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Old 24-07-2016, 13:01   #1
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Sailing in La Paz

We are considering a charter our of La Paz sometime in late December. We would probably split the time between being on the boat for 5-7 nights and then being at a resort in Cabo for another 3-4 nights. Never been down that way, much less sailed there. Can anyone tell me what to expect as far as sailing conditions and what there is to do? Looks pretty desolate once you get away from La Paz with no restaurants, beach bars or other infrastructure. Is that correct? Also, would we be able to get away from La Paz and see much with less than a week on the boat?

Thanks,

Matt
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Old 24-07-2016, 16:32   #2
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

Matt:

It is true that there are few "developed" destinations within a couple of days from La Paz, but there are wonderful anchorages, a couple with nice restaurants and many with nice beaches. Within a day of La Paz you can swim with sea lions, visit a truly unique artisan village/island, windsurf, kayak, etc etc.

Biggest issue is weather. In the winter North winds can set in for days at a time making sailing (and some anchorages) uncomfortable, occasionally quite so. On the other hand, there can be really glorious weeks in December all depends on your luck. Last winter was breezy and cool in La Paz, so we crossed over to the mainland.

Check with your charter companies, they may be able to give you some advice regarding schedules most likely to have the best chance of great weather.
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Old 24-07-2016, 17:19   #3
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

Sorry but Cabo sucks, don't waste your time. It's a great place to arrive in a sailboat from a somewhere else but not a destination from La paz. Cruise ships, hawkers galore, very tacky.
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Old 24-07-2016, 21:47   #4
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

Thanks for the replies. Sounds like it could be a good charter - or it could be miserable. We don't mind a bit of desolation, but an onshore option every now and then is nice as well. I am not sure where the restaurants or any villages are (aside from La Paz) but I'll take a closer look. I wouldn't mind the wind to some degree as I am a kiteboarder and windsurfer, but still would prefer not too crazy sailing or some more protected options if the wind and seas do pick up.

Guy, not sure if you meant Cabo sucks from a sailing perspective or just in general. We wouldn't sail there from La Paz. I was just thinking we'd find a nice resort to plant ourselves at for a few days for some true R&R. We never take issue with a nice pool, sandy beach, and a few dining options with good rooms. But if it is a particularly unpleasant area I suppose we would give it a pass.

If we don't do La Paz/Cabo our other option might be the same type of trip out of Miami. Not sure what that would be like either but maybe I'll do a little research.

Matt
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Old 24-07-2016, 22:31   #5
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnmatt View Post
We are considering a charter our of La Paz sometime in late December. We would probably split the time between being on the boat for 5-7 nights and then being at a resort in Cabo for another 3-4 nights. Never been down that way, much less sailed there. Can anyone tell me what to expect as far as sailing conditions and what there is to do? Looks pretty desolate once you get away from La Paz with no restaurants, beach bars or other infrastructure. Is that correct? Also, would we be able to get away from La Paz and see much with less than a week on the boat?

Thanks,

Matt
You shoulda seen it 40 years ago... Well... Not much has changed I suppose

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamhass View Post
Matt:

Biggest issue is weather. In the winter North winds can set in for days at a time making sailing (and some anchorages) uncomfortable, occasionally quite so.
And... can be flat out deadly... Forecasts are to be respected ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy View Post
Sorry but Cabo sucks, don't waste your time. It's a great place to arrive in a sailboat from a somewhere else but not a destination from La paz. Cruise ships, hawkers galore, very tacky.
+1
Agreed... Unless like you say... You're going to plant your butt in a resort...
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Old 24-07-2016, 22:36   #6
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

If you have made it to Cabo by boat it's either the first or last place to have a wild time. It has a Wall Mart and lots of bars. I remember 5 cruise ships in the anchorage at 1 time. Very loud music from the beach bars till 4 am etc. You could go by car from La Paz too and then leave.
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Old 25-07-2016, 08:41   #7
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

I agree that Cabo (san Lucas) sucks. I have heard much better things about San Juan del Cabo a few miles east on the coast. I drove through there a couple of years ago and it has more of a feel to the old Cabo, at least in the old town. On the highway it is just alike - commercial and busy and brassy. The hotel resorts are hotel resorts. First class if you want that type of thing. I'm sure there is some variety though. I think they have totally recovered from the previous hurricane.

In a week you won't go too far afield from La Paz unless you want quiet anchorages.

This is the best and definitive guide to sailing in the Sea of Cortez: https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Cortez-Cr...duckgo-ffab-20
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Old 25-07-2016, 08:50   #8
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

Wow...I saw the title to this and hoped it was going to be a great read since I have always wanted to charter out of La Paz too (wasn't planning to stay in Cabo). I had visions of provisioning up for the week, fishing, wildlife, quiet anchorages and beautifully different landscape. This makes it sound like it truly sucks.
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Old 25-07-2016, 08:59   #9
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

I agree, San Juan Del Cabo is a nice place to plant yourself to rest and relax. It also has the advantage of being closer to the airport.
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Old 25-07-2016, 09:07   #10
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

We spent three winters and several spring seasons living on our boat while anchored in La Paz. We cruised from there to all the islands, bays, and other incredibly beautiful places within a days sail.

I've been sailing since 1971 on hundreds of boats in thousands of locations and La Paz, Mexico is still one of my top five. We will probably be headed back down there for our third trip during the upcoming Sea of Cortez crusing season.

If you want to sail there is no reason to go to Cabo - been there five times on a boat and wished I was somewhere else five times! Terrible anchorage and expensive dockage.

If you want to party with a bunch of drunk gringos and loud sport fisherman - then by all means head down to Cabo.

