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Old 27-11-2018, 13:56   #1
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How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

Hello everyone,

My boat is currently in San Diego and I am planning on heading south in February or March. I know the sailing season closes from June to late October because of hurricanes in Mexico but I am not clear on where the "no go" zone ends.

Is Puerto Chiapas south enough? Or Costa Rica?

How long does it take the average sailor (not rushing but not visiting sea of cortez for 3 years either) to get out of the dangerous area and be able to sail in the summer months? My goal obviously is to get out fast so we can keep sailing in the summer.

Thanks for your insights!

thomas
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Old 27-11-2018, 14:05   #2
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Re: How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

The Golfito, CR area and south is safe.
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Old 27-11-2018, 21:26   #3
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Re: How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

Many cruisers stay in the Sea of Cortez for the summer.

La Paz
Puerto Escondido
Bay of Los Angeles
San Carlos

Are all popular summer spots....on or off the biat
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Old 27-11-2018, 22:51   #4
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Re: How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Many cruisers stay in the Sea of Cortez for the summer.

La Paz
Puerto Escondido
Bay of Los Angeles
San Carlos

Are all popular summer spots....on or off the biat
He did mention something about safety, didn't he? The summer I spent in the Sea we had two hurricane near misses, and some summers ain't that lucky La Paz and Escondido have both had damaging storms in the past decade or so.

And the rest of the time it was bloody hot...

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Old 27-11-2018, 23:05   #5
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Re: How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

South of Guatemala. We spend the hurricane season in El Salvador. Wonderful place with great people and an awesome cruiser community. Safe from weather, south of hurricanes. Super cheap too.
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Old 27-11-2018, 23:21   #6
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Re: How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

Coasties bring new patrol boats and buoy tenders to the west coast love Golfito.
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Old 28-11-2018, 05:56   #7
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Re: How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

Thanks for all the replies. This helps a lot!

So we will probably visit by foot this summer and get back on the boat to continue going south in late October/November because I do not want to rush us all the way to El Salvador in just a few months.

thomas
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Old 28-11-2018, 17:24   #8
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Re: How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

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Coasties bring new patrol boats and buoy tenders to the west coast love Golfito.
Really. We stayed (ashore) a little south in Zancudo, and generally tried to stay out of Golfito. Prostitutes, drunks, bugs and crushing heat were what we found.
Not putting any bad connotations on that stuff, (at least the first 2) but it wasn't a favorite. Felt the place was a sh*thole but that was 25 years ago. Maybe it's changed? Good duty free shopping I recall. We were not on a boat at the time so not certain about the cruising community.
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Old 28-11-2018, 17:42   #9
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Re: How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

Another option is to spend the summer in Banderas Bay, a very good hurricane hole. Thereís plenty of sailing to do in the Bay, as long as you keep an eye on the weather. Slips are very reasonable in the summer months, and nice, warm water!
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Old 28-11-2018, 17:50   #10
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Re: How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

Golfito looks OK now that the fruit company has left. Still has an airport but pretty slow overall. The sport fishing boats invade sometimes but a nice little town. There is almost no dock space but a yacht club with a mooring or 2 and a good anchorage. We spent a month there, it was our first experience with so much rain and bought the tarps for our boat there.
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Old 28-11-2018, 19:07   #11
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Re: How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

The spaghetti thins out completely by Costa Rica.
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Old 29-11-2018, 08:12   #12
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Re: How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

hurricane holes in mexico include only 2 locations. these were designed as cane holes. soc is a joke. soc is not acane hole area. is a boat trap. once a cane gets into soc, therei sno escape.
puerta de navidad-- barra de navidad has a marina with a huge hotel. we weathered hurricane patricia there. is safe. beautiful and safe. folks who weathered the cane on board were safe. year round temps at 85, humidity varies quite a bit , in summer it being 9000000000 percent, winter is a reasonable 60 to 80 percent. if you summer there make sure you are not on g dock hahahahaha
the other is ixtapa. just north of zihuatenejo, ixtapa is gorgeous and price reflects same.
head down to puerto angel, aka huatulco. canes form just north of here.
chiapas is another goo dplace to weather a summer. canes donot form but has tropical storm experience. then bahia del sol, salvador., bar crossing, peaceful bay, per friends who have spent time there. and then there is costa rica and panama.

btw--cane season doesnot shut down sailing season. many sail between events. summer sailing is just as sweet as is winter sailing.
just watch the weather, same as any time of year. know where to go for storm protection and have a great time.

btw cane season here is may 15 thru nov 30.

when ts last entered banderas bay, it was before la cruz marina was built, and nuevo vallarta marina was torn up badly. nope. not a cane hole, either. folks become deluded and lethargic to relocate. places where canes donot generally hit are not cane holes as when they do hit damages are horrific. these locales are soc, banderas bay, mazatlan. folks are forgetful about the damages that occurred in past years. forgetting to research does not a cane hole make. i would not trust la cruz marina in a cane, nor mazatlan --any marina in maz will become history with a good cat 5 hit, same banderas bay--which also will become a boat trap. do the math, do the geometry and the physics of it all, and do the research before entrusting any locale in a cane alley for safety.
i spend 100 percent of my year on boat. i stay summers here and watch the issues as they evolve. so many trust blindly and find damages when they return to their abandoned boat. be safe--research before you trust an area someone says is safe--it aint.
the FACT is that there are only 2 designed to be cane holes. ixtapa and the marina at the huge hotel at colimilla, aka barra de navidad.

