We have been reading about the Sea of Cortez forever. I read John Steinbeck’s book about it when I was a teenager. Growing up in California, I always thought I would get there somehow but now 35 years later and on my own boat (brought from Florida I might add) we finally made it. It did not disappoint. It has all the beauty and majesty you would have imagined but what really got us the most was the landscape. It looked like an Arizona desert in the middle of nowhere with red rocks and buttes everywhere. Now take that vision and fill it with saltwater and you have the Sea of Cortez. Not a wrangler in sight.
Our legs are sore
Each anchorage is so beautiful that the first hour or two you just sit and look at it. Normally this is accompanied by a glass of Rose’ but we were out! The water was 68 degrees so we snorkeled with wetsuits. Not the best time so we dinghied to shore and hiked. The hiking was unlike any hiking we had done in the previous 15 countries we had visited. This place has no trails and all loose boulders to step on. I mean every square inch of most of the islands. So you don’t just “walk” you crawl. It was intense and totally different. In the cruising guide they mention hiking at each location and they call it a “scramble up the hill” We didn’t know what scramble meant but after seven days and seven hikes we had it down. At one point we climbed 1.5 miles up about 800 feet and it took 2 hours. My knee started to hurt. I suddenly realized there would be no way to carry someone out if they were injured. I suggested we turn around because that knee has gone out on me before and it was getting dark and I wasn’t interested in an airlift rescue. Wait…..do they have helicopters around here? Phew….we made it back to the boat. Knee okay.
If you have been cruising or on a charter you know that one of the best parts is anchoring your boat and heading to shore for a lunch or dinner at a thatched roof beach bar. Lets face it. It’s not all about the sailing….hell half the time we are actually motoring (a sailor’s dirty little secret which is why we have jugs of diesel lashed to the rail) but anchoring in paradise and joining your fellow sailors for a beer or rum on the beach if half the fun. Not in the sea of Cortez. We were warned that it was remote and that has a fun all its own but remote had a whole new meaning. We went days anchored alone without a boat in sight and we went a week without seeing so much as a beer cooler with a guy selling drinks. After four days we made it to a town called San Evaristo. Not a town really but a few shacks on the beach. One was reported to be a beach bar. We finally found it but it was covered with tarps due to the wind. Skunked again. On the last day we were back on the mainland and hiked to a paved road and followed it for miles to a state park beach and there it was, A thatched roof Palapa with tacos and beer. Ahhhhh the cruising life!
Episode 48 – I hope you enjoy this video as much as we enjoyed living it. Cruising is great and available to most everyone on almost any budget. If you don’t believe me read captain Fatty Goodlander’s book of buying outfitting and sailing away. …For less than $10,000.