Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Mazatlan is a city of over 400,000 (23.13N x 106.25W) on the Pacific coast of mainland Mexico.  Just south of the Baja Peninsula, Mazatlan is more impacted by the Pacific Ocean than the Sea of Cortez.  Typically, long ocean swells from the south, southwest and warmer weather in the winter than La Paz, Mazatlan is a popular stop for cruisers.  Also the home of Pacifico brewery since 1900.   
We arrived at Marina Mazatlan to find it about 60% occupied and a bit sleepy for the Christmas holiday.  The marina property is located on the east side of a man made circular harbor. 

The economy of Mexico is in recovery and the marinas suffered along with the rest of the business.  Tourism was particularly hard hit in areas depending on the US for clients.  Condos, timeshares, hotels etc. took it on the chin and many are abandoned short of completion.  In the harbor a number of restaurants are shuttered and about one third to half the land around the harbor is vacant. 
We were in good company in Mazatlan, WORNOT continues to be in the middle of the pack of the cruising powerboats.

Getting from the marina to the main road includes a trip through a vacant lot covered in construction debris.  Within walking distance from there is a very upscale mall with all the top brands from NY and London.  Inside the mall it’s airy, full of marble and creative stone work.  Patrons are well dressed, polite and spending.   Found a Starbucks and felt right at home.

One interesting find was the small containers found in the concrete parking lot near the Liverpool store in the mall.  Can you guess the purpose?

They are for cleaning up oil leaks from your car.   Each is filled with oil absorbent material and includes a shovel.  How long would that last in a US mall? 

Getting around Mazatlan is easy using the taxis made from Volkswagen Beetle chassis.  Called Pulmonia taxi,  we took one downtown to see a chapel at the far end of the largest malecon in Mexico.

  The malecon walkway is over 4 miles long.   Our visit to the chapel was interrupted by a major rainstorm.  Mary and I were huddled in a doorway of the chapel when a highvoltage cable arced and dropped to ground at the nearby corner.  The line had been covered in Christmas decorations and the weight from the all the rain was too much.   We cut our trip short and headed for a taxi.
We got to the taxi at the same time as a well dressed Mexican lady.  With broken English and sign language we determined her stop was along the way of our return to the marina.  Off we all went in the pouring rain.  The streets were running up to the curb with rainwater and lots of trash.  Staying dry in the cab w/o door was impossible.  The wiper did not have a chance to keep up with the rain and the inside of the windshield was about as wet at the out side.  Several times the water washed over the floorboard as we turned into the torrent at intersections.  Water was pouring off the flat roofs of the various buildings, occasionally hitting our ride with a 2" or larger stream of water.  Our driver was focused on the fare and he never let up. 

Our stay was short in Mazatlan and we headed South on 12/21/13.  Departing late in the evening we had a 18 hour trip to San Blas in settled weather ahead of us.   We plan to anchor at Mantanchen bay to rest up and sample San Blas. 
Exiting the harbor reminded us of how challenging the entrance had been the first time in.