Since our last post, I’ve started our next post at least three times – the now-familar post indicating where we’ve been and what we have been doing while there. And there has been plenty to report on! But the thing I think you all might find interesting at this point in our adventure is a little more of the “day in the life” part of our adventure and how it is shaping us as both individuals and a family now.
Passage from Isla Isabela to Chacala (En route to La Cruz)
We left the amazing anchorage at Isla Isabel (85 nms from Mazatlan) on Saturday January 7 and headed on a short overnight passage to Chacala – a lovely little beach town about 40 nms on the mainland, basically a straight shot from Isla Isabel. The passage was mostly quiet (little to no wind) and uneventful and we kept the pace slow so as to arrive in Chacala right around daybreak, about 6 am. We had heard it was advisable to set both a bow and stern anchor to keep the boat steady in the little bay, which offered some (but not tons) of protection from the swells. And after arriving and scoping out a good place to drop the hook, we found the advice was sage and decided to set a stern anchor once the morning winds died down. Chacala is a quiet little Mexican beach town with one “main” road running parallel to the beach and the beachfront sparsely populated (but pleasantly so) with palapa restaurants and a big beach for walking and play in the sand. The spot to bring the dinghy to shore happens to be right in front of the port captain’s office but since we arrived on a Sunday, it was (as expected) closed so we were free to explore the beach and town and get little feet onshore to get out some wiggles.
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).
Hello, we are the Dixon Family! We are adventure seekers, travel bugs, and a cruising family. We just returned from a year of living and sailing our home, S/V Dakota + globetrotting by land and air with our two school-aged boys, whom we boat/worldschooled along the way.
We are advocates of dreaming big and living with intention and purpose to realize those dreams. Hopefully we can inspire you to dream it and do it! We always have more travels and adventures abroad to come, so follow us and come along on the journey!
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