By Elizabeth A. Kerr

Baja, Mexico

I have always wanted to go to Baja, but like many of the other 25+ destinations on my bucket list, I still hadn’t got round to it. Imagine my delight when a last minute invite – timed perfectly around a crazy production schedule – found me basking in the beauty of the Marina Costa Baja ready to hop on one of Mooring’s brand new, fully loaded Power 474s with a bunch of like-minded journalists, ready for a first-hand experience of a lifetime.

The first day – ‘the getting to know one another day’ – found us only six miles from our departure point in La Paz, Mexico, in the well-protected anchorage of Caleta Lobos. The hues and clarity of the water seduced some of us to don snorkeling gear (after a quick brief, of course) and adventure into the waters to gaze at the exotic colours of living coral reefs and some of the more than 600 dazzling species of marine life.

Although, personally I’m a strong swimmer with little or no fear of an underwater adventure, snorkeling here requires no special training or expensive equipment. If you can swim and breathe through a tube, you’re good to go! And snorkelling is a daily rite here. No matter, because you’ll be an expert in no time.

The next morning, we depart for Los Islotes – a group of small islands inhabited by a large colony of California sea lions, many of whom will swim and play with snorkellers or divers (depending on the time of year). The islands are also used for nesting by thousands of sea birds, and the white splashes covering the islands are bird poop, although you could be temporarily tricked into thinking it was snow!

It was on to Ensenada Grande – recently named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world  – that offered us its pink volcanic cliffs, beach palapas to shade under while eating a picnic lunch and a haven for shellseekers like me.

Next stop: San Francisco – the Isla of San Francisco that is  – just 18 miles away. Hiking here takes you along a high ridge that overlooks "The Hook" where you can explore the well-known cactus forests, and enjoy the peace and serenity of a large lagoon. Some went snorkeling…again. We highjacked the rib and cruised, going from point to point around the half-moon shaped bay only to discover a tremendous flock of pelicans dive-bombing into the water to catch fish. Typically not the most elegant bird, these were mesmerizing.

Puerto Gatos greeted us on the next day…whatever day that was.You do forget after a while. En route, the scenic coastline and bounty of sea life along the way with the perfect background of reddish, rocky bluffs and pristinely white sand beaches. We stopped in Aqua Verde – a small fishing village with homes, one school and a small store. The keen fishermen on board took this opportune moment to catch some grouper and tuna. Tonight’s dinner menu was set.

We then powered on to Los Candalleros – a great area for both fishing and diving around massive rocky fingers that rise about five miles southwest of Puerto Escondido (where we moored that night) and distinguished by sheer vertical facades dropping to depths of almost 200 feet.

When we arrived at Puerto Escondido, we took a taxi to the town of Loreto to enjoy the streets and restaurants of this quaint and historic place. Loreto was the original capital of Baja, California back when the state reached all the way up to the southern border of Oregon. In fact, the very first mission of all the California missions is in Loreto – a town rich in history and architecture. What you likely haven’t heard of is that Loreto is poised to cash in on the next big tourism boom. Fonatur – a large developer - has recently turned its attention to Loreto suggesting it will soon join Mexico's list of tourism heavyweights kin to Los Cabos and Ixtapa. Get there soon.

Although a delightful cruise in every sense – the boat, the people, the crew, the food and the scenery – I can just start to sense that we’ve passed the halfway mark, but I don’t start counting down yet!

We are now heading over to Isla Santa Catalina to explore an awesome giant barrel cactus and for the more fearless seek out the rattleless rattlesnake, indigenous only here (or so the legend goes). En route to San Everista to spend the evening, we stop for one final snorkeling fix at Punta Ballena.

Our last full day on board, we head back to Caleta Lobos – our first anchorage. We climb into the tender and hit the beach for our last supper at the Pichilinque restaurant. One last sleep. One last leisurely swim before breakfast. One last look at the Sea of Cortez – a stunning distinction of calm blue waters against the arid backdrop of the Baja Peninsula.

One last look. Bah humbug!


FAST FACTS

LOCATION
La Paz, the heavenly capital of the state of Baja California Sur, lies in northwest Mexico. It is one of the main cities of the southeastern Baja, California Peninsula region and is located 220 km (136 mi) north of Los Cabos and 1464 km (907 mi) south of Tijuana.

LANGUAGES
Spanish & English

CURRENCY
Pesos

CLIMATE
The average year-round temperature is 24º C (75º F).

GETTING THERE
There are no direct flights to La Paz (except from Vancouver).
Air Canada
Delta
Air Mexico
Mexicana
Alaska Airlines*
*Vancouver only

RESOURCES
www.baja.com

CAPTIONS
Photo 1 - The Baja Peninsula boasts one of the highest concentrations of marine life in the world.
Photo 2 - The tower of the mission in Loreto.
Photo 3 - El Arco (The Arch), a spectacular rock formation at the tip of Baja.
Photo 4 - A large colony of sea lions inhabit this small rocky isle.

