Monday, March 14, 2011

Topolobampo to Puerto Vallarta

Well everyone, we have done a lot of travelling since our last update. We are now in Puerto Vallarta, but we made many stops along the way. As usual, we have taken lots of pictures to tell the story for us....
Isla Santa Maria, near topolobampo A new all inclusive we read about, I think it might need a little work though!!

A little mat making to help pass some time while we waited for the winds to calm

It's easy, just run the rope through here, pull like this, twist this way....

Not as easy as you might think, this mat making!!

Sunset at Isla Santa Maria

A little early morning visit from the local navy

these guys were all business at first and then they warmed up to us, enjoyed
coffee and we had a great visit with them Cruising in a mangrove swamp this shot is of an egret

This is pechocho, an orphaned dolphin that lives in a lagoon near topolobampo. He has lived there for 18 years and is quite tame. If he doesn't want to visit with you, he picks up a stick and you wait for him to drop the stick. Once he has dropped his stick, he will come over to your boat and let you pet him

Kim petting Pechocho

More Malecon in Mazatlan

Large open style market in old city Mazatlan where they sell just about everything

Yep, everything!!

Thought we would stop here and have a bite at my niece's cafe!!

We are now in a warmer part of Mexico and are beginning to see different animals. This iguana was sunning itself just off the walkway near the marina

Heading off to carnaval

Margarita booths are a big part of the entertainment at carnaval

Getting into the spirit of carnaval. We had a ball!!

this is what a half million people in celebration look like!!

Away from the crowds of carnaval and back out to sea. We had an amazing day of fishing, caught 4 tuna and 1 dorado
Blake bringing in a big tuna
Fishing village at Isla Isabel

Iguanas at Isla Isabel
Blue footed boobies near their nest

Not sure of the name of these gulls, but Isla Isabel is home to thousands of birds and quite a number of varieties. It is near the end of nesting time, and most of the babies are getting ready to leave the nests
Male frigate birds have a bright red breast that they puff up to show off or as part of their defense

we took a panga tour through a jungle area in San Blas near a little village called Matanchen

American crocodiles. these guys can get up to 850 lbs

We saw lots of turtles. Not sure of the variety, they are different from the big sea turtles we were seeing

Big seafood feed at San Blas

Woops, same picture!!

Kim and Jack's last night. We were at a beachside restaurant at Bucerias. Nice little town that we intend on going back to and spending some more time

Once again, we have been having lots of adventure as we journey south. We plan on heading to Manzanillo next and then working our way back north to put the boat back on the hard before we return to Canada for another work season. I will post more pictures and stories when I next have some to share!!
Blog ya later
the crew of the Nordic V

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami warning

Hola everyone!! We are currently in Puerto Vallarta at La Cruz Marina. We woke this morning with the radio all abuzz with the earthquake in Japan and the ensuing tidal wave. The forecast for us is that we may experience a large swell; not a major deal. We have put extra lines on the Nordic and she should be okay, just a bit of a rodeo. Local reports have the wave coming onshore here at around 1 pm our time; 11 am BC time. As soon as I can, I will update to let everyone know how we and the Nordic fared through. We are safe and have had plenty of time to prepare.

Nordic V and crew

Sunday, February 20, 2011

La Paz across the Sea to Topolobampo

My cousin Dave and his Joan at the pearl ruins in bahia san garbriel on Isla espiritu Santo Little fun with shadows!!
Blue footed booby birds in Los Cuevitas on Isla Partida These birds are found throughout the sea of cortez. Easily identified by their blue feet, these birds have a wingspan of 4 - 5 feet and live on fish. They fish by diving like a bullet into the ocean. They can also swim underwater. Very cool to look at!!

Bahia Ensenada Grande, Isla Partida

Crossing the Sea of Cortez on our way to Topolobampo The crossing took us 17 hours with fairly calm seas and the wind blowing north east around 10 - 15 knots

This is what coming into a poorly marked unfamiliar port in the dark looks like!! note how we drove up on the land? (tee hee!!)

Actually, it wasn't that bad, we were finally able to get to an anchorage by following the path the ferry took as it was leaving the harbour. The chartography for Mexico is poor, but with the combined information we had from various sources (and the ferry) we were able to get into Topolobampo harbour.

This is the view we had when we woke up in the morning!!

Port of Topolobampo

More port

Local fisherman using poles. Apparently they have a net strung between the poles and drive the boat in reverse. We have yet to find out what they are fishing...

Los Mochis
The city of Los Mochis has an interesting history that is fairly complicated. Not originally developed by mexico, it was originally created by a man named Albert Kinsey. He envisioned a U.S. colony at the site in 1872 His plan was to develop a railway terminal for trade from Texas to Mexico and beyond. As this is a lengthy story, I won't continue on. It is very interesting and you can find a lot of history on this on the internet

Dave and blake shopping for treasures at this open air market in Los Mochis

Dave and Joan bartering for their blanket

Los Mochis is a large city

I love the open store fronts that are typical in Mexico
views from the hilltop in topolobampo overlooking topolobampo bay

Open air restaurant in Topolobampo; plenty of fresh mariscos (seafood)

more topolobampo

and more...

6:am All Aboard!!! We took the train into the Barranca del Cobre (copper canyon) for an overnight trip into the Sierro Madre Occidental. The building of therail line (another long and complicated historical story) took approximately 90 years to build with a cost of over 100 million U.S. dollars. Originally built to give southern Texas transport access for farm produce to the Pacific, the object of the rail line has as many curves in it as the tracks themselves. Still the only transport link across the Western Sierra Madre it runs from Ojanaga on the Texas/Mexico border to Chihuahua and then west through canyon country to Topolobampo. Construction of the line, initiated by mostly american investors, was abandoned in the first half of the last century. In 1953, Mexico announced plans to complete the railway which, at that time, still lacked a route through the most difficult part; the mountains. In 1961 the line was finished. It involved some extraordinary engineering and a lot of hard work. Between Los Mochis and Chihuahua is the section usually travelled by tourists. There are 37 bridges and 86 tunnels. The line reaches a height of 2400 metres and for much of the route, skirts the rim of an enormous canyon more dramatic than the grand canyon

The dining car, enjoying a little huevos ranchero

Of course, the bar car!!

Beautiful mountains views

A few small villages dot the rail line

More mountains

Some examples of the switching back the track does


The trip left los mochis at 6 am and arrived (at our destination) at 2:30 pm

As we climbed further into the mountains, the vegetation changed from desert cactus and shrubs to an alpine vegetation. If you didn't know you were in Mexico, you would swear you were in the interior of BC

Barranca del Cobre, one of 12 canyons in these mountains

The hotel we stayed at; Barranca Mirador

Local vendors; Tarahumara natives

Climbing down the trails towards a Tarahumara village

Young vendor selling quartzo

Tarahumara village

more village

more hotel views

I can't write enough about this incredible journey into the moutains. Learning about the history of the rail line, the migration of the Tarahumara natives, the development of Topolobampo as a major port is so interesting. I hope our few pictures here will inspire you to put this part of Mexico on your bucket list. We have not felt unsafe here once, the people have been nothing but friendly and helpful. In topolobampo, we are the only white people but we feel no prejudice. A wonderful place to visit.
Our next blog update should have us in Mazatlan and area
blog ya later!!