This was our first season as retired folks ‘living the dream.’ The Mexico sailing season is bound by the end and start of hurricane seasons. Sailing when there are no hurricanes is a pretty reasonable guideline. Below are the segments we sailed.
San Francisco to San Diego
We left San Francisco July 4, 2021 – our Independence Day – and headed south. Our plan was to go south until the butter melts. It did, and we kept going! Below are the tracks we took on various legs during our first sailing season.
Our first leg – San Francisco to San Diego. We’d been on this route before. It was much more exciting knowing that we would not be heading back north.
Stops included Half Moon Bay and Monterrey where we picked up two crew to help us with the next long leg to Santa Barbara. After dropping off our crew in Santa Barbara we explored many more places in the Los Angeles and San Diego area.
Our home for the next few months would be Sun Harbor Marina in San Diego. This was an awesome place to have as our base for the short while that we had to wait for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season to end.
Going to Mexico!
And we were off to Mexico! Hurricane season wasnt quite officially over but it was the right time to get underway. This was our first sailing adventure into a foreign country.
We had friends from Richmond as our buddy boat and were able to convince a friend to crew with us on our first international leg. Thank you to both!
Ensenada was our port of entry. Amazingly great service from our agent to get us checked in. Bienvenidos a Mexico!
We continued our run south. We were about a week or so ahead of the 150+ boat Baja Haha fleet. We stopped briefly in Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria before our first marina landing in San Jose del Cabo.
Our final leg was to La Paz and into the Sea of Cortez. We love La Paz!
From Baja to the Mainland
After our brief visit to La Paz, Islas Espirito Santo and Partida, we crossed the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlán. The El Cid Hotel and Marina was a welcome respite after our overnight sail – showers, restaurants, pools, happy hours – all that tired sailors could ever want.
From Mazatlán our next home was Paradise Village marina in Nuevo Vallarta. Simply paradise! Showers, pools, restaurants, happy hours and more!
Our first excursions on the mainland were north of Banderas Bay. We made stops in Chacala and Matanchén / San Blas. We found a dozen or so palapa restaurants on white sandy beaches. You could swim to shore for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
We returned to Banderas Bay for a few days staying in the marina at La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (aka ‘La Cruz’) before venturing off to the marina in Puerto Vallarta to enjoy this city’s offerings.
Our next excursion was south out of Puerto Vallarta to the Costalegre. In each of these destinations we kept running into so many friendly sailors. Costalegre has some legendary gunkholes including Tenecatita where we anchored with upwards of 40 other cruising boats.
After concluding our exploration of Costalegre, we returned to Nuevo Vallarta and ended up with some unexpected repairs that slowed us down a few weeks. That’s just part of the sailing life and owning a boat.
Return to the Sea of Cortez
We returned to the Sea of Cortez to get a bit more time in the islands on the Baja side of the Sea. We wanted to get a last look at as many spectacular anchorages as possible before returning to Puerto Vallarta at the end of the season.
After about three weeks ‘camping’ in the Sea, we liked it so much we decided to stay. Just where to stay we did not really know. Our plans seem to change every Tuesday – flexibility is also a part of the sailing life.
Our Summer Home
We were very lucky to have been able to get a slip in La Paz for the summer. Since we did not have to go back to Puerto Vallarta, we took one last week long sail to the islands and bays close to La Paz.
Once back in La Paz we began the process of prepping the boat for hurricane season. We left our boat to enjoy the beautiful weather of southern Baja while we visited friends and relatives up in the States.