Jejenes (hay hay nays), also known as no-see-ums, keep most cruisers from staying in San Blas/Matanchén for long periods of time. We stayed in Matanchén for three nights, two full days, before we had had enough Jejenes and Mosquitos.
We thought we were fully prepared with the no-see-um netting that I made and organic bug spray, store bought and homemade from essential oils. We even broke down and downloaded the “Mosquito App” to try send them away using radio frequency and the real deal DEET bug repellent. Nothing would stops these buggers.
During the mid day hours, the bugs were more tolerable, but they still found their way into your skin. We made sure to reapply spray frequently and we shut ourselves in the boat well before sunset and stayed in until well after sunsrise. The no-see-um netting kept the mosquitos and the Jejenes out, but we have a few hatches that only have mosquito netting over them. Well, those Jejenes found their way right through the wholes! Unbelievable!
We endured the little pests for the two full days in order to experience the many cool things San Blas has to offer. San Blas is almost 500 years old! The history is rich and beautiful, and the town well kept. From Bahia Matanchén, we brought our dinghy to Playa Las Islitas then we walked,hitch-hiked,taxi, and/or bused it to the town of San Blas. We experienced the infamous Pan de Platano (Banana bread), the old fort of La Contaduria and Templo de la Virgen de Rosario on Basilio’s hill, and did the panga tour up Rio Tovara to Camalota Springs. We ended taking the tour from the little establishment just east of the bridge over the Estero de Poso. It was slightly more expensive, ~150 pesos per adult, but well worth it. We spotted a few very large American Crocodiles, boat- billed herons, other marshland birds, iguanas, and turtles. A must do for visitors.
Excited to leave bug city, we set sail for Mazatlan. On the way, we stopped at Isla Isabella hoping for a good snorkel/free dive experience. Unfortunately a south swell picked up and a NW wind blew through the South Anchorage. The water was a little stirred up the evening we arrived. The next morning I jumped in for a pleasant dive. I lasted all about 3 minutes before swimming quickly back to the boat. I had been stung by tons of “string of pearl” jellies! That was our deciding factor to set sail for Mazatlán.
We enjoyed a nice overnight sail with winds 12-17 kts out of the WNW the first day, becalmed from 0100-0700, we bobbed around, then the wind shifted from the WSW. Blowing 10-15 kts WSW, we made a quick remaining 60 miles to Isla Venados, just off of Mazatlán. Just prior to anchoring we spotted our first leaping Manta Rays! We are looking forward to many more up in the Sea Of Cortez over the next few months.
Makeup time underway: