Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Discovering Mazatlan

World navigators possess amazing skills to find their way not just at sea but also ashore.  We, on the other hand, found ourselves utterly lost in Mazatlan.  Well OK, technically we weren't lost, but after we could not find the Colonial District of Mazatlan, we returned to Moonshadow to regroup where we turned to our FWC. 

Friends With Cars.

Ed and Connie showed us around and took us to the Freeman Hotel for drinks on the roof-top pool and bar.  On the way up in the elevator, we felt a sharp bump, which kind of made sense after we inspected the vintage lifting mechanism. 

All was forgotten when we stepped out onto the roof with it's panoramic view of old Mazatlan.  From here, we could see that when we were "lost" our position was actually just two blocks from the Colonial District we'd sought!

But when we left, we rode the elevator down from the roof.  It stopped between floors.  For a minute we looked at each other and thought "How fun...we're stuck in an elevator".  This snapshot is about five minutes into one of those stuck in a tiny, hot elevator with no margaritas kind of situations.  We were all smiling and having fun but quietly thinking GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!

We survived.  
On another trip to town we finally toured the Colonial District which has some well restored vintage buildings.

The streets are narrow and the building facades are captivating. 

We learned you never know what you'll find behind these beautifully preserved exteriors.

Behind one, you'll find parking...

...another door opens to an open air restaurant.

There's a thriving art community here where you can discover some really unique things.

Just down the street is the old opera house.  It has been restored from the days when rain poured in through the roof and trees grew inside.

Nowadays they're back to performing here.

We hadn't planned to visit Mazatlan at all, but friends said we should and now we're glad we did.  Still, we were itching to return to the Sea of Cortez and some of the beautiful isolated Baja anchorages we'd seen last year.  So we set off, sailing west-northwest chasing the sun.

After 30 hours we dropped anchor in Ensenada Grande, took a swim in the clear water and sat back to watch the sandstone faces taking shape as the sun got lower.

But this sunset turned out to be the only one we would see from Baja this time. First, we discovered that some minor refrigeration maintenance we had done in Mazatlan resulted in a cracked freon pipe, so the next morning we made for La Paz, about 25 miles to the south.

We quickly found someone to repair our refrigeration and were preparing to sail back north when we got the call that our son Ryan had broken his neck in a motorcycle accident.  It's amazing how fast you can run through the check-list to prepare a boat like Moonshadow for a prolonged absence.  The next morning we were at the airport waiting for our flight to San Diego.

We arrived at the hospital as Ryan was wheeled back from 4 hours of spinal surgery to fuse several vertebra where we learned he is expected to have a full recovery and he will have no paralysis.
 Thank God!

Then came the next call.  John's father was failing fast so John was on a plane to Oregon to be with his brothers and Dad.  

William Rogers - February 10, 1922 - April 25, 2015
Their dad hated hospitals so the three brothers promised he could stay in his home till the end.  With help from some angels from the local hospice organization, he remained at home with his sons and his beloved shepherd Freida.  When a guy makes it to 93 and retains his wits and humor till the end, we rationalize this is no tragedy.  

Frieda isn't so sure.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Hi John, Deb
I have been a long time follower of your blog, and started our own full time cruise almost two years after you did. It was a pleasant surprise to see Moonshadow just across from us as we arrived to La Paz last week - she looks clean and in good shape.
Here's wishing for things to settle well. Fair winds !

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