Back Tracked Mazatlan Carnaval Feb 5

We back tracked to Mazatlán on Feb 5th, via an 8 hour bus ride – each way – to enjoy the Mazatlan Carnaval. That was a fabulous ride through the country side and the Carnaval was a real kick. We managed to make reservations a few weeks ago for a nice hotel on the historic square where bands and street vendors started coming to life at 6:00 p.m. We met up with Dan and Tammy of SV Anjuli, D&T Maztlmet some new friends – Rob and Susan on SV Athanor – Seattle, Wash. and thoroughly enjoyed being a land tourist taking part in the festivities.

The Carnaval is a 118 year old tradition, the third largest in the world. The theme was
“Mazatlantida: La alegoría que emergió de las olas” (The allegory that emerged from the waves), a theme which is in keeping with the recent tradition of choosing relatively inscrutable carnaval themes.”

Six Bands on stages were set up spanning the 3 1/2 mile Olas Atlas malecon. Latino, Mariachi, Jazz, and various Pop music blared as people of all ages danced shoulder to shoulder and shuffled from one band location to another.IMG_0111

We danced with everybody, strangers and friends included. The restaurants, cart vendors and beer stands were packed as peopled waited for the Bad Mood Burning and firework events to start. dan dancing



The traditional Carnaval ritual “Quema del Mal Humor (Bad Mood Burning) is the incineration of a giant puppet. It is generally modeled after an unpopular public figure, the effigy is hanged and burned, exploding like a massive piñata without the candy. IMG_0116This year was none other than – – – Donald Trump ! The crowds cheered and roared with laughter as Donald was motored down the malecon hoisted from a crane.

The ‘Naval Battle’ fireworks display representing the battle with France was lit from the beach just over our heads, the raining ashes continued to burn as they floated toward us. Music and lights accompanied the fireworks to the impressive grand finale. No expense was spared there.
We left after the fireworks, it was well after midnight as the younger generation crowds were just getting started in front of the band stages. Outside our hotel the crowds and bands lingered well after 4:00 a.m. At 5:00 a.m the cleanup crew with gas powered leafblowers started their engines blowing garbage and people away. For our 3 night stay this was the evening routine.

The Grand Parade on Sunday afternoon started at 5:30. Dan and Tammy were able to get tickets for seating on a hotel balcony. Vacant lots lining the malecon were transformed into balconies, some engineer put a lot of thought into saving money and resources. IMG_0144 Platforms were built with old pallets, the supporting posts were tree limbs, and the cross “beams” were 1″ x 2″ boards all pounded in with shiny nails.

The four lane highway was closed as the parade floats motored between 2 sets of bleachers and chairs.IMG_0151
People were dancing in the streets along side some of the floats as the bands and music played.

Some people brought step ladders to tower over the crowd. IMG_0161 Try that in the U.S? We tried to estimate the number of people, 3 1/2 miles of people on the streets, sitting on rooftops and balconies, hotels suites – uncountable.



The float displays were dazzling. The Carnaval queen’s float was most impressive.0207161833c There was a float of prior years’ queens, some of them were close to 70 – 80 years old. There were several Mexican company floats (sponsors of the Carnaval such as GasPasa, a Propane company not medicinal product) that had high powered stereo systems with skimpy costume dancers. There were Dance School floats and their students danced for miles dressed in beautiful flowing costumes. There was a float of speedo clad young men dancing to the beat of wild drum music, the crowd clapped and cheered.

We spent the fun filled days walking the city of Mazatlan, dancing, eating and taking in the soul of Mexico with our best friends, Dan and Tammy.  IMG_0125IMG_0107

Another activity to add to your list of travels.

Busy Days In PV

Somebody asked “what do you do all day?” Geez, with a small boat, living space less than 200 sq ft, we should be almost free to do anything. No…, that’s just a fantasy!
Cruising is suppose to be 90/10 ratio – 90% fun, 10% work, maybe 80/20 even. That’s a fantasy also, but once in a while we get out and do fun activities.IMG_0086

Here is a snapshot of our day from the time we get up. If this is too boring then please stop reading and find something really fun to do, I think I would do that.

We get up at 7:00, John makes our coffee.

Coffee discussion time to figure out what to eat. Since we don’t have a toaster we can’t just pop in the bread. We locate the bread in a settee cubby hole. Next, dig to the bottom of the giant cooler like refrigerator by pulling out the bags of veggies, move the bottles and jars that shifted during the day, move cans of beer, slide the yogurts from one side to the other and FINALLY, there is the little plastic box of butter at the very back that has a 1/2 tablespoon left in it. Back to the front of the fridge to pull out the carton of milk, cream, juice, beer, meat and any other item dumped in on top of the sliding tray, set it all on the 1′ X 2′ counter space, lift out the tray and under the cheeses, are the soggy wrap cubes of butter.
Repack everything, maintain patience and try to put it back in some order that makes sense for the next cooking event.
Light the oven, put the bread on the rack, wait to cook the other side of the toast. Breakfast is ready. Don’t ask for eggs, the pans are in the dumpster behind the stove, first you’d have to move tea kettle and booze to open the dumpster, move lids and the bread pan to get to the frying pan.
After eating, place the plates into the sink, don’t wash them yet, we can’t waste water for 2 plates, 1 knife and 1 spoon.

