A cruise ship anchored in the deep east-west channel that bisects the bay swung une… There are go… If you are considering sailing the Sea of Cortez, have a look at our pages: The Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California, is a stunning, raw land of contrasts. Between 2010 and 2013 we sailed our 2008 Hunter 44DS sailboat along Mexico’s entire Pacific coast, from Ensenada in the north and Mexico’s border with Guatemala in the south. There’s a good sailing breeze. We're starting off from an anchorage and heading for a port that are both different from what we originally planned. Book NOW. From languid tropical bliss to raging, violent storms, the Sea has shown us her glory and her fury, as she does to every sailor that ventures there. May, 2011 – Puerto Escondido surprised us with an RV park and unfinished canals, while charming Loreto offered up a farmer’s market and special Dia de la Marina. Lots of cruisers take a ‘vacation’ from cruising in August and September when it’s so very hot in the Sea of Cortez. Quite a different vibe compared to the race boats in Santa Cruz that come screaming back into harbor under big powerful kites in all but treacherous conditions. Sea of Cortez Sailing is at its best in October and May. I had suspected the sailing was very challenging but few people talk about it in detail. Hey Kurt, good questions. For a very funny read about this area, check out The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck. Our trick was to wait until well after the Norte shut off and  use a honed skill of… looking out the window. FLIGHTS ARE COMING DAILY TO CABO! The trouble is trying to sleep when you are getting air  in your berth as the boat pounds away. A much-sought-after encounter in the Sea of Cortez is the opportunity to swim alongside a colony of sea lions. The Sea is amazingly beautiful, Jacques Cousteau fittingly described it as ‘The aquarium of the world,” and It’s absolutely worth every minute you spend there exploring. A Norte is a strong northerly wind that seems to occur once every week or so and last a few days during winter months. I wrote a bit previously about the mining town of Santa Rosalia. Americas Mailbox – Mail Forwarding & So Much More in South Dakota! Dock fees, haul out, annual dry storage? All Catamaran courses receive free Cabo to La Paz airport transfers! La Paz to Puerto Balandra– Arrive La Paz, depart marina and anchor at Puerto Balandra (8 miles, 1.5hrs) passing Roca Lobos to see sea lions. Fortunately for us, Cinderella is a great light wind performer, and though wet, she can pound her way to weather if need be. Live-aboard diving with Baja Expeditions is the ONLY way to dive! RV Refrigerator Management Tip – Winning the Turf Wars! All too often, people skip straight to Mexico’s popular, touristy resort destinations, so I was thrilled to discover Mexico’s best-kept secret and visit the islands! Sailing Around the World Powered by the Sun. We were met by Mariachi bands and entertained by young singers and dancers in beautiful Mexican dress. We just recently added a 3rd reef in our main that helps a lot to steady the boat when the swell is big and the wind isn’t cooperating. Bahia San Lucas is a pleasant anchorage with good shelter from the northerly winds that predominate during the winter months. The Sea of Cortez is a truly beautiful place with natural wonders, wildlife and culture. The cruising yachts and pangas that crowd the narrow northern shelf were pitching and rolling and swinging almost randomly. Snorkeling and scuba diving in the Sea of Cortez peak during the same time period with visibility sometimes in excess of 20 meters. Before we installed our watermaker, we had to provision every week or so. Fall in Baja and the Sea of Cortez marks a return to pleasant temperatures and the beginning of the small ship cruise season. October, 2011 – Resuming our boat travels, we found ourselves in beachwear enjoying beers at a beach palapa in San Carlos, happy to be back in Mexico…. Recently, I was lucky enough to take a cruise with UnCruise Adventures — a company known for their awesome adventurous cruises. On any given week from November to May, the Sea of Cortez north of La Paz offers a combination of calm mornings, afternoon breezes from the north, and often a day or two of whitecaps and winds in the 20s. Although we’ve sailed the Sea of Cortez on a previous trip, we decided to return to rediscover the unrelenting beauty, serenity, and dramatic contrasts of sailing surrounding by the hot, crushing desert. 1. We have a broad spectrum of both sail and powerboats available for you to begin your adventure in the Sea of Cortez or find a bargain to transport or sail back to the states. Great to hear both the pluses and minuses of Sea of Cortez cruising. Watch whales and giant manta rays glide by the boat, snorkel with playful sea lions, and catch Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, Grouper and Snapper for your evening meal. Good to know! In August you will find yourself baking beyond belief (but the water will be a balmy 90+ degrees F! All of the tall volcanic islands and hills in the area seem to confuse the fickle winds and make prediction difficult. I do believe the Sergeant Major has the advantage in these shallow reefs. The Moorings, which charters sail and power cat boats out of La Paz, has produced cruising charts for its customers. In the lulls you drift aimlessly in circles, listening to sails flog. October, 2011 – Crossing the Sea of Cortez from San Carlos “the short way,” we found Punta Chivato very inviting. The wind forecasts shown here are from NOAA's GFS model. $750 Non-refundable Deposit Required to Reserve Your Berth. Sometimes they occur back to back and they last for nearly a week. And no time of year is better for recreation on the Sea than mid-October to late November. Sea turtles and whale sharks, the largest fish in the world, become active. Kurt. Loreto’s gorgeous new Villa del Palmar was a shocking contrast to the leaping manta rays of UNESCO World Heritage SIte Isla Coronado. The winter cruisers also only sail 7 to 8 