Friday, December 31, 2010

Oh no the dingy

Well we had some excitement in the harbor yesterday.  First of all I need to state that dingy theft is prevalent here in the Old Harbor Mazatlan, but mostly at night.  Most of the boat haul up their dingy with either dingy davits on the back of the boat, or by way of their halyard or by the boom on the side of the boat. 

SV Akupara's dingy raised by their halyard
Unfortunately our dingy is so freaking heavy we are unable to lift it up by any means mentioned above.  We have to first take of the motor and haul it up with our block and tackle on our missen boom and place it on the motor mount, just like we would if we were taking off for sea.  Then we swing the dingy around and place on the davits on the swim platform and then raised it up on the transom.  We have got it down now doing it night after night here in the anchorage, but with rolly water or to many margaritas it can be challenging.

Looking down at our dingy on the transom

Well anyway yesterday when we were inside the cabin after hauling water back and forth from the dock to the boat we left the dingy tied to the cleat by a rope.  Somehow the rope broke and the dingy got free, the kids on SV Hotspur spotted it and sent to retrieve it, but they were too late.  One of the tour boats got it first, thankfully they did bring it back, but as expected they wanted money for it.  Plus they untied the anchor and took it onto their boat, we still have not been able to retrieve that.  Well we paid, and now we will definitely lock our dingy to the boat even during the day. 

After we went to try to get our anchor back, we have to go in the morning the captain was not there, we decided to go into the Golden Zone to walk on the malecon and have some dinner at "Fat Fish" which is known for their two for one rib, shirmp, or steak meal.  We ended up having to walk about 3 or 4 miles, because we were not sure how far down it was after the malecon, it ended up being far.  But well worth it,  Jerry got the ribs, as did most everyone that was in there, but I orderd the breaded shimp.  The shrimp were good, but not as good as the ribs, they were awesome!! 
sunset walking on the Malecon in the Golden Zone, Mazatlan

Both meal came with salad, baked potato, coleslaw all for 160 pesos (less than 15 US Dollars)


Jerry, Skeeter, and I made a brisk walk up to "EL Faro" the lighthouse towering over the Old Harbor.  This lighthouse is the second highest manned lighthouse in the world at 477 feet above water, so yes it was a hike.  The first part was not bad, with the winding trail, but then half way up they started stairs, but we made it.

It was well worth the 30 minutes each way for the awesome view at the top!

view of Old Harbor anchorage

view of Mazatlan
Later that afternoon we dingy over to Stone Island anchorage for pizza and margaritas at Benji's restaurant, one of the most popular is their mojo de ajo pizza ( garlic shrimp pizza).  The anchorage is formed by Isla de los Chivos, named after the goats that live on the island, but unfortunately we did not get to walk around, due to many margaritas.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pacifico Brewery!

Jerry and I went to take a FREE tour of the Pacifico Brewery in Mazatlan, I emphasize the free because it was a great tour, and I don't know of many free tours that give you all the beer you want in the museum at the end of the tour.  In 1900 three German investors of Mazatlan signed documents officially giving birth to the new brewery, but did not actually open for business until March 15th the following year.  In 1954 Mazatlan's brewery became part of Grupo Medelo, and is the smallest brewery in Mexico.  The Mazatlan brewery has 500 employees working 24 hours a day, bottling over 1 hundred thousand bottles a day. This brewery only produces Pacifico beer and it is only destributed in Mexico with a 4.5 percent alchol, the pacificos in the States are only 3.7 percent alchol.  The brewery has 2 and a half acres of land, and the largest brewery in Mexico has 269 acres of land by Mexico City.
The Brewery from the outside

The first investors

In the brew house "the Kitchen" where the first stop in the brewing process, we got to try the "Wort" where the rice, corn, barley and water is cooked.  It does not have any alcole and taste really sweet.  Then the hops is added and is sent the fermenting process where  it is cooled at 40 degree Fahrenheit.  In this building they hold 38 tanks and each one ferments in 12 day with 21 days being the full process from start to finish.  Then sent to the bottling building with there being 2 lines that change out 4 times a day with the three different sizes of bottles.  The Medelo Group uses recycled bottles, some of the larger brewery's have their own bottle making plants, where the old bottles are completely broken down and remade.  Mazatlan get their bottles from the brewery in Obregon, Sonora.
Storage towers going into fermentation process

miniture replica of the fermentation tanks

older lables

Different sizes of bottles: small "cuartito", medio, and large " ballenas"

I have to say the beers tasted great, they were fresh and free!!

the different modelo beers

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas from Mazatlan!