Start loading our backpacks with shower bags, remember the towel too. Dig around in the overstuffed drawers for clean clothes, if you can’t find your favorite shorts, rummage around on the side of the bed or up on top of the hanging closet/drawer combination where all the other clean clothes are stored. John’s clothes are generally stored on top of the dresser as he has fewer items. Climb up the 3 steps, check your pocket for the dock key – nope, gotta locate that first, now walk 2 – 3 blocks to the shower room.
If we’re anchored out then we shower in the cockpit with a liter of water each, saving time, Yay!
We are anchored some of the time here  so we have to adjust 3 or 4 solar panels to make the most of the amps required to run the fridge, electronics and lights. John spends about 15 minutes to angle the panels toward the sun. The boat moves in the current or wind, and 20 minutes later John goes down back out to readjust the panels. Several times a day.

It’s now 9:15, we’re ready to start the day. Have a second cup of coffee and check the “to do” list. Sigh, today is grocery shopping, and we need some boat parts too. Load up the sacks, wallets, sunglasses and hats, check for enough pesos.

Launch the dinghy first. Untie the ropes and sail cover. Hook the dinghy to the rope, start winching it up and over the life lines and lower it into the water. Tie the step ladder to the side of the boat so John can get in and move it to the back of the boat. Unlock the motor, hook it up to the back of the boom blocks and begin lowering it to the dinghy. Hook up the gas line, throw in the garbage and backpacks. 20 minutes later, we’re ready to go if John remembered to get the key to the dinghy motor. Sometimes we repeat a couple of steps. Sigh. Motor in to shore, secure the dinghy. Shuffle around on the dock, rearrange the skirt or shorts, wipe off salt water sprayed during the ride. Walk to the bus stop and wait, or start the 1 -2 mile walk, depending upon the city we’re in.

Walk each isle of the store to find the specific cans of food, it’s not the same category as the U.S. stores. The coffee cream isn’t located next to the milk – find a grocery clerk and in the poorest Spanish accent, ask for “media crema”. Pretend to understand her response but the blank look will tell her she needs to walk us to the case of cheeses and meats 25′ feet away.
Now that I have the case memorized, we’ll soon depart for a new destination in Mexico.

It’s now after lunch, we’re hungry and vendor food carts are out of my stomach’s comfort zone. Walk to various corners and look for a small cafe. Hem and Hah, check around for local citizens, if they don’t eat there, keep walking. Okay, give up.
Start looking for the hardware stores. Wave arms, make faces and gestures, draw pictures of parts that we need. The Spanish Book for Cruisers is great in reading mode only, don’t try to pronounce the words, we only confuse the clerk a little more. Give up.
Catch the bus or walk back to the dinghy, reverse order back to the boat and dinghy launching. The dinghy car is valuable and there have been many thefts. The boat next to us lost theirs while in Mazatlan.

Oh, before loading groceries onto the boat, discard all boxes, bags, wrappers. Cockroaches LOVE boat rides! And they invite their large families, have lots of little ones in a matter of days. We found a baby, John smashed it the other night. We’ve been on the hunt for possible family additions. So far we haven’t seen anymore.

It’s now close to 3:30p.m., we’re hot and tired from walking nearly 5 miles with heavy backpacks and and have a bad case of Hangry! Groceries need to be put away, we haven’t done the laundry and we didn’t have wifi today to catch up on the Blog, Facebook, and emails.

Day is over, beer thirty is upon us! Cruiser’s midnight is 7:30 p.m.

Mazatlan Pictures


Lou and Diane at our favorite breakfast café.   Freida artwork is seen everywhere.IMG_0011



Mazatlan Mercado


Beautiful bead work by the Huilchol Indian women.  I would’ve bought it all!



John and Lou prepping the boat with wonderful fresh food from the Mercado.  Lou bought some delicious Mexican cake made with apples, walnuts, and cream that were our favorite.  The pineapple cake was great for breakfast.


IMG_0038On passage from Mazatlán to Isla Isabella, warm and nice breeze, just enough to tease us.  Long motor but was great to have Lou on night watch with me!  Time went by so quickly.



Isla Isabella was so close but the waves were pounding on the shore, there were 3 boats in the anchorage and no spare room.  We departed for Matanchen Bay, 40 miles Southeast, 4 miles from San Blas, Nayarit.  The sunset was beautiful, the weather and temperature was a definite change from the cooler Mazatlán area.

IMG_0050Mantenchen sunset

We spent a day at Sayulita, a tourist resort area with pounding surf, nice beach under palapa shade.IMG_0087Lou traveled back to Portland, we were so happy to have her on board with us.  Miss you, girlfriend!