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Old 08-10-2015, 18:27   #1
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Sea of Cortez winter wind forecast

Hello all,

Although I'm not a sailor or cruiser I hope the info. I seek is relevant to both.
I'm planning a Baja kayak trip from San Francisquito to Rosalia in January or February. I realize winter winds are a huge concern(maybe enough to cancel my plans) so am looking for advice on the best website for reasonably reliable wind forecasts.
My plan right now is to rent a Delorme Inreach(has incoming-outgoing text capability) and have someone at home send me daily forecasts by text from the buoyweather site which has morning and afternoon forecasts. I dont know how reliable this will be but also, I don't really want to try to predict high pressure systems over the four corners and translate that to my own forecasts if I don't have to.

Any help much appreciated.
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Old 08-10-2015, 18:45   #2
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Re: Sea of Cortez winter wind forecast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasider View Post
Hello all,

Although I'm not a sailor or cruiser I hope the info. I seek is relevant to both.
I'm planning a Baja kayak trip from San Francisquito to Rosalia in January or February. I realize winter winds are a huge concern(maybe enough to cancel my plans) so am looking for advice on the best website for reasonably reliable wind forecasts.
My plan right now is to rent a Delorme Inreach(has incoming-outgoing text capability) and have someone at home send me daily forecasts by text from the buoyweather site which has morning and afternoon forecasts. I dont know how reliable this will be but also, I don't really want to try to predict high pressure systems over the four corners and translate that to my own forecasts if I don't have to.

Any help much appreciated.
This past winter in the Sea of Cortes I checked the following sites for weather if I had Internet. I can't really say one is more accurate than the other. I would just average what they say:

Weather Forecasts and Related Weather Information | MyWeather2.com
Marine Weather Swell and Wind Forecasts | BUOYWEATHER.COM
Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers - PassageWeather (a lot of folks use this one)
Weather Forecast & Reports - Long Range & Local | Wunderground | Weather Underground

If you have a battery powered short wave radio you should be able to hear the morning net broadcast of the weather. Don't recall the frequency, 3.68 MHz?, but any sailor will be able to tell you.

As you probably know, winds are generally from the north. I don't think in 5 months I ever saw conditions that would be dangerous for an experienced kayaker in a sea kayak but it can blow pretty hard sometimes and you can get some big waves.
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Old 08-10-2015, 21:59   #3
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Re: Sea of Cortez winter wind forecast

Biggest waves we ever saw in our sailing lives was not in the Pacific ocean, but in the Sea of Cortez.
15 to 20' waves breaking during 40 knots on the second day of a Norther.
Confused seas coming from 3 directions as we exited the pass between Baja and the South end of (I forget which island) with reflections coming off the North end of Isla San Francisco.

Yuk. It was a several hour sail getting pooped occasionally, but we anchored that afternoon at Isla Partida in calm waters.
The sail was awful, but it was 80 degrees and sunny the whole way.

After we got anchored, we watched charter boats trying to motor into that mess while towing HARD DINGHIES !
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:51   #4
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Re: Sea of Cortez winter wind forecast

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Seasider.
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:03   #5
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Re: Sea of Cortez winter wind forecast

the best weather mapping in soc is eebmike.
passage weather will also let you know for 7 days what the coming stuff is.
more than 7 days is grossly inaccurate.

most wind i have caught was north of cabo on pcific side, 60 + kts chubasco. was a fun ride, but then i have a heavy ketch that wants that kind of wind, and i enjoy sailing em.
chubascos inside the sea, i have been advised, give a warning puff then not long after, is the wind, a good blow following.
charlies charts and sarana guide books are excellent for soc.
as for the crossing between mazatlan and la paz, folks have done that in as many as 10 days for the 180 miles and as few as 3. depends on the conditions and the sailor.
i found dead calm and motored over to mazatlan taking 3 days with some motoring some drifting for fishing.

one gal was reported to have taken a month, buti hope that is wild rumor.

btw...welcome
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:33   #6
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Sea of Cortez winter wind forecast

