Aboard Astraea

Invest in experiences, not things

Robbed in Mazatlan


This post is out of order. We’re trying to do quality posts about our trip, but I wanted to let everyone know what happened to us our first night in Mazatlán. We plan to cross the Sea of Cortez tomorrow and head northwest towards Isla San Francisco. The area is remote and we won’t have cell service, but you can follow our trip via the “Where’s Astraea” page on our blog. 

I’m sad to report that at around 0130 on April 7 there were some brazen thefts in the Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra) Anchorage near Mazatlán. We woke up to listen to the cruisers net and I went outside to fire up our Honda EU2000i generator and was very surprised when it wasn’t on the cockpit seat where it was left the night before. We had our 8′ Walker Bay dinghy hauled out of the water and tied to the rail and the 4HP Johnson outboard, gas can and oars were stolen from inside. They also attempted to take our 6HP Johnson outboard that was stored on the stern rail, but they were unsuccessful because it has a broken motor mount.


From 1973 and still working! What saved me was not replacing the handle that holds the motor to the boat.


The thieves also took Sully’s favorite flip flops from the dinghy. He was not happy to find they were gone!

S/V Mis Gale reported that they were awoken by a crash outside their boat. They went up on deck to find that two men in a white panga had cut the lines holding their dinghy on davits and the crash was their dinghy landing on the panga. The thieves took off in the panga with their whole dinghy and outboard aboard. Mis Gale got on the radio and called the Port Captain and Navy on VHF Channel 16, but were unable to raise anyone for assistance. They did make contact on VHF 22, the local cruisers hailing channel, and Mike from S/V Tortue responded. He was able to hail the Port Captain but the Port Captain and Navy were unable to provide assistance.

We moved our boat from the anchorage the morning we found our stuff was stolen and attempted to talk to the correct government officials, including the Tourist Police, Port Captain and Navy. By the time we located the Port Captain’s Office they were closed but we’ve since gone back to file our reports. We were lucky that our boat wasn’t entered and that we slept through the theft. From talking to regular cruisers of Mazatlán, the last time thefts were reported in the Stone Island Anchorage was about a year and a half ago and the last time anything was recovered was about seven years ago. Like many cruisers, we only carry liability insurance. The insurance company won’t be cutting us a check for the stuff we lost. We’re hoping to get our stuff back but aren’t counting on it.

My advice to our fellow cruisers and what we’re doing from now on. If you want to keep it on with your boat, lock it to or lock it inside your boat. For the dinghy outboard, many cruisers will lock it to the dinghy. In our case case they didn’t want the dinghy, just the outboard. Perhaps if our outboard was locked to the dinghy they would have taken everything because they couldn’t just take the outboard they wanted.



  1. Sorry to hear of these things in such a beautiful place. Would a light with motion sensor be a value or is there “too much” motion going on for that to make sense? Don’t let the actions of others change your outlook. Your all safe and that is what matters most. Can we send Sully some new flip flops?

  2. This is good to know. Thanks for writing about it. Sorry about your stuff.

  3. Fortunately this is an isolated incident. I have spent 17 years in Mazatlan and know the area well. There has never been a theft problem in the marinas, security here is very good. So don’t let this stop you coming and enjoying the only real Colonial City at the entrance to the Sea of Cortez.

  4. That sucks! We were parked in Mazatlan’s Old Harbor (near the lighthouse and that funky old club) for about a week and never had any problems, but were scared enough that I broke tradition and took precautions. I used the stern anchor chain rode (~25′ or so), ran it through a freeport in the gunwale and locked it to itself, then ran it to the dinghy and locked the other end on the dinghy engine mounts.

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