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Old 07-06-2011, 06:56   #1
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San Diego to Sea of cortez SLOWLY

hello folks, I am planning to sail my Ericson 27 down the outside of Baja and would like to gunkhole my way along, savoring each and every bay and village along the way, including a jaunt out to isla Guadelupe. I have plenty of time, no real reason to hurry. I have studied the charts and guides, and know the weather patterns of hurricanes from Nov to June. I dont want to go with the Haha. It seems most people I hear of just go balls out for Cabo, completing the voyage in as few a number of days and stops as possible. Other than the traditional feeling of " lets jist gitterdun", is there a good reason not to take it slow and linger in every port if I feel like it? Unless there is a good reason not too, I could see myself taking even a year of more for this leg of the voyage, summering over in a safe port to wait out the hurricaine season before proceeding. I would appreciate any comments and advice from those of you who have gone before.

cheers and fair winds
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:16   #2
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Re: San Diego to Sea of cortez SLOWLY

Hi Kyle:
I did the 2009 Ha Ha and the pace was too much. As far as your plan for taking a year to make the trip I would take the following into consideration: 1) The Pacific coast of Baja can be really cold, 2) Water, fuel, and provisions can be difficult to obtain, and 3) I don't know if there are any good hurricane holes. I like the idea of going slow but think a year would be logisiticly difficult.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:54   #3
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Re: San Diego to Sea of cortez SLOWLY

Beyond Ensanada, there are TWO places of human habitation, Cedroes and Turtle Bay. The entire length is a LEE SHORE with Mag Bay being the only other safe refuge.

Your choice
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:18   #4
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Re: San Diego to Sea of cortez SLOWLY

Hola!
No problems that I can think of to take time going down the Baja coast. There are actually several places with villages or towns for groceries and gas (San Quentin, Isla San Martin, Abreojos, Lopez Mateos, etc etc etc) and happily many many places without habitation to anchor in. The lower coast does get plastered with hurricanes occasionally so check out Bahia Santa Maria or Magdalena for hurricane holes - and whales.
No banks or ATMs after Ensenada so plan accordingly.
I spent two months making the voyage coulda/woulda/shoulda taken longer...

Michael
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:20   #5
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Re: San Diego to Sea of cortez SLOWLY

There is a place to stop about every 60 miles down the whole Baja except between Mag. Bay and Cabo.Get the guidebooks;Charlies Charts,Pacific Mexico.Made this trip twice.Don't listen to the negativity on here.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:23   #6
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Re: San Diego to Sea of cortez SLOWLY

might be best to bust a quicker move to the tip then spend your real time in the Sea of Cortez exploring. best of luck to you! and welcome aboard the CF.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:27   #7
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Re: San Diego to Sea of cortez SLOWLY

Puerto San Carlos inside Magdalena Bay is actually a pretty good sized settlement-over 3000 people. And Mag Bay is a well protected anchorage. Coastal freighters stop there to unload goods for trucking to La Paz and elsewhere, and there is an active sportfishing charter activity as well as ecotourism to see the whale breeding grounds. We anchored at Man O' War cove which has only a very small village, rode into San Carlos with the Port Captain to avoid the zigzag entrance channel.
Bahia Santa Maria next door is a large protected anchorage, almost nothing there though. Often preferred because it is an in-and-out stopover, and Mag Bay areas of interest are well inside (10nm or so).
Two years ago the HaHa stopped at San Quintin because of weather, but the actual entrance into the town is impassable for larger boats.
And Asuncion, Abreojos, San Juanico are stops I know people have made in the prevailing NW weather, but nothing special to recommend for them.
For Hurricane season La Paz at someplace like Marina Costa Baja, though. Or further up in the Sea.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:32   #8
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Re: San Diego to Sea of cortez SLOWLY

And miss half of it.Must stops are Isla San Martin,Isla San Geronimo,Punta Baja,Punta Abrejos,Cedros Is.,Turtle Bay,Bahia Santa Maria,Mag. Bay.There are a few more also.Most of these are only suitable during prevailing NW systems found after Oct.I would avoid Puerto San Carlos.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:16   #9
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Re: San Diego to Sea of cortez SLOWLY

Quote:
Originally Posted by no_bad_days View Post
<snip>
I have studied the charts and guides, and know the weather patterns of hurricanes from Nov to June.
<snip>
Welcome to CF.

I am sure the quoted above is a typo, but wanted to make sure. Mexico's 'hurricane season' lasts from June to November, though most major storms hit between August and October.

Enjoy your exploring.....
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:35   #10
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Re: San Diego to Sea of cortez SLOWLY

hurrycame season is already on us with a low already tracking toward us--eeeps--is early for that, as i was advised by fishermen her ein mazatlan the season wont be active for another month.. soooooooooooooooooooo
take a lot of cash to cedros. there are NO atms there. btdt.....only way to obtain cash in cedros is western union.
turtle bay is ok-- hurryvcames donot go into cold water, and the water is still cold in turtle. same with magdalena.
todos los santos is a good anchorage.
abreojos has a name for a reason-- not to anchor there---unless ye like rough play.
geronimo isnt a normal anchorage-- use caution.
same for punta eugenia.
cedros hasnt an anchorage, btw. there is a village with a fishing boat wharf usable for sailboats-- with a very very high wall.....couldbe treacherous for your low freeboard boat. cool town, tho..... doesnt have provisions at decent pricing--is only restocked by boat and barge....salt plant and fishing for abalone and lobster are the towns income sources--we are NOT allowed to fish for those 2 items--is called poaching and is punished severely. oops...
turtle bay has good provisioning , fuel and safe harbor from storms.
ensenada-- go to botes juanitos. will be bandido'd at bandidos. baja naval is pricy, is a usa run corporaation,as is coral and cruiseport, so fees are comparable to usa -- HIGH fees..... ensenada marina and juanitos are reasonable. juanitos is a family run business , therefor is safer and secure....someone always there. wifi is free. folks are nice. if ye need bottom serviced or mechanical work done in ensenada, see juan lu and say i told you to find him, please. and keep an eye on chupalodo--tell him i said so...lol he will like that..i have known him since 1998. tell him is margarita time.. say that he is buying.... tell him i sed that, too..LOL
have a great trip and have good sailing. be ready for hard winds-we found 60 kts north of cabo san lucas.....

for local knowledge, see juan lu at botes juanitos-- tell him i sed he is best navigator in west coast-- as he is..... he has made this trip many many times and knows the coast of mexico. he is cpt i rented for my trip-- would trust him with anything and anyone i know or dont know-- he is awesome. professional fisher, mechanic, diver and captain.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:41   #11
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Re: San Diego to Sea of cortez SLOWLY

The problem is that you can get storm-driven southerlies this time of year, and there are very few anchorages on the entire Pacific coast that provide shelter in a southerly. So you wait until the end of hurricane season so that the few anchorages that exist shelter you in the prevailing northwesterly. The bottom line here is that you won't be gunkholling, at least not in the leisurely way they do it in the Chesapeake. In your boat, you'll have to be making a number of overnight passages.
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Old 07-06-2011, 13:44   #12
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Re: San Diego to Sea of cortez SLOWLY

We enjoyed Asuncion more than any other stop down the coast. The fishermen would stop by the boat at 0600 and pickup our 14 year old son and teach him how to lobster fish. By noon they were done and he would go back to their houses, play football(soccer) with the kids have lunch and learn a little Spanish. People very friendly, stores and eateries small but good. I wouldn't want to be there when it blows out of the south like most places on the west side. For what it is worth we checked into Mexico in Cedros, that was 4 years ago and had no trouble at all. The port captain was wonderful, took us on a tour of the salt facilities and it was amazing. He even helped our friends rebuild their engine without charging a cent, used the salt facilities machine shop to do the job. Down at the salt company they have a church with the most modern and interesting stain glass windows you will find in the entire Pacific.
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Old 07-06-2011, 14:40   #13
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Re: San Diego to Sea of cortez SLOWLY

i agree cedros is awesome but do bringcash as there are no atms there. salt plant is awesome place for repairing everything and folkks are most friendly. amnot impresed with the kid who took my fishing tackle from me and my ipod, but the rest rock....my starter was replaced and i did keep old one, and fuel-- 10 or so gallons diesel and pay the mechanic f or 150 dollars. i really like that place.
asuncin was pretty but isnt protected from anything but from north. lobster catching is company only. same on cedros. same abalone. only corporate allowed to cach them.
cedros is easy to check into and out of-- and th wifi is in the port cpt office only...
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Old 07-06-2011, 16:19   #14
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Re: San Diego to Sea of cortez SLOWLY

Quote:
I did the 2009 Ha Ha and the pace was too much.
Charlie - amen to that. We were on that same HaHa. If we were not in the rally, we would have never gone out in that weather and we would have taken alot more time to transit the coast. I was kinda bummed when we got to Cabo and passed by all that cool stuff. I could have spent probably two weeks at Bahia Santa Maria alone. Next time we will definitely stop at Cedros and Mag Bay, weather permitting. Probably more spots.

Quote:
Beyond Ensanada, there are TWO places of human habitation, Cedroes and Turtle Bay. The entire length is a LEE SHORE with Mag Bay being the only other safe refuge.

Your choice
I respectfully disagree. First, there's several places if human habitation is your thing. Ensenada (way better check-in procedure than Cabo - AMHIK), San Carlos up in Mag Bay and a few villages along the coast. If human habitation is not your thing, then you're in luck. Plenty of isolation to be had also.

The Baja coast has an on-shore setting current so it definitely must be respected. But there are plenty of places to duck out of prevailing winds. Turtle Bay has solid protection. Mag Bay has solid protection from most directions, depending on where you anchor. The eastern shore of Cedros will get you out of the prevailing northwesterlies during the winter. There are loads of anchorages protecting you from northerlies and northwesterlies. It gets a bit more dicey in a southerly for sure so pay attention to those.

Next time we go down in a few years, we'll be planning at least a month to do that stretch. Have fun, it's a cool area.
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Old 07-06-2011, 18:32   #15
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I agree about places to stop. We stopped at these anchorages on our way up from La Paz to Ensenada. Smaller spots (San Quinin, F. San Carlos) are best in good weather but we weathered storms in Santa Maria & San Juanico with no issues.

Anchor Miles
Ensenada-Bahia San Quintin. 111
San Quintin- Fondadero San Carlos 60
San Carlos- Isla Cedros N. 77 (town -we
did not stop)
Isla Cedros- Turtle Bay (food & fuel) 50
Turtle Bay- San Juanico 171 (great spot
with sm. store & bar w/ tacos!)
San Juanico-Santa Maria 101
Santa Maria-Cabo San Lucas 203
(fishermen may sell fish, etc)
Cabo- Muertos Cove 92
Muertos - La Paz

We also stopped in Mag Bay/San Carlos on way down. Not great stop if you can avoid going all way in to town but anchorages are good (Belcher's Cove, Man O' War cove )

Good luck on way down. Check out Raines
Book for Mexico. It helps see what the coves look like on paper.
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