Dec 22, 2008

La Paz to Ixtapa -- Leg I -- To Chamela

Leg I -- La Paz to Bahia Chamela
A Southern Crossing to the Pacific Coast was the itinerary -- 425nm miles across the Sea of Cortez to landfall at Bahia Chamela on the Mexican mainland. As much as enjoyed La Paz, we were looking forward to spending some time in a more tropical setting, particularly one that had even warmer water temperatures. We also wanted to explore a part of Mexico we hadn't visited yet -- the Gold Coast -- with its numerous anchorages and, we hoped, excellent fishing. We chose Bahia Chamela, a location known for its large and beautiful bay and numerous anchoring sites.

We caught a weather window before a semi-screaming Norther promised to kick up some highish winds and uncomfortable waves and had an uneventful passage.

Upon arriving at Chamela, we opted to anchor in the lee of Isla Pasavera, which located in the middle of the bay. Beautiful scenery and isolation from some of the very active beach resort activities near Punta Perula in the northern end of the Bay, resulted in a very satisfying anchorage. Punta Perula anchorage, while noisy, is, however, definitely more protected from northerly wind and waves. We dingyed to a nice little beach on Isla Colorada, but avoided swimming in the area due to direct sighting of an extremely large shark. Landing on the mainland beach proved challenging due to the rather large rollers experienced during our stay. Some white knuckles, wide eyes, lots of bailing, but we remained righted.

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Dec 7, 2008

Ispiritu Santo and San Francisco, BCS, Mexico

A little over a week of very laid-back cruising and hanging on the hook at these two serene and picturesque islands.

Most amazing sight was whales feeding on baitfish, and all the other predators getting involved.

Jul 1, 2008

Aqua Verde, BCS, Mexico

Ninety-five miles from La Paz, this bay is a popular cruise stop. Amazing scenery, a local village, good protection, diving and fishing make the days melt away. We over-nighted to get there at a reasonable hour the next day. DO NOT anchor in the south bay. You may well see boats there, but the holding is terrible. We experimented with our three anchors (75lb CQR, 20KG Bruce and Fortress FX-55) with probably 20 attempted sets and were not able to get a good hold. The anchor would set, but eventually give way when backed down on hard. Some boats were anchored there (sail and power), so either there are a few good spots or they simply didn’t back down as hard as I like to do.

Apr 1, 2008

Mazatlan to La Paz, BCS

Back across the Sea of Cortez. We headed out on Friday night into some wind and waves on the nose, but it settled down after a few hours and we ended up doing a lot of motoring. Hoping for a big fish, we were disappointed in that our only strike cleanly severed the monofilament leader on one of the hand lines. The wind picked up during the second night as we approach Baja which resulted in some great night and early morning sailing. We anchored in Evartiso as it was more protected from the prevailing wind forecast and had a delightful time. The Bay was ours for a couple days. Anchored in the north of the bay, we dove extensively. It was a great place for the kids as it was shallow and clear with lots of marine life.

Jan 8, 2008

Mazatlan to Isla Isabela

95nm downwind from Mazatlan, this "Galapagos of Mexico" gave us 3 full days of fun. Walking amongst the blue-footed boobies and frigate birds on the island, hiking to the crater lake and amazing fishing. The anchorage outside the small bay is fine in calm weather, but the all-rock bottom can be an issue if your anchor gets caught, which fortunately ours did not.

Jan 5, 2008

Cabo to Mazatlan

We caught a screaming norther on the passage to Mazatlan. 12+ foot waves on the beam. Sustained 35K winds for about 36 hours.

Jan 1, 2008

Bahia Santa Maria to Cabo

Some decent wind on the last night of the this passage. The winds and seas died down and it was clear and warm for our approach to Cabo.

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