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Old 26-07-2016, 09:41   #31
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

Zihuatenejo was our second most favorite place on the coast after La Paz. Both gems to visit. Not sure you could charter out of Zihua/Ixtapa though but things can change.
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Old 26-07-2016, 11:49   #32
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

charters are out of alcaputo to include zihuatnejo. another good sailing area in december, southwest coast mexico.
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Old 26-07-2016, 17:18   #33
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

If you don't like to be too far away from bars, then Cabo shoud be your main stop over. And...there are "cigar" vendors spaced every 100 ft, along the marina front. Well...they sell any drug you want too. Thought that was special last time I was in that hole fueling up(2013). Lets not forget the slip charges also. I think I paid $70 a night for a 35ft. vessel. I was in Cabo in the mid 80's, it was nice then but I could see which way it was going. Even then the gringos were making a complete ass out of themselves at the Giggling Marlin bar.
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Old 26-07-2016, 17:34   #34
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

Zeehag:

The OP asked about La Paz in December. I agree the Mex PACIFIC coast in winter is delightful, but as several have noted (and especially the last couple years) Northers can be a problem in the Sea, especially if one is coming down for a short period charter. It is a different issue for us long-term cruisers who can afford (time wise at least) to wait it out.
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Old 28-07-2016, 00:33   #35
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

+1 for someone enjoying La Paz and the sailing in the area.

My wife and I finished our ASA Bareboat and Catamaran classes on a week long trip on a Lagoon 440 from there. Really nice couple that spends a lot of time in La Paz on their boat down there. I think it was roughly 7-8 months a year there, 4-5 months a year in the Seattle area on a different boat.

Our trip was mid November 2015 and we did have some boisterous wind. The second day we stayed at anchorage protected and watched the 'buffaloes' dancing in the open water. (35+ knot winds) The next day we motored to another protected location against the 30-35 knot winds, but it really wasn't a big deal and everyone on the boat was having a great time and laughing. Of course the Lagoon 440 was probably more enjoyable to ride out there than a 32 foot mono would have been - but then I don't really know because I don't have both experiences.

The distance between protected anchorages can be pretty minimal if you need them to be and it seemed the winds were quite predictable since they did certainly dominate coming from the NW if I remember right.

We had some great sailing with 20-25 knot winds a couple days and 15-20 knot winds a couple others. So other than the day and a half of 35+ knots that all seemed quite nice. Of course it will greatly depend on your boat, guests, experience and comfort level. On the other hand, doing man-overboard drills and tacking and jibing on a 44' catamaran in 20-25 knot winds were great conditions to learn in.

Being from Oregon I found the water a very pleasant temperature and the outside air temperatures were nice and warm without being too hot. We also appreciated the isolation and found beauty in the deserted feel pretty much everywhere we went. Certainly in a week long trip from La Paz and back you likely won't run into much 'civilization' out there other than what you bring along. So if an evening at a bar on land is your thing, I didn't have that experience and couldn't have if we wanted. Well, unless you count other boats. We were in a flotilla of three cats. We just brought the bar with us.

We flew into San Jose Del Cabo and rented a car. Drove to Cabo San Lucas and spent one night there at a cute little Bed and Breakfast a close walk to the Marina. Then drove to La Paz. At the end of our sailing we spent two nights in La Paz at a nice hotel and really enjoyed the whole La Paz area. Then drove back the other way (through the mountains) back to SJD and flew home.

La Paz is definitely on our list of places to visit again, though we would probably skip SJD and Cabo San Lucas unless we head down by boat some day. We do tend to like a couple lively nights on the town per roughly 4 days of tranquility. Too much of either one without the other can get old. Must have balance, Danielson...

In the images, the one off the back of the boat was the worst day out and we chose to go out and actually had fun. But we knew what we were in for and had a short (1-2 hour?) hop to the next protected anchorage which made it totally reasonable.
Oh - and no phone coverage to speak of for us, which really was a bonus.

We did:
-Ensenada Grande
-Isla San Francisco
-Isla San Jose
-Ensenada Grande
-Bahi San Gabriel
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Old 28-07-2016, 08:23   #36
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

If you actually want to sail, Banderas Bay (Puerto Vallarta) should be your destination, not La Paz. Banderas Bay is rated the 3rd best sailing in the world.
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Old 28-07-2016, 08:48   #37
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
If you actually want to sail, Banderas Bay (Puerto Vallarta) should be your destination, not La Paz. Banderas Bay is rated the 3rd best sailing in the world.
I cannot begin to understand why you would say such a thing?

I spent many months at a time, over a three year period, anchored off of La Cruz and many more months anchored in La Paz. The sailing/island cruising out of La Paz is an order of magnitude better than out of Banderas Bay.

Banderas Bay is larger and if all you want is to sail back and forth then it may be superior. I did that frequently on my boat and many others out of La Cruz and the PV marinas.

But, if you want to sail to someplace and anchor in a protected cove or bay to explore the beaches and land then La Paz is the place to be.
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Old 28-07-2016, 08:55   #38
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

If you want to motor everywhere and sit on anchor, La Paz may of course be superior. If you want to sail, Banderas Bay.
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Old 28-07-2016, 09:28   #39
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
If you want to motor everywhere and sit on anchor, La Paz may of course be superior. If you want to sail, Banderas Bay.
I guess we have different ideas about cruising and life aboard a cruising boat.

Sailing is the means to get to where we want to live for a few days or few weeks. Sailing is fun and something to do while moving the house.

We have a big Code 0 and bigger lighter Asymmetrical spinnaker and are perfectly happy cruising along at 3 knots.