You might also want to check out Geary's daily weather forecasts from Bahia Concepcion. He broadcasts on the Sonrisa ham net at 0745 local on 3.968 LSB. You could get his updates from mostly any cruising boat by contacting them on VHF. His website, http://sonrisanet.org, provides all the information that he transmits, as well as other data. Most cruisers in the Sea of Cortez depend on his forecasts, which he puts together every morning.
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:01   #7
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Re: Sea of Cortez winter wind forecast

Greetings Seasider,
You've received good information from all and are also aware of the effect of Santa Anna's in southern California (high pressure development over the four corners region) and how they generally translate into Norther's in the Sea of Cortez. Another resource you might want to check is the Club Cruceros website (Club Cruceros). The website, in addition to containing information about La Paz and some of the activities of the club, also has a cruising 'Baja Cruising' section that includes several sources for weather and tides. Most of the sites have been listed here, but on the website they may be found all in one place. One weather site that wasn't listed is SailFlow (SailFlow) that gives seven day forecasts for the regions you can select. While cruising, we would generally use a composite overview of several weather sites for the same area. Often they would be in fairly good agreement with an occasional exception. As has been mentioned in previous responses, these multi-day forecasts are pretty good for two to three days out, at most. Since you'll be kayaking you probably want to check weather with some regularity, particularly before making any long crossings. I'm guessing, in addition to the DeLorme you'll also be carrying a quality handheld VHF radio. Have fun and enjoy all the beauty you're sure to encounter!
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:38   #8
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Re: Sea of Cortez winter wind forecast

After 18 years sailing in the Sea of Cortez I second bajatrawler and neophytecruiser's posts.. Sonrisa and Sailflow have proven to be closest to real in our experience
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:11   #9
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Re: Sea of Cortez winter wind forecast

Last winter in the Sea of Cortez there was not much wind ever. And forecasts were very, very localized. You would never be too far offshore or too far from a safe beach. And you can pick your days to go to a near island. You will have the time of your life. Thousands of people have done similar trips. The dangerous trip down Baja way is families pulling children in trailers by bicycle down Hwy 1.
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:46   #10
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Re: Sea of Cortez winter wind forecast

Several have commented nicely on the winter weather conditions in the SOC. Here is the link to Geary's weather pages.
http://sonrisanet.org/
His contact info is at the bottom.

Note also that local weather conditions can and will vary greatly from forecasts. In particular, some of the prominent points you will traverse cause significant local variations.
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:04   #11
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Re: Sea of Cortez winter wind forecast

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
the best weather mapping in soc is eebmike.
passage weather will also let you know for 7 days what the coming stuff is.
more than 7 days is grossly inaccurate.

most wind i have caught was north of cabo on pcific side, 60 + kts chubasco. was a fun ride, but then i have a heavy ketch that wants that kind of wind, and i enjoy sailing em.
chubascos inside the sea, i have been advised, give a warning puff then not long after, is the wind, a good blow following.
charlies charts and sarana guide books are excellent for soc.
as for the crossing between mazatlan and la paz, folks have done that in as many as 10 days for the 180 miles and as few as 3. depends on the conditions and the sailor.
i found dead calm and motored over to mazatlan taking 3 days with some motoring some drifting for fishing.

one gal was reported to have taken a month, buti hope that is wild rumor.

btw...welcome
Seasider - Welcome.

My wife and I spent 4 years mostly in the Sea, 2005-2009.

Please take Zeehag's comments about La Paz to Mazatlan with a grain of salt! We NEVER took longer than 3 days for that trip! And the distance is more like 270 miles, not 180 as she states.

On the other hand, her book recommendations are good ones.

I don't know if you'll have VHF reception capability on the kayaks, but unless things have changed, there is a guy in Bahia Conception that broadcasts the weather. He is usually pretty good. Even hand held VHFs usually can receive them throughout the Sea. (The best weather forecasts for the Sea of Cortez when we were there were by Don in Oceanside. Saddly he has died - a great loss to the sailing community.)
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Old 09-10-2015, 18:19   #12
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Re: Sea of Cortez winter wind forecast

Thanks very much everyone, for all the insight, suggestions and the excellent information.
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