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Old 01-11-2013, 23:55   #31
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Re: sea of cortez

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, Hawaii twice, and Alaska from Hawaii 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!
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Old 02-11-2013, 00:23   #32
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Re: sea of cortez

Rebel, We feel for ya with the young kid's aboard in the heat of the sea of c !! When we were there with our kids , years ago we had no air cond, or a genset to run one if we had! It was pure hell hot even at 3 in the morning, unless ya had a good breeze! Things have changed for us now that we are OLD !! LOL we go nowhere without AC and a almost silent genny to run it 24-7 if needed!! and here on the Bayou ya need's it LOL I hope yall can get south and west in the trades soon! it will cool down a bunch then !! Keep up the great threads when ya can as Connie and I get a great pleasure from reading about your adventures with your great family !! Thank you for the pics and the reading !!!
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:58   #33
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It's always interesting to hear others speak about a place that we know so well. Clearly everyone is on a different agenda

We love the Sea of Cortez and spent 4 summers sailing from la Paz to San Felipe. Here is our take on it

Sailing - clearly the best in Mexico. Anchorages are day sails apart. From La Paz to San Felipe you can stop every night. One season we used 12 gallons of fuel for the whole summer! Yep La Paz to BofLA and back. Anyone who says you can not sail in the Sea talk to us. We would leave la Paz at 3 am to ride the Corumel north. Always had a great sail from the islands up to isla SJ. Coming south we would wait for a norther to blow jump on and ride it south.

Summer time you anchor in anchorages protected from the southerners. Fall and winter you look for the opposite. That gives you a heck of a lot of anchorages.

Fishing - some of the best in the world. We ate so much fish that to have a hot dog for dinner was a huge treat. Haha crazy eh? But honestly we almost never came back without dinner. That's not a fish story just about everyone that fished seriously had the same results. Linda was the gatherer and would score some great seafood with her mask and snorkel.

Heat - yep it's hot and in places like Santa Rosalie or Bahia conception it's brutal. We skipped Bahia conception in the summer as it was easily 10-15 degrees hotter in the bay than inside. So what's the key to staying cooler? Anchor behind small points of land or bays that did not have a lot of land between you and the Sea to keep the air from getting super heated. Spend a lot of time in the water. Snorkeling or diving. Fans have heaps of them. We use to have one in the cockpit as well. Excellent awnings and side shades. Wind scopes make a big difference as well.

Puerto Escondido - we are not fans of the place so will leave it at that. Spent one night there and decided it was not our cup of tea. Never returned and we would stop in Loreto to Re provision and bypass the place. But I will say that PE is in a much more direct path of hurricanes crossing the Baja than further up north. That was a main reason we never stayed that far south in the sea in summer. That is not to say there is never a threat further north but the 4 summers we spent in the SOC PE got hammered at least once a season. The strongest wind we had near BofLA was 30 knots.

The wildlife- amazing, birds, whales, dolphins,etc. Very few places like it. It's to bad that it's being fished out and destroyed. But is still magical and very special.

Lack of cruisers - like many of the earlier comments it's just to hot in the summer and it keeps people away. We loved the remoteness and lack of people. If you wanted to spend time by yourself you could have anchorages with no one for weeks on end. Want to socialize? Hang with the boats in other bays. The choice was yours where you wanted to be. The two full moon parties in the northern sea during the summer were a kick and great to get all the boats together (25 average per summer in the entire northern sea)

Insects - yep the bees looking for water can present an annoyance. But again they are not everywhere and can be dealt with. Kill the scouts when they arrive, don't leave fresh water on deck.

Just our 2 pesos worth after 7 years in Mexico we still remember it fondly.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:05   #34
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Re: sea of cortez

actual temperatures on southwest coastal mexico are lower in heat of summer than in baja and golfo de california by 10-15 degrees f daily.
here the summer heat does not exceed 90 f, add humidity.
it has been lovely here...much more enjoyable than mazatlans 115f and la cruz de huianacaxtles 105f. we have rain falland tormentas to be named to keep the weather cooler. is lovely here.
here is where souls leave boats for extended time in marinas to go inland to see beauty of history. it is acrtually SAFE to leave a boat here. our top wind has been 45 kts so far. even with furycame cosme and erick and manuel, our destructive storms of this year.
much to see and do inland here.
this is tropics, and not desert, so it is much more enjoyable to those who do not do desert life.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:03   #35
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Re: sea of cortez

I can say with certainty that the sea is fairly cool from end of Dec. till April.Not so bad between northers but when that wind kicks up its not pleasant.Last winter was like a continuous norther.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:08   #36
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Re: sea of cortez

isnt until you get to lat 19 that winter becomes comfortable.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:02   #37
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Re: sea of cortez

Sounds like you know the area well. My boat is currently in San Carlos however, I would prefer to have it much further north, any suggestions for a safe, low cost mooring?.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:11   #38
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Sounds like you know the area well. My boat is currently in San Carlos however, I would prefer to have it much further north, any suggestions for a safe, low cost mooring?.

