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Old 31-10-2013, 17:01   #1
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pirate sea of cortez

Want to sail from San diego to Sea of Cortez but wonder about Turtle Bay ?? then Magdalena bay.Hope to spend the winters around the Baja then when it gets too hot maybe move the boat to the West coast ie: Magdalena bay ??? Would it be cooler with the Pacific breeze and is there good anchoring @ Mag Bay???
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Old 31-10-2013, 17:17   #2
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Re: sea of cortez

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Want to sail from San diego to Sea of Cortez but wonder about Turtle Bay ?? then Magdalena bay.Hope to spend the winters around the Baja then when it gets too hot maybe move the boat to the West coast ie: Magdalena bay ??? Would it be cooler with the Pacific breeze and is there good anchoring @ Mag Bay???

Take a look at Sean and Heathers book or even Charlies Charts, they're packed with information. There are quite a few decent anchorages on the way down. We went from Ensenada to Bahia San Bartolome, then to Bahia Asuncion, Mag Bay and San Jose Del Cabo and had a great time. Your mileage may vary.

I wouldn't want to spend any serious time in Mag Bay but that's for you to decide.

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Old 31-10-2013, 17:20   #3
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Re: sea of cortez

You can check out our blog if you like; we've been in the Sea of Cortez now for ~6 months. Some people dig it but personally I'm counting the days until we can escape the Baja peninsula.

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Old 31-10-2013, 17:33   #4
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Re: sea of cortez

You'll get lost of other advice but from my experience last December, bring some big fishing gear for the area between T bay & Mag bay, they broke all my stuff.
My wife wrote about both places on our blog, in my sig line.
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Old 31-10-2013, 17:58   #5
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Re: sea of cortez

Unlike Rebel Heart, we loved the Sea of Cortez and the Baja Peninsula, spent several years there. Good fishing, snorkeling, diving, hiking & lots of anchorages. Mag Bay is really desolate and not a place most of us would want to spend a lot of time. We spent a few weeks there, but that is about all I would recommend. You might check with your insurance company if you have one, much of Mag bay might be just south of their summertime coverage. We spent one entire summer up north near Bahia de Los Angeles, had a great time. Lots of folks over on the San Carlos side of the Sea, either put the boat on the hard and go elsewhere, or stay in the new marina there.
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Old 31-10-2013, 17:59   #6
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Re: sea of cortez

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.Hope to spend the winters around the Baja then when it gets too hot maybe move the boat to the West coast
Too Hot....try TOO COLD.
A winter in La Paz isn't as bad as a "summer in San Francisco" but if you stay much past Thanksgiving you will be wearing sweatshirts and wool socks! Which is why people head south to the mainland during the winters...the 25-35kts Northers that last for days and days and days on end during the winter send most people to the mainland in search of the warmth.

When we did the Baja Bash in August we took 24 days in August and were asking ourselves why the outside of Baja wasn't a more popular place with cruisers during hurricane season. But once you deal with the bashing conditions North and the lack of all weather anchorages and places to easily provision...our question was answered. I our opinion at least the outside of Baja is more rugged than most cruisers want to deal (and cold) after the milk run easy of spending the summer in the Sea of Cortez.

4 years and summers in the Sea of Cortez and our best experiences were up in the Northern Sea of Cortez...but we don't like/need/want a marina and we lived in the water SCUBA and spear fishing.
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Old 31-10-2013, 18:12   #7
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Re: sea of cortez

Baja can be cold with the northers in the winter. Quite hot in the summer, (100-105)but there's usually a way to get some breeze if you are on the hook.
going up the west coast just for the breeze would not be a pleasant task!
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Old 31-10-2013, 18:12   #8
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Re: sea of cortez

All good advice I think?? I have spend lots of time in San Carlos in the winter living on the beach in a camper but really dont like the Gringos there.Need a boat anchored out away from them.So yes La Paz area sounds great for the winter but where to when it gets to hot??? Dont want to leave the boat on the hard .So were to???
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Old 31-10-2013, 20:40   #9
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Re: sea of cortez

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All good advice I think?? I have spend lots of time in San Carlos in the winter living on the beach in a camper but really dont like the Gringos there.Need a boat anchored out away from them.So yes La Paz area sounds great for the winter but where to when it gets to hot??? Dont want to leave the boat on the hard .So were to???
There's no option. South of Cabo, and the entire Sea of Cortez and mainland Mexico (and Honduras, and El Salvador) is baking in heat. Mexico is subject to tropical cyclones and you can expect them with regularity if you're not WAY up north in the Sea, and even then it's not 100% you won't experience one. The further north you go, in a sick twist of fate, the hotter it gets.

There are folks who dig it: if you like to spend time in the water (like multiple hours a day) then it's not too bad. Other folks stay in a marina and pop an AC into the hatch.

The same climate that makes Mexico warm in the winter (mainland, anyway) is what makes it the devil's a-hole in the summer.
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Old 31-10-2013, 21:47   #10
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Re: sea of cortez

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There's no option. South of Cabo, and the entire Sea of Cortez and mainland Mexico (and Honduras, and El Salvador) is baking in heat. Mexico is subject to tropical cyclones and you can expect them with regularity if you're not WAY up north in the Sea, and even then it's not 100% you won't experience one. The further north you go, in a sick twist of fate, the hotter it gets.

