Mirador is tied to a mooring ball in Puerto Escondido and I am preparing her to be left unattended for several months. I will catch a bus on June 2 that will take me on a four hour ride to La Paz where I will meet up with Tom Hawks, owner and captain of MV Well Deserved. I am crewing for Tom on the 900 mile trip from La Paz to San Diego. We will leave La Paz about June 5 or so and head 155 miles SW toward Cabo San Lucas. We will probably stop at either Los Muertos or Los Frailes on the way to Cabo.
When we get a good weather window we will leave Cabo and round Cabo Falso, about 6 miles WSW of the Cabo anchorage. A "good weather" window means less than 15 knots from the NW. The next possible stop will be Magdalena Bay, 150 miles to the NW or Bahia Santa Maria, 15 miles NW of Mag Bay. I think Tom plans to stop as often as possible and Bahia Santa Maria is much nicer and has a possible surfing spot so I imagine that is where the first stop will be.
From Santa Maria it is 130 miles to Punta Abreojoes or 218 miles to Turtle Bay. Abreojoes is notorious for being windy when no where else has much wind but it is also a very good surfing spot and Tom is a hard core surfer. That is how I met him, he was riding the waves at La Cruz on the Mexican mainland. There is a very good anchorage a couple of miles east of the point break at Abreojoes.
There is a good anchorage at San Juanico which is way east of the rhumb line from Santa Maria to Turtle Bay but it does give good protection from the NW winds and is a famous surf spot. Turtle Bay does have a large volume fuel facility so I bet we'll stop there It is also a very well protected anchorage and a few supplies are available.
The next obstacle headed NW from Turtle Bay is the north end of Cedros Island which is always twice as windy as anywhere else in the area. The normal plan is to pass there in the early morning hours which means a very early start from Turtle Bay, 55 miles to the SE, or an overnight stop at a poor anchorage on the NE corner of Cedros. You drop your anchor in 90' of water, just 100 feet off the beach and then back up to within 10 feet of the rocks where it is 10 feet deep. The winds are very gusty as they spill down out of the canyons. Cedros is quite mountainous with peaks reaching 3,500 feet above the anchorage where the island that is only 2.5 miles wide. Beautiful place but not comfortable.
After Cedros there is about 70 miles of open water until we reach the San Carlos anchorage which offers good protection from the NW winds. There are no anchorages of any value on the Baja Coast in the 150 miles of beach in Bahia Vizcaino between Turtle Bay and San Carlos.
Once NW of San Carlos it is 190 miles to the US Border and there are a number of decent anchorages every 30 to 50 miles. The wind usually lightens up a little bit as you approach Ensenada and then San Diego. But, we do have to pass always windy Cabo Colnett which is the last major obstacle and is about 50 miles SSE of Ensenada.
I have no idea how long the trip will take from La Paz to San Diego because Tom is an experienced cruiser and has no reason to rush back to San Diego. We plan to fish as much as possible, surf, and use his sail board where ever possible. This is going to be a leisurely and comfortable trip with no fixed schedule.
We will sit in each anchorage until we have a good forecast for a comfortable trip on the next leg as we head to San Diego. We will be using the services of Don Anderson who operates Summer Passage radio out of Oxnard, California. He has been sailing from Southern California to Mexico for over 40 years and is a superb weather forecaster for the west coast of the Baja peninsula. He provides very detailed weather at 14:15 zulu on 8.122 MHz SSB radio and again at 01:45 zulu on 6.526 MHz SSB. We can also call him on 6.516 at 12:45 zulu and 16.534 MHz (16D) at 15:45 zulu for a one on one discussion about the weather. So, we'll have no excuse for getting surprised.
Well Deserved does not have e-mail capability so I will not be able to update this WEB site until I reach Tacoma sometime in late June.