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Old 29-12-2009, 02:52   #16
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General Mexico advice-
The people are very nice, much nicer than here, treat them with respect and you'll get 10X back.
The less money you spend in a restaurant the better the food will be.
If you see a bunch of blondes in a place, don't bother. It will be the same crap you can buy everywhere else that the blondes are.
Get proper insurance or make sure that yours provides coverage.
Don't drink tequila that comes in plastic bottles.
Get your teeth fixed, it's about 1/6th the price and the same quality in the places that cater to Americans.
Stock up on prescriptions if you use any, they're cheaper than the co-pay is here and it's legal to bring them back, I've done it about 20 times by car. I declare a "huge bag of prescriptions" at the border, they've never even looked at them once.
In Mexico, you are guilty unless you can prove that you're innocent. Lots of the same stuff is illegal there, don't do anything shady.
Enjoy yourself! It's such an easygoing place compared to here.
The last time I spent a month there I was so pissed when I got back about all the petty little rules we have here. Don't turn here, don't park there, don't smoke anywhere, don't stand over there, don't say this or that or that anymore, that group of people have a new name now. We can't call them a**holes anymore, they are sensitivity challenged.
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Old 29-12-2009, 05:37   #17
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I was down there about this time last year. It was fantastic, and it was not cold. The best snorkeling anywhere I've ever been. Amazing marine life (especially the whales, and the frolicking manta rays). It's very desolate in the Sea of Cortez, very few ports and very few anchorages, and very few people. Which is great, but you have long passages without any shelter or refuge so watch your weather windows.
Did you sail down the west coast of Baja in January? The Sea of Cortez is quite different than the west coast. It was cold, and foggy coming north doing the Bash in June........i2f
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Old 29-12-2009, 05:42   #18
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The less money you spend in a restaurant the better the food will be.
Quite!
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Old 29-12-2009, 05:44   #19
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Eating on the street with the taco vendors was the best........i2f
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Old 29-12-2009, 06:25   #20
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Your trip sounds great. Don't worry about the language thing, we are now in Isla Jujeres Mexico (on the Caribbean side) and are having a lot of fun learing Spanish as we go. We have found the book "Spanish For Cruisers" by Kathy Parsons very helpful. I think it's more fun away from the Tourist spots, better food, cheaper and you'll learn that Spanish a lot faster.
Have fun, Bill A. S/V Mobetah

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Old 30-12-2009, 10:02   #21
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Try speaking Spanish, but don't stress about it. We've been cruising Mexico over a year and my Spanish still stinks, but I've had no problem getting around.

Weather - I agree with Rutea about the weather on the outside of Baja. There is 200 to 250 mile stretched between protected bays. Weather info:
Amigo Net - 1400 zulu on 8122 upper side band (weather by Don Anderson)
Sonrisa Net - 1430 zulu on 3968 lower side band (weather by Geary)
Southbound Net - 0055 zulu on 8122 upper side band (weather by Don Anderson)
Also Don Anderson has a radio watch schedule that you inguire about on any of the nets listed above. Lastly, if the boat your on has Sailmail or Winlink, you can use saildocs to get text versions of the weather (Virtual Buoy, Stan's Weather, etc).

Outside of Baja - Ensenada, Turtle Bay, Bahia Ascunsion, Bahia Santa Maria, Bahia Magdelana (Mag Bay) are common stops. There are a number of others, but many are fair weather only. Be careful on landing the dingy in Bahia Santa Maria; many dingies have flipped there (including mine!). There should be lots of whales. We hit one last year near Golden Gate Bank about 45 miles west of Cabo San Lucas. We have a cruiser freind that got pretty far up inside Mag Bay (they are a centerboard boat) and reported great fishing.

Sea of Cortez (SOC)- disagree with what someone said about very few anchorages in the SOC (true on the outside of Baja though). There are numerous anchorages on Baja and various islands in the SOC. You can easily day hop (no long passages needed) your way north as far as you have time for.

Snorkeling - The best snorkeling in the southern part of Baja is in the islands north of La Paz: Espiritu Santo, Isla Partida, Isla San Francisco, Isla Coronados, etc.
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Old 30-12-2009, 11:05   #22
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Mexico Cruising and the Sea of Cortez

Enjoy your time in Mexico. Speaking Spanish enhances the experience. However, the warmth, kindness and hospitality of the people you'll encounter will be independent of your fluency. We'd agree, the book "Spanish for Cruisers" is a good learning resource for cruisers in Mexico. It provides vocabulary and phrases for sailing, mechanical parts, common emergencies and fishing.

The west coast of Baja offers the biggest sailing challenge for west coast sailors. As already mentioned, there are a number of all weather anchorages, but these are spaced over some distance from one another. There are quite a few points and bights that provide reasonable shelter from weather from the north, which is the prevalent direction during the cruising season (late October to early summer). The weather along the Pacific coast of Baja can be cold. Bashing back in early July ('09) proved to be some of the coldest weather we encountered while cruising Mexico.

