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Old 10-05-2011, 08:48   #1
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Vancouver to Mexico

I understand that many have made this trip before so we are looking for some general information. Our intent is to leave Vancouver around October 1 with our 35 ft Peterson which is a IRO vessel converted with some cruising features. We have loads of time and no particular schedule and would like to do less then 3 days in a row fulltime sailing. Our intent would be to stop and visit places along the way in anchorages. We both have done Atlantic crossings and Panama etc. so our experience level is high. Does anyone have any cruising guides or stop recommendations for along the way so that we can set a loose float plan ?
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:25   #2
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Re: Vancouver to Mexico

Charlie's Charts of the U.S. Pacific Coast covers Seattle to San Diego. There are a fair number of potential stops along the coast, but most of the harbor entrances can be dangerous mostly due to bar conditions. One must be prepared to keep on going (or not leave port) until favorable conditions arrive.

A pessimist might want to take enough supplies to make it at least as far as San Francisco in one jump.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:01   #3
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Re: Vancouver to Mexico

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Originally Posted by cruisincanucks View Post
I understand that many have made this trip before so we are looking for some general information. Our intent is to leave Vancouver around October 1 with our 35 ft Peterson which is a IRO vessel converted with some cruising features. We have loads of time and no particular schedule and would like to do less then 3 days in a row fulltime sailing. Our intent would be to stop and visit places along the way in anchorages. We both have done Atlantic crossings and Panama etc. so our experience level is high. Does anyone have any cruising guides or stop recommendations for along the way so that we can set a loose float plan ?
I haven't done the trip yet (leave in a few weeks), but prevailing wisdom is that that's a nasty lee shore with very few anchorages, and most of those have dangerous bar crossings, so most go offshore direct to SF. I've heard of people doing it the way you describe and just being really patient about conditions, but October may be a tough time to do that. By October, the first winter storms can start to come in. Most prefer September (though I'm sure October is doable). You can compare the pilot charts here.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:45   #4
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Re: Vancouver to Mexico

Get a book called 'Cruising the Northwest Coast' by George Benson. It's self published and not sure if he's still around but the copyright has been assigned JoAnne Benson. He gunk holed up and down the Pacific Coast from SF to Port Angeles in a modified Coronado 25 with outboard engine. According to Benson there are a bunch of anchorages along the California Coast that are sheltered from the prevailing NW winds. He basically did day sails anchoring most every night all the way to Puget Sound. He covers more than 50 anchorages/Harbors along the coast with historical vignettes, shoreside sights, and transportation. Just turn the book upside down and read it back to front for your trip in the opposite direction. One caveat, he did his trips in the summer when there are fewer low pressure fronts steaming in from the Western Pacific.
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Old 10-05-2011, 13:07   #5
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Re: Vancouver to Mexico

I would recommend trying to leave no later than September 30. You will be headed in the most comfortable, driest direction. Having made the trip both ways several times, heading south under sail, try and jump off from Port Angeles early am which will put you abeam of Neah Bay in daylight. Light up your radar because it may well be foggy. Head out 35 km from Neah Bay if you choose not to stop over night and turn left... should be in San Francisco in about 4 days if wind holds. Don't turn too soon because the coast is foul all the way to the Columbia River entrance. Grey's Harbor north of the Columbia should only be entered during daylight unless you have local knowledge.
Several spots on the Oregon/northern California coast to pull in if weather looks iffy... Newport, Humbolt Bay, Fort Bragg all of which will require a bar crossing. Call USCG for bar conditions before entering.
Good holding ground north of SF in Drakes Bay, south of SF in Monterey and San Simeon further south... all give good protection from the prevailing northwesterlies.
Turn the corner around Conception and put away your woolies, break out your bikinis and margueritas. Stop in Ventura if you wish or head directly to Avalon on Catalina which should be quieter that time of year.
Then shoot directly to San Diego in time for the Ha Ha celebration which leaves for Mexico around Nov 1. Pick up your mexican fishing licenses in SD and head out either with or before the fleet.
Have your passports, ships papers including Insurance, USCG doc's, etc, in order before heading to Mexico. Other than passports, have about 20 copies of the rest of the documents because where you stop in Mexico the Port Captain and Migration will ask for several copies of them. You need to check in AND check out of the ports you visit.
Stops on the way south of San Diego may include Ensenada, a day south of SD, Bahia Tortuga about 50km past Cedros Island, Bahia Marguerita (commonly known by gringos as Mag Bay) or just before you hit the Mag Bay entrance Bahia Sant Maria is a great little spot to anchor, explore and hang out.
Then on to Cabo which you might want to skip unless you are in to 24 hour party time. Up the inside of the Baja to La Paz an easy day sail or across to Mazatlan (nice marina north of the city down the estuary past El Cid Hotel). Head south to PV where you have a choice between Nuevo Vallarta at the northern end of Banderos Bay or the old harbor in the bight of the Bay. Further south you should try and stop at Barre Navidad north of Manzinillo then on to Acapulco and Z-Town.
Hope this helps... Have a great trip... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 16-05-2011, 23:25   #6
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Mooring in La Paz

