Cruising Adventures on S/V Warren Peace

09 February 2013 | LaPaz, Mexico
26 November 2010 | San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
13 January 2010 | Isla Partida
22 December 2009 | Isla San Francisco
15 December 2009 | San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
03 April 2009 | LaPaz, Mexico
19 March 2009 | Isla Isabela
05 March 2009 | Chamela to LaCruz
04 March 2009 | Chamela
28 February 2009 | Manzanillo
28 February 2009 | Colima, Comala, Manzanillo
15 February 2009 | Barra de Navidad
14 February 2009 | Barra de Navidad
03 February 2009 | Puerto de la Navidad
25 January 2009 | LaCruz
23 January 2009 | Chacala
18 January 2009 | Mazatlan
15 January 2009 | Sea of Cortez
09 January 2009 | LaPaz, Mexico

Back in the Saddle...or is that...Back with a Paddle?

03 February 2013 | LaPaz, Mexico
John Warren
Well...I haven't written a cruising blog for quite some time...but there's a reason for that...we haven't been cruising for a while. Seems like life just gives you these little twists and turns that are just so unexpected at times...and that takes you away from what you may want to do and send you in another direction until you take that next tack or jibe. So...after a year away from Warren Peace...we're back! feels so nice.

Mid November Sharon and I left Grants Pass and made our way down to San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico where Warren Peace had been sitting anxiously awaiting our return. She was very dusty and dirty sitting in Mexico patiently waiting for us on her boat cradle. We had lots of boat projects to do before we could put her in the water again and make her sea ready. The biggest project was to replace a leaking fuel tank which took us almost a month. Nothing in Mexico goes as's just Mexico, but that's OK because we love Mexico and the people here. The Mexican people are honest, hard working and genuinely nice people...not necessarily what you hear on the nightly news due to the drug problems....Oh...BTW...heard of any drug problems in the USA lately?

We didn't miss the holidays at all...we just had them here with our cruising buddies. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years were spent in San Carlos in the boat yard working almost everyday, but all our boating friends were doing the exact same it seemed so much easier to deal with. Our holidays were filled with laughter and friendship with boating friends and San Carlos friends that we've known for years. We stayed at our friend's house (Dee and Karen Searson) while working on the boat and had access to a telephone and internet every day so we could call back to the USA if we wanted.

Finally, we departed San Carlos (Latitude 27 degrees 56.917 North/Longitude 111 degrees 03.467 West) on Wednesday, January 16th at 10A and crossed the Sea of Cortez after two other attempts had failed due to bad weather and bad seas. I had promised Sharon a safe and easy passage on our first crossing after almost two years...and was a safe and easy passage...what more do I need to say about that? I think you guys understand? Don't piss off the wife...there's four more months of cruising to go...and it's supposed to be fun...right? Our crossing that night was long and cold, but with good seas. To top that off...we weren't used to staying up all night, but all is well that ends well and we arrived on the Baja side of the Sea of Cortez and dropped anchor at exactly 3AM on the south side of Isla Coronado...very close to Loreto. When we finally were anchored that morning I just sat in the cockpit of the boat in the calm of the night with seas so flat and watched in the distance...the lights of beautiful as they glistened off the flat sea. Anchored at Latitude 26 degrees 06.264 north/Longitude 111 degrees 16.562 west.

We slept almost four hours that morning and got up with the sunrise. We put the coffee on and sat in the cockpit at that anchorage talking about the previous night...we both hate night passages, but sometimes it has to be done. Later that morning...after a lot of coffee...we motored to Puerto Escondido where we stayed the day/night. We paid for a mooring ball and hot showers, but when Sharon took a was cold. Oh well...the cold water in Mexico is probably warmer than the cold water in Grants Pass. Life is good! We were on a mooring ball at Latitude 25 48.928 north/Longitude 111 18.671 west. Puerto Escondido is just south of Loreto. It is surrounded by incredibly high and rugged mountains that are spectacularly beautiful. It seems like the entire coast line of the Baja is shear, very high and rugged mountains coming straight out of the sea. There must have been lots of rain earlier this year because everything is green. The brush, the cactus...all vegetation seems to be very green. These mountains must have many different kinds of minerals in them because looking down the shear cliffs are many different colors in the different layers. The vegetation is different shades of green and the different layers of rocks are black, grey, brown, sand, copper green. Considering that this part of Mexico is so mountainous and has its own beauty with so many colors.

Friday morning we left the mooring ball at Puerto Escondido and motor sailed south to Punta San Marte...just south of Aqua Verde...about 24 miles south of Escondido. We both decided that after all these years of sailing the Sea of Cortez we should try a new anchorage. We looked on our charts and Sharon decided that the anchorage she wanted to visit was surrounded by reefs....but, very protected from the northerly winds. We've heard good things about this anchorage, but reefs...that can be dangerous! Over the years we've seen abandoned boats that have crashed into these reefs...and this is where she wants to go for the night. Reread paragraph four....keep the wife happy! So...I plotted a very safe course around the reefs and that's where we went for the night. Once again...we're surrounded by spectacular mountains. Latitude 25 degrees 32.242 north/Longitude 111 degrees 01.021 west.

