There are two main areas for diving: La Paz and Cabo Pulmo. 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. Snorkeling and scuba diving in the Sea of Cortez peak during the same time period with visibility sometimes in excess of 20 meters. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The Sea of Cortez is certainly my main attraction to living in Baja California Sur. 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. Remember your tides when laying out your anchor, in the southern Sea a dramatic lunar tide is about 1.5 meters, tide are more dramatic in the northern Sea. 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. You almost always are accompanied by the drone of a motor yachts generator through the night in the popular places. Sea of Cortez: UnCruise Safari Endeavor Ship - See 68 traveler reviews, 77 candid photos, and great deals for Baja California, Mexico, at Tripadvisor. Bahia Sargento (“sar-HEN-tow”) is a pristine 3-mile wide turquoise bay between two sparkling white sand spits. Guests arriving by vehicle have access to free parking. Water of all shades of blue sits against an arid desert backdrop and an assortment of islands. The worst thing was, the narrator’s voice put me to sleep. Set in the brilliant turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez, our adventure brings you up close to the wonders of Baja. The ocean brings currents rich with nutrients for marine animals. 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. There are even Pre-Columbian cave paintings within a short hike from the north anchorage. 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. With the increase in boat traffic it becomes more important for skippers to know their ground tackle (anchoring gear) and to anchor courteously. When I found Ricardo four years ago, he took me where none of the other local boats had –- a little-known seamount, less than 30 minutes from the dock. 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. The Sea of Cortez is a popular Mexico scuba diving destination, especially for whale fans. The soup of phytoplankton feeds invertebrates that are gobbled up by more than 800 kinds of vertebrates including fish, blue and fin whales. Weather November through April (High Season) (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 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. I believe it is essential to have at least two cruising guides to the Sea of Cortez. 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. 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. I like to lay out about a 5:1 all-chain; I wouldn’t sleep as sound with Chapman’s suggested 3:1. Tom's & Slade's Three Rules for a Successful Boating Adventure. Difficulty: Novice – Intermediate. There is an additional larger anchorage on the southern side, but in a honkin’ norther can be a bit rough. Sargento lies within the indigenous Seri tribal reservation – all sacred land including Tiburon Island, where the Seri people believe their spirits live. The warmest water temperature Sea of Cortez now is 18.3°C/64.9°F (in La Paz), and the coldest sea surface temperature today is 15.8°C/60.4°F (in Puerto Penasco). And so the Sea of Cortez Nudibranch Project was born. The Sea of Cortez is a marginal sea located in the Pacific Ocean. But it’s “luck of the draw,” and even those marinas usually get booked full by now. The Sea of Cortez has been called the Vermilion Sea. Otherwise, some folks at Mazatlan might head north to the San Carlos area, which has two hurricane-hole marinas and dry storage yards. <>/p>, A Engineering & Design a product of MarketingSpecialProject.com ©2015, Anchored on the tranquil Sea of Cortez at sunset, Agua Verde is a well sheltered and popular anchorage, just south of Loreto. 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. Go “Commuter Cruising” Instead. But because the tidal range is extreme this far north (23’ max at springs), the enclosed commercial port actually shrink at low tides, providing almost no room for moorings or anchoring. Seas generated by northerlies of 20 to 30 knots often are sizeable and of a “short period,” as buoyweather.com describes them. 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. Isla San Francisco is about 80 miles north of La Paz and provides hiking from this spectacular anchorage. Electronic charts are still based on these ancient positions and soundings and can be as much as a kilometer off in some locations. Cruise Baja, California, in April and December, a prime season for this stunning landscape. Sea Of Cortez Premiere Vacation Club Hotel features a 24 hour front desk, a concierge, and room service. Finally in anchoring, know your swing radius. This night there were only two other sailboats anchored there. 2) All the water on the outside of the boat remains on the outside of the boat. The La Paz whale shraks trip is from October till end of April. At the end of November, temperatures start cooling and visibility goes down. Roughly speaking, if it would take a good throw to toss a beer to your neighbor, you should be far enough apart. Copyright © 2018 Point Loma Publishing. 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. 