KatieKat 2007 Cruise Chapter Four

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Feb-Mar, 2007Mazatlan Scenes
10 March, 2007Mazatlan to La Paz, Tugboat KatieKat
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February-March, 2007 -- Mazatlan Scenes

In response to a family request, I've gone back and pulled out a few of the Mazatlan photos I had found interesting - a mixture of touristy things and my own (some would kindly say strange) interests.

[Kathy in front of jumping dolphin statues] Obligatory tourist photo of Kathy in front of a fountain.

[Kids Carnaval models] [Kids Carnaval models]

Kathy was fascinated by the collection of Carnaval parade float models made by schoolchildren. Many were very detailed and quite intricate. Lots of Barbie dolls. Cute.

The Mazatlan Isla Creston Lighthouse is reputedly the second-highest in the world. The first photo below shows the seaward view of the lighthouse (Kathy is tidying up the sail after we had just lowered it). In the second photo, the lighthouse is up above - past the palm-tree-esconsed sewage treatment plant. In that photo, love the barriers to keep people from falling off the sidewalk (it's hard to tell, but that's a good 8-ft drop!). Click here to contrast this view with our own overly-protective environment. From the lighthouse there's a nice view of Mazatlan. Note the cruise ship in the harbor.

[View of lighthouse from boat] [View of lighthouse from walkway below] [View of Mazatlan from lighthouse] [Joe in front of lighthouse] [Kathy with view of Mazatlan harbor behind her]

The rest of the photos confirm that we did indeed do the climb up to Isla Creston Lighthouse. That anchorage behind Kathy is where we stayed the first night after coming up from the south, but the north breeze from across the sewage treatment plant drove us out of there!

[Pulmonia] [Red pickup] [Bus]

Transport in Mazatlan ranges from VW-powered Pulmonias (literally, "pneumonias"), red pickups with bench seats for the typically overweight gringos (seatbelt - what's that?), ordinary taxis (not shown), and buses of various sizes and shapes (this one is more modern) with the routes painted right on the windshield (note Wal-Mart).

[Bus mirrors] A modern extremely comfortable long-distance bus - I like their practical rear-view mirror arrangement.

[Air hose inside bus] Many of the older non-air-conditioned buses have an air hose by the driver. I don't know what it's for, but suspect it may provide a quick cooldown for an overheated passanger (summers here are brutal!).

[Manhole cover with inner-tube] I thought this was a unique way of dampening the noise from a manhole cover in the middle of the street (that's a plain old inner-tube).

[Condominium risky construction] [Condominium risky construction] [Condominium risky construction] [Condominium risky construction]

Lots of construction going on in Mazatlan - this was right next to the marina. Eight stories up - not for the faint-hearted!

[Timber supports] OSHA-approved?

[House overhanging cliff] No, thank you!

[External filter system] The water in the marina was considered questionable, and thus most boats had "purified" water delivered in five-gallon containers. I finally had a chance to try out my own filtration system on their iffy tap water: one-micron filter followed by 1/2-micron filter followed by a solid-block carbon filter followed by an ultra-violet sterilizer. Fairly low flow rate (about 1.5gpm) for the sterilizer to do its thing. We didn't get sick, and the water tasted very fresh. The filter was doing something, as the first (visible) filter turned brown.

[Gate barrier inside] [Gate barrier outside] [Gate barrier fixed]

When we were here in January, I snapped the first two photos of the security gate: access from outside is by card-key, but not needed to exit. Well, as you can see, all you had to do is reach around to open the gate. Happily, when we returned in February they had fixed this oversight.

10 March, 2007 -- Mazatlan to La Paz, Tugboat KatieKat

We waited an extra couple of weeks in Mazatlan until the unusually-long Northers dissipated. The southern crossing of the Sea of Cortez is notorious for its short steep square waves in any (in)decent Northers. A day into the passage we received a VHF call from some friends who left after us but were experiencing drivetrain problems, necessitating a shutdown of their engine which precluded motorsailing in the forecast zero wind conditions. So we zipped back downwind (in the un-forecast 20-knot breeze) and then accompanied them for the rest of the passage to La Paz, as they were on a tight time schedule. We towed them briefly when the wind disappeared completely, but after a couple of more days we kissed off the very slow light-airs sailing and ended up towing them the last 100 miles into La Paz. Our little KatieKat had no problems towing a 14,000lb monohull at four knots (and as we approached La Paz I did a short burst of almost six knots to see just how fast we could have gone).

[Sunrise towing sailboat] Sunrise about 15 miles out of La Paz, with the monohull dutifully following our towline for 100 miles - ouch, that must have been tiring!

We are leaving La Paz tomorrow heading north for some Sea of Cortez cruising.

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