and then and a gentle swell of 0 to 2 feet most of the way. [Read more…]

Arrived Safe and Sound in Barra de Navidad

At Anchor, Barra de Navidad

Morning in Barra Lagoon

It’s been a wonderful few days here in Manzanillo, and it’s amazing how quickly we can settle into a routine once we’ve found a great place like this. Mornings puttering around getting chores done, then afternoons by the pool, with the obligatory margarita for me and Negra Modelo for Ole.

One of the best things about this lifestyle is connecting with people who share our passion for cruising…making new friends at each anchorage, and reconnecting with those we’ve met along the way. We’ve shared dinner and boat brand knowledge with Ron and Sheryl from Lazy Days, a 44+5 DeFever. We’ve reconnected with Barb and Gary from Hurrah, a Taiana double-ender we originally met in Bocas del Toro. And we met the wonderful Christophe and Marianne, Swiss friends of Gerry and Chris whom we’ve heard so much about. [Read more…]

Life is Brutal (Not)

At Anchor, Las Hadas Marina

At Anchor, Las Hadas Resort

If things get any worse, we’re going to have to file a complaint!

We’ve been at anchor off the spectacular Las Hadas Resort since last Monday. A small fee of 200 pesos per day or 1000 pesos per week gets us all the resort privileges…swimming pool, beach towels, gym usage, and discounts at the bars and restaurants. And nice staff who deliver poolside cocktails and snackies. Plus a great little marine chandlery with more stuff than we’ve seen in one place for the last 5 years! [Read more…]

Leaving Huatulco for Points North

Underway for Mazatlan…

After almost exactly 22 months, we finally threw off the lines and left Huatulco yesterday. We’re sitting in the pilothouse enjoying the second day of a pleasant 235 miles of our first leg to Mazatlan – hoping to either anchor in Acapulco if we need rest, or complete another 110 miles and drop the hook in Zihuatenejo for a few days.

Last night was magic…only one ship came up on the radar, the sea was like glass, and we got “torpedoed” by iridescent dolphins more than once. This morning there was a spectacular manta ray ballet, and we watched dozens of them leaping by twos to flap up to 10 feet in the air and land with a thwap. [Read more…]

Cruising Pacific Panama With Friends

Isla Bayoneta, Panama

Leaving Panama City

Well, we made it through the Panama Canal without incident, stayed a few days at Balboa Yacht Club, and made our way out to the Perlas Islands southeast of Panama City to enjoy a couple of weeks cruising and familiarizing Dale and Linda with the systems aboard Emma Jo. [Read more…]

Crossing to Colon

Maggie Crossing to Colon in Style

What fabulous weather- another “silver box” crossing! We fueled up, paid up, and left Bocas at 1100, planning to arrive in Colon by daylight. Given the following current of 2.5 knots, mirror calm swells with light and variable winds of less than 10 knots, even the cats had a good time – Maggie sacked out on the couch for the entire 15 hours, and Barclay found a spot on our bed. [Read more…]

Exploring Almirante Bay

On October 1, we cheerfully left the dock, picked up 100 gallons of fuel, and headed out with four other boats from the marina for a week to ten days’ worth of relaxation. In the group were Pamela Jean, a 50-foot Formosa cutter from Texas with Bill and Pam aboard; Mariah, a 63-foot Choy Lee sloop with Evelyn and Dave from Key West; Serenity, with Steve (who’s the staff captain on NCL’s Norwegian Jade); all following Guavi, with Ariel and Michelle from Puerto Rico out to some of the islands and anchorages in Bahia Almirante.

Cayo de Agua (Water Cay)

Our first stop was Cayo de Agua (Water Cay), where one of our marina-mates has property he’s hoping to turn into an eco-resort. The weather was fantastic – the sea flat as a table – which was a good thing, because Cayo de Agua is right up against the Caribbean. We anchored on the south side of the cay, off Daniel’s dock, where we were greeted wildly by his three mixed-blood hound dogs who have the run of the place when Daniel isn’t there. [Read more…]

First Explorations of Starfish Beach

Bocas Marina
Bocas del Toro, Panama

With just a few hours notice, we decided to pull out of the slip for awhile and explore the area on the north end of Isla Colon that we missed last time. We were joined by Neil and Kathy on Attitude and Tommy and Cynthia on Moondancer at a lovely anchorage at a perfect swimming beach known by the local expats as “Starfish.” The water is deep up to 15 feet from the beach, sloping up just like a swimming pool, with a clean sand bottom and a good protected anchorage a short dinghy ride from the restaurant at Bocas del Drago. On the way north, we passed Steve on Serenity cruising south. We stopped for a chat and anchoring instructions, and Steve asked if we planned to do any fishing. When we said “no,” he tossed over a light pole with a little lure on it, saying it might be fun to do a little jigging – he caught and released a lot of fish just for fun. We thanked him, found the anchorage, and Ole started jigging. No fish. More about THAT little experiment later. [Read more…]

First Look at Dolphin Bay

Camrykaland, Dolphin Bay

At Anchor, Dolphin Bay
Bocas del Toro, Panama

This morning we explored Ground Creek by dinghy, but again, too late in the morning for any serious wildlife spotting. We decided to head about 2 hours south to Dolphin Bay on the mainland, departing about noon. [Read more…]

Exploring Conch Bay, and an Expensive Lunch!

Punta Caracol, Bocas del Toro

This morning we opted to explore the head of Conch Bay by dinghy, following a creek for nearly a mile through the jungle. It must have been too late in the morning, as we didn’t see or hear much in the way of animal or bird life, but we rowed over to a stilted palapa full of hammocks belonging to the lodge at Punta Caracol and decided to follow the dock/path to the lodge itself. The path crossed the tip of the peninsula, then turned into a dock running about 100 feet from shore, creating its own crystal clear lagoon. The stroll to the restaurant took us past the charming accommodations – little private 2-story cabanas built right on the pier, each with its own veranda facing the bay equipped with kayak and snorkel gear. We stopped at the front desk and inquired about rates — $300 per night for lodging and 2 meals a day. Eek. Lunch at Punta Caracol was superb – but expensive for Bocas. Seafood stew with lobster, calamari, shrimp in a coconut base for me; grilled fish for Ole, 2 pina coladas and 2 glasses of wine — $50. Setting and mood – priceless. A lunch like that called for a major nap, after which we headed north to the next bay of Isla Colon, Ground Creek, where we anchored for the night.