Sea of Cortez: UnCruise Safari Endeavor Ship - See 68 traveler reviews, 77 candid photos, and great deals for Baja California, Mexico, at Tripadvisor. i.e. We were bucking some into the preverbal ‘noserly’ as we motored north but it was a fertile section of sea as we pulled a 25lb yellow fin tuna and a bull dorado of about equal size from the Sea on the jaunt. Grupo Tortuguero of the Californias, an NGO based in La Paz, helps preserve the Seri’s nautical heritage, and together they now protect all five sea-turtle species that thrive in the Sea of Cortez. 2) All the water on the outside of the boat remains on the outside of the boat. The weather had certainly changed and the summer we had spent enjoying the Sea drew to a close as we made way to anchor back in Lobos the final night of our journey. Lobos is a fairly large anchorage, one of our Veleros de Baja sail races had more than 20 boats from 8 meters to 80 meters anchored there and it is smooth in all but a rare westerly blow. The wind forecasts shown here are from NOAA's GFS model. These guides are both useful and entertaining. This night there were only two other sailboats anchored there. A rising full moon illuminated the breaking waves on Roca Lobos as we neared our destination. Visibility can be limited (30-40 feet in the summer and fall, but up to 100 in the winter), so sites are often difficult to find, even when fixed by GPS. Crowded anchorages are a change I have witnessed over the last decade. You almost always are accompanied by the drone of a motor yachts generator through the night in the popular places. The first week of November is still early in the cruising season and you can count on most of the anchorages having plenty of room. Bahia Balandra about 11 miles north of La Paz is a very popular day anchorage, but with little protection in much of a blow. While the corals are underwhelming and visibility was not the best during our trip, there were plenty of animals to keep us entertained, including lots of sea lions. The north side anchorage is well protected, but relatively small and gets deep quickly. The 8-day Exploring the Sea of Cortez: A Living Sea & Desert Isles cruise includes a National Geographic crew with more than 25 years of experience in the region. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The Sea of Cortez is certainly my main attraction to living in Baja California Sur. Each is not very far from a hurricane hole if you need to scoot there quickly. But none of these anchorages are what I would call ‘well protected’ in the summer and most would be unpleasant in a regular winter north wind. Buy a cruising guide and read it. Tom's & Slade's Three Rules for a Successful Boating Adventure. Expect water temperatures on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas to be between 5 °F and 10 °F lower (2.7 to 5.5 °C) compared to the Sea of Cortez. Cruise Baja, California, in April and December, a prime season for this stunning landscape. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Seas generated by northerlies of 20 to 30 knots often are sizeable and of a “short period,” as buoyweather.com describes them. The Original Baja Peninsula Travel and Living Online Magazine. It was very easy for us to burn three days in this new to us location. The Sea of Cortez has been called the Vermilion Sea. Trails abound on the island and a two hour walk will take you above the anchorage for a spectacular view in all directions with the southern beach hundreds of feet straight below you. They have access to provisions, fuel, and a few diversionary side trips for whenever a hurricane isn’t breathing down your neck. It is always the skipper’s purgative to put out as much chain or rode as he or she thinks necessary, providing he doesn’t swing into another boat. Puerto Refugio or Port of Refuge is not a port; it’s a picturesque sheltered bay that spreads 2.5 miles across the north tip of Guardian Angel Island, an uninhabited behemoth. This presumes that you have the right sized gear for your boat. The Sea of Cortez has been called the Vermilion Sea. If you’re not summering over in the marina there, then I think you should plan to continue past Santa Rosalia (not a hurricane hole) to reach summer safety farther north. Here, in the Sea of Cortez and Cabo San Lucas area, water temperature and visibility can vary from day to day and even site to site. Water Conditions: There is year-round diving in the Sea of Cortez off Baja Sur, but the best time is late June to early November. For all supplies, go 35 miles south to Bahia de los Angeles, better known as L.A. Bay, which has diesel, gas, groceries, restaurants, a hospital, an airport and 20 modest hotels serving a couple hundred trailer-boating fishermen who trucked here from Highway 1. Otherwise, some folks at Mazatlan might head north to the San Carlos area, which has two hurricane-hole marinas and dry storage yards. (don’t anchor on the intake!) Weather November through April (High Season) Choose any offshore point in Sea of Cortez - South to view an accurate marine weather forecast. When the Norte blows, you have 30+ kts on your nose and it’s a bashingly numbing ride. “In Season” it is now rare to wake to being the only boat in an anchorage, even the more remote ones. A north wind came up and after swimming all summer in +86° degree water we dipped a big toe and decided it was time to start heading south again. In addition, as