No mooring in either San Felipe or Puerto Penasco. There are marinas in both places
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:27   #39
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Re: sea of cortez

I thought the Sea was a lot of fun. Different than say ....the Bahamas ....for sure.
The upside is so many place with so few people and amazing sealife also. The down side is the summer heat, the winter northers, cold water temp Dec thru March and probably 40 mile average between good anchorages.
There are still people there from when I was there in the mid 80's in Lapaz! So yeah, I imagine there is a group of them or "clique" if you will. I think there are also people who go down every year. Some of the names mentioned in Rebel's video are the same boat names from the 80's! Leaves me to wonder if it is the same people....
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:39   #40
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Re: sea of cortez

cheechako..many souls doing the mexican migration of boats annually have been doing it for many years and some decades. they could well be same souls you knew.
some of my neighbors here claim 17 yrs, another couple swears by 23.
in zihuat and here i met souls who do the run north and south every year. then 6 months annually they are in usa making money. the ones summering over in mexico stay in marinas for safety and do inland trips into the mountains and jungles inland. they go to baja for insurance reasons..
i am noticing more boats remaining south of golfo de california as their boats age and comprehensive insurance is dropped.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:21   #41
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Re: sea of cortez

Quote:
Originally Posted by chouliha View Post
No mooring in either San Felipe or Puerto Penasco. There are marinas in both places
He could just build a mooring though, right? I can't stand moorings (a.k.a. things that foul an anchorage) but find some old piece of junk engine block, secure some chain to it, and call it good.
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Old 02-11-2013, 13:33   #42
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Re: sea of cortez

Don't make the mistake to assume all cruisers think alike and like the same type of places. I could spend every summer North of Santa Rosilita and be a happy guy with more fish to eat than I could handle. Some good friends we know went up there for two weeks and found out there wasn't a marina or shore power cord and headed south to Santa Rosilita and plugged into shore power for their AC units, swearing never to return.

Which view is "right"?
That's easy, both, depending on what you like and want out of your cruise experience.

It's also true that things change from season to season. We had almost NO bugs during our stays in the Norther Sea...just hit the anchorages at the lucky times. San Blas (Aka Bug Blas...well that is another story).
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Old 02-11-2013, 13:39   #43
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Re: sea of cortez

Rebel Heart,

You will find the world's worst sand flies in the Marquesas, IMO. What we did to discourage them is to take all the screens and spray the outside of them with surface spray. They seem to be able to detect the poison and stay away. I don't know if this would be safe on your boat with the little one; you'd have to evaluate.

Avoiding dengue is also important from Mexico to Australia, and the abovementioned practice also serves against mosquitos. We even screened all hatches and the companionway hatch and all vents.

A slightly less creepy solution is to soak all the screens and hatch covers in allethrins solution, which is available in the US. It is a wonderful sight to see the flies land on it and fall off--dead!

In a way, it's too bad you guys didn't make it to the mainland, with two little blonde girls, everyone'd love you. Sorry the oldies have ruined the Golfo for you.

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Old 02-11-2013, 18:00   #44
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Re: sea of cortez

Ann;

We spent five months in Banderas Bay, and then went up to San Blas and Mazatlan so we got a decent chunk of time on the mainland; we dug it a lot. We're waiting to head back there right now as soon as the weather clears.

Good to know about the Marquesas though. We've got Permethrin to soak the screens and hatches with. The mosquitoes are pretty brutal right here in La Paz so we've been getting better about using coils, coating with Ultrathon/Deet, wearing long clothes, etc. It's actually one reason we're looking forward to getting out of the tropics for a while: the friggin bugs!
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Old 02-11-2013, 18:08   #45
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Re: sea of cortez

there is a lot more to mexico than banderas bay.
tropical mexico only begins that far north, and daily temps are still high. too bad you wont be giving the tropics a visit.
it is actually 10 degrees f cooler and prettier than banderas bay just 100 miles south of cabo corrientes.
there are many small bays all down coastal southwest mexico to huatulco and each is different.
much less populated areas and much beauty. huge history
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