Boat Preparation

Preparation for such a long trip usually involves months or even years Obviously the first requirement is a boat. A sail boat needs to have a sound seaworthy hull. I consider a 35-footer the minimum size basically because of stowage space for the necessary equipment. It should have good ability to sail to windward. Many people lose sight of the fact that once they have made that beautiful warm downhill ride to paradise they must face the music and return by slogging to weather. Motor sailers...

Key West To Cozumel

The crossing from Key West to Cozumel can be one of the ruggedest portions of the entire route both navigationally and wcathcr-wisc. The 380 mile rhumb line passes very close to the Cuban coast. Many insurance companies won't insure vessels within 20 miles of Cuba. Because U.S. relations with Cuba are strained and variable, I take a dog leg course passing twenty-five miles off Cuba at the nearest approach to avoid any probability of seizure. Southbound this is a nuisance because it puts you...

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the shining light in the political gloom of Central America with the region's highest per capita income ( 1810) and a history of democratic institutions. Discovered by Columbus in 1502 it was found to have no gold and silver or exploitable labor force and therefore remained isolated. There was no way for individuals to amass great fortunes and thereby dominate. The population had to work the land themselves and with a lack of absentee landlords an egalitarian atmosphere was...

Manzanillo

The 156 miles from Puerto Vallarta to Manzanillo is the Mexican Gold Coast for cruising sailors. Every few hours a beautiful bay emerges in which to anchor and explore Ipala, Chamela, Tenacatita, Navidad These are fair anchorages except in the summer season of south winds. Manzanillo was named for the numerous apple trees (manzanilla) that grow in the area. Discovered by Hernan Cortes in the early 1500's, it played an important part in early exploration expeditions. Lopez de Legaspi set sail in...

Weather On The Pacific Coast Of Mexico

Compared to many regions of the world, the weather on the Pacific Coast of Mexico is generally benign. However, ignorance of its significant features might result in an encounter with a hurricane, SE gale, or chubasco for those cruising these waters. Not a great deal has been written about weather on its 2000 mile coastline. The following chapter is based on research and some two dozen boat trips in the region in all seasons. We will examine weather in four areas of the coast (excluding the...

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas, located at the very tip of the Baja California Peninsula, is no longer the sleepy little village that it once was. The opening of the trans-peninsular highway, the dredging of an all-weather protected harbor for the ferry to Puerto Vallarta, and the opening of a jet airport have changed that. Tourists are flooding in, primarily from California, by air, land, and sea. The original harbor at Cabo San Lucas is protected from prevailing northwest weather, but exposed to the south....

San Diego California

San Diego is a major yachting center located in the southwest United States almost on the Mexican border. It is a popular jumping off' port for points both north and south as well as a well stocked lick your wounds haven. The large modern city and major naval base boasts of one of the finest deep water natural harbors in the world. The large bay was discovered in 1542 by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. a Portuguese captain sailing under the Spanish flag. Cabrillo's monument, built by the U.S., is...

Turtle

Turtle Bay is a well protected harbor located on the west coast of Baja California, 330 miles south of San Diego. On the charts it is called Bahia Tortuga or Puerto San Bartoleo. It is surrounded by a very desolate desert. The town's sole reason for existence is the abalone fishery. The pier is on the north side of the bay in front of the abalone canning plant. It is a tall rickety affair, where you wouldn't want to dock your boat. The anchoring procedure for fueling is to head into the wind,...

Key West

Key West is the southernmost city in the United States and is located on an island bathed by the warm water of the Gulf Stream. This tropical paradise is the jumping off arrival point for cruisers using the Western Caribbean. It has a number of yacht facilities, though not to the extent of the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area to which it is connected by both highway and air. The approaches to Key West are fairly easy. Coming from Cozumel the RDF beacon on Loggerhead Key (286 kHz) and the aero beacon...

Isla Todo Santos

Isla Todo Santos consists of two islands just 8 miles from Ensenada. The northern island is a low mesa with two lighthouses (one in ruins) and a permanent fish camp. The south island is the one of most interest for cruisers and is without year-round habitation. It is higher (312') and offers a perfect gem of a cove to anchor in the crater of an extinct volcano in which the seaward wall has washed out. It is protected from three sides and open only to the east with room for approximately ten...

Moskito Channel

State Department advised all U.S. vessels to stay clear of Nicaragua's Caribbean coast. There had been incidents of detention and seizure of both commercial vessels and yachts. The Nicaraguan government has insurgent problems with the Moskito Indians and Costenos. This means passing well outside the reef and not using the Moskito Channel. Check the political situation at the time you are traveling. This channel is described for future reference in case the situation...

By Captain John Rains

WESTERN MARINE ENTERPRISES BOX Q, VENTURA, CALIFORNIA 93002 All rights reserved. Except for use in a review, no part of this book maybe reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronicor mechanical, including photocopying, recording, orby an information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Rains, John. Cruising ports Bibliography p. 1. Yachts and yachting Carribean Area Guide-books. 2....

Navigating The Baja Coast

Having made numerous trips between Cabo San Lucas and San Diego, I have learned much about navigating this desolate coast with its few navigational aids. In all my trips, made in both power and sailing vessels, I have enjoyed most the southbound sailing route. From the South Coronado Island light I head due magnetic south until I am about 100 miles offshore. It is normally a beam reach and at times a little uncomfortable because wind and seas continue to build as the vessel breaks out of the...