On Saturday morning we decided to really make some ground heading south and get to warmer waters and warmer climates. We spent all day motoring with no wind directly towards LaPaz and after 8+ hours of motoring we dropped the anchor at Isla San Francisco. Being in open sea all day we saw several huge whales, many hundreds of dauphins, rays that were approximately 2-3 ft in width doing flips in the air. One of them almost landed on our deck. The water in the sea is still greenish/blue...probably won't turn really blue till later this year when the sea warms up considerably. Again...all the way down to Isla San Francisco are spectacular mountains just climbing out of the sea. It's very hard to describe unless you see it for yourself...I'd recommend a vacation in the Sea of Cortez to view these wonderful sites. The sea is known for its flourishing fish population. The Mexican government is putting special effort to protect the Sea of Cortez and take care of the vegetation of the islands, the animals and sea life as best they can. Marine biologist call the Sea of Cortez one of the best/healthiest bodies of water on is flourishing in sea life! Saturday was also a fun day because for the first time we had good radio reception on our Single Side Band radio and were able to talk to boating friends about a hundred miles north of us and almost 1,000 miles south of was like old home week with friends that we haven't talked to in several years. Obviously there is no TV out here, so the radio (both Single Side Band and VHF) is the main source of communication. As we ended our day...the main event was the moon rise...a totally awesome sight to see. We had a full moon coming up over the island where we were anchored and lit up the entire anchorage as if it were daylight. You could see shadows over the mountains as the moon was so bright. We had a good night sleep and then woke up early this morning to see the same moon setting over the horizon on the opposite mountains. The entire night seemed like daylight reflecting off the water....very, very beautiful. Latitude 24 degrees 49.222 north/Longitude 110 degrees 34.134 west.

The sea has been totally flat for days with no wind to speak of....and although we have a sailboat...we're glad that the sea is being nice because normally in the winter months...the sea is not nice at all...very high winds and choppy seas is the norm. We're thankful for flat seas this week as it allows us to make some really good mileage. Today we motored from Isla San Francisco to Ensenada Grande on Isla La Partida which is an adjoining island to Isla Espiritu Santo. The anchorage that we're in is gorgeous with beautiful waters. We're anchored in about 20 feet with very clear can see our anchor chain and anchor sitting in the white sand below our boat. The air temps today were in the low 80s with water temps just approaching 70 degrees. There has been a gentle breeze coming through our cabin all day long and is very comfortable. Once again...we're thankful for another great day after waiting so long to get back on the sea. We're anchored at Latitude 24 degrees 33.503 north/Longitude 110 degrees 23.867 west. We are truly blessed as we are sitting at one of the most written about, beautiful anchorages in the Sea of Cortez....just about 20 miles from LaPaz...Ensenada Grande, Isla Partida. Google'll be impressed too!

As much as we loved being anchored at Ensenada Grande it was time to move on because another weather system was due within a day. We decided to sail on to LaPaz and get settled at Marina Costa Baja. It's nice to be tied up to terra firma when bad weather arrives...and it did the next day. Our main intention to go to LaPaz was to get refueled, buy more groceries and check with workers that were going to help us with boat projects later in the year. After a couple of days here visiting with old friends and washing the salt off the boat we met with the boat contractor for our projects. The biggest project of the year is to get our teak decks refurbished. Our intention was to leave the boat in LaPaz over the summer and have the carpenter work on the decks then, but after meeting with him, he said that he could start the month long project in a little over a week. This is sort of good news/bad news as we had planned to sail down to Manzanillo/Santiago Bay/Barra de Navidad this winter, but having our teak decks refinished takes a higher priority. This also means that we will be able to take Warren Peace back to San Carlos this year which makes the logistics of our cruising season so much simpler. So, we stay in LaPaz for about six weeks and enjoy the city that we love the most here in Mexico...what a great place to be staying at a wonderful marina.

The charm and beauty of LaPaz is captivating to almost everyone who visits. The population is approximately 200,000, but you wouldn't know it because of the easy nature and tranquility of the city. LaPaz has a mild climate with warm days and cool evenings...very pleasant indeed! The waters here are crystal clear as well as at the islands. The white sandy beaches stretch for miles along the malecon with restaurants of all types along the way. Isla Partida and Isla Espiritu Santo are only about 20 miles away...about two to three hours from the marina depending on which end of the islands you are heading. There are beautiful anchorages on the Baja side and on the islands only separated by a narrow channel called the San Lorenzo Channel which is the route to Cabo San Lucas. If you are considering a vacation...we'd recommend LaPaz as it is easy to get to from the west coast of the United States and you won't be disappointed.

In early to mid March we plan on sailing back north into the sea and island hop back to San Carlos. The weather should be nicer in March also...maybe a little warmer. All in all...the season has already been fun. We've enjoyed the holidays in San Carlos, we've been reacquainted with cruising buddies from years past, Warren Peace is being nice to us as there have been no major mechanical/electrical/refrigeration issues to deal with and most is good!

Hugs to our friends and family from sunny and warm LaPaz
Latitude 24 degrees 13.066 minutes north/Longitude 110 degrees 18.193 minutes west
Vessel Name: Warren Peace
Vessel Make/Model: 1985 Passport 47 Center Cockpit
Hailing Port: San Francisco
Crew: John and Sharon Warren
About: We discovered sailing early in our marriage and have loved being on the water ever since. We started sailing on San Francisco Bay on a Catalina 27 and then upgraded to a Catalina 36. We then realized that we wanted to eventually go cruising and bought the boat that we have now...a Passport 47.
Sharon and I have cruised up and down the California coast many times and sailed in the 2000 Baja Ha Ha. The four Amigos took Warren Peace down the coast on the 2002 Baja Ha Ha. The boat's home base has been San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico for the past several years. Moving Warren Peace to the [...]

Who: John and Sharon Warren
Port: San Francisco