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Old 26-09-2006, 21:03   #16
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Location: San Carlos Sea of Cortez
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Paul, my wife and I are pretty independent so when I say follow I mean it in the general sense. I have trouble following a friend through a strange city by car without getting separated so I presume the wind would make following a boat even more difficult. For very short hops it may be possible to keep in touch with someone we have made contact with if questions arise. At least initially it would be nice to have someone know our plans for various legs and check in at the other end. Our boat is well equipped with radios, GPS units, radar, charts etc but until we use them a bit we will be looking for a lot of advice. I agree with you that the more planning and sailing we accomplish on our own the faster our confidence will grow. One of our instructors stressed listening to morning weather channels, checking barometers and listening to other sailors before ever heading out for any distance. I don't think there is such a thing as too much information. A general theme of info I am getting is go slow and don't rush things.

Thanks so much for your advice.

Terry
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Old 27-09-2006, 13:53   #17
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Terry,

Cell phone -wifi is limited to Loreto, La Paz, Santa Rosalia, maybe Puerto Escondido. With a pactor modem on SSB it is unlimited, more or less, we don't have one so I can't really help you there... Wifi is free at most marinas in La Paz and at both marinas in San Carlos and at a lot of cantinas, rv parks, hotels etc. You probably need to get your phone set up in Mexico, we have never been able to get our Verizon to work down here.

I don't mind answering any of your questions, that iIm able to

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Old 27-09-2006, 15:19   #18
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You can find wireless internet in most major cities in Mexico. I know they have broadband all the way down to Cabo and I have used it in Puerto Vallarta too. Mexico is not all that backward any more. The Baha is just more vacant<g>. As far as marinas I'm not sure if you will find it but internet cafes are popular all over.

As Rod notes an SSB radio with a Pactor 3 modem is what you need aboard. Sailmail is very affordable at $250 / year but you are limited to a moving average of minutes per week and the total message size (text only). They will support GRB files (weather data) attachments but nothing else. That means you send out an email and in a few hours you can download a weather info reply. I can display them in my charting software as an overlay.

You can get a limited SSB license for this and avoid HAM certification. Not sure what the rule in Mexico is. Licenses are different as you move around. A US HAM certification is pre much golden every place. SSB is what you really want for long distance communication. Satellite phones offer far greater flexibility and ease of use at exceptionally higher per minute prices. They will let you spend as much as you like so you can do whatever you like.

I'm just getting started with SSB myself. FCC 605 main form plus schedules. It's a fun read. You need a station license for the boat and a personal license to transmit. You can listen without a personal license but you still need the station license. I think with fees it's about $180 for one of each. You can pay a lot more and someone else will fill the forms out for you. A few on line places offer the service. There should be local HAM clubs near where you libve. They are pretty common around the country and a great way to learn about this technology.
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Old 27-09-2006, 18:02   #19
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Thanks again Paul, you are the literal fountain of information.

Terry
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Old 27-09-2006, 19:57   #20
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Terry,

We have a lot of really good people here that are willing to help folks just like you. Many of us really are just like you just a little bit further down the canal and willing to share. Just so you know, simple questions we really are quite good at! The complicated stuff we tend to have to pull in extra resources so be patient on the hard stuff.
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Old 13-10-2006, 13:11   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Fallis
We are retiring in 13 months. almost no sailing experience, but have taken 4 sailing courses including navigation and intermediate coastal cruising with 1 or 2 more couses next summer, We plan to pick up a 40 foot Fuji at top end of Sea of Cortez Jan 2008 and head to southern end of Baja or futher. Is this reasonable and are there recommended safe places to stop along the way. We will atempt to get to familiarize ourselves with the boat for a short time before starting out. I know this is a bit early but it is all part of the dream and planning is part of it. Do people normally hook up with others going same direction and tag along?


Terry
We're currently sailing the Sea of Cortez and love it! We purchased our boat in San Carlos last September and left port on November 1 and for the most part, found the winds VERY light in the Sea of Cortez. You do have to plan your trips around the 'norther winds' along the Baja side of the Sea, but it wasn't until we left LaPaz did we find stronger winds.

The sailors in the Sea of Cortez are very close and friendly. It's easy to hook up with others traveling the same direction, particularly on the night crossings. Our first night crossing was from San Carlos (mainland) to Santa Rosalia (Baja), 72 miles, and there were 5 or 6 of us crossing at the same time, so we were able to keep each other company.