We would like to anchor or moor off the Malecon for a few days, somewhere between Marina de La Paz and Marina Palmira. The configuration of Bahia La Paz and the narrow channel looks like a setup for strong tidal races.

My primary anchor is a Rocna and my secondary is an oversize Danforth. How is the bottom? Do cruisers use a modified Bahamian Moor to keep from dragging and reduce swinging during tidal changes? Where are the best sites to anchor or moor?

Any advice from experienced hands will be appreciated.

Patricia & Charles
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Old 17-05-2011, 07:07   #7
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Re: Vancouver to Mexico

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Patricia & Charles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Get a book called 'Cruising the Northwest Coast' by George Benson ...
See ➥ Cruising the Northwest Coast - A book by George Benson
& Index ➥ Cruising the Northwest Coast - A book by George Benson
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Old 17-05-2011, 07:31   #8
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Re: Vancouver to Mexico

Get the book "Pacific Mexico" by Heather and Shaun Breeding,by far the best one out now.LaPaz is no problem as long as you let out lots of scope,and leave space to swing,everyone is on single anchor.The current and wind do play havoc on the boat,I like to anchor right in front of Papas and Beer even though nightime can get noisy, the current is less if you can tuck in behind Marina de Lapaz breakwater.It is close to the dinghy dock,cause in the afternoon it is always a wet dinghy ride.Some people anchor directly off the marina.Across at the Mogote is nice and quiet and on a beautiful beach,but a long ride across to town.Watch the shoal down the middle of the anchorage.
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Old 17-05-2011, 07:57   #9
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Re: Vancouver to Mexico

When we sailed south 2 summers ago in Aug. we motorsailed direct from Neah Bay to Port Orford (3 nights),waited out 5 days of full Gale,then no wind until around Mendocino,then Bang!, 45 knots on stern for 15 hrs.almost to Drakes Bay.Surfing up to 14 knots all night!South of San Fran. there is somewhere to stop every night,and no bars.The run from Stillwater(south of Monterey) to San Simeon is the longest I think.It is possible to stop every night from Vancouver to Magdalena Bay,I know,I have done it.
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Old 23-05-2011, 08:47   #10
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Re: Vancouver to Mexico