there are many who will argue that soc is a cane hole--it is not so, and has been proven to not be so, as well. ditto banderas bay
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Old 29-11-2018, 10:07   #13
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Re: How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
hurricane holes in mexico include only 2 locations. these were designed as cane holes. soc is a joke. soc is not acane hole area. is a boat trap. once a cane gets into soc, therei sno escape.
puerta de navidad-- barra de navidad has a marina with a huge hotel. we weathered hurricane patricia there. is safe. beautiful and safe. folks who weathered the cane on board were safe. year round temps at 85, humidity varies quite a bit , in summer it being 9000000000 percent, winter is a reasonable 60 to 80 percent. if you summer there make sure you are not on g dock hahahahaha
the other is ixtapa. just north of zihuatenejo, ixtapa is gorgeous and price reflects same.
head down to puerto angel, aka huatulco. canes form just north of here.
chiapas is another goo dplace to weather a summer. canes donot form but has tropical storm experience. then bahia del sol, salvador., bar crossing, peaceful bay, per friends who have spent time there. and then there is costa rica and panama.

btw--cane season doesnot shut down sailing season. many sail between events. summer sailing is just as sweet as is winter sailing.
just watch the weather, same as any time of year. know where to go for storm protection and have a great time.

btw cane season here is may 15 thru nov 30.

when ts last entered banderas bay, it was before la cruz marina was built, and nuevo vallarta marina was torn up badly. nope. not a cane hole, either. folks become deluded and lethargic to relocate. places where canes donot generally hit are not cane holes as when they do hit damages are horrific. these locales are soc, banderas bay, mazatlan. folks are forgetful about the damages that occurred in past years. forgetting to research does not a cane hole make. i would not trust la cruz marina in a cane, nor mazatlan --any marina in maz will become history with a good cat 5 hit, same banderas bay--which also will become a boat trap. do the math, do the geometry and the physics of it all, and do the research before entrusting any locale in a cane alley for safety.
i spend 100 percent of my year on boat. i stay summers here and watch the issues as they evolve. so many trust blindly and find damages when they return to their abandoned boat. be safe--research before you trust an area someone says is safe--it aint.
the FACT is that there are only 2 designed to be cane holes. ixtapa and the marina at the huge hotel at colimilla, aka barra de navidad.

there are many who will argue that soc is a cane hole--it is not so, and has been proven to not be so, as well. ditto banderas bay



Well, I would agree with the part about people becoming "too lethargic" to relocate, but beyond that, I would say that it's much more nuanced. For example, Marina Cabo San Lucas, while expensive, was also designed to withstand hurricanes, and has taken direct hits. There has been damage, but not what you would expect, due to the shelf just in front of the entrance. And, the inner basin is well sheltered. Having said that, and having been marina manager there through several hurricanes, including Juliette, I will also say that, in a general way way, marinas, including those mentioned by Zee, can be lethal. That's simply because you have lots of hard things around you...boats are hard, too and boats hitting docks ends badly. As to the Sea of Cortez, I don't think that Zee does it justice. Having lived there, year around, for many years, I can tell you that there are a number of holes, but you do need to be willing to move, quickly and early, in the event of a threat. I rode out Marty when it directly hit Puerto Escondido, and it certainly did more damage than anyone expected. One in three boats anchored there was badly damaged, lost, sunk, whatever. Interestingly, the 21 that had folks aboard, including mine, had little or no damage, often because of the intervention of the crew - it's not the case that you can't do anything - you can - particularly when the eye passes over. The better question is whether it is worth the risk. To me, the key for Puerto Escondido is that I was (and still am) convinced I could have safely swum ashore, had the need arisen. Other places, maybe not. But, there are hundreds of miles of places to run to.



The problem is that people listen to one another and just buy into the answer of not moving and just hoping. Usually it works.....but often enough, it doesn't, and La Paz, Mazatlan, and San Carlos all are testimony to that.



To stay in any hurricane zone, I would say that the important things are to 1) research and explore the area fully, 2) be there in the season, so your boat is not unattended, wherever you are, 3) keep the boat ready to move (which many don't), 4) keep a very close eye on the weather, which is not hard to do, these days, and 5) don't hesitate to put your plan in place, should the need arise, which few do. In the Sea of Cortez, that might included hustling way north, as in Puerto Don Juan or even Puertocitos. And, remember, just because nothing happened when you prepped for the five previous storms, that doesn't mean you don't have to be equally conscientious the next time.....and that's whether you are in the Sea, Cabo, the mainland, or in Zee's two favorites.