The sea life if unbelieveable . . . on my first night watch a whale came up right next to the boat! I thought I was hallucinating, but soon one of the other boats spotted it too!

We took our boat out of the water for the summer, but we're back in San Carlos getting her ready for another season. We're headed south about November 12 (+ or -, depending on the weather) and plan to meet our sailing friends in La Paz on November 20 (+ or - a day or two). If the weather cooperates, it usually takes about 4-5 days to get to La Paz (with about three stops along the Baja).

During our 8 months on the water last year we did about 1500 miles . . . this season we're going further south . . . we want to be at SailFest in ZWhat on Feburary 1 so will be going a few hundred miles further.

Where are you picking up the boat? If by the 'northern part of Sea of Cortez' you mean San Carlos then it's a great place to get accustomed to your boat. However, the northen Sea of Cortez on the Baja side (Bahia de Los Angeles area) there are some pretty ugly currents in the straits and the winds coming out of the mountains can be intense at times so wouldn't suggest that area without experience. You can see a picture of our experience in the 'Leave if You Can Straits" in the photo gallery! It was a very looooong night!

It's a great life and well worth the time effort to make preparations!

Fair Seas,

Galley Wench
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Old 13-10-2006, 13:24   #22
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Resources

Forgot to mention a couple great cruising guides for the Sea of Cortez . . . Gerry Cunningham and John Raines.

Gerry has more information for remote anchorages and navigating in the the Sea of Cortez. . . he lives just south of Tucson and still has a boat in San Carlos.

John Raines has much the same info, however more information on the destinations . . . i.e. services available. He also goes further South than La Paz . . . Mazatlan, PV, etc.

We also use C-Map, however it's not as accurate in Mexico as in other parts of the world.
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Old 13-10-2006, 19:56   #23
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Terry

Here's a site that will give you a load of info, including the weather.

http://bajainsider.com/

fair winds..................................._/)
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Old 14-10-2006, 11:46   #24
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Hunter 42, your description of the Sea od Cortez sounds absolutely great. I forwarded your post to my wife at work and she wanted to start retirement immediately. The boat is in San Carlos and we would likely begin our liveaboard sailing experience in Jan of 2008 so in the interim we thrive on information such as yours and others on this forum. Spoke with my brother, the boat owner last night (he lives in China) and we plan on upgrading electonics including chart plotter and anything else that needs it next summer. We will also get a more intimate knowledge of this particular boat. My brother his wife and now 13 yr old daughter lived aboard full time for 9 years so know the boat well. It was my brother who insisted we try the sailing bit and he raved about the comradery of the sailing community. It sounds immensely more exciting than a rocking chair on the back porch. Getting away from Canadian winters will be icing on the cake. Thanks for your post and cruising guide advice. I believe the cunningham guide is already on the boat. Thanks again

Terry and Terry (also my wifes name)
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Old 14-10-2006, 12:00   #25
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thanks for the site delmarrey, it will take a while to explore all the links

Terry
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Old 14-10-2006, 14:35   #26
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Sea of Cortez

Terry & Terry:

Sounds like you two will be better prepared than most that sail off into the sunset! Not buying a boat right off will also give you time to confirm that you like the life style, and decide what type of boat you want!

We both went through basic sailboat classes and then bareboat chartered in the BVI, Florida Keys and on the California west coast. It gave us more sailing experience, plus the variety of boats chartered helped us decide what we wanted to buy. It then took another 2 1/2 years to find the right boat, and lucky for us it was already in Mexico.

We've found a couple fairly reliable sources for weather down here . . .

If we have internet capability, we use Bouy Weather and have found it pretty accurate.

http://buoyweather.com/wxnav6.jsp?re...A&program=Maps

We also listen to the morning net and there is a pretty detailed report given by a fellow cruiser located in southern California. I believe it's called the Amigo Net, but will have to have Capt'n Larry give you that information since he's the one that's licensed.

Speaking of Ham radio, we use the radio to send emails and position reports to our family when we're in remote regions. It's not real fast, but works in a pinch! If you don't have a ham radio license it might be something you should consider. To see an example of the position report, here's a link to our Blog and the link to the Ship Trak is on the right, along with his call sign. http://wingandsail.blogspot.com/
Let us know if you need more information on the radio -- Larry's had his Ham license since he was 12 years old, so he's a good source for information.

