We left La Paz on December 3rd headed towards Mazatlan. Our first and only stop was at Caleta Lobo, just 3 hours away where we spent one last day lazily swimming in the turquoise blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. The kids jumped up in the sail bags and jumped off into the water, they swung from lines from the boom and we hoisted them up in the bosuns chair to get a higher perspective. At some point the anchorages in the Sea are very similar and I feel a little like ho hum, here we are at another pristine white sand beach with beautiful, crystal clear, warm water with great fishing and an abundance of wildlife to watch. That said, we know that mainland Mexico will not have this beautiful water, and while it will have it’s own charms, we are trying to get our fill of “paradise” before we move on.
On December 4th we started our sail south-west with good winds. In fact at one point, when we sailed between the last island off of Baja, the wind piped up to 25 knots and we were flying. And, as murphy’s law would predict, while we were at our fastest speed, bam we have a fish on. Mike jumps up to start reeling in what we expect to be another Dorado. As the line is racing out, in the distance, and what seemed liked miles away, we see a bill fish jump! I think my exact words are “Oh s#%t, we caught a f’n bill fish”. Mike already gave a pretty good account of catching what we now think is a Striped Marlin, not a Blue Marlin. The Blue Marlin is considerably bigger, but as it turns out we caught a rather big Striped Marlin. Mike recorded the catch quite accurately other than maybe embellishing the utter lack of control we had of the situation. It was complete chaos! He was madly alternating between reeling in line and letting the fish run. Zander and kept changing headings, all the while going 9 knots with all our sails flying. We eventually got clipped in and took the sails down, but we still didn’t know what we were going to do with the fish once we got it in. I kept hoping it would spit the hook and I was sure the whole pole was going to be ripped from Michael’s hands. In the end, we exhausted the poor fish and when we got it along side Michael easily took the hook out. Anyway, it was a pretty crazy hour and my blood pressure took quite some time before it returned to normal.
The rest of the passage was fairly uneventful by comparison. We had great wind and fast sailing for about 24 hours and then the wind slowly died to almost nothing. We motored the last 10 hours or so, but the advantage of no wind is no roll and flat seas. In fact, we see a lot more wildlife when it is flat. We had several whale sightings and as we approached the coastline several pods of dolphins played in our bow wake. We started seeing the Spotted Tropical dolphin which we hadn’t seen before, so finding a new species is always fun. Kena is convinced she can speak dolphin and before we were seeing any dolphin she climbed up on the bow, and started squeaking, and I swear not two minutes later we had 25 dolphins riding our wake. Of course we saw hundreds more before we reached land but it was pretty serendipitous timing.
We arrived off of the city of Mazatlan, with disco lights flashing and music blaring at about midnight. Instead of trying to find our way to the marina in the dark, we anchored off a small island on the coast and waited out the night. At first light we headed in to Marina el Cid where we plan to take advantage of resort life and pool service for awhile. Sure, I’ll take another pina colada!