Monday, November 29, 2010

Dodging Shrimpers 11.29.2010

Stone Island was, as always, a welcome getaway and the perfect spot to test out all the systems and get into ‘cruising mode’ before jumping off down to the next anchorage. There was a mass exodus from dock 6 at Marina Mazatlan as Slacker, Pacific Jade, Grey Max, and us bailed around the same time and anchored in Stone Island.

Stone Island is so gorgeous in its simplicity – miles of beaches, a calm anchorage, a protected dinghy landing, and palapas on the beach for your cerveza and food orders! Benji’s is a must-stop for their world class garlic shrimp pizza…yum! We spent a total of 3 days there – Turkey Day, Friday & Saturday, and left around noon on Sunday, next stop Mantanchen Bay.

We left the anchorage and motorsailed (mostly motored as there was no wind to speak of!) down the coast. It was about a 22 hour sail and we stayed close to Pacific Jade & Grey Max until the last hour of the cruise when we kicked in the turbo and cleaned out the carbon that builds up when we’re running low rpm. There was another boat out there called Sea Dream who kept in touch with us periodically as well. It was spectacular – nice calm seas, lots of wildlife, a gorgeous day. We navigated around, through, & away from the Shrimp fleet successfully and cruised through the slalom course into the evening. Michael and I love to eat a nice warm dinner on night passages and we’ve found (luckily) some frozen lasagna/manicotti dinners at Sam’s that we pick up each season just for this occasion. Yum!! Night fell and we were rewarded with beautiful clear skies with millions of stars & a crystal clear milky way. When the moon rose, it was humongous & lit up the entire horizon. I could be caught singing ‘That’s Amore’… :-)

One thing I like the most about night passages is the phosphorescence and it was very active last night. Both sides of the boat were lit up and, well, I find it funny to watch it swirling around when I’m pumping the toilet….I might be a little weird though. Haha!!

Night passages can be pretty boring – staring out at the darkness looking for new lights, watching the radar for new blips, watching the chartplotter & compass to make sure we’re headed the right direction, etc. and I usually read a book or pull out my star constellation book and try to identify new stars or something like that. This time in addition to reading, I downloaded a movie onto my iTouch and watched the movie! How cool! :-) I sure love that little thing!

We finally made Mantanchen Bay around 9am and found the anchorage empty, dropped the anchor in about 8’ of water, and had a celebratory beer while we were putting everything away. Whew! We’re glad to be here, it’s gorgeous, one of my favorite places along the coast if it wasn’t for the no-see-um’s. The last time we were here we were chased out by the threat of tsunami (from the Chilean earthquake) and the time before I ended up in the hospital. I’m going for a non-eventful visit this time though just before we left Stone Island I rolled my left ankle when I stepped wrong. It’s a small sprain, not at all like earlier in the year on the right side. Who knew I would have weak ankles! It’s time to work on strengthening them. We’ll be here a few days before we continue down the coast to Chacala…depending on the weather. We’ll see!

Until then…


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