Related Articles

Lifestyle

  • Prev
My name is Alexandrine GOVAN, mother of a 5 years old girl and I found your contact on internet. ...
John Booth, who passed away just a few weeks ago was one of the most amazingly gifted and ...
We left Vero Beach on Saturday morning with Alicia, a boat from Sweden, following close behind. The ...
At the end of last month, Canadian sailors gathered on the Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain ...
In 2019, C-TOW celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing 24/7 “Peace of Mind Boating” for ...
West Vancouver Yacht Club reports that following an independent certification process the Georgia ...
It has been hot in the Abacos this winter. Whoever said this area was cool this time of year must ...
Unfortunately this is not a picture from a boat but was taken on the evening of February 27, 2019 ...
On March 1, Tom Ramshaw of Stoney Lake Yacht Club was honoured with the most prestigious National ...
Vero Beach, aka Velcro Beach, lived up to its reputation again. Our original plan was to be there ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
If you’ve spent any time in a boat yard during spring commissioning season, you won’t find it out ...
As a busy marine mechanic, I tend to have the same or similar conversations often, and they’re ...
This time of year, great deals abound. That boat with the ‘for sale’ sign looks quite attractive. ...
For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...
I’ve had two emails over the past few weeks with a count-down to launch (47 days per the last ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...

Valvetech Bridgewater MarinaFor many years now, we have used gasoline in our cars and trucks that contains some amount of ethanol, a form of alcohol, and just as a few drops of water combine almost instantly in your Scotch, moisture from the atmosphere can combine with the ethanol in the gasoline that is in your boat’s fuel tank.

Your motor vehicle has a sealed fuel system to control evaporative losses that are a source of air pollution. Fuel is moved into the engine under pressure and any drips that might escape, drop onto the pavement. The engine is open to the pavement below. In an inboard boat, the hull is below the engine and any drips will collect in the bilge with potentially explosive consequences. 

Read more about gasoline containing ethanol......

 

  

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...
ILCA is seeking new builders to complement its existing network of manufacturers, the International ...
Nelson Gilbert (1854-1921) began building canoes in Brockville in the 1890s, a time when the sport ...
I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...

Grand Banks 60 SkyloungeThe Canadian market has always been a tough nut for yacht designers to figure out. Summer days get really hot; other days are downright cold. There is always the chance things could change in the blink of an eye and let’s be honest, who among us hasn’t stepped off the boat wearing shorts, flip flops and a warm jacket? Canadian yachting has always been a world of contradictions, which is why designing cruising yachts for this market has never been easy. It’s not like Florida or the Med, where weather is dependable throughout the year.

 

 

Read more about the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge............

 

ILCA DinghyAustin, Texas, USA (25 April 2019) – In the wake of last month’s termination of its contract with its European builder, the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) announced today that, from 25 April 2019, all new, class-approved boats will be sold and raced under the “ILCA Dinghy” name. This change will have no impact on existing ILCA-authorized boats and equipment, which will be able to race alongside ILCA Dinghies in all class sanctioned events.


“It’s a big change for a racing class that hasn’t seen anything like this in our almost 50- year history,” said Class President Tracy Usher.

Read More about the ILCA Dinghy............


The DocksBy Katherine Stone

Docks are well-lit and wide to accommodate dock carts.

Steeped in tradition that goes back to one of the oldest towns in Canada west of Quebec City, is Penetanguishene. This bilingual community of 9,000 is located in the middle of Huronia on the southeasterly tip of Georgian Bay in Simcoe Country, Ontario. The name is believed to have been derived from Algonquin (also believed to have come from the Wendat, Abenaki and Ojibwe tribes) meaning “place of the white rolling sands”. 

Read more about the Hindson Marina..........

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
With the introduction of the Ion Power Basic, a safe Lithium Ion battery formulated with Lithium, ...
Finding a car brand that you enjoy while it does what you need can be tough, as they can be ...
Yikes! No boat refrigeration? You’ve Got to be Kidding me!! But then again, true campers don’t use ...
The Walker Bay Venture 14 claims to be the world’s first luxury Explorer Sport Tender. It is ...
Mercury Marine is pleased to announce the launch of the new MerCruiser V8 6.2L 370hp Jet Ready ...
My history with the Cayenne goes back many years, as I was at the launch of the original vehicle ...
Last month, Mercury Marine has announced the launch of the 400hp Verado outboard engine, the ...
Featuring advanced, intuitive 3D controls, Zipwake Dynamic Trim Control Systems deliver a more ...
Gina de Vere approached me at the Canadian Yachting booth at this year’s Vancouver International ...
A revolutionary “assisted docking” system that provides a glimpse into the future of boating ...