My sailing logs for about two dozen trips to or from downtown La Paz indicate we could sail at more than 3-knots about 45% of the time.

My anchor logs indicate many extended periods of 15 - 20 knots wind where we chose not to sail. If sailing, just to sail, is what we had wanted we could have done a lot of reefed main sailing, probably at least once a week.

I did, however, spend a lot of time sailing off the Megote on a 9' 4" super light sailboard with a 5.3 or 5.7 sail which requires 19 to 25-knots wind with a wide body rider like me.

Different strokes for different folks I suppose.
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Old 28-07-2016, 09:35   #40
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

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...we could sail at more than 3-knots about 45% of the time...
Wow. That's really sailing.
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Old 28-07-2016, 10:00   #41
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

i have to agree with terra nova.
banderas bay is a world class sailing ground with world class regattas to prove this.
la paz and the rest of baja is a gringos ex pat paradice. with wlwvated pricing to accompany this.
and there is chartering in pv. same alcaputo. yup big cities often have boat chartering, especially if they are turista zones without big shipping.
sea of cortez, aka gulf of california, is a lovely place to see sea life and have anchorages really really close, just for turistas. awesome. many gringos trying to escape the nasty weather that san diego often presents with in december until january.
whenye wanna see mexico, leave soc. start with banderas bay and head south east. you will be amazed at how many anchorages so close together and so beautiful there are.
it is kinda like floridas forgotten coast--forgotten. beautiful and forgotten.
but those who never sail south of banderas bay donot learn this. knowing a little spanish is helpful.
start in yelapa, which is inside banderas bay. mexico is not all about anchorages as it is the places the anchorages are near.
i disliked the openness of la cruz anchorage, enjoyed mazatlans old harbor, really enjoyed barras lagoon, zihuat is so very beautiful, and i have not even begun this -- south west of zihuat is alcaputo, and then puerto escondido, huatulco and many other anchoring locations of merit.
UNLESS you are all about the bars and cantinas and your non local friends
and why are you sitting inside your boat in an anchorage instead of exploring the interior of mexico--so many volcanos and pyramids and ruins of the cultures the spanish and others decimated. (oh, yeah, i forgot. there are no bars filled with gringos in the interior of mexico haha ha ha ha )

oh yeah jamhass---you have forgotten i watch weather for others and have been here in mexico since april 2011. as you have not been in my boat nor in my shoes, i think your dissing is a lil uncalled for, especially as you have no idea what my history in mexico has been , even since before my sailing here.
owning a car in san diego does not mean sitting on ass in a parking lot not making adventures. h aha h aha ha ha ha. same for owning a boat in specific locales in mexico.
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Old 28-07-2016, 10:12   #42
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

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Wow. That's really sailing.
Sailing Anarchy might be a happier web site for you.

Maybe I mis-understood what this thread was about?

The OP asked about charter trips out of La Paz during the winter. He asked about where to stay and what to see. We then discussed the problem of TOO MUCH wind during the winter Northers in the Sea of Cortez. The OP said he did not want to expose his family to those conditions.

Somehow you have now turned the discussion to the fact there is no good sailing wind in La Paz. I'm sure you are a great big wind sailor and get your kicks sailing Banderas Bay but I thought the discussion was a about a different topic.

Sailed 12NM non-stop from Punta San Lorenzo to Isla La Ballena at 6.5 knots upwind in a overloaded mid-weight cruiser. I could have gotten another half-knot out of the old girl but the wife was down below cooking and cleaning and she has a 15-degree heel limit when working in the cabin.

Sailed on a close reach 27-miles from Punta San Lorenzo toward Isla San Francisco with a spinnaker at 5 to 6 knots, single hand in a over loaded mid-weight cruiser.

I'm not sure how much more fun an old cruiser can expect or endure!
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Old 28-07-2016, 10:23   #43
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

and of course there is this little gem - sailing SE from La Paz to Banderas Bay where we might hope to find some real wind!
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Old 28-07-2016, 11:06   #44
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

I agree with the very experienced gringa zeehag about cruising areas of note. Going south of PV and Banderas Bay is one of our very best experiences too. We have only done it twice and it was magical both times. Chamela and Barra and others. (Although I think I heard that Chamela got nailed by the last big hurricane. Not much there anyway but great place to hang out in more of the "real" Mexico - at real as in on the water Mexico)

I can't say we enjoyed sailing back north to Banderas Bay some of the time. We sat out in Chamela for three days once waiting for weather to improve. Several boats went out early and several came back with their tails between their legs. The little cape "protecting" BB can be a tough one for being so little. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again though.

If I were chartering (and I never have) I would think it would be good to do your hardest sailing going out and the easiest coming back. Pesky schedules and all that. Hate schedules!!
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Old 28-07-2016, 12:55   #45
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

This has turned into an entertaining thread. I really don't mind it diverging into a thread about cruising Mexico and will continue following it, though I am most interested in chartering for a week or so. I would possibly be open to chartering somewhere besides La Paz, but I have not had good luck finding charter companies in other locations of Mexico (at least not ones that have boats that my family would like).

I also do want to add that we have sailed in reasonably big conditions so we're not really afraid of bigger wind and swell - at least withing reason. It's just we are looking for a more relaxing vacation than grinding into 30 knots and 12' swells, but a more exciting one than motoring along on a mirror flat sea. I understand that many people on this boat are cruisers and their approach is different than ours. Hopefully we'll be cruisers someday too and be able to adopt a more relaxed attitude. Right now all we can do is charter once or twice a year, though I'd like to think that I'm a step above a credit card captain since we actually sail upwind (without the engine) and I do adhere to a basic level of seamanship.
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