Sailing Season 2016 plans firming up..
Our Home Port
First, a view of Gato Loco’s home port of Puerto Penasco. Penasco sets 60 miles south of the border in the northeast corner of the Sea of Cortez and is about 4 hours from Phoenix. Google Earth gives a good view of our Puerto Penasco port area. The natural Penasco harbor is the home to 4 small marinas, Cabrales large boat maintenance yard and a huge fleet of shrimp and fishing boats. The Gato Loco’s co-owners have homes in Cholla Bay on the peninsula on the left. The beach between Penasco and Cholla Bay has many beach condo resorts and you can see the new cruise port pier under construction on the Cholla end of the beach. The area is a very nice day sailing area teaming with sea life and the vast Sea of Cortez south. We love this area and have had homes here for the past 30 years. Gato Loco, our Seawind 1000, has been with us since 2002 and we love she gives us the means to fully enjoy the Sea.
Cruising 2016 Plans
It seems to get harder each year to push life’s activities aside and take the time to enjoy the serenity, adventures and challenges of sailing in the Sea of Cortez.with our sailing friends. Last year we only managed to cruise for 2 weeks and we didn’t get a chance to catch up with sailboat friends that meet up during Loreto Fest the first weekend in May. This year things are looking up and we will join boats for the 8th annual Baja Rally.
Life’s commitments have caused us to collapse together our planned leg 1 and 2 with Bill and I along with Jeffrey and Lynnie making the 8-10 day passage to Puerto Escondido near Loreto Baja. Due to everybody’s schedule Gato Loco will set moored in Escondido during Loreto Fest week (leg 3). Frankie and I along with Dave, Ellen, Terry and Deb will arrive May 8th for Rally week (leg 4). I will join co-owner Rick and friend as he sails for a week back to Santa Rosalia. Finally, Lisa, Carol and Rob will join me to sail back to Penasco arriving during Memorial weekend.
Our annual cruise has a huge benefit to Gato Loco as we always get her in tip top shape for the cruise. After last year’s anchor holding problem in high winds in the Bay of LA area, we’ve put a new Rocna Vulcan anchor in service. Based on reviews this little gem should improve considerably our holding power and make our windy night more restful. I’ll pass along our experiences in the wide variety of condition we see during the cruise. It all starts at April 20th weather permitting. We’ve had nothing but perfect weather for the past month but El Nino seems to have returned bring unsettled weather.
Rally participants ebb and flow but at the moment we hope to see.
Ralph & Helen on Moon Drifter
Dean & Carol on Stray Cat
Mark & Isabel on JollyDog
Lowell, Frankie, Dave, Ellen, Terry & Deb (party time) on Gato Loco
Kurt on “Some Boat”
Let me know of any other boats joining us..
Rally T-shirt order (long sleeve unless noted)
Moon Drifter & friends 2 S, M, L
Stray Cat 2 L
JollyDog M, L
Gato Loco 2S, M, 3XL, XXL
Extra (short) L, XL
2016 Cruise summary at the moment……
Leg 1&2 April 20th –May 1st.. Penasco to Loreto .. Bill, Lowell, Jeffrey and Lynnie
Leg 3 May 1st .. 8th ..Gato Loco rests in Puerto Escondido
Leg 4 May 9th .. 15th Sailing Rally .. Lowell, Frankie, Dave, Ellen, Terry and Deb
Leg 5 May 15th .. 22nd to Santa Rosilia .. Rick, Crew & Lowell,
Leg 6 May 22nd .. 29th home to Penasco .. Lowell, Lisa, Carol and Rob
An interesting prospective of the Sea of Cortez
Looking south on the Sea of Cortez you can see the vast anchorages we use sailing south. Our first day south is always the long one.
Our journey to Puerto Escondido is not fixed and depends on winds and weather. If the first two days require lots of motoring we’ll need to head into Bay of LA or Kino Bay for fuel otherwise we will continue south. Gato Loco burns about 1 gallon/hour running both Yamaha 9.9 motors pushing us “cruise loaded” at 6 kts. We carry 26 gallons in tanks and another 20 in cans giving us a range of 250+ nautical miles. Fuel south options are Gonzaga(100nm), Bay of LA(165nm), Kino Bay(190nm), San Carlos(256nm), Santa Rosalia(250nm), Mulege(278nm) and Puerto Escondido(350nm). These numbers are “crow flies” distances and need margins for tacking, currents that can be significant and head winds. Only Santa Rosalia, San Carlos and Puerto Escondido have fuel docks. We have to fetch fuel at all other stops. We usually benefit from prevailing weather which typically is more north in the April time frame heading south and switches to the southeast in late May when we head north. Of course after all we are a sailboat and can live with just wind and could head south non-stop to Loreto but the anchorages and villages are definitely part of the journey. Here’s hoping for favorable winds…
Until the next update