a valued Sea Of Cortez Premiere Vacation Club guest, you can enjoy a pool and a poolside bar that are available on-site. With the increase in boat traffic it becomes more important for skippers to know their ground tackle (anchoring gear) and to anchor courteously. In making our plans for our desired anchorages we looked to mix new anchorages with those secure anchorages we had known before. A Whale of an Adventure in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Notarios in Mexico vs: Notaries in the United States, Anchoring & Anchorages in the Sea of Cortez, Handling Military Checkpoints when Driving in Mexico, Map of the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico, Feliz Cumpleanos – How You Say Happy Birthday in Mexico, Dia de la Constitucion - Constitution Day, February 5, Saving the Sea Turtles of the Sea of Cortez, US Consulate in Tijuana & Consular Agent in Los Cabos, Translation of the Baja California Sur COVID-19 Health Laws, Accident & Illness Mexico Travel Insurance, Marine Services in La Paz on the Sea of Cortez, The Sea Lions of Los Islotes - An Imagery Book by, Know Your Mexican Peso - Mexican Paper Currency in Circulation. All four provide rare protection from summer southerlies, and are graced by crystal turquoise waters and white sand bottoms. The days are still warm enough to inspire you to take a swim, while the nights cool off nicely so you can rest up for the day ahead. Having summered over here 10 times on several different boats, I’ve distilled my list down to four favorite places to hide out during hurricane season in the upper Sea of Cortez. Like any small pueblos on the Sea, please take your trash with you back to the next larger town for disposal. Sea Of Cortez Premiere Vacation Club Hotel features a 24 hour front desk, a concierge, and room service. Most anchorages in the Sea are 6 to 8 meters deep with good holding. The Sea of Cortez is a marginal sea located in the Pacific Ocean. In the second of our series on Mexico’s best dive destinations (see the first installment here), we’re exploring the renowned ‘aquarium of the world’ and a 20,000-year-old reef in the Sea of Cortez.. The fish are consumed by people, birds, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, sperm whales, humpbacks, and Bryde’s whales to mention just a few. Snorkeling and scuba diving in the Sea of Cortez peak during the same time period with visibility sometimes in excess of 20 meters. A 1-mile outer beach roadstead is good in north wind. Sea of Cortez. We ask for a deposit of $1,000 per person to reserve your cabin. New charts for the Sea became available in 2010 from the Mexican Navy. Roughly speaking, if it would take a good throw to toss a beer to your neighbor, you should be far enough apart. In addition to hazard, anchorages and other boating tips both guides provide local lore and more. There is plenty of attraction to the pretty little bay for hiking, snorkeling and scuba diving. For example, most of us anywhere in the lower and mid latitudes of the Sea of Cortez should already have slip reservations in at least one of the hurricane-refuge marinas at La Paz or Puerto Escondido in Baja California Sur, or at San Carlos in Sonora. Spend a week in different parts of the large main bay, while three small adjacent coves are fun dinghy expeditions. In our 8 day adventure we observed A ”Tom's & Slade’s Three Basic Rules for a Successful Sail Adventure” and had a great time exploring new locations in the Sea of Cortez. The soup of phytoplankton feeds invertebrates that are gobbled up by more than 800 kinds of vertebrates including fish, blue and fin whales. (I started when my anchor weighed more than I did) We racked up some good cruising miles within the Sea this year, making several trips north from La Paz, each a little further into our unknown. Sea of Cortez - Midriff Islands: Revillagigedo - Socorro Islands: Explore Baja: With clear, deep waters, abundant sea life, golden sandy beaches and inspiring vistas, the Sea of Cortez - known as the Gulf of California - is a breathtaking destination for scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, boating, and exploring diverse marine creatures. Best San Felipe Fishing Charters in the Sea of Cortez Baja California Mexico. The water temp is usually between 74F - 84F in the Sea of Cortez and the visibility ranges from 50 - 100+ ft. Five miles east of L.A. Bay is the nearest hurricane hole, Puerto Don Juan. It serves as a divide between mainland Mexico and the Baja California Peninsula in northwestern Mexico.Other English names for the sea include the Gulf of California, the Vermilion Sea, and the Sea of Cortés, while its Spanish names include the Mar de Cortés, Golfo de California, and Mar Bermejo. The east side of the island offers some excellent snorkeling and shallow to moderate dives. Summer ended while we were in Agua Verde. No fishing or exploring ashore without a Seri guide, easily hired on VHF 16 in Kino Bay or Chuenque. We recommend a 5 mm wetsuit and a hooded vest is always a smart addition to your dive kit. I counted only 50 yacht slips, and they fill up fast. Visit a remote fishing village and kayak into a mangrove lagoon. Difficulty: Novice – Intermediate. The Sea of Cortez is a special place situated between Baja, Mexico and the mainland. Mazatlan on the mainland side of the Sea of Cortez might not be considered a hurricane hole due to the frequency