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Old 23-12-2015, 18:10   #76
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Oh it happens EVERY DAY....
San Carlos/Guymas is known in the SOC cruising community as the place where Dreams go to die. The dream turned nightmare, but those folks are not as quick to post about what they view as a failure and disaster so you don't hear a lot of their first hand stories.

How do you NOT be another one on the long list?
If we had that answer we could save all the other boat buyers with the dream and never leave their marina slip in the States also...no different...The dream/idea didn't fail because of the LOCATION of the boat...it failed because of the People.

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Interesting post...I am in Guaymas fixing radar, installing my Spectra, relocating thru-hulls, AIS, New laptop for OPNCPN, ect. After hauling her, I went back Stateside to shake the money tree. I got back to "Joli Elle" 8 months later to continue the refit. The first thing I noticed was many people "piddling" around doing not so important work. I was invited to a few parties which seemed frequent. One older couple only used their 45 footer as an RV to visit when the snow became too deep back in their home state. Others were collecting SSI and in no hurry to go anywhere.
To add to that, there were a lot of vessels with for sale signs on them. Fun community but I can see how some can swallow the anchor there.
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Old 24-12-2015, 09:52   #77
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Trying to pick out of a group of new cruisers who come to Mexico from the US or Canada those who will love it and those who will end up hating it is difficult. Lots of reasons why it works for some and not for others.

I think there are a few indicators (not foolproof at all) of which way it might go:

- how much long term experience they have with the size boat they come on
- how much the spouse enjoys the same activities
- how strong are family and friend connections back in the Homeland
- how much money they have if they they have under-budgeted monthly and unexpected expenses
- how bored they get when on a boat at anchor (or marina) for lengthy periods
- how accepting they are to "new" experiences (as opposed to what they think before they try)
- how much they can deal with not having a car
- how well the boat was prepared before they left
- how much they can "roll with the punches" when the boat breaks repeatedly
- how much they can tolerate the local governments rules and regulations (if they left the Homeland because it had too many rules and regulations)
- how well they understand how freaking hot it can be in the summer
- how freaky it can be when a hurricane (that should not be there) comes through
- how social they are (like to visit other cruisers, locals, or not)
- how healthy they are, or how healthy they stay.

Once you get your boat there it is definitely "uphill" to go back.

- hard to sail back unless you have the fortitude and the boat is suitable for the slog
- expensive to ship (OMG expensive)
- hard to keep the boat in primo shape to sell for anywhere near what you have in it
- a feeling of "failure" if they don't manage expectations and what ifs prior to going.

But we loved it. It cost way more than we had hoped but in range with what we thought it could be. We loved the cruising community and the locals (mostly). We liked to party with others but not constantly. We loved to travel. I could do almost all work on the boat myself. I prepared the boat to the nth degree. We expected an adventure with lots of "oops" and "aahs". We also grumbled about rules and regulations and some downright unfriendly and embarrassing cruiser neighbors (the exceptions by far). We did not feel compelled to go back to family if little Timmie broke his leg or our third cousin Sally was getting married.

it is heartbreaking to see a shattered owner admit that it wasn't for them, or the spouse deserted them because it wasn't for them, or they got cancer, or they had to go back to take care of Mum (a very OK reason BTW)....... We specifically told ourselves that we might not like it and might leave or there might be other reasons why it wouldn't work - and we decided we could deal with that and be happy we tried. And we were. Everyone who goes should think about the things (and others) that I have listed, put aside the rose-colored glasses, and evaluate themselves, their situation, and the boat. And then go if it suits. Otherwise????

BTW - highly recommend the cruising guide by our friends Sean and Heather. Talk about excellent work and an excellent product. And super nice people who work hard and always have a smile on their faces. We have one autographed 1st edition copy here that we are keeping for our friends in MX who went out and bought the 2nd edition. They have been there for three years now and use it all the time.
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Old 24-12-2015, 10:30   #78
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

I have been a bit surprised at how many folks have chimed in on Mexico and so few on the Bahamas.


After weeks of reading copious amounts of information online, asking questions on the boards and given my enjoyment of time spent in various parts of Mexico I had about convinced myself that "Mexico is it".


The I spent 90 minutes watching "Into the Blue" (again) and the uncertainty returned


And no, it is not all about Jessica Alba.....
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Old 24-12-2015, 11:14   #79
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
Trying to pick out of a group of new cruisers who come to Mexico from the US or Canada those who will love it and those who will end up hating it is difficult. Lots of reasons why it works for some and not for others.