I know Christmas was a couple of days ago, but I just wanted to say that I hope all of our friends and family had a very Merry Christmas!  We have been still just hanging around Mazatlan, not really doing any boat maintenance due to the holidays.  We had a great time with SV Akupara for Christmas Eve, we walked up to a Chinese food restaurant to get take out to bring back to SOMF for some fun holiday cheer. 

Christmas day Jerry and I watched "Christmas Story", my all time Christmas movie, opened a few gifts that were sent down from my parents for us and the boys, and I made green bean casserole for the cruisers potluck.  The potluck was a blast, it was up at marina Mazatlan, so Jerry and I had to take the 45 minute bus, but my food was still warm when we got there.  There was about 50 people, so much smaller than the Thanksgiving Day one in La Paz, but we had a great time.  They had Christmas trivia that we all played, participated in the 12 days of Christmas song, that was of coarse sailing themed, and had a gift exchange. 

When we got back to the old harbor we noticed another boat in the anchorage!!  By far the biggest one in here! 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Finishing up some projects!

Yes they were old June 2001 and yes they were heavy
Well Jerry and I had a busy afternoon of shopping at Sam's Club the other day.  We decided to buy some new 12 volt deep cycle batteries for our 24 volt system.  We had to then take out the old 12 volt 4D batteries, and WOW were they heavy! 

We also have been replacing the old salon lights with new LED lights that draw half the power, so now with the solar panels we are able to go about 24 hours without having to run the generator. 

old lights
new LED lights
We are still enjoying Mazatlan, but starting to get ready to head on south again!
there was an abundant amount of Jellyfish around our boat one morning

another beautiful sunset walking to dinner with SV Akupara

Historical culture of Mazatlan

After already walking around the historical district of Mazatlan, and checking out all the vendors and produce stands of the centro, and walking through the beautiful cathedral.  We decided to do a few more touristy things, first we walked through the cultural center which housed the Museo de Arte.  This had paintings and prints of national and local artists.

We walked across the street the the Museo de Arqueologia, which had an impressive collections of artifacts from Sinaloa.
To the right: Ulama- a ball game played from your hip. The fields or "Tastas" are made up of a playing area where the boundary is defined using stones.

To the left: Burial Ritual: Large funeral urns that would hold more than one family member, the ritual was designed to portray the return of the deceased to the uterus of mother earth.

We then walked back through the Plazuela Machado to the Angela Peralta Theater.  This is one of the few 19th century theater still in operation in northwest Mexico.  Opening in 1874 named after businessman Manuel Rubio, in the early 1940's it was renamed in honor of "The Mexican Nightingale" Angela Peralta.  Who died of yellow fever shortly before her scheduled Mazatlan performance in 1882.

We walked past the palacio municipal an our way to lunch were there were hundreds of pigeons in the courtyard.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Mazatlan

December 21st,

Well Jerry and I have been installing the solar panels for the 24 volt battery set up that our freezer is on. Now with 2 panels for the house batteries and now the 2 new ones we should be able to be very power efficient. While ashore we have continued tour around town. I found an eye doctor, after going to many, that was able to do an exam and order a years supply of contacts for me, yeah I can see again. He did a very thorough exam and since he spoke English really well I was very happy with the visit. On Saturday Marina Mazatlan held a swap meet, Jerry, myself, SV Tigger, and SV Goin South took the Toreo bus up to the marina. Since there are over 300 buses throughout Mazatlan, it is taking us a little time to figure out the system, but we are getting it. After the swap meet we had breakfast at Gus y Gus restaurant in the marina, along with a few other cruisers and SV Akupara.