months or so. Volume 3 (right) provides all the info you need to get off the boat for an adventure-filled trip to Oaxaca. Volume 2 (middle) gives detailed info that can't be found in any of the guidebooks about the glorious cruising ground between Manzanillo and the Guatemala border. Finding a Fifth Wheel Trailer or Toy Hauler to be a Full-time Home! Best way to sail the Sea is to take the south winds up into the Sea, which start May/ June, spend the summer and hurricane season (June to November) in the upper Sea, north of Santa Rosalia and sail the north winds back down from November (to April) at the next season. We never made it that far north on the mainland. I was considering San Carlos for dry storage. NEW! We're leaving tonight to sail across the Sea of Cortez from the Baja peninsula to the mainland of Mexico. learn to sail in the sea of cortez, it’s breathtaking Fantastic sailing conditions, and breathtaking marine life, make this an amazing place to conduct our sailing lessons and courses. My wife Patti and I (Tom) just bought a Gemini 34 105 MC catamaran based in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico. 3. Thank you for your time, Think we are missing something? That mass of water moving south also tends to push a sizable current. Don’t let the sailing discourage you, it is trying, but the experience here more than makes up for it. You may want to run your cabin heater in January (and you definitely won’t want to swim). In the Norte, you are taking hundreds of gallons of water over the bow and watching your tacking angles  get worse and worse. Following are our Sea of Cortez sailing posts: To see the links to our blog posts from the other regions of Mexico, besides the Sea of Cortez, check out these summary pages (you can also find them all listed under the MEXICO menu item (Pacific Mexico Destinations) in the menu bar at the top of each page): To follow our sailing travels chronologically, see Our Cruise (cruising links only) or the Route page (cruising and RVing). For instance, 20 miles may take you all day. Keep us in the loop! To get the best experience, you need to be off the cycle of the other cruisers. That should give you an idea of what it’s like to sail here. Roads Less Traveled is a participant in the Amazon Services Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn money by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Brush up on your Spanish and bring a pocket dictionary. Required fields are marked *. You’ll know it when you get there. The rest of the year is fabulous. The only drawback I can think of is water tankage, as most racer/cruisers don’t have very much. The red color of the mountains contrasts with the white sands of the beaches faci… Your email address will not be published. The Sea of Cortez (also known as the Gulf of California) is my new favorite sea. Beginning in September we plan to sail out of San Carlos at first on short day sails and to local bays on the Sonora side. If we timed it right, there wasn’t any swell, and we would be hunkered down in an amazing anchorage while the Norte kicked up for a few days. In summer the water is hot too and it is really hard to get cool. Ideally we landed in any of the hundreds of majestical, calm anchorages before the wind shut off for the night. The total is about 440 miles. Sailing - Mexico - Sea of Cortez - The Adventure Travelers sail up the coast of Baja Mexico into the Sea of Cortez. Anchorages can be very crowded as the cruisers move through. Do you have any knowledge of costs in the area? After a couple of months back in California, you … They also go snorkeling with whale sharks. The season runs from November to May, and we usually have a trip running each month. The sea was calm and the colors of the sea changed often from dark blue to green and turquoise. Sail the “Sea of Cortez!” Our boats are ALL certified Covid-safe. Skip the time from the end of August to the end of September. Hey Tom! The major Sea of Cortez spotsThere are dozens of anchorages…. Go Baja Sailing—making your dreams come true since 2005! A large colony is found on Los Islotes, with professional tours leaving from the town of La Paz. Drag Boat Races in AZ – Top Speed FUN on the Colorado River! 2. Why does it appear your foresail is slightly reefed while becalmed? After things chill out, you can weigh anchor and keep going… slowly. When the Norte blows, you have 30+ kts on your nose and it’s a bashingly numbing ride. While the Pacific is cold, the Sea of Cortez is at its warmest so many boats change their itineraries during these months. This is a great time to travel before high-season crowds arrive during the December holidays. June, 2011 – After a violent spring Norther in Isla Coronado we found incredible beauty and serenity at Bahia Concepcion. Some of the boats are yard owned vessels and other we are assisting our owner friends in the process of finding new ownership. 15 kts!! In the Sea of Cortez, the wind either doesn’t blow at all, or it blows like crazy from exactly where you want to go. By the way, November is normally the best month to do the ‘Baja Bash’ back to California. If a Norte is blowing, expect square 6-8’ waves to build, as the fetch from the Northern Sea is nearly 400 miles. When I tell people that Jerry Montgomery and I spent eight days cruising in Baja California on his Montgomery 15, they often look at me as if I were crazy. Seligman, Arizona – Birthplace of Route 66! We attempted sailing North in both a Norte and without a Norte. It's cooler on the water and you'll have time to do 4 - 5 dives per day. The water is approximately 80°F (27°C) and these are the best months for hammerhead encounters in the region. For a very funny read about this area, check out The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck. Copy, reproduction or use of text or images is not permitted without written permission from the author or photographer. Happy Trails!! (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); No boats are allowed in or out. How do you get to the Sea of Cortez? 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