Heading South: Latitude 38's Guide to Sailing and Cruising the Coast of Mexico and Central America
The Baja Ha-Ha is the 750-mile cruisers' rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, with R&R stops along the way at funky Turtle Bay and spectacular Bahia Santa Maria.
The Latest Cruising News
If you are meandering south this season with your eye on the start of the Baja Ha-Ha, you’re probably contemplating a slip or mooring. San Diego has been called one of the most cruiser-friendly cities on the West Coast, as our editor-at-large Andy Turpin found out when he passed through in early 2018. “In addition…Read More
You never know where you’ll end up if you put your name on the Latitude 38 Crew List. Bill Nork’s recent success with the Crew List took him to the Marquesas.Read More
It’s easy to get complacent about things like a Category 1 hurricane when you’ve recently witnessed, at a distance, the impact of a Category 5. However, if you’re in the path of a Cat 1 or even a tropical storm, complacency is the last thing you want. Hurricane Lorena brushed along the coast south of…Read More
Following Monday’s story on the amazing escape of Josh and Christina from Hurricane Dorian, we find ourselves in the peak of hurricane season with other threats looming. Hurricane Humberto is moving toward Bermuda, and Tropical Storm Jerry has formed just to the east of the Leeward Islands, and is expected to reach hurricane strength before reaching the islands…Read More
It could be you. We’re now up to entry 148, and with the addition of the Hunter Passage 42 Dakota, have two more boys, 11 and 7, in the fleet. For those of you headed south with kids this winter, that means we’re close to 20 kids slated to be in the fleet. The latest entry…Read More
By Richard Spindler, Founder of Latitude 38 and Grand Poobah of 26 Baja Ha-Ha's, with help from Patsy Verhoeven, vet of 12 Ha-Ha's.
Why Cruise Mexico?
Walk the docks of any marina from Vancouver to San Diego this summer and you're likely to find dozens of sailors fitting out their boats for extended cruising. Where are they headed? While some undoubtedly have lofty dreams of eventually cruising the South Pacific, the Caribbean or the Med, destination numero uno for almost all of them is Mexico.
A centuries-old adage claims, "You can tell a lot about a sailor by the cut of his jib." But when it comes to modern cruisers, nothing reveals more about their sailing style than the 'back porch' of their boat. That is, the stern section, which may house everything from solar panels to surfboards, and barbecues to radar domes.
One of the frustrating aspects of living in this 'app-happy' era of endless innovation is that is it seems almost impossible to keep up with the latest, greatest developments in technology — including smartphone, tablet and computer software related to boating.
Now more than ever, the modern sailor has lots to choose from when it comes to navigation and safety instruments. Communication devices such as the Iridium GO! and Garmin inReach (which also has GPS capabilities) have complemented the single-sideband radio and VHF. Chartplotters have digitized and dramatically simplified navigation, and radar has long been an important tool for identifying marine traffic, obstacles and weather.
With the ever-expanding assortment of communications devices designed for offshore sailing, comes the dilemma of deciding which ones belong on your 'must-have' list, and which ones you can live without — especially if you're on a limited budget. With that in mind, we'll share some tips and insights here that we hope will reduce your befuddlement.
Despite several advances in offshore voice communications such as satphones, marine single sideband (SSB) isn't going away anytime soon. That's because SSB, unlike satphones, allows an unlimited number of people to listen to a transmission at the same time.
You don't have to own a fully equipped 50-ft cruising boat to enjoy the spectacular Sea of Cortez, a vast, sparsely