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Old 21-09-2006, 20:47   #1
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Reasonable

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
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Old 22-09-2006, 01:38   #2
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I'd recommend ................

getting out of the Sea of Cortez until you get some sea time under your belt.

The winds can turn on you fairly fast in the Baja. Although, January to spring it's too bad for a break-in period. Get to know the boats capibilities ASAP. The rest is all experiance ................................._/)
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Old 22-09-2006, 09:53   #3
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Thanks, do you mean it is too bad January to spring or not too bad? Would Banderas Bay be a overall better place to gain experience?
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Old 22-09-2006, 10:55   #4
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Hi Terry,

Our experience in the Sea of Cortez was just the opposite. We found it a good place to learn about cruising. The winds were light most of the time we spent there, but we learned a lot about sail trim.

There are more great secluded anchorages than you could get to in years of cruising there. Many times we had a beautiful cove all to ourselves.

There is also a very helpful community of cruisers with both vhf and ssb radio nets.

Wild life abounds and most of the locals were friendly.

The charts are a little sketchy but there are a couple of pretty good guide books available and most navigation is easy as you don't get out of sight of land often.

We enjoyed our time there more than in the Caribbean.

The beer is cold and the food is hot - whats not to like??

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Old 22-09-2006, 19:20   #5
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Thanks John, I believe the boat has both the VHF and SSB. Fewer people is good until we have some experience. You make it sound pretty good. We would be sticking quite close to various anchorages until we get braver. If we have one thing going for us it is that we are defintely not over confident

Terry
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Old 22-09-2006, 19:41   #6
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If we have one thing going for us it is that we are defintely not over confident
Just don't ever be in a hurry.
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Old 23-09-2006, 09:00   #7
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To add to Paul's words: Or on a schedule! More sailors are killed by schedules which "force" them to do things they normally would not do than by anything else!
Take your time - learn your boat - hone your skills - and HAVE FUN!!
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Old 23-09-2006, 09:25   #8
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hard as it is leaving the rest of the rat race, or Matrix, behind, that conditioned response to 'hasten' is a hard one to leave home. You just cant put that in a carboard box and store it. All of our society glorifies the harried homemaker who is caravaning the kids to soccer and still cooking dinner, etc. The busy and efficient young executive who is making things happen bygod! The steely eyed CEO who determines just what the right course is going to be.

The absolute necessity to understand that the sea, the boat, and the weather are all your bosses is a hard one to reconcile with the "take charge" stereotype that the Matrix feeds us from infancy on.

Life is short. We all get to the end of it soon enough. Owning sixteen red power neckties and a leather briefcase have nothing to do with a squall. And the wind doesnt care whether you made your sales forecast for the month.
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Old 26-09-2006, 12:17   #9
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Hi Terry, Where in the Sea of Cortez will you be picking up your boat?
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Old 26-09-2006, 12:24   #10
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Rod, I would be picking up the boat in San Carlos. I am getting mixed advice as one says it is a good place to start another says it isn't.
I have read about the winds but didn't expect to ever get very far from a safe anchorage. Ideally we could tag along with someone who has had plenty of experience.


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Old 26-09-2006, 14:06   #11
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Terry - where and what do you plan to do after? JUST cruise the SofC or are you planning on taking the boat elsewhere? Short term / Long Term? Will you leave the boat during the Summer months?
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Old 26-09-2006, 19:28   #12
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Thomas, we plan on living aboard full time for 1 year then make a decsion. If we like the life and are confident enough we will keep on living aboard for maybe a few years until we have to give the boat back to my brother at which time we may buy our own. We may try sailing down the west coast as far as the bottom end of Mexico but would not likely try that on our own. It is exremely unlikely we would ever get to the point of straying far from the coast. My brother is available to sail with us about 2 months a year. He has about 15 years sailng experience.


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Old 26-09-2006, 19:45   #13
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San Carlos is a fine place to start out at. There are some local anchorages and a couple of bays to sail around in to get used to your boat. The disadvantage is: to head south you will need to cross the Sea of Cortes. Most of the good anchorages for heading south to LaPaz are on the Baja side. They are far and few between on the mainland side. You can sail across to Santa Rosalia, Bahia Concepcion, Loreto etc and start on down, that passage across is made easy if you can pick up Don on "Summer Passage" for the weather. he is spot on and you will find him on the Amigo net (8122 at 7:00am Local) and the Southbound net 6516 5:45pm local time. The local San Carlos net is on ch72VHF at 0800 local. There are many cruisers willing to help you out. Many will have gone south by the time you get there but I'd be surprised if they all were gone. This link gives you some the nets:http://www.clubcruceros.org/Radio.html

I strongly suggest you pick up Capts. John and Pat Raines " A Cruising Guide to Mexico" The info is current. Sorry for the typos, I'm typing in the dark
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Old 26-09-2006, 20:10   #14
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I am getting mixed advice as one says it is a good place to start another says it isn't.
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.
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Old 26-09-2006, 20:36   #15
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Rod, thanks very much for the info. I will have to print off all these responses and start an imformation book. I hope I'm not asking questions too early but I can always go on this site as we progress and get answers to more specific questions as they arise. This site is excellent. Are there many areas that can pick up cell phone or wireless internet down the Baha side?


Terry
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