of cyclonic storms that curve off the Pacific and slam into this coast between 22 and 24 degrees North. And no time of year is better for recreation on the Sea than mid-October to late November. My personal favorites are “The Mexico Boating Guide” by Rains and “Sea of Cortez – A Cruiser’s Guidebook” by Breeding/Bansmer. In the lulls you drift aimlessly in circles, listening to sails flog. With a classic 86-foot wooden ship as our base and kayaks on board, you’ll explore between La Paz and Loreto, enjoying incredible experiences by land and sea. Set in the brilliant turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez, our adventure brings you up close to the wonders of Baja. The Sea of Cortez is a popular Mexico scuba diving destination, especially for whale fans. The absolute best months are September and October, when the seas are flat, visibility peaks at 60 feet or more and surface temperatures hit a toasty 85F. There are only three reasons to have out that much chain: 1) you are expecting hurricane force winds 2) you have no idea what you are doing and the capabilities of your gear or don’t have the correct gear 3) you’re just plain an inconsiderate “anchorage hog”. View point-based 7-day wind and wave forecasts in Sea of Cortez - South. No one seemed to know just where to land this thing. Mexico's cost of living vs income - How do they do it? https://www.mexicoboating.com › upper-sea-of-cortez-hide-outs 1) All the people on the inside of the boat return on the inside of the boat. The lower and mid latitudes of the Sea of Cortez are vulnerable to tropical-storm winds and torrential rains that flood coastal areas, so if you’re not already hunkered down in one of those hurricane holes I think the best alternative is the upper third of the Sea of Cortez – north of a line between Santa Rosalia and Guaymas. Winter winds on the Sea of Cortez are affected by weather conditions in the Gulf of Alaska and northerlies are common. Sea water temperature all along the Sea of Cortez coast is not yet warm enough for swimming and does not exceed 20°C/68°F. Diving San Carlos reports and photos have been provided by Feliza Rios (El Mar Diving Center), Mike Huhn (Ocean Sports San Carlos), Russ Fontaine, Johan Broere and Becky & Jim.Diving Report: August 10, 2016. The wind faded on the afternoon of the second day in Isla San Francisco, so we made the 9 mile jaunt across the channel to the very secure anchorage of San Evaristo, with the plan of heading even further north the next morning. For about 4 hours a day, you have perfect sailing conditions. 3) Nothing breaks that won't heal in three weeks or less. In addition, the Sea of Cortez can be a quieter experience because not being in the open sea, the conditions of the sea are more calm and favorable. They are steep and square, as … Distinguished by their native dress (“traje”), the Seri often camp ashore here. Sargento lies within the indigenous Seri tribal reservation – all sacred land including Tiburon Island, where the Seri people believe their spirits live. Otherwise, if you’re still in La Paz, you should be cruising north to at least Puerto Escondido, which is another very popular hurricane hole. The average term of boat ownership is three years; I’ve enjoyed this sport for 45 years. Sea of Cortez – there were some lovely camera shots of underwater flora and fauna, but the program was all over the place – WW 2, Great Depression, Steinbeck, Dust Bowl, oh, and the Sea of Cortez. Puerto Penasco is the safest hurricane hole in Mexico due to its latitude and geography. Just 44 miles from La Paz is Isla San Francisco, and in 10 years it was one of the very local places which I had never visited. In season a chorus of Honda 2000’s joins in from the smaller craft. That night we strolled the moonlit beach and made a rough sail plan. In many anchorages through much of the year the winds can shift 180° after sunset. All this is within a 3-mile radius. At this time they come to feed on the plankton blooms so do not expect great visibility. Most anchorages in the Sea are sand, a few are rocky but those are easy to avoid in most cases. Eeeesh – rookies! Finally in anchoring, know your swing radius. Our next destination was Agua Verde. On returning to the boat we consulted our Sea of Cortez Cruising guides for the details and GPS points for the trip. The Gulf of California (Spanish: Golfo de California), also known as the Sea of Cortés (Mar de Cortés) or less commonly as the Vermilion Sea (Mar Bermejo), is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean that separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland. That is why a large number of Sea of Cortez Charters along the coast of the Sea of Cortez are mainly pangas and small boats of medium size. I believe it is essential to have at least two cruising guides to the Sea of Cortez. Enter Sargento Bay from the northwest, swing wide of the little reef off Punta Sargento, anchor off the northern beach in 15 to 18 feet of clear water. Even with the tide that is over a 10:1 anchoring ratio. The Sea of Cortez. But it’s “luck of the draw,” and even those marinas usually get booked full by now. San Evaristo is a small, remote and poor fishing village on the Baja coast which although is just 40 miles from La Paz is a half a day trip over bone-jarring dirt road/trail distant from the city. The trip started with a good omen, a large pod of dolphins escorted us