This week we continue with Tony Fleming’s “world’s longest shakedown cruise” and visit the Sea of Cortez. Also called the Gulf of California, this body of water is about 800 miles long and is 75 to about 150 miles wide. It teams with several species of whale and dolphin, sea lions, and all manner of bird life. Game fishing is still good in the summer time and a large charter fleet is based at Cabo San Lucas at the very tip of Baja California. Everyone should see the Sea of Cortez at least once in their life.
|The water at the southern end of the Sea of Cortez has a deep green color unlike what you find in the Caribbean. Fleming 65 Venture at rest.|
On March 25th, 2008 Venture slipped her lines and headed north from the excellent Costa Baja Marina in La Paz, Mexico. On board were Captain Chris Conklin, myself and a delightful couple we had come to know during our earlier cruising in the waters of British Columbia. The Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California, is famous for its wealth of wildlife and, even though many who have cruised the area for many years, feel it is not so prolific as it once was, the natural world did not disappoint, and for us at least, lived up to its reputation.
|Fleming’s cruise took Venture 150 miles north to Loreto at the north edge of this map. Cabo San Lucas can be seen southwest of the “Mex Route #1” sign.|
|Humpback whales close by the boat were a highlight of the cruise.|
|Thar she blows! She blows! It is possible to see as many as one hundred whales swimming together and blowing as they move slowly along.|
Places to Go
We spent a couple of nights anchored in the perfect protection of Puerto Escondido (Hidden Harbor) from which we took a taxi to the charming town of Loreto with its old mission. Here we stumbled across the most perfect gem of a hotel and, at a nearby restaurant, enjoyed the most delicious coffee. Like La Paz, Loreto had direct flights to and from LA so, remote as it is, you can be on your boat from a major metropolis in less than two hours.
We went ashore on Isla Carmen and wandered through the crumbling remains of what had once been a thriving salt producing operation and I was struck once again by how swiftly nature works to break down the detritus of mankind's failed operations which he so casually abandons when deemed no longer useful.
|Sea lions are playful and when not sunbathing like to dart around near the boat.|
|Dolphins loved to playing just forward of the bow as the boat moved along in the clear waters.|
Each participant, even on the same trip, has the opportunity to weave their own unique tapestry of lasting memories. This, surely, is the true benefit of having a yacht capable of taking you in safety and comfort to wherever you may wish to visit.
|When going to the Sea of Cortez prepare yourself for barren landscape and fantastic rock formations. It is a geologist’s paradise.|
Venture has not only made this possible for myself and others but has also provided
the opportunity for us to gain priceless feedback in the areas of technical operation
and convenience of amenities in the boats we build.
[In the next issue of Offshore Motoryacht, Venture travels to Costa Rica.]
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