Dingy washing
 Dingy Car Wash
We spent about three weeks in Mazatlan, firstly to rest up from 3 months on the go, and to take care of business ie doctors, dentists, eyeglasses etc. And of course there are always boat chores to be done

Next on the list was to properly install the new starter battery. We had so much rain, and so many cloudy days this season, our solar panels were just not keeping up, hence the need for a separate starter battery. Since we purchased the battery back in Melaque, we had just found a place for it temporarily and had been using jumper cables to connect it.

Now it was time to build a locker under the settee and wire it in correctly. Much to his surprise, when Don picked up the battery from the aft stateroom to fit it into the new locker, didn't he notice that it was leaking. Here we go again, have to try to get another battery shop to replace a battery under warranty.

We had hoped to get one of Merry's taxi driver friends, who speak English, to take us to the battery shop, just in case we needed help with translation again. But that didn't work out, so Steve & Edie from s/v Andulacia offered to drive us there.

This time there was no need to explain what the problem was, it was quite obvious where the battery was leaking. The technician took the battery from us, didn't even look at my bill, and asked us to wait for the person who does the replacements. It seemed to be a long wait, but eventually, we came to the top of the list, I filled out the paperwork, took it to yet another technician, who promptly delivered a new battery to the back of Steve's truck. Now that was easy! Seems there must be very little quality control on these LTH batteries, but at least they honor their warranty.

We met up with Rick and Sandy, some friends from Calgary, who had brought down some computer parts for us. These were to replace the ones that got fried way back in Guaymas in October. We had a really nice evening with them and a great dinner, and arranged to meet up with them on Sunday to take them to the Juarez Market, a 12 square block flea market!

On one of our grocery shopping days, we decided to stop in at the Radiology clinic. Don has been complaining of a sore hip for a long time now, thought it was time to see what could be done. With only a 10 minute wait, they booked him for an MRI.

We went back first thing in the morning for the results, they explained what they saw, and recommended that he see a doctor for treatment.The doctor they sent him to was only a 10 minute walk down the road, and with another 10 minute wait saw the doctor and the physiotherapist.

They recommended a heavy duty anti-inflammatory for 10 days and then a natural type treatment (made from avocado and soybean) to re-build the cartilage in his hip. It appears it is not only compressed, but also has some holes in it. He went back in 10 days for a follow up, and has been very pleased with the results of the medication - unfortunately it may not be available in Canada. The MRI and the two doctors visits set us back just over $300, the most expensive part being the medication, which seemed to be about equivalent to Canadian prices.

Garth Brooks impersonator
 Garth Brooks impersonator
Merry and I went on numerous missions one day. We had to make dentist appointments, re-charge our TelCel G3, book tickets for the Garth Brooks show at Heathers, and buy tickets for the Ballet Folklorico at the Angela Perrault.

Then we stopped in at several eye glasses places so I could check out prices, quality etc. That took up the morning, so lunch at Fish Taco's on Plaza Muchado and then over to the coffee store to get some coffee beans for Sheila.

Guess we should have skipped the coffee shop as I was robbed on the way over there. It is only two blocks off the main plaza, lots of people around, even bicycle police patrols, only they weren't at the right place at the right time. We came to a corner, and as I'm looking around, checking for cars from any which way, a young fellow walked right up to me, kinda right in my face, and ever so gently broke my gold chain right off my neck.

I have worn it most every day for the past 12 years. It wasn't a terribly expensive chain, but it was very sentimental as it was my last gift from my father. Fortunately, I have a matching bracelet, and will have to find a chain to replace it. Anyhow, after such an exhausting day, we picked up Don & BJ and went to the Isla for some $12 peso beer and cruiser chat.

Saturday found us at a swap meet in the morning, where we thought we had found a stern anchor, but it also was too big. Had brunch with s/v Tigger, & LaVita, then went back to PSS to fiberglass the battery box.

Ballet Folklorico
 Ballet Folklorico
In the evening we went to Te Amo Lucy (I Love Lucy) for dinner and then to the Angela Peraulta Theater to watch the ballet folklorico, accompanied by Mariachi Continental. An excellent show in a grand theater.

It was a busy weekend for us as Sunday night we went to Heather's Restaurant and watched a Garth Brooks impersonator. Again, an excellent show, and a fabulous turkey dinner.

After several trips to different opticians, I finally found a pair of frames that was acceptable at a place who had the type of lenses I wanted at a decent price. Unfortunately, the doctor wasn't in when I got there, had to return again after 5:00 in the evening.

I finally did get my new glasses less than 2 weeks later, and so far I'm very pleased with them. I'm hoping I got the right kind of anti scratch/anti reflective coating this time and they won't scratch as easily as my last pair did.