Thanks for that Capt. Phil,
We have good knowledge of the Mexican cruising grounds so this re confirms our plans. We actually are planning to either join the baha haha group or go before or behind them ..having attended many Banderos Bay regattas in the past and had fun... We are looking at all our options right now and look forward to doing the trip.The vessel is getting prepped as we speak and other then the installation of radar and a good tender we will have her ready to cruise.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
I would recommend trying to leave no later than September 30. You will be headed in the most comfortable, driest direction. Having made the trip both ways several times, heading south under sail, try and jump off from Port Angeles early am which will put you abeam of Neah Bay in daylight. Light up your radar because it may well be foggy. Head out 35 km from Neah Bay if you choose not to stop over night and turn left... should be in San Francisco in about 4 days if wind holds. Don't turn too soon because the coast is foul all the way to the Columbia River entrance. Grey's Harbor north of the Columbia should only be entered during daylight unless you have local knowledge.
Several spots on the Oregon/northern California coast to pull in if weather looks iffy... Newport, Humbolt Bay, Fort Bragg all of which will require a bar crossing. Call USCG for bar conditions before entering.
Good holding ground north of SF in Drakes Bay, south of SF in Monterey and San Simeon further south... all give good protection from the prevailing northwesterlies.
Turn the corner around Conception and put away your woolies, break out your bikinis and margueritas. Stop in Ventura if you wish or head directly to Avalon on Catalina which should be quieter that time of year.
Then shoot directly to San Diego in time for the Ha Ha celebration which leaves for Mexico around Nov 1. Pick up your mexican fishing licenses in SD and head out either with or before the fleet.
Have your passports, ships papers including Insurance, USCG doc's, etc, in order before heading to Mexico. Other than passports, have about 20 copies of the rest of the documents because where you stop in Mexico the Port Captain and Migration will ask for several copies of them. You need to check in AND check out of the ports you visit.
Stops on the way south of San Diego may include Ensenada, a day south of SD, Bahia Tortuga about 50km past Cedros Island, Bahia Marguerita (commonly known by gringos as Mag Bay) or just before you hit the Mag Bay entrance Bahia Sant Maria is a great little spot to anchor, explore and hang out.
Then on to Cabo which you might want to skip unless you are in to 24 hour party time. Up the inside of the Baja to La Paz an easy day sail or across to Mazatlan (nice marina north of the city down the estuary past El Cid Hotel). Head south to PV where you have a choice between Nuevo Vallarta at the northern end of Banderos Bay or the old harbor in the bight of the Bay. Further south you should try and stop at Barre Navidad north of Manzinillo then on to Acapulco and Z-Town.
Hope this helps... Have a great trip... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 26-05-2011, 01:45   #11
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Re: Vancouver to Mexico

Where do you folks think you'll be early December?
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:45   #12
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Re: Vancouver to Mexico

We are getting the vessel prepped and ready for the trip. Our loose plan is to be in and around the PV for Xmas time. If anyone has some paper charts of the trip from Vancouver to Mexico we are interested in purchasing as we like to have paper charts for back-up and route planning.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:21   #13
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Re: Vancouver to Mexico

btw--bottom is mud and my cqr works great .... i was able to find 17 paper charts in ensenada for 120 dollars--- hoooyaahh.. all the way to caribean.... will ye stop in mazatlan??? if so,look me up- sksolitarybird....willbe in marina mazatlan for a few months then back here in old harbour, a good anchorage with a fine mud bottom, about 27 ft depth...
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:33   #14
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Re: Vancouver to Mexico

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Originally Posted by cruisincanucks View Post
... If anyone has some paper charts of the trip from Vancouver to Mexico we are interested in purchasing as we like to have paper charts for back-up and route planning.
Here is what I have found very useful - a spiral bound book with continuous coverage along the Pacific coast:

https://www.bluewaterweb.com/Nautica...818&GeoID=1650

There just aren't any larger scale paper charts, you have to "go electronic" for greater detail.

Michael
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:03   #15
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Re: Vancouver to Mexico

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Mooring in La Paz

We would like to anchor or moor off the Malecon for a few days, somewhere between Marina de La Paz and Marina Palmira. The configuration of Bahia La Paz and the narrow channel looks like a setup for strong tidal races.

My primary anchor is a Rocna and my secondary is an oversize Danforth. How is the bottom? Do cruisers use a modified Bahamian Moor to keep from dragging and reduce swinging during tidal changes? Where are the best sites to anchor or moor?

Any advice from experienced hands will be appreciated.

Patricia & Charles
We were in Marina de La Paz and had several friends who anchored essentially right in front of the Marina. Even Beth and Evans anchored there. Lots of space so they mostly single anchored with more separation than usual. Very convenient to pay a small fee to use the Marina dinghy dock, water, showers. One boat caught fire and burned to the waterline while we were there, but had nothing to do with their anchoring.
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