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Old 27-02-2019, 15:39   #1
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Cortez over Caribbean?

I have been chasing the dream since 2006, a boat I could call my own, and my family with me. I finally have a fistful of tail feathers of the elusive beast and am close to climbing on and riding as far as I can.

I always dreamed I would start out in Florida or the Caribbean, head to the Exumas, work my way down to Grenada honing my sailing skills, scoot over to Bonnaire for the hurricane season, then next season make an early Panama canal transit, head to Galapagos, then Rapa Nui and the south pacific. Years later I end up sailing into some port in Japan and revisiting that great country.

I never think about Mexico as a starting point. Recently an opportunity has arisen and it would have me starting out in the Sea of Cortez. I honestly don't know much about it. I know the wildlife is amazing, "the water colder but the people warmer than the Caribbean" (other peoples opinions not my own experience).

So are there any downsides to starting in The Sea of Cortez? I know I will miss the Caribbean, but I have been there a bit. I really am not a big drinker, not into crowds, nor is my family. We are big geeks, love old music my teen daughters belt out Rat Pack songs on a whim, love scuba and fishing, playing cards and Dungeons and Dragons yea we are in our late 40s (wife) early 50s and my daughters are in their teens, they and their boyfriends all play DnD with us weekly. We haven't owned a TV for over 10 years. We like the slow, small, simple life. We like people, just not in huge doses. 10 or less at a time is fine.

So, any cruisers with recent experience on the Sea of Cortez, buying a boat there, cruising there, finding a good haul out? Will boat insurance policies cover that latitude? I have read encouraging things on Noonsite and Latitude 38. Any thoughts from the folks here?

Thanks all!
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Old 27-02-2019, 15:52   #2
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Re: Cortez over Caribbean?

The Pacific coast of Mexico is a major cruising area. It is easy, low cost cruising with well defined weather seasons. Check the Ba Ha Ha rally information for first time Mexico cruisers. It should answer many of your questions.
Bandaras Bay and Cabo are typical exit spots for boats heading arcross the Pacific to the Marquesas.
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Old 27-02-2019, 16:08   #3
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Re: Cortez over Caribbean?

The Florida/Bahamas/down island area has lots of pros and cons just as the Sea of Cortez does. I would note that sailing in the Sea of Cortez means you are under jurisdiction of Mexico while the other options means you may have to deal with a whole lot more countries.
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Old 27-02-2019, 17:19   #4
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Re: Cortez over Caribbean?

Bear in mind that the Sea of Cortez has very distinct seasons, very hot in summer and very cold in winter. We were headed north in October a few years ago and were shocked by a 10 degree f drop in water temp in one week due to a norther blowing through. The Caribbean is much more forgiving in this respect and the hurricane threat is not so different. The good cruising season is limited to a few months in spring and a few months in fall, with some severe weather in between.
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Old 27-02-2019, 18:02   #5
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Re: Cortez over Caribbean?

I started in the sea of cortez and have had a ball, if you're into divin theres plenty going on in the cortez and if like being off the beaten track I can highly recommend the Socorro islands, although it's a bit of a trek to get back if coming north.

Very supportive community in Banderas if you want to leave from there across the pacific.
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Old 28-02-2019, 20:48   #6
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Re: Cortez over Caribbean?

As Olly75 said, Banderas, along with Panama are the two most common starting points for the South Pacific. Sea of Cortez is desert with very few towns but many wonderful anchorages. Most folks Iíve cruised with either love or hate the lack of trees and civilization. The season is from November 1 until May 15 to avoid the hurricane season. You can leave for the south seas from Cabo, la paz or Banderas starting March 1 and youíll have lots of company. If you decide to stay in the sea of Cortez over the summer note that if you donít go way north there are hurricanes. The summers are only fun if you like 185 degrees Fahrenheit.
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