Wednesday night found us out at another show, this time Rafael Rodriques playing at Gus Gus, which just happens to be the restaurant right at the top of our dock, so we didn't have far to go. And, the next Saturday, we had lunch with Gail & Leon who are from Saskatchewan. Gail lived on the neighbouring farm from Don when they were growing up, and he had run into her at the airport in Mazatlan when he was down in September. They have recently purchased a condo not far from the marina.

In between all our shopping trips, doctors, dentists, pharmacies, etc, we did find time to scrape the toe rails and re-finish them with Cetol instead of varnish. Another afternoon, we dingyed over to El Cid to visit with Debbie & Lynn from s/v Dolphin Tales. They had been bobbing around with us in most the anchorages we were in over the past months, and they were getting ready to go back home to Canada for the summer. We went to Puerto Viejo with them to watch the sunset, then to the Lions Den for dinner. Don had a wonderful fillet of fish with a tangy mango sauce for all of $5.00. It's cheaper to eat out than it is to buy groceries!

Bruja Beach
 Bike ride to Bruja Beach
We've been in Mazatlan almost three weeks now, and finally got to do our bike ride to Bruja Beach, and in the evening, Lynn & Rick from LaVita came over for sundowners. It was good to finally have a chance to visit with them. We hadn't seem them since October in Guaymas.

We are almost ready to say farewell to Mazatlan for another season. Checked out with Elvira at the office, and stopped in to see Lianna, who used to work at Marina Mazatlan, who now sells yacht insurance. Would be good to get a quote from a Mexican Insurance company as the present insurance we have is way too expensive.

Finally cast off the dock, a little bit of swell in the morning, but settled down by lunch and we were able to sail for a short time at about 7 knots.

Saw a whale at sunset and some dolphins. No moon at all, but by midnight, the sea was so calm, we could see the reflections of the stars in the water - just like a mirror! We did run over some kind of fishing buoy/line, but it didn't tangle. Lots of traffic though, counted 12 boats on the radar at one time.

Whale at sunset
 Whale at sunset
Day two, we had internet connection as we were passing Altata, so sent notes off to several folks, and talked to Greg on Skype. Not bad considering we were about 8 miles off shore. Lots of shrimpers heading out to sea today, in the early afternoon we passed 18, all in the same place. We still had some south wind, so were still able to sail.

Day three, the wind died around noon, and picked up again around supper time, from the north this time. It gradually increased, so took down the jib before dark, as we thought the forcasted blow was about to start early. By 2:00 am we had about 15 knots on the nose and we were only making about 2 or 3 knots. Changed course for Punta Lobos, which took us about 2 hours to get to , we had a power nap for about 3 hours, then the wind seemed to die off again, so we continued on.

Day four, by early afternoon, the wind was up to about 25 knots, we're taking waves over the bow as well as into the cockpit. Sure glad we only have about 3 hours to get into Guaymas. It was still pretty  breezy in the bay in front of Singular Marina, couldn't reach anyone at the marina, but we could see an empty double slip, decided to go for it and let the wind blow us down onto the dock.

By the time we got close to the dock, Phil from Salty and another ex-Calgarian were there to take our lines. Phil loaned us a gate key, we had showers and went to bed. After 3 nights and 4 days - 84 hours non-stop, we were more than ready for some shut eye.

Spent the next few days washing down the boat, sails, dingy etc. Took the sewing machine up to the cruisers lounge to fix the dingy chaps and to cut one of the tarps to fit around the mast.

Went into town for battery water, coach roach paste and a few other can't do without items. While we were there, stopped in at a few Casa de Empenos (Pawn Shops aka Jewellery stores) to see about replacing my gold chain.

Time to cast off again, we will have to stay at anchor for one night before we get hauled out. Had another hitchhiker on route, and we arrived in Bahia San Carlos just as the wind picked up, it howled all day until about 8:00 pm. But a least we did have a quiet night, and it was still nice and calm when we pulled into the haul out dock in the morning.

Calgary snow
 No, not Mexico - Snowstorm in Calgary
Good thing too, as they were running a little late, and there was still a boat in the haul out slip. We had to pull in to the other side, then back out and re-tie when he left. All went well though, except Don missed his ride on the trailer. He was told to go to the office to get some kind of ticket to give to the dock attendant, and when he returned, we were already half way down the road, and he had to walk back to the storage yard.

We spent a few days aboard PSS while she was in the yard, got her all settled for another summer season, then it was off to Guaymas for the night. Since it was Semana Santa (Holy Week) we had been advised that the congestion in San Carlos might be impossible to navigate in order to be at the bus depot early in the morning, so we treated ourselves and stayed in a motel for the night before we left for Phoenix.

This brings us to the close of our 4th Season in Mexico, now it's back to Calgary, back to work and of course back to family and friends. Unfortunately, it seems it also means back to snow. Before our first week home was complete we had been treated to way too much of the white stuff.

Have a great summer, stay tuned for out next update ... sometime in the fall.

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