By the way, I didn't follow my own advice for Irma, in the BVI. I got off charter three days before the storm, having just done four charters in close succession, and bought into the idea it would be a close call to our north, probably because I was tired and had some maintenance to do. I wish I had skipped the scheduled oil changes, etc, and headed South. 200 miles was golden. As it was, I got hammered in Road Town. It took a number of months to get Jet Stream back in order, but I was very lucky to have a boat that survived with only moderate damage, compared to the 60% of charter boats that were totally lost. I guess 35 lines and the anchor chain helped, but probably the man upstairs decided it was not my turn. Every other boat on my dock, save one, was toast. But that's another story.



Others may have different opinions, and each situation is different...there is no magic formula, as many seem to think. My experience is based on two direct hits in marinas, one direct hit in a boatyard, one at anchor, and a bunch of near misses. The hardest thing is to move, but move you must be willing to do.
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Old 29-11-2018, 11:12   #14
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Re: How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

Insurance (a bad word, I know) also comes into play.. If you are insured, or plan to be, then your Insurer will have some influence in where you want to be as well. In our case, we opted NOT to pay the extra for the unrestricted policy, and instead they gave us a hurricane area to stay out of.. From July to Nov, we had to either Mazatlan or north, or South of 13d30m (La Libertad, El Salvador).
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Old 29-11-2018, 11:41   #15
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Re: How far south down Mexico to safely sail in the summer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by contrail View Post
Well, I would agree with the part about people becoming "too lethargic" to relocate, but beyond that, I would say that it's much more nuanced. For example, Marina Cabo San Lucas, while expensive, was also designed to withstand hurricanes, and has taken direct hits. There has been damage, but not what you would expect, due to the shelf just in front of the entrance. And, the inner basin is well sheltered. Having said that, and having been marina manager there through several hurricanes, including Juliette, I will also say that, in a general way way, marinas, including those mentioned by Zee, can be lethal. That's simply because you have lots of hard things around you...boats are hard, too and boats hitting docks ends badly. As to the Sea of Cortez, I don't think that Zee does it justice. Having lived there, year around, for many years, I can tell you that there are a number of holes, but you do need to be willing to move, quickly and early, in the event of a threat. I rode out Marty when it directly hit Puerto Escondido, and it certainly did more damage than anyone expected. One in three boats anchored there was badly damaged, lost, sunk, whatever. Interestingly, the 21 that had folks aboard, including mine, had little or no damage, often because of the intervention of the crew - it's not the case that you can't do anything - you can - particularly when the eye passes over. The better question is whether it is worth the risk. To me, the key for Puerto Escondido is that I was (and still am) convinced I could have safely swum ashore, had the need arisen. Other places, maybe not. But, there are hundreds of miles of places to run to.



The problem is that people listen to one another and just buy into the answer of not moving and just hoping. Usually it works.....but often enough, it doesn't, and La Paz, Mazatlan, and San Carlos all are testimony to that.



To stay in any hurricane zone, I would say that the important things are to 1) research and explore the area fully, 2) be there in the season, so your boat is not unattended, wherever you are, 3) keep the boat ready to move (which many don't), 4) keep a very close eye on the weather, which is not hard to do, these days, and 5) don't hesitate to put your plan in place, should the need arise, which few do. In the Sea of Cortez, that might included hustling way north, as in Puerto Don Juan or even Puertocitos. And, remember, just because nothing happened when you prepped for the five previous storms, that doesn't mean you don't have to be equally conscientious the next time.....and that's whether you are in the Sea, Cabo, the mainland, or in Zee's two favorites.



By the way, I didn't follow my own advice for Irma, in the BVI. I got off charter three days before the storm, having just done four charters in close succession, and bought into the idea it would be a close call to our north, probably because I was tired and had some maintenance to do. I wish I had skipped the scheduled oil changes, etc, and headed South. 200 miles was golden. As it was, I got hammered in Road Town. It took a number of months to get Jet Stream back in order, but I was very lucky to have a boat that survived with only moderate damage, compared to the 60% of charter boats that were totally lost. I guess 35 lines and the anchor chain helped, but probably the man upstairs decided it was not my turn. Every other boat on my dock, save one, was toast. But that's another story.



Others may have different opinions, and each situation is different...there is no magic formula, as many seem to think. My experience is based on two direct hits in marinas, one direct hit in a boatyard, one at anchor, and a bunch of near misses. The hardest thing is to move, but move you must be willing to do.
sorry, but the marina in which i weathered THE strongest cane on planet, unsat only by winstons size, is a PROVEN cane hole. not only designed for cane protection but proven by patricia. direct hit honey.
soc is a PROVEN fail. your choice.
and yes i would again trust the barra marina for any future canes even to cat 8. NO damage means NO DAMAGE.


however, as i only live on my formosa 24/7/365, i and have spent 8 summers here in mexicos cane alley, i know nothing hahahahaha
proven cane hole DESIGNED for heavy weather including canes to cat 5 plus or fail locations. your choice. we had zero damages in barra from patricia. only issue was a wind genny on top of a wood mast.
have ANY of you dissers been here in a cane??? have you watched as cane smashes your own items??
you who donot stay with your boats in summer have nothing about which to talk. you leave. i stay. i experience

your choice to lose your boat in soc, or to be safe in a designed for it cane hole, of which there are exactly 2 in mexico.
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