By way of Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra)
After almost a month at the marina in Mazatlan (most of which was planned) we finally threw off the dock lines once again to make our way South. With a plan (etched in sand as always) in our back pocket, we decided to make the short hop over to Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra) on the south side of Mazatlan, then make the bigger jump over to Isla Isabel on an overnight passage. Stone Island, as it is commonly referred to by yatistas and turistas alike in Mazatlan, is actually not really an island. It’s really a peninsula that juts off the mainland coast but is more easily accessible by boat (panga or private boat). In fact, it’s a perfect place to anchor but for the fact (or fiction?) of wily thieves that target cruising boats and are known to slash your dinghy off your davit in the middle of the night. In order to avoid that chaos, we opted to day-anchor there and go ashore to visit the sites. Approaching the small bay that comprises this anchorage was an interesting experience, with cargo and cruise ships arriving and departing all around us as we crossed the entrance to the commercial channel. We made it safely though and dropped the hook in 20 feet of sandy bottom and promptly dropped in our (newly acquired) inflatable kayak and SUP for the short paddle to shore. Stone Island, while definitely geared towards tourists (both land and sea-based), is a long gorgeous beach with plenty of palapa restaurants, vendors and musical libations (the good kind, from live musicians rather than the oompa-oompa we typically encounter from amplifiers). What a fabulous day! We devoured some fresh fish at one of the beachfront restaurants and then mosied over to where we parked our inflatables on the beach and people-watched, played in the sand, and took a little walk down the beach. We loved the laid-back feel of Stone Island and enjoyed mixing it up with “local” tourists (i.e. Mexicans on vacation).