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. Discover all the treasures in the Sea of Cortez on this can’t-miss cruise! With more than 5,000 species of macro-invertebrates, the Sea of Cortez is thought to be one of the most diverse seas on the planet. In the lulls you drift aimlessly in circles, listening to sails flog. The average term of boat ownership is three years; I’ve enjoyed this sport for 45 years. https://www.mexicoboating.com › upper-sea-of-cortez-hide-outs Choose any offshore point in Sea of Cortez - South to view an accurate marine weather forecast. Mexico's cost of living vs income - How do they do it? ALWAYS check your Map Datum when changing electronic charts in the Sea of Cortez; they change from chart to chart. A 1-mile outer beach roadstead is good in north wind. There is a small tienda in town in a little pink house, just above the desalinization plant. This is a result of diving where the sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet. Having never been quite such a captive audience to bad conditions prior to this trip, I was actually pretty blown away to discover just how many nudibranch species one will find on twenty consecutive macro dives. The balance is due 90 days before the cruise begins; see Terms & Conditions for details. 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. At this time they come to feed on the plankton blooms so do not expect great visibility. 1) All the people on the inside of the boat return on the inside of the boat. With a max depth of 35 ft, great visibility, coral heads, walls covered with gorgonians and hundreds of schooling fish Swanne Reef is an excellent dive site. 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. 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. Diving San Carlos Reports. 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. 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. The Sea of Cortez is a special place situated between Baja, Mexico and the mainland. 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. The Log From The Sea Of Cortez The Narrative Portion Of The Book Sea Of Cortez By John E. Steinbeck and E.F. Ricketts 1941 here Reissued with a Profile About Ed Ricketts by John Steinbeck | Jan 1, 1975 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. Sea of Cortez. The summer heat breaks, the humidity drops dramatically and yet the waters of the Sea are still incredibly warm and inviting. range, with 100+ ft visibility. Bahia Balandra about 11 miles north of La Paz is a very popular day anchorage, but with little protection in much of a blow. Los Gatos is between Agua Verde and San Evaristo, but provides limited shelter when the winds blow from anywhere but the southwest, Although your not likely to use one this large, the Bruce anchor is the favorite among long time cruiser, but there are some modern permutations, Dia de la Candelaria - Candle Mass Day in Mexico, COVID-19 Test Requirements for Air Travel to the US and Canada. 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. My personal favorites are “The Mexico Boating Guide” by Rains and “Sea of Cortez – A Cruiser’s Guidebook” by Breeding/Bansmer. A dirt airstrip (1,200 yards) gets an occasional fly-in fishing group, and two rustic camp grounds on the south beach may have limited gasoline and water. 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. They are steep and square, as … This presumes that you have the right sized gear for your boat. The water Temperature went up to 27 degrees, the visibility was so much better and there was a lot more sea life. (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 lions are present all year round. Nearly 50 small anchoring spots lie between Refugio and L.A. Bay. The fish are consumed by people, birds, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, sperm whales, humpbacks, and Bryde’s whales to mention just a few. Visit a remote fishing village and kayak into a mangrove lagoon. All the obvious stuff!! Puerto Penasco is the safest hurricane hole in Mexico due to its latitude and geography. 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. But those days are gone. 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. In the shallow tidal lagoon behind this beach you may see Seri families setting hand-made fishing nets. 3) Nothing breaks that won't heal in three weeks or less. All this is within a 3-mile radius. It is a good day’s sail from La Paz. 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. Best San Felipe Fishing Charters in the Sea of Cortez Baja California Mexico. After 10 years of orbiting from our home port in La Paz there were still destinations within our one week time frame that we had yet to visit. San Felipe Sea of Cortez Fishing is great all year round, you can come anytime, and have a great time fishing.. During the summertime that is when some of tropical storms hits the the Baja California Peninsula, doesn’t go as far to fully reach SF BC. 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. And no time of year is better for recreation on the Sea than mid-October to late November. (don’t anchor on the intake!) “In Season” it is now rare to wake to being the only boat in an anchorage, even the more remote ones. The Sea of Cortez is adjacent to the glitzy ports of the Mexican Riviera -- but here it's a whole other world. 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. 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. These guides are both useful and entertaining. The prices were fair when we visited, so don’t barter hard, it takes a lot to get supplies out to them. Most years, boaters berthed in the popular marinas tucked back into Sabalo Lagoon have reported no problem. The Baja peninsula is home to unique flora and fauna that have evolved in near isolation, so it's no surprise that the Sea of Cortez divin… I counted only 50 yacht slips, and they fill up fast. Spend a week in different parts of the large main bay, while three small adjacent coves are fun dinghy expeditions. Although the draw of many divers and underwater photographers is the large animal action, most sites also present unique and interesting macro opportunities. 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. You can buy fresh water from the plant manager, but don’t expect it to be a speedy process. They have access to provisions, fuel, and a few diversionary side trips for whenever a hurricane isn’t breathing down your neck. 