Baja to the Mainland

Armed with our new visas and a need to get on with our adventures, we pulled anchor in the dark at around 5:30am, then worked our way out of La Paz. Once safely away we had an easy 46nm trip to Muertos where we anchored again.

Last look at La Paz

In Bahia de Muertos we rowed the dinghy to shore to the best restaurant on the beach and shared a nice dinner and a couple tropical cocktails. We finished our day with a dinghy row back before sunset to get some sleep in preparation for the next morning’s leg of our transit.

It’s not always about the food. But yum. There’s shrimps in the chili relleno

Just after sunrise we pulled anchor and started heading due east to Mazatlan. Several rays were jumping out of water to wish us well on our journey – we saw three rays in the air at once!

We were figuring about 32 hours to get to Mazatlan. We were targeting entering the marina the next evening at as close to sunset and high slack as possible. Once away from Muertos we had sails up almost immediately! The weather report indicated good winds for over half of the trip. We were not disappointed with the start.

We fish when we remember that (1) we have fishing equipment, (2) we get motivated. The previous day we caught a small skipjack tuna. Not wanting a bloody deck for what’s almost considered cat food, we released the fish back to grow a bit more and wait for another hungry diner. Today we tried again. It took about three hours of trolling and then “Fish On!”

We’ve been waiting for one of these!

After cleaning the dorado and then cleaning the bloody deck and seats and console and cushions and fishing gear and legs and feet, we put away the fishing gear and settled into sailing. The winds picked up nicely and drove us to some very good speeds. We were reefed down a bit so the boat was handling the steady 14-17kt winds and the waves that had been building for a couple hundred miles. Hundreds of miles of fetch makes for very impressive waves.

We were able to sail half of the way to Mazatlan. At about 100nm of our 190nm crossing the winds started easing, so we motor sailed through the rest of the night. About 30 miles from our destination the winds pretty much died. No more sailing. As we closed in on our destination we spotted a few turtles. Then dolphins. Then whales. Welcome back to the land of Maz!

Dolphin escort. Cool light-wave patterns!

At about 10 miles we contacted the marina about coming in at low tide. No bueno. We had to wait until about 5pm to go in because of the low tide and high currents. El Cid is an awesome place to stay but it can be a difficult navigational challenge to land.

Around 5pm as the sun was starting to set we took up the task of getting in before all of our options faded with the sunset. We had support from a couple Panama posse contacts in the marina who suggested a big open slip with the best chance of landing. We did not know what slip we were assigned, so pick any one! They met us as we scurried in and help us safely secure the boat. Thanks to Sheri & Steve from s/v Freedom for the help!

Tomorrow we will figure out which slip we are actually assigned to and get the boat settled into its proper temporary El Cid home for the next few days. We are glad to have made it to the end of our long three-day journey from La Paz.

Fresh Dorado tacos! Yum!


  1. Hey! I thought your shoulder surgeon said nothing over 3 lb I think I will report in and let her know that you’re hauling in 10 lb 15 lb Dorados!


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