Back to Baja

Back to Baja

With the options of going south this year having been stymied by the pandemic, and the hurricane season fast approaching, the best option was to head back north to the Sea of Cortez for a second summer (off) season.

Paradise Village Marina to La Cruz Anchorage

DATE:23 May, 2021
DEPARTURE:Paradise Village Marina, Nuevo Vallarta
ARRIVAL:La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Anchorage
DESTINATION LAT/LONG:20°44.957N 105°22.08W
DISTANCE:6.51 nm

It was strange to leave ‘Paradise’ after a few months there, and stranger to feel like we were ‘back-tracking’ over a course we had been before. Nevertheless, it felt great to be on the move again. It was a short sail over to La Cruz, and we got well settled before the usual afternoon winds. With no intention of going ashore, we took a convenient spot towards the rear of the group of anchored boats. The group however, was much diminished from the large mass of boats that were here when we were last in La Cruz.

We enjoyed the evening, very pleased to be back in the breeze , and rocking at anchor.

La Cruz Anchorage to Punta de Mita Anchorage

DATE:24 May, 2021
DEPARTURE:La Cruz Anchorage
ARRIVAL:Punta de Mita Anchorage
DESTINATION LAT/LONG:20°46.097N 105°31.05W
DISTANCE:21.6 nm

We sailed off the anchor, using the motor just to avoid the few boats anchored close by, and then set about beating west towards Punta de Mita. Enjoying the sailing and the pleasant breeze, we managed travel over 21 miles, covering the 8 miles or so (direct route).

Punta de Mita to Chacala

DATE:25 May, 2021
DEPARTURE:Punta de Mita Anchorage
DESTINATION LAT/LONG:21°09.709N 105°13.576W
DISTANCE:36.6 nm
ENGINE HOURS:503.11 hrs

A motoring day up to Chacala. We were pleased to arrive back in this lovely town, but devastated to hear that the bakery was temporarily closed while moving to a new location. No pizza for us, but we consoled ourselves with cocktails at Chac Mool.

The swell here was greater than when we were here before. we spent three nights here, with our stern anchor set to keep the bow into the swell, out from the significant surf on the beach. The boat was pulling back and forth on the bow and stern anchors as the swell rose and fell, and we suspect this caused the stern anchor to set very deep into the sand bottom, giving us a really changing time trying to retrieve it …. and all just a little too close to the breaking surf! The result … much pulling, head scratching, and ultimately … a bent stern anchor.

Chacala to Enseñada de Matanchén

DATE:28 May, 2021
ARRIVAL:Enseñada de Matanchén
DESTINATION LAT/LONG:21°31.122N 105°14.557W
DISTANCE:24.5 nm

it was a reasonable sail to Matanchén, and a strategic anchoring far from the shore to avoid the jejenes that bit both Colin and LeeAnne on our previous visit here. A brief one-night stop before our longer passage back to Baja.

Matanchén, Nayarit to La Ventana, Baja California Sur

DATE:29 / 30 / 31 May 2021
DEPARTURE:Enseñada de Matanchén, Nayarit
ARRIVAL:La Ventana, Baja California Sur
DESTINATION LAT/LONG:24°02.749N 109°53.739W
DISTANCE:319.3 nm (57 hours, 35 hrs sail, 22 hours motor/motorsail)

The first day started as expected, with little wind and motoring to make progress, but as the wind filled in during the afternoon, we motor-sailed, and then finally had the engine off.

The following day we put up the spinnaker with good wind and were making great progress, but by mid-afternoon we were six miles ahead of Juliet, and, wanting to keep fairly close to them through the second night, we hung back to wait. By the time they caught up, the wind had got up nicely, and it continued to gain strength throughout the night. We had a reef in the main, and, with the stronger wind through the night we swapped to jib for the staysail. The sea got a bit more lumpy and it was quite the sporty night of sailing.

Always in these moments, with winds above 20 knots and a confused sea pushing the boat around, Boundless seems to just lean into the challenge, and it is a great confidence-boost to feel how comfortable the boat is under the circumstances.

The following day was good sailing, and as we approached the Baja Peninsula we were welcomed with dolphins in the bow-wave, which just always seems to make everything seem perfect again.

Our originally planned destination was Los Muertos, but after the strong southerlies of the last 24 hours we were beginning to question whether it would be comfortable … a quick exploratory trip in proved our suspicions to be correct; the two boats in there looked to be enduring fairly miserable conditions, and this was made even more clear as we turned to leave, pointing into the wind and the swell, and the boat slowed to 4 knots as we fought our way out of the bay. The trip around to the calm of La Ventana on the north side involved a further hour of motoring, but we finally found ourselves settled in the peaceful roadstead anchorage off the long sandy beach.

La Ventana to Bahía Balandra

DATE:1 June, 2021
ARRIVAL:Bahía Balandra
DESTINATION LAT/LONG:24°19.190N 110°19.995W
DISTANCE:35.7 nm

Leaving La Ventana we headed up the Caravallo Channel in flat calm conditions, quite the contrast to our other two experiences here. As we headed north we saw a mega-pod of dolphins working their way south in the channel, but a few turned around to join us for the ride for a while.

While we had not particularly looked forward to ‘going backwards’, being back in the crystal blue water of the Sea of Cortez was absolutely wonderful, and we felt ourselves very pleased to be back here, and excited to return to life in, and not just on the water, for swimming, spear fishing and snorkeling.

Wanting one more stop before getting into La Paz a radio chat with Juliet determined that we should head for Balandra Bay, to spend a day reacquainting ourselves with the beautiful Baja.

The following morning, needing a walk on land, after 5 days os so on the boat, we went with LeeAnne (and Bubba) to the northern part of Balandra and took a walk along the cliff-top, before heading off to La Paz.

Bahía Balandra to Marina Costa Baja, La Paz

DATE:2 June, 2021
DEPARTURE:Bahía Balandra
ARRIVAL:Marina CostaBaja, La Paz
DESTINATION LAT/LONG:24°13.530N 110°17.940W
DISTANCE:8.26 nm

With Marina Palmira having only one slip available, we were happy to let Juliet take that and for us to go into familiar Marina CostaBaja.

We spent nearly a week here, getting Sergio to fix the stern anchor and modify the swim ladder. We also set about getting new anchor chain, buying shade material, and of course, stocking up with cans of smoked marlin from Arámburo market.

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