There are folks who dig it: if you like to spend time in the water (like multiple hours a day) then it's not too bad. Other folks stay in a marina and pop an AC into the hatch.

The same climate that makes Mexico warm in the winter (mainland, anyway) is what makes it the devil's a-hole in the summer.
Rebel, so it is pretty much the summer climate you find onerous? I have heard that from others..

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Old 31-10-2013, 22:01   #11
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Re: sea of cortez

Beautiful part of the world! Most definitely worth visiting on a boat, whether it be for a short season or many years.
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Old 31-10-2013, 22:29   #12
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Re: sea of cortez

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Rebel, so it is pretty much the summer climate you find onerous? I have heard that from others..

Beautiful child, by the way. But you knew that...
Before I bad mouth it let me say this it's just our opinion and that some (but not most) people like it just fine. I'm not the arbiter on what's good and bad in the world, so this is just my opinion:

- It's essentially a retirement community. Older folks who don't really go anywhere and use it as their warmer-than-Canada backyard. It's a super popular snowbird destination in the fall through spring, then in the summer the whole place becomes a ghost town. That's a much different vibe than places loaded with sailors going onward to further destinations. People splash from San Carlos in the fall, go to Banderas Bay and Ztown for the winter, go back to San Carlos in May, and repeat again in the fall.

- There can be a mile of difference between "sailors" and "people living on their boat in La Paz". Especially in Puerto Escondido we ran into a lot of clique-ish behavior. People have their little domain, they're there because they want to be away from others, and you are basically "others".

- It's insanely hot August-October. June and July are hot as hell as well, but August/September/October is clouded with mosquitoes, cyclones, humidity, and heat.

- It's quite expensive.

- The food is terrible. Produce is hard to come by and usually super low quality.

There's a lot of great stuff about the Sea of Cortez as well but really there are hundreds of places around the world that are clearly better. The real reason Baja is so popular, but no one seems to admit it, is because it's super close to the US/Canada, you can drive south, and it's Mexico-light. Less Mexican culture, more English speakers, more gringos.

I know people will disagree and it's entirely possible you'd love the place, this is just my opinion and it's a big world.
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Old 31-10-2013, 22:59   #13
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Re: sea of cortez

Over the years I have spent a lot of time in the Baja, sailed down there 4 different times, did a season there and moved on or across. I loved the time we spent there as we spent a huge amount of time in the water BUT its no place to spend the summer. The choice others made was to go north as far as possible and hang out there on the hook where you could get a breeze. Even the last time I was there (14 years ago) things were changing a lot. The fishing was no where near as good as it had been in the past and there were many more loser cruisers hanging out. La Paz at the time had their own chapter of alcoholics anonymous.
I'm sure its still a fun place during the spring months but its no place to spend summer.
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Old 31-10-2013, 23:58   #14
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Re: sea of cortez

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Before I bad mouth it let me say this it's just our opinion and that some (but not most) people like it just fine. I'm not the arbiter on what's good and bad in the world, so this is just my opinion:

- It's essentially a retirement community. Older folks who don't really go anywhere and use it as their warmer-than-Canada backyard. It's a super popular snowbird destination in the fall through spring, then in the summer the whole place becomes a ghost town. That's a much different vibe than places loaded with sailors going onward to further destinations. People splash from San Carlos in the fall, go to Banderas Bay and Ztown for the winter, go back to San Carlos in May, and repeat again in the fall.

- There can be a mile of difference between "sailors" and "people living on their boat in La Paz". Especially in Puerto Escondido we ran into a lot of clique-ish behavior. People have their little domain, they're there because they want to be away from others, and you are basically "others".

- It's insanely hot August-October. June and July are hot as hell as well, but August/September/October is clouded with mosquitoes, cyclones, humidity, and heat.

- It's quite expensive.

- The food is terrible. Produce is hard to come by and usually super low quality.

There's a lot of great stuff about the Sea of Cortez as well but really there are hundreds of places around the world that are clearly better. The real reason Baja is so popular, but no one seems to admit it, is because it's super close to the US/Canada, you can drive south, and it's Mexico-light. Less Mexican culture, more English speakers, more gringos.

I know people will disagree and it's entirely possible you'd love the place, this is just my opinion and it's a big world.

Either the make up of cruisers have changed a lot since the last time I was there or you never made it to the Santispac anchorage I was telling you about.
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Old 01-11-2013, 00:55   #15
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Re: sea of cortez

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There's no option. South of Cabo, and the entire Sea of Cortez and mainland Mexico (and Honduras, and El Salvador) is baking in heat. Mexico is subject to tropical cyclones and you can expect them with regularity if you're not WAY up north in the Sea, and even then it's not 100% you won't experience one. The further north you go, in a sick twist of fate, the hotter it gets.

There are folks who dig it: if you like to spend time in the water (like multiple hours a day) then it's not too bad. Other folks stay in a marina and pop an AC into the hatch.

The same climate that makes Mexico warm in the winter (mainland, anyway) is what makes it the devil's a-hole in the summer.
Certainly vessel design for shade and airflow through a vessel are important factors for long term liveaboard in tropical areas. Some vessels were never designed for the tropics.

Failing that AC can assist but I hesitate to mention that.
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