While walking through Viejo Mazatlan, or Old Mazatlan there is Plazuela Machado, a dozen or so lovely restaurants surround the plaza.

Now that is an awsome christmas tree
looking into Plazuela Machado

the restuarants surrounding the plaza

On Saturday evening Jerry and I took the Sabalo Centro bus that goes through the Golden Zone, a different part of town that is catered much more to the tourist with lots of restaurants and shopping centers, up to Marina El Cid. We meet up with SV Akupara, SV Far Fetched, where Jenny and Randy were crewing along with Steve and Andrea, and went to dinner at Ernies.

Of course we have been going back down to Playa Olas Altas, this so far is one of our favorite areas to have dinner and drinks. We eat one night at Cava de Leon, I had the shrimp stuffed chile rellenos, and wow they were the best rellenos I think I have ever had. The houses in Old town are all decorated with lights and blow up Santa’s, even though it is 78 degrees during the day, it is really starting to look a lot like Christmas.

This house even looks amazing during the day!

Oh Skeeter!!

We almost adopted a new kitty, she hangs out up by the offices

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Overlooking the harbor and our anchorage

Well Jerry and I made it to Mazatlan on Wednesday December 14th around 8am, after 198 miles of open sea that took around 40 hours we pulled in and anchored in Mazatlan Harbor, Club Nautico.  There are about 10 other sailboats, and a bunch of fishing boats in the anchorage with us.  This is a very busy harbor, we ever boats of every sort coming and going all day and night, but we are still enjoying it.  The only things is it has been very foggy in the mornings the last two days, so the cruise ships that start coming in around sun up have been blowing their fog horns starting around 5am.  We get about 3 cruise ships in the morning coming in then leaving around 6pm, also ferries traveling back and forth to La Paz, and lots of shrimp, fishing and tour boats all day long.  Jerry and I have been enjoying watching all the traffic coming and going, when it is not foggy. 
three cruise ships about to leave

the ferry at night time

At club Nautico there is a dingy dock, showers (though Jerry and I don't think we will be using them, kind of dirty), trash cans to use all for a small fee.  There is a gated entrance that is locked at night, along with guards all day to watch the dingy and the anchorage.  The first day Jerry and I walked up to one of the main road to look around.  There is going to be alot to see in Mazatlan, we ended having lunch at one of the many little restaurants along the malacon, then took a pulmonis taxi back to the harbor. 

Yesterday we took one of the local buses up to the Centro Mercado, which is by far the biggest market we have gone through yet.  The produce was unbelievable, so plentiful and with such vibrant colors, along with queso fresco, seafood, spices and gifts.  We walked up to the upper level were the loncherieas were ( many different lunch eateries), we chose the one that had some seating outside, we had chicken soup, enchiladas, fries and bistek rancheros and two sodas for less than 10 bucks, yes we will be trying more of those places. 

We walked throught the Catedral Basilica de la Inmaculada Concepcion, inside the large cathedral hundereds of flowers decorating the beautiful, colorful artwork.

Across the street is the Plaza de la Republica, which was surrounded by venders, shoe polishers, a guy you could pay to take a picture with his donkey. 
Jerry standing in the gazebo in the plaza

While walking through Old Mazatlan I could not help but be at awe of the colorful building everywhere, the town for the most part was clean, but every building had bars on the windows and doors.  We ended up walking back down to the malacon stopped at a few bars for some quality people watching and to enjoy the view of the pacific ocean. 
Jerry infront of a canyon by the malecon

streets full of colorful buildings

Jerry and I over looking Olas Altas Beach on the malecon

We have had a great first two days here and can't wait to see more sights, I do hope the fog does not go on the whole time we are here, but it does seem to burn off in the afternoon and warm up to about 79 degrees, but it is making it hard for me to get motivated in the morning to go running with Skeeter.