Diana (The Galley Wench)
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Old 22-10-2006, 09:01   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais
You can't predict the future, but you can make choices. No one here knows you or your choices. You may find condtions favorable then suddenly not favorable. I prefer to look at it as choices. You try to afford as many choices as possible, then choose the one that appears best.

You can not follow others. It's not as simple as "follow that boat". You can't be someone else nor let them become you.

Weather is a funny thing. After many years of activities determmined by the weather you find the forecast isn't always perfect where you actually are. You have to make decisions and then try to hold on, escape, or push forward. Retreat is always an option. Ire often the best yet the hardest choice to amke. We all seem to think you can't go in reverse. Given you really were not going any place maybe it is the better choice some times.

I think it is a mistake to assume following someone else will somehow give you the advantage you think you lack. Better to look for what confidence you have earned and determine if it is enough. When you don't feel right about going then you should stay put or fall back. You need to travel by your own abilities. Following won't make you better. You need to build up your experience in ways that are your own. One success usually leads to more and that is the best news I can offer. It's how we all survive being kids. Learn when you can and reflect on the sucesses.

You need some success behind you to build your confidence and maybe some mistakes that teach and encourage your ability to learn without risking your life. You don't have to jump out of an airplane to learn how to fly. Work with with you already know to build new ways of doing the things you want. There is no race to win. It won't matter if you are a day late! You only have to show up every day.

You need a way to start this whole adventure. Once you start you are the only ones in control. It's that or wait for Cruisers Forum instuctions before you fix breakfast every day. Seing I'm east coast and the Baha is a few time zones away. You won't hear from me much before luch.

Always post experiences in Cruisers Forum so we all have something fun to read. we like all this stuff.

Should you require technical expertise we have a whole forum of captains, crew,and technicians waiting in the wings. That is what we do best here.
Terry

Good writing ... good advice based on my experience over the last two years!
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Old 29-07-2009, 13:49   #28
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Advice for the woman aboard......

Enjoying reading all the posts on the Sea of Cortez.....We are considering heading south from LA, rounding the tip of Baja, and venturing up north in the late summer months....I understand that weather is a significant issue. By biggest concern is my lack of knowledge/sailing experience/understanding of systems....I have been coastal cruising for only 8 weeks --- have taken 2 sailing courses --- and have been at this (from the woman's perspective for about 2 years.....My better half has 40 years sailing experience, knows just about everything boat related (owned a sailboat commissioning business a number of years ago), is strong, quick to respond in an emergency, and methodical and well focused in problem solving....My concern: am I a liability or an asset in taking on this venture? What can I do to better prepare myself (physically and emotionally)? If we wait until the Baja Haha, what/where should we go now to get more experience under my belt ---- and keep me liking the boat? I have to admit, although I find it exciting and thrilling, I'm a bit scared and frustrated.....Any thoughts?

thanks....
Arleen
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Old 29-07-2009, 14:00   #29
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well.... your situation is not uncommon at all. Often one person is the "driver" in the adventure and the other says... "sounds interesting!" I'm assuming you are already living aboard? If not, the first thing is to get aboard and live there to get all the little changes in your lifestyle worked out. It can be very disrupting to your habits living aboard. You will be much better at doing your offshore duties once comfortable with the boat. You need sea time. Might be hard to get that in So Cal without just going out in the ocean and back. Going from destination to destination can teach you travel time, anchoring and weather lessons, even if you think you know them already. You need an excellent method of tracking weather for a late summer trip. It is hurricane/storm season and even though the east Pacific storms aren't generally like the Carribean or west Pac storms, you still dont want to be in one or in the periphery of one!! You should have a good looking weather window to get to Turtle bay or Mag bay. Personally I wouldnt stop before Turtle, so you're probably talking 4 days or so... cant remember.. Do you have a Ham or SSB radio?
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Old 29-07-2009, 14:12   #30
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You choose which one you are. You can tag along, or join in on the fun. That includes learning maitanance, varnishing etc. etc. along with the actual sailing, and navigation. The more you learn the more comfortable you will be on the boat in all aspects of it.

I personally do not believe in pink & blue jobs. My wife for the most part does. It's been 6 years, and I still pretty much single-hand the boat. Although she has gotten down & dirty with pulling fuel tanks when I would not fit in a space. You can be woman hear me roar. You can be demure, and all pink, or somewhere in between. BEST WISHES in figuring out your role, and both of you loving the life.......i2f
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