Sunday, April 21, 2013

No small sailboats --  Saturday, April 20, 2013 – Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.  In Mazatlan you can para sail behind a power boat, ride in a Pulmonía (a VW with a cool body only allowed in Mazatlan).  You can go deep sea fishing, you can go bottom fishing, ride a zip line, visit a Tequila distillery or take dozens of other tours.  Or you can just rest and be waited upon.  What you cannot do is rent a small dinghy and go sailing.  I found out why yesterday. 

The bottom fishing trip takes you out five miles and you catch a few fish.  Fun.  You also catch on that almost all the protected waters behind the two islands are used for commercial traffic.  Everything else is right out in the ocean.  As soon as you leave the marina you have an open fetch all the way to Hawaii--wherever.   Today  was calm; the gentle, rolling swells were only four to five feet, remnants of last night’s 30 knot westerly wind.  The chop was created by the 10 knot breeze from the south.  So we got a little roll and pitch--no yaw.

These fishing boats are no nonsense, and built to take it, and they are immaculately maintained. Two big Mercs move them over along at 20 mph or more.  The skipper and his deckhand have faces the color and texture of saddle leather.  They know how to dislodge a grapple anchor from the rocks.  Puking passengers are only mildly amusing.  No wonder you don’t see many boats or boat trips offered other than the fishing. 

The fishing?  My gringo companions got very sick.  The fishing was poor; we caught a few snapper, a couple of perch, a trigger fish and one piraña.  The pelicans were fun.  The crew took the fish home. I didn’t have to clean anything--in fact they wouldn't even let me touch my shrimp bait. Patti didn’t complain about the smell of fish in the house.  Great day!

Local net fisherman working behind a natural rock jetty on an extremely calm day.

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