Published on 07 june 2009 at 0h00
Baja California was until now famous for its car and motorcycle races in the desert, and for the marine sanctuary that the Cortes Sea represents. Commandant Cousteau even called it the ‘world’s aquarium’… Now it is possible to charter a catamaran there and, depending on the period, cruise amidst the whales and their young…and exceptional flora and fauna. Cruising in catamaran which is definitely unique in the world!
If you like excessiveness, Hispanic culture and above all the unique atmosphere that only Latin America can provide, welcome to Mexico! A country which is both luxuriant and desert-like, offering sumptuous beaches, dazzling colonial towns, and impressive Aztec ruins – a cosmopolitan and above all fascinating country.
But Baja California offers much more… It is actually a peninsula which is full of prehistoric sites – several hundred have been listed here. Caves decorated with paintings, with bones from different periods, certain of which go back nearly 9,000 years show that this area has (almost) always been inhabited by man.
The Cortes Sea separates the Baja California peninsula from mainland Mexico. This destination for your catamaran cruising is absolutely remarkable, as the sea is home to 890 kinds of fish (77 of which are endemic – angel fish, rainbow fish, scorpion fish, moray eels, and speckled rays share these waters, not forgetting the manta rays and giant squids), 33 species of cetaceans, including the large dolphin. It is also home to the Gulf of California porpoise, the only marine mammal endemic
to Mexico, and is a refuge for the blue whale, the biggest animal on the planet, and the humpback whale, which migrates from Alaska to reproduce in these waters…
A migration which is explained by the incredible richness of this sea, where the whales and their young can build up their strength before setting out on the long return journey!
Finally, for those who are looking for deserted anchorages for your catamaran, note that there are 922 islands in the Gulf of California. In short, a real ecological paradise that only a few catamarans are lucky enough to be able to disturb.
To discover the tropical fish, whales, dolphins and seals, here is the typical itinerary Moorings is offering its customers for catamaran charter:
Day 1: La Paz - Caleta Lobos (8 miles)
Day 2: Caleta Lobos - Caleta Partida (9 miles)
Day 3: Caleta Partida - San Evaristo (24 miles)
Day 4: San Evaristo – Puerto Los Gatos (25 miles)
Day 5: Puerto Los Gatos - Isla San Francisco (32 miles)
Day 6: Isla San Francisco - Isla Espiritu Santo (25 miles)
Day 7: Isla Espiritu Santo - Puerto Ballandra (10 miles)
Day 8: Puerto Ballandra – La Paz (8 miles)
Above all be careful of Montezuma’s revenge! It is best to only drink bottled water! But the main danger in this area comes from the drug traffickers… To be very carefully avoided!
The climate is arid or semi-arid in this region, with its desert tendency… The summers are hot and moderated by the breeze, but the winters are cold… Baja California is narrow in this area, and the influence of the Pacific can be felt. Summer daytime temperature: 37°C on average; from 20 to 26° for the rest of the year.
Sailing conditions in catamaran:
Sailing conditions are relatively simple. In winter, the prevailing wind is from the north-west and blows at between 10 and 15 knots. In both winter and summer, there are many calm days. Tides and currents are rather weak.
Mexico’s currency is the peso, but the American dollar is generally accepted everywhere. (1 euro = 14.92 pesos).
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