The Sea of Cortez has some of the most spectacular scenery and beautiful anchorages to be found in Mexico. During non-summer months, the weather is delightful; the water is both warm and clear; and, save for the crossing to the mainland, you're usually in sight of either the coast or one of the many islands to be found in the SOC.

Provisioning can be done from any of the large towns between Cabo San Lucas (be warned that it is extremely expensive to keep a boat there if you choose not to anchor out) and Santa Rosalia. We found using either La Paz or Puerto Escondido as re-provisioning stops, allowed for exploration of some of the best cruising grounds the Baja side of the SOC has to offer.

We're envious of your trip and wish you fair winds and a safe journey. Perhaps we'll cross wakes later this year or in 2010!

Pete and Kathie
S/V Citla
San Diego, CA
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Old 14-02-2010, 19:41   #23
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I just got back from a wonderful trip down to Baja, we anchored in the San Quintin estuary for a few days and had whales feeding 20 feet off our stern. I hope to head further South next year if my family is in to it. To see photos look here: Login | Facebook

All of the cruising guides say not to enter the San Quintin estuary do to a silty, uncharted and shifting channel. But if you are patient and methodical you can enter the channel and make your way into the upper estuary. In a bind this place could be added to a very short list of all weather anchorages on the West Coast of Baja. Even if you choose to stay outside of the estuary San Quintin is a very beautiful place.
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Old 16-02-2010, 15:55   #24
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Here is my response to a PM that someone sent me regarding SQ

"

Hey There,

I would be happy to help.

I am going to attach a picture of San Quintin and I'll tell you about it as we go. Please only take these as estimates. I do not have mt GPS coordinates with me so can't be specific. Also do heed the warnings of the cruising guides: the channel entrance has the potential to shift big time, so be very careful if you decide to enter the estuary. In order to get to the upper estuary all of the locals say you really need a guide to show you the channel.

You can also see more pictures of the trip on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/album.php?aid=38616&id=1579148817 I think maybe a third of them are of San Quintin, please forgive the fact that they are missing labels.

The points of interest are as follows:
1)Isla San Martin: Colleta Hasler Harbor, we found very poor holding in sand and gravel and some very destitute fishermen living in shacks along the beach. Judging by the skulls and bones lying around the Island it looked like they were poaching from the seal rookery on the South Side.
2)This is one of the anchorages that the cruising guide recommended but that we found would have been a bit swelly.
3)There is a hotel here that looks very run down from the outside but upon entrance becomes a veritable palace, with trickling fountains and cherubic kids running around. It was cheap too and had wifi but all I got to do was make one lousy phone call after walking down the entire isthmus of beach between there and...
5.)our anchorage that we found after picking our way gently through the channel. We found very good holding in mud and sand and endured 3 days of a shifting two knot currents and 15 knot winds.
4.)This is the other anchorage that the cruising guide recommended which sits outside of the breakers on a windswept beach, I can't imagine taking any kind of dingy through these breakers.
6.)A place where some other boats were anchored which may have been more out of the wind and current but which we found a tad crowded.
7.)Is where, if you had some local knowledge, a guide, or the patience to sound out the channel, you could have yourself a very good Western Baja all weather anchorage. On the little point on which the number 7 rests is a hotel where you can get a hot brackish shower for $5 US, stock up on some limited provisions at a market, and use some wifi, heck you could even stay there.

San Quintin is a very cool place with more wildlife than you can shake a stick at (forgive the expression), and a lonely barren feel. I highly recommend stopping off here.

I think that is it let me know if you have any more questions.

Sincerely,

Ben"
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Old 16-02-2010, 20:18   #25
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Hi Ben,
Your PM box is full. Thanks For the post and information.
Scott
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Old 16-02-2010, 21:58   #26
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Hi Ben,
Your PM box is full. Thanks For the post and information.
Scott
sorry just emptied it.
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Old 20-02-2010, 07:22   #27
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The biggest hazards sailing down the Baja are the lobster pots.There are 3 overnight stretches between anchorages,the rest are day trips.The area north of Cedros Is. usually gets the strongest NW winds.Usually land breezes in the morning,and NW in the afternoon.Beware of the sometimes very strong land breeze that can come out of nowhere,(closer to shore is smoother).The anchorage at Isla San Geronimo is better than you would expect.Fishing is excellent,I had great results with red/white feather.Most cross from Bahia Los Muertos to the mainland via Isla Isabela in January ,maybe going as far as Manzanillo,then returing to SOC in March to explore north of Lapaz after it warms up a bit.In late April you can head to Hawaii in order to return to the PNW,or haul your boat at SanCarlos in May/June for the summer.
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