north for a good kilometer right outside the entrance to the harbor. Signs of climate change in the Sea of Cortez seem to be evident in the fish that are now found here in San Carlos. COVID-19 Test Requirements for Air Travel to the US, Know Your Mexican Peso - Mexican Paper Currency in, Stingrays, Jellyfish and Man-o-wars & Wound, Expats Living in Baja and Mexico in general, Living in Baja California Sur – The Basics, Identifying Genuine/Counterfeit Mexican Pesos. Again it’s really not a port; it’s a small uninhabited bay with a dog-leg entrance, room for 40 boats to swing comfortably, nearly impregnable to storm winds and seas from all directions. Exploring the Sea of Cortez: A Living Sea & Desert Isles. There is a small tienda in town in a little pink house, just above the desalinization plant. Guests arriving by vehicle have access to free parking. We were ‘advised’ on the radio in one calm anchorage of about 7 meters that the neighboring boat had out over 75 meters of chain on a 12 meter power boat. There are some secret hot springs in the area too, but we will force you to converse with the locals here, rather than divulge these secrets on the internet. Refugio is one of the quietest places on earth – well, except for the cries of sea birds diving into huge fish boils every morning, and except at night for the rhythmic “spwoosh” of whales breathing as they traverse the Canal de Ballenas. Sure shootin’, the wind did build from the north and the anchorage is an excellent place to weather a norther. Most boaters have no idea how small the circle of swing really is. For details, visit http://grupotortuguero.org or visit their Turtle Center at 108 Ficus Street, La Paz, (612) 146-3553. Because of the abundance of large marine life, relatively good visibility and usually mild current, the Sea of Cortez is an excellent place to learn or improve your wide-angle technique. I like to lay out about a 5:1 all-chain; I wouldn’t sleep as sound with Chapman’s suggested 3:1. There are two main areas for diving: La Paz and Cabo Pulmo. The summer heat breaks, the humidity drops dramatically and yet the waters of the Sea are still incredibly warm and inviting. Nearly 50 small anchoring spots lie between Refugio and L.A. Bay. Bahia Sargento (“sar-HEN-tow”) is a pristine 3-mile wide turquoise bay between two sparkling white sand spits. All the obvious stuff!! The balance is due 90 days before the cruise begins; see Terms & Conditions for details. Cruising Ports: the Central American Route, Coolest Dive Spots around the Sea of Cortez, 5 Easy Pieces – La Paz to Puerto Escondido in the Sea of Cortez, Not Ready to Unplug Permanently? Although the draw of many divers and underwater photographers is the large animal action, most sites also present unique and interesting macro opportunities. The water Temperature went up to 27 degrees, the visibility was so much better and there was a lot more sea life. The ocean brings currents rich with nutrients for marine animals. With some safe anchorages hours apart, being an ‘anchorage hog’ could cost someone else dearly. Large adults are known to show up in the spring months of April and May which is also a time that sees large schools of yellowfin tuna, and schooling scalloped hammerheads. Here you find three small marinas, two fuel docks with diesel and gas, seven haul-out yard, good provisioning, hospitals, chandlers, an international airport, air-conditioned movie theatres, and scads of restaurants featuring the region’s mainstay – shrimp. But it’s mid July, so recreational boaters who are in the Sea of Cortez right now should have solid plans about where they’ll spend the peak months of this hurricane season (August, September, October) in safety and comfort. Puerto Penasco, Sonora, in the northeast corner of the Sea of Cortez is an actual port, finally, population 27,000. The La Paz whale shraks trip is from October till end of April. Overview. There is an additional larger anchorage on the southern side, but in a honkin’ norther can be a bit rough. They’re nestled between four little islands, two fun diving reefs and two low peninsulas that slope down from the island’s rugged 3,000-foot peak. ... definitely one of the most amazing sites in the Sea of Cortez. The Sea of Cortez is a fantastic ecosystem that very few people get to explore. This is a result of diving where the sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet. In the shallow tidal lagoon behind this beach you may see Seri families setting hand-made fishing nets. 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. In years gone by I too have been known to anchor in the middle to scare off others who might want to join my secluded location. Are Carnavals an Endangered Species in Baja? But unlike typical Mexican pangueros, they seldom initiate contact with outsiders, except during their annual Sea Turtle Ceremony. : //www.mexicoboating.com › upper-sea-of-cortez-hide-outs Choose any offshore point in Sea of Cortez and the anchorage is an place. In April and December, a prime season for this stunning landscape a bashingly numbing ride VHF 16 in Bay... Season ) range, with 100+ ft folks at Mazatlan might head north to the Sea of Cortez our... And soundings and can be a bit rough blows, you have meters. All along the Sea of Cortez peak during the same time period with visibility sometimes in excess of to! 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