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. All Rights Reserved. The wind forecasts shown here are from NOAA's GFS model. See map. The Sea of Cortez in Mexico is unlike most of the other dive sites in this area of the Pacific Ocean, the reef here is flourishing and incredibly colorful. San Francisquito is a gorgeous multiple-anchorage destination 75 nautical miles up the Baja coast from Santa Rosalia. 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. The nearest hurricane hole is 53 miles northwest at Puerto Don Juan near L.A. Bay. Boats of dissimilar anchoring (rode vs.: chain) or hull design (sail, multi hull or power) should take more care when anchoring close. But unlike typical Mexican pangueros, they seldom initiate contact with outsiders, except during their annual Sea Turtle Ceremony. 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. Most boaters have no idea how small the circle of swing really is. 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. Very few hurricanes can travel up the narrow north-south length of the Sea of Cortez, nor can they jump over the Baja California peninsula and reform with sufficient strength to travel north again. We ask for a deposit of $1,000 per person to reserve your cabin. 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”. Cabrales Boatyard in the harbor’s northwest corner specializes in yachts, uses 150-ton Travelifts with padded straps and coordinates with international boat movers to truck yachts up to the U.S. or down. For about 4 hours a day, you have perfect sailing conditions. 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. When you live in a vacation destination like La Paz on the beautiful Sea of Cortez it seems rather silly to select a vacation destination somewhere else. The Sea of Cortez is a fantastic ecosystem that very few people get to explore. 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. In season a chorus of Honda 2000’s joins in from the smaller craft. 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. 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. 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. Agua Verde is certainly one of the more popular anchorages; just a partial day’s sail south of Escondido or Loreto, boats headed south often take rest here. The Sea of Cortez. Summer ended while we were in Agua Verde. The water temp is usually between 74F - 84F in the Sea of Cortez and the visibility ranges from 50 - 100+ ft. With a proper 5:1 scope in 7 meters of water you have 35 meters of chain out. Most anchorages in the Sea are sand, a few are rocky but those are easy to avoid in most cases. 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. Overview. 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. 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. 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. Tucked inside like a cluster of jewels in a purse you’ll find nine pristine anchoring areas, providing swinging room for about 20 boats total. Five miles east of L.A. Bay is the nearest hurricane hole, Puerto Don Juan. We escaped La Paz late in the afternoon and made our get-away to Caleta Lobos, just about 5 miles north of the entrance to the Ensenada de La Paz. Dive conditions range from 20 feet to 90 feet visibility, depending upon the location and season. ... definitely one of the most amazing sites in the Sea of Cortez. 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. i.e. San Francisquito enjoys the solitude of lying 60 unpaved miles from Baja Highway 1, but it’s a popular stepping stone for all boats crossing the Sea of Cortez via the Midriff Islands within sight. The best plan is to store boats safely on the hard. We were expecting a short duration norther to pick up, so we figured San Francisco would be a good place to hold up and explore for a day. Are Carnavals an Endangered Species in Baja? The Sea of Cortez, or Gulf of California as it is also known, is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean that separates the Baja California peninsula from the Mexican mainland. Buy a cruising guide and read it. Winter winds on the Sea of Cortez are affected by weather conditions in the Gulf of Alaska and northerlies are common. The north side anchorage is well protected, but relatively small and gets deep quickly. Snorkeling and scuba diving in the Sea of Cortez peak during the same time period with visibility sometimes in excess of 20 meters. Signs of climate change in the Sea of Cortez seem to be evident in the fish that are now found here in San Carlos. 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. 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? 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. 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. Distinguished by their native dress (“traje”), the Seri often camp ashore here. 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. The Original Baja Peninsula Travel and Living Online Magazine. That night we strolled the moonlit beach and made a rough sail plan. 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. No one seemed to know just where to land this thing. This results in a high diversity of smaller species, but have no fear, there are some large species spectacles as well. We recommend a 5 mm wetsuit and a hooded vest is always a smart addition to your dive kit. As well are easy to avoid in most cases our plans for our desired anchorages we looked to new..., except during their annual Sea Turtle Ceremony warm and inviting ve enjoyed sport... Attraction to the next larger town for disposal Cortez seem to be a speedy process the year the winds shift! The desalinization plant species, but in a honkin ’ norther can a! 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