I think there are a few indicators (not foolproof at all) of which way it might go:

- how much long term experience they have with the size boat they come on
- how much the spouse enjoys the same activities
- how strong are family and friend connections back in the Homeland
- how much money they have if they they have under-budgeted monthly and unexpected expenses
- how bored they get when on a boat at anchor (or marina) for lengthy periods
- how accepting they are to "new" experiences (as opposed to what they think before they try)
- how much they can deal with not having a car
- how well the boat was prepared before they left
- how much they can "roll with the punches" when the boat breaks repeatedly
- how much they can tolerate the local governments rules and regulations (if they left the Homeland because it had too many rules and regulations)
- how well they understand how freaking hot it can be in the summer
- how freaky it can be when a hurricane (that should not be there) comes through
- how social they are (like to visit other cruisers, locals, or not)
- how healthy they are, or how healthy they stay.

Once you get your boat there it is definitely "uphill" to go back.

- hard to sail back unless you have the fortitude and the boat is suitable for the slog
- expensive to ship (OMG expensive)
- hard to keep the boat in primo shape to sell for anywhere near what you have in it
- a feeling of "failure" if they don't manage expectations and what ifs prior to going.

But we loved it. It cost way more than we had hoped but in range with what we thought it could be. We loved the cruising community and the locals (mostly). We liked to party with others but not constantly. We loved to travel. I could do almost all work on the boat myself. I prepared the boat to the nth degree. We expected an adventure with lots of "oops" and "aahs". We also grumbled about rules and regulations and some downright unfriendly and embarrassing cruiser neighbors (the exceptions by far). We did not feel compelled to go back to family if little Timmie broke his leg or our third cousin Sally was getting married.

it is heartbreaking to see a shattered owner admit that it wasn't for them, or the spouse deserted them because it wasn't for them, or they got cancer, or they had to go back to take care of Mum (a very OK reason BTW)....... We specifically told ourselves that we might not like it and might leave or there might be other reasons why it wouldn't work - and we decided we could deal with that and be happy we tried. And we were. Everyone who goes should think about the things (and others) that I have listed, put aside the rose-colored glasses, and evaluate themselves, their situation, and the boat. And then go if it suits. Otherwise????

BTW - highly recommend the cruising guide by our friends Sean and Heather. Talk about excellent work and an excellent product. And super nice people who work hard and always have a smile on their faces. We have one autographed 1st edition copy here that we are keeping for our friends in MX who went out and bought the 2nd edition. They have been there for three years now and use it all the time.
Wow! Great points!

We spent most of our time on the water sailing 27'-30' boats with some additional time on friends boats up to 43'.

We have also lived for extended periods in our RV's. 3-4 months at a stretch in our 28' trailer and 6+years in our 40' RV. Our 40' was an Eagle bus that I converted myself. I have plenty of experience with roadside repairs ranging from plumbing to transmission trouble.

We currently live in a 340 sq ft home out in the woods. No land line, satellite or cable TV. Most of the time we do have power but we rely pretty heavily on our generator (5+ full days in the last month).

We do enjoy some rather strange past times. We talk, read books, play dominoes etc. We do enjoy many of the same activities.

One area where we do differ is socializing. My wife has great people skills but tends to be a bit reserved. I tend to talk to anyone who will sit still long enough to listen

We have spent a fair bit of time in Mexico. We spent a month in San Carlos last year and loved it. We have had plenty of time riding the local public transportation in various parts of Mexico and have not had any problem. We have also dealt with the differences in culture, bureaucracy and the "maņana factor".

I think that we are in good shape regarding most of the points that you made. The ones that still cause me concern are budget and boat prep. We plan on buying a boat in the vicinity of where we will be cruising and likely sell it in the same region if we decide to move on. That leaves us to discover the gotcha's of a new to us boat far away from home.

Thank you for the well considered input!!
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Old 24-12-2015, 12:34   #80
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
We'll have to agree to disagree

But mentioning the Dry Tortugas is cheating! That's not Florida!


To get to anything like solitude, though, S of Naples, you actually have to get past Marco Island, which is finally the end of condo hell. The only problem is it's all swamp there, so not too much in the way of landing spots, but it's a cool place to anchor out (if you've got lots of mosquito repellent -- we mostly used cigars). My Dad's boat only drew 4 1/2 feet (long keel), so we were able get up behind Coon Key and even up to Everglades City. Bumping once in a while, but that goes with the territory.

The so-called "Emerald Coast" is where I spent many of the summer vacations of my childhood, and did a lot of dinghy and beach cat sailing. Ate a lot of crab claws at Capn Dave's, too (the old one, before the hurricane blew it down) and drank a lot of beer. In those days, it really was wild, with miles and miles of deserted beaches. More recently, I think every foot of beachfront has been built up, and even the fields of sea oats across Hwy 98 have been built with a sea of zero lot line shirtboxes. So I don't know where you'd find anything wild there, but I haven't cruised that coast. . .

