Sea kayak baja - Mountain Buzz

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Old 11-03-2019   #1
Jungle Jane's Avatar
Nederland, Co. nearest town., Either grace or kerfuffled
Paddling Since: 1985
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Sea kayak baja

I'm not sure if this is the best place to get info; but I've had a fantasy for decades; of renting a sea kayak down on the tip of baja peninsula, & working my way up the sea of cortez; kayaking & beach camping.
has anyone ever done this?
Where would I find more info, & perhaps others that are interested.

Is it safe?
What is involved ($$ & gerar wise)?
How long would it take?

Please feel free to email me [email protected] We not getting any younger!

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Old 11-03-2019   #2
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Golden, Colorado
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Major logistics!!!! The Baja is "LONG", real long and major cultural issues for gringos vary along the length.

You won't likely be able to rent a boat for your purposes, renting south and returning it north. That is, they need to return where you rent them. Besides, renting a POS is not what you want for a three week minimal paddle. I suggest buying what you need for a kayak.

Which brings to mind the fact that you may not have what you need; experience for your adventure since maybe you don't already have that boat.

For years I did sea of cortez kayak trips in many ways. I did it with only self support kayaks or motor cataraft support, between a few or a couple dozen people. I was always the support person for better or worse.

Picking the right time of year is important. Winds and tidal currents for what you propose can be brutal and uncooperative. N-S may be better.

I admire and understand your life is short perspective and then there is the baja for a major achievement. To gain the necessary experience to do a length of Baja quest perhaps start with probes in your own boat including an La Paz Espirito Santos trip, a Baja de Conception trip, a Muleje trip and a Bahia de Las Angeles trip.

Lets think this begins an extended discussion between us and others. I mentioned much to consider but I do not mean to shutting down your bucket list item. I want to invite invite yours and others feedback Frankly, I've not done what your propose but have done some sections.
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Old 11-04-2019   #3
Berthoud, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Baja info

My wife and I love the Baja, we go to the East Cape every year. We are headed back next week. If you do an extended trip I think October and November are the best months. It is too windy in the winter and spring. Summer is pretty hot. I wouldn't venture south of Cabo Pulmo. I ran across this, which might be of interest:

In April 1996, Ed Darack did a solo Sea of Cortez/Eastern Baja Peninsula 850 mile kayak trip starting at the mouth of the Colorado River, finishing at Cabo Pulmo. This journey is documented wonderfully in Wind . Water . Sun, A Solo Kayak Journey Along Baja California’s Desert Coastline, by Ed Darack.
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Old 11-04-2019   #4
steamboat springs, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Many people have done the trip you describe or similar variants. Simple google searches will pull you up many examples. Check out or for some examples of trips, however dated.

I"ve been traveling Baja for 20 years and meet long distance sea kayakers on almost every trip. It's a thing. Do some research, build some skills and go for it. Personally, I'd go down there and do some smaller trips out to the islands first, to familiarize myself with the situation and my gear, but that's certainly not the only way to do these things. Sometimes ignorance can be bliss.
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Old 11-06-2019   #5
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Golden, Colorado
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Jungle Jane,

You have many people with the same item on their bucket list. Do not be deterred and continue to voice an interest. Perhaps propose a segment rather than the full monty and round up a crew that might first be short trip partners that in the future will build to longer adventures.

Also, MB tends to be a WW website. Don't shy away from posting and expressing an interest on web sites such as Rocky Mtn Kayakers.

En-devour to persevere!!!!
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Old 11-06-2019   #6
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Golden, Colorado
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Jungle Jane,

Wow, I'm stoked. I visited the web sites of Mr Mckintosh et al and realized again how much I love the Sea of Cortez. Magic!

OK, with that said,,, much of the momentum to do what you propose simply requires several vehicles heading in the same direction with a common understanding; i.e. we are retired and lets have fun.

Peg and I have three spare Prijon Yukon Expeditions for bucket list partners to use. Mine can be had for say $10 per day. Peg's is newer, perhaps $20 per day. We have our own sea kayaks for use, Point 65 Whisky Rockers. Frankly, I don't know which boats I'd prefer. I've used the Yukon's many times in the Sea of Cortez and loved them.

This will never happen until people start to discuss the possibilities.

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Old 11-06-2019   #7
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Huson, Montana
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My not yet to be wife at the time and I bought a couple of Perception sea kayaks on pro deal in the late 90s with the same intention. Then we had a kid and another and never got it done.
I was thinking to drive down to maybe San Felpe with boats and hire a shuttle to La Paz or Cabo and paddling back up. I really like Loretto.
Baja was only a short trip from Durango so I've been down there a bunch. It's sweet. I only speak spanish in nouns and I had a blast every time.
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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Old 11-07-2019   #8
Join Date: Mar 2006
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start with smaller trips to start for sure.

we rented a 2 person necky tofino ocean-going sea kayak in san diego. then drove down baja about 1/3 the way and spent five days paddling between islands off the town of bahia de los angeles. (same boat ed gillet paddled from calif to maui in 64 days.)

in tent one night heard incredible deep breath every so often. went outside to try and see the whale that sounded like it was just a few feet off shore. moonless pitch black night so couldn't see a thing.
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Old 11-08-2019   #9
Join Date: Nov 2019
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I've done a couple extended trips, just me and my wife in our tandem Feathercraft. We paddled from Mulege to La Paz, and also Bahia de los Angeles to La Paz, and circumnavigated many of the islands. Those were probably the best trips of my life.

Don't try to rent a kayak and equipment down there, just buy everything in the US and resell it after your trip if necessary. You need lots of reliable water storage; we used MSR Dromedary bags and carried almost 20 gallons when full. You want to go from north to south because of the prevailing winds. I drove down, dropped my gear at the put in and then paid someone to watch my rig. You can use the bus to shuttle; one time I left my car at the beginning of the trip, and once at a midpoint so I could resupply easily.

You'll want to find this book, which looks like it is out of print now. It's the only true guidebook I know of:

Bring fishing and snorkeling gear, and a wetsuit. I did well with a fishing spear which was fun. My trips were in March/April/May, but I hear November is really good also. Summer is way too hot, and winter too windy. You'll see whales, whale sharks, jumping rays, dolphins, amazing bird life... Great camping.

I think it's mostly safe, just know what you're doing and watch the wind- it can come up quick. We brought a sail which was really nice in the right conditions. You are really out there though, and sketchy people are always a possibility. One night we were asleep on a remote beach and our tent was spotlit by some fisherman in a panga, who proceeded to land right next to us. I got up and talked to them and they were nice guys who just slept for a few hours and were gone at 4am the next morning, but having four strangers show up like that and sleep next to the wife and me out there was... disconcerting.

If I could be out there again right now I would!
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Old 11-09-2019   #10
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Golden, Colorado
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A very interesting aspect of this thread concerns boat type for a multi-week baja adventure.

Two people I spent time with in Baja, Dave Eckart who we know(RIP) and Tom Merrill(Cardo left and Harvey Carter right) who with Harvey Carter did many first ascent of desert towers. They preferred sit on tops.

They had many reasons to prefer sit on tops on the east coast of Baja which should be discussed. I still preferred sit in sea kayaks with rudders.

This should be discussed and I'll contribute more later.
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