La Paz in the winter has a near perfect climate:
75 - 80 degrees during the day
56 to 65 degrees at night
bright clear skies and warm sunshine

About once every nine to eleven days a NW wind of 15 to 35 knots will come up and blow for two to five days. The wind can make it hard to get out of the harbor and even harder to sail to Islas Espiritu Santos, Partida, San Francisco and the anchorage at Evaristo. But, if you are anchored at any of those islands you will have great protection from the wind.

The NE wind, if it arrived early in your charter trip might make a mess of your vacation.

My website at THE VOYGAGES OF MIRADOR contains tens of thousands of words about winter in La Paz and hundreds of pictures.

Here is a long dissertation on the La Paz winter winds and currents
December 18 2001

Here is a link to the index of many of my La Paz stories and photos:
April_27_2004

Some specific links to my web site that shows all the wonders of La Paz:

Espiritu Santo Photos_2002

January 10 2002

A spectacular bay to anchor in - just 8-hours from La Paz
February 14 2002

A story about the winter winds blowing us 3 miles out to sea in the middle of the night
http://www.svmirador.net/February_9_2002.htm

Here is link to my Flickr page that shows a lot of pictures of the anchorage at Isla San Francisco - about 35 miles NE of La Paz. This is a favorite for the charter boats and one of my all time favorite anchorages anywhere. We spent 50 or so nights there over a three year period:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/tacoma...57631630326414

This are some of the Isla Espritu Santos anchorages - the San Gabriel anchorage is closest (18-miles) to La Paz. No one goes there and we loved it.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/tacoma...57631630290928
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Old 25-07-2016, 09:18   #11
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

[QUOTE=Hoosiersailor;2174228]Wow.. This makes it sound like it truly sucks.

No no. It's Cabo that sucks, La Paz is pretty cool. Or was, I have not been there since 1998.
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Old 25-07-2016, 09:25   #12
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

OP: You are correct, once you leave La Paz there isn't much. Most good anchorages are a good long day trip too. (maybe +/- 40 miles) So with 7 days you will need to plan it out. There is a good anchorage just outside LaPaz though. Caleta Pardita or "something". It's a really cool place. Keep in mind it's a long trip motoring out the channel to get out of La Paz. In December, once you are in the Sea, there can be strong Northers, so watch out for that especially regarding getting back in time. If a Norther gets blowing for a couple days the seas can be huge and steep. Get a cruising book on the Sea of Cortez so you can plan.
Most will try to get north to maybe Agua Verde and back.
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Old 25-07-2016, 09:41   #13
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

" Most good anchorages are a good long day trip too. (maybe +/- 40 miles) So with 7 days you will need to plan it out. There is a good anchorage just outside LaPaz though. Caleta Pardita or "something". It's a really cool place. Keep in mind it's a long trip motoring out the channel to get out of La Paz."

That is not quite correct and somewhat misleading.

Anchorages we've used many times:

San Gabriel - 18 NM from Marina La Paz
Ballena - 21 NM (the one on Isla Espiritu Santos NOT the pennisula)
Candalero - 24 NM
Partida - 25 NM
Embudo - 27 NM
San Francisco - 44 NM
Evaristo - 53 NM

If I were chartering in La Paz for seven days I would try the following:

Day 1 - Sail to San Gabriel - a remote isolated secure anchorage
Day 2 - Sail to Partida to enjoy the big crowd
Day 3 - Hang out in Partida
Day 4 - Sail to San Francisco
Day 5 - Hang out in San Francisco in a spectacular remote desert island setting
Day 6 - Sail to Evartisto
Day 7 - Sail to La Paz

.... Well - just goes to show there are too many great places within a day of La Paz to visit in just a week!

Pictures are:

From hilltop on NE corner of Evaristo looking down on Mirador and toward the SSE (Isla Espiritu and La Paz are 25 and 50 miles away)

From beach on Isla San Francisco at The Hook anchorage looking WNW toward the anchorage at Evaristo on the Baja east coast.

From the beach at The Hook looking SSW toward the Baja east coast with La Paz about 45 miles distant.
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Old 25-07-2016, 09:42   #14
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

Captnmatt, Tacomasailor offers useful information you should check out. Weather in December can be 'iffy', both in terms of Northers and cool water. We spent most of eight years cruising the west coast of Mexico and spent most of our time in La Paz and the Sea of Cortez. If you're looking for cruising like you might find in the Caribbean (beach bars, restaurants and mooring fields), the Sea of Cortez will leave you disappointed. On the other hand, if you are interested in sea life, relatively uncrowded anchorages, clear water, friendly people and spectacular scenery, you'll fall in love with the Sea of Cortez. There are beach based restaurants, which may be visited by boat (anchor in Bahia Falsa south of Pinchiligue and there's a swimming beach and restaurant in the small bite south of the anchorage; or anchor at the exposed beach at Tecolote for the restaurants) including the fishing village restaurant at San Evaristo. For a week away, I'd agree with those who find Cabo San Lucas less than desirable. For something a bit more laid back you might like to try Todos Santos on the Pacific side, west of La Paz. It's not nearly as glitzy as CSL, but has a charm and peacefulness that comes closer to approximating what you might expect from Mexico. Whatever you decide, go sailing and enjoy yourselves!
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Old 25-07-2016, 10:02   #15
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Re: Sailing in La Paz

TacomaSailor said "About once every nine to eleven days a NW wind of 15 to 35 knots will come up and blow for two to five days. The wind can make it hard to get out of the harbor and even harder to sail to Islas Espiritu Santos, Partida, San Francisco and the anchorage at Evaristo. But, if you are anchored at any of those islands you will have great protection from the wind."

That comment about the wind is totally WRONG!

The winter winds in La Paz blow from the NNE to NE due to the high pressure systems in the Four Corners area of the US Southwest.

Sorry about the confusion!
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