Still, compare it to the Sea of Cortez? Nah . . .
Not sure how mentioning DT is cheating.

How about Boca Grande or Marquesas, are they cheating too.

Earlier I mentioned Middle Cape and here is the blurb from active captain and one of the reviews, which mirrors my experience a few months ago:

"A good anchorage just south of the point of Middle Cape Sable offering good protection from strong northerlies typical of winter cold fronts. There are good depths and good holding all the way to within 40 to 50 feet off the beach. It's a beautiful unspoiled beach with barely a sole for miles. Primitive camping is allowed in this area so you may find a few extreme campers and fishermen."

"Wonderful natural beauty of Florida. Fewer than 10 people on the most beautiful stretches of beach in the State. We pulled in from an overnight passage from Key West and tucked under the the south side of the point at Middle Cape Sable to find refuge from heavy seas from a strong January cold front (Northerlies 20 to 25kts). Arriving about 2:00am, Found calm conditions as we got in below the point and just kept heading in toward the beach until we were in about 8' of water (at about 40' or so off the beach) dropped the hook which set quickly in fairly hard sand bottom. Awoke the next day to see just how beautiful and solitary Cape Sable remains even today".

I have also cruised in the Ten Thousand Islands and seen plenty of beaches there. The swamps tend to be farther inland.

On the Emerald Coast there are places like St. George and St. Joseph that also get great reviews like these from Active Captain.

St. George: "nice protected area from the S.E. to S.W. winds. Great holding and a good place to dinghy over to the nice white sand beaches."


St. Joe: "beautiful water and natural views, away from roadways and civilization, or so it feels"

Your point that there built up areas in Florida does not alter my point that there are also undeveloped areas where you can anchor and get away from the built up areas.

One nice thing about Florida is that there are lots of great sea food places you can easily get to from your boat, there is good VHF reception on CH2, reasonable cell phone coverage, and if you need it Sea Tow. Not to mention lots of folks in Florida, as long as you are not around Miami, speak English.

No doubt there is a big upside to the Sea of Cortez. The reason I would suggest Florida as the choice for the OP is because asking the question implies he is somewhat limited in his experience; at least to the pros and cons of the two areas. It is much harder to get in any kind of trouble cruising in Florida compared to cruising in a foreign country where a different language is spoken.
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Old 24-12-2015, 12:55   #81
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohave_steve View Post
I have been a bit surprised at how many folks have chimed in on Mexico and so few on the Bahamas.


After weeks of reading copious amounts of information online, asking questions on the boards and given my enjoyment of time spent in various parts of Mexico I had about convinced myself that "Mexico is it".


The I spent 90 minutes watching "Into the Blue" (again) and the uncertainty returned


And no, it is not all about Jessica Alba.....
Not sure what "Into The Blue" has to do with making a choice.

I recently had a friend crew for me. He asked about my experience in the Bahamas and I answered I had lots of experience, I had been to almost 30 different islands there. I stopped for a second and then added I really don't have all that much experience, there are over 3,000 islands in the Bahamas, I had been to about 1% of them.

If you noticed my posts in this thread I have mentioned several nice, in my opinion, places in Florida. On the other hand I have lots places in Florida on my bucket list. There are rivers like the Steinhatchee River, Suwannee River, and the Peace River just to name a few I would love to cruise on. Even places I have visited like Dry Tortugas, Marquesas, and Boca Grande I don't feel I have completely explored.

Nothing against Mexico, and I have been SCUBA diving around the Yucatan multiple times and greatly enjoyed it. But my Mother has told me many times "you can't do everything".

My boat is in Florida and I have lived there most of my life. I still enjoy exploring there and the places I can easily sail to. To me that is the point. The idea is this whole thing is suppose to be fun.

I am still having fun cruising in Florida and the Bahamas.
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Old 24-12-2015, 12:58   #82
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

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Originally Posted by tomfl View Post
Not sure how mentioning DT is cheating.

How about Boca Grande or Marquesas, are they cheating too.

Earlier I mentioned Middle Cape and here is the blurb from active captain and one of the reviews, which mirrors my experience a few months ago:

"A good anchorage just south of the point of Middle Cape Sable offering good protection from strong northerlies typical of winter cold fronts. There are good depths and good holding all the way to within 40 to 50 feet off the beach. It's a beautiful unspoiled beach with barely a sole for miles. Primitive camping is allowed in this area so you may find a few extreme campers and fishermen."

"Wonderful natural beauty of Florida. Fewer than 10 people on the most beautiful stretches of beach in the State. We pulled in from an overnight passage from Key West and tucked under the the south side of the point at Middle Cape Sable to find refuge from heavy seas from a strong January cold front (Northerlies 20 to 25kts). Arriving about 2:00am, Found calm conditions as we got in below the point and just kept heading in toward the beach until we were in about 8' of water (at about 40' or so off the beach) dropped the hook which set quickly in fairly hard sand bottom. Awoke the next day to see just how beautiful and solitary Cape Sable remains even today".

I have also cruised in the Ten Thousand Islands and seen plenty of beaches there. The swamps tend to be farther inland.

On the Emerald Coast there are places like St. George and St. Joseph that also get great reviews like these from Active Captain.

St. George: "nice protected area from the S.E. to S.W. winds. Great holding and a good place to dinghy over to the nice white sand beaches."


St. Joe: "beautiful water and natural views, away from roadways and civilization, or so it feels"

Your point that there built up areas in Florida does not alter my point that there are also undeveloped areas where you can anchor and get away from the built up areas.

One nice thing about Florida is that there are lots of great sea food places you can easily get to from your boat, there is good VHF reception on CH2, reasonable cell phone coverage, and if you need it Sea Tow. Not to mention lots of folks in Florida, as long as you are not around Miami, speak English.

No doubt there is a big upside to the Sea of Cortez. The reason I would suggest Florida as the choice for the OP is because asking the question implies he is somewhat limited in his experience; at least to the pros and cons of the two areas. It is much harder to get in any kind of trouble cruising in Florida compared to cruising in a foreign country where a different language is spoken.
Thank you for the Florida details.

Honestly, I had been looking at Florida as a place to switch from airplane to boat on my way to the Bahamas. The majority of my time in Florida has been in Broward & Palm Beach counties. Not places I would get too excited about cruising.

The Keys have my attention but I have not heard much about cruising there.

As for experience, I have had plenty of time on the water and plenty of time in foreign countries. Just not time on foreign waters or long voyages.

I do speak enough Spanish to get by in Florida. I do ok in Mexico as well

Thanks again.
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Old 24-12-2015, 14:00   #83
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

Now I did not make this video, but I repost it from the thread about C29s only because I really like it, it features a boat just like mine, it's got me thinking about a Mexico south/north combo for my crew and boat in a few years and it shows you can have a fun and successful trip on a (great S&S designed) 22 foot water line! Perhaps it will give you some thoughts/inspiration too....
https://vimeo.com/145009504
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Old 24-12-2015, 15:37   #84
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

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Yes, if you take proper advantage of the TIP it is quite reasonable.

Last year I spent almost $300 on my TIP's and never left the "free zone".
Are there any free zones left? TIPs are now required in Ensenada and everywhere south on the Pacific side of baja, and in La Paz and in PV.
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Old 24-12-2015, 16:33   #85
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

It's my understanding that if you are (or say you are) going to San Carlos. it is a free zone.
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Old 24-12-2015, 17:54   #86
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

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One area where we do differ is socializing. My wife has great people skills but tends to be a bit reserved. I tend to talk to anyone who will sit still long enough to listen
This is not necessarily a bad thing. I don't much like hanging around while Jim chats up new people. What works for me, is that he is free to roam and chat with whoever he pleases, and if he likes them enough, he comes home and says, "I met so-and-so, shall we have them over for (a) a cuppa, or (b) drinks?" And, so, he winds up being my people filter, and i don't have to stand around with a back ache.

Ann
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Old 25-12-2015, 11:31   #87
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Smile Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

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This is not necessarily a bad thing. I don't much like hanging around while Jim chats up new people. What works for me, is that he is free to roam and chat with whoever he pleases, and if he likes them enough, he comes home and says, "I met so-and-so, shall we have them over for (a) a cuppa, or (b) drinks?" And, so, he winds up being my people filter, and i don't have to stand around with a back ache.

Ann

Boy that sounds really familiar.....
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Old 25-12-2015, 15:21   #88
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

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Are there any free zones left? TIPs are now required in Ensenada and everywhere south on the Pacific side of baja, and in La Paz and in PV.
Here is a map of the Free Zone:
Sonora Vehicle Permit - Sonora, Mexico
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Old 30-12-2015, 22:27   #89
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Re: Budget cruising grounds: Sea of Cortez vs Florida/Bahamas?

The Bahamas has 700 islands. Just like the song says.


Why can't things remain where i carelessly left them?
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Old 31-12-2015, 04:57   #90
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The Bahamas has 700 islands. Just like the song says.

Jes 50 some miles 'cross da stream
Bimini Island is waitin' fo' meme
Bimini Isle,
The isle of my dreams

Dat song, Mon?
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