We spent Nov '01 thru July '04 in the Sea of Cortez
with the exception of Jan - May '02 when we sailed to Zihuatenejo and back. We spent two summers north of Santa Rosalia and two winters in La Paz
Some folks don't like the heat, remoteness, and need for self sufficiency needed to spend summers in the Sea of Cortez
but we loved it. You need to spend the summers anchored out on the islands - it is usually 10 degrees cooler out there. We had very few bug problems in the three summers we spent there. When the bugs did get bad - we moved.
I am not sure where the stuff about cold weather
in La Paz
comes from. We were there Dec - May one year, Nov- Dec another year, and Nov - Apr the third year. It was a rare night that was below 57 degrees and it was a really rare day that did not get into the low 70s. When the strong NE winds blew the evenings and mornings in La Paz were cool enough to need a sweater or wind
breaker but we never once ran the diesel
heater in the boat.
The Sea of Cortez is a great place to spend years - there are several dozen wonderful anchorages
within a day's sail of La Paz - we often spent weeks in those anchorages
and never saw another boat.
As other mentioned - Bahia
Concepcion (Santispac, Burro Bay, Santa Domingo) is also a very nice cruising area.
The area north of Santa Rosalia is spectacular and worth several years cruising.
Once north of Agua Verde - the winters (Dec - Feb) can be cool (mid-60s at times) and windy but it beats the heck out of Seattle
or Lake Michigan!
We are headed to the Sea of Cortez this winter, and close friends are now there for there third visit in the last 15 years. Another set of friends have been there twice, and a really serious sailing couple from Puget Sound
have visited there five times in the last 20 years. That couple have sailed to Australia
twice, and Alaska
as well as the Gallapagos. They keep going back to the Sea of Cortez.
So - some love it and many don't.
I've been to Bahia
Santa Maria and Magdelena four times and would not recommend it for more than a few days at a time. They are absolutely untenable in a tropical storm so I would not consider it for the summer.
Mag Bay / Santa Maria were hit by three tropical storms while we were in Mexico
. The Baja west coast
is not a safe place in the July - October timeframe.
You can read thousands of words and see hundreds of pictures about our Sea of Cortez cruising at THE VOYGAGES OF MIRADOR
My website contains a link (http://www.svmirador.net/Opinion_Frame1.htm
) to a document that describes over 60 Sea of Cortez anchorages. It has comments about those anchorages from seven (7) boats that had spent at least two years cruising the Sea of Cortez. As you will note - some hated some anchorage others loved the same places.
The Sea of Cortez affects different folks / boats quite differently. We left Puget Sound
with close friends we had cruised with for many years and had known for over 20 years. We thought they were the same kind of cruiser as we were. They hated the Sea and moved on after one year. Now, 12 years later, they are still cruising and have been in the Mediterranean
for 7 years and still don't understand our fascination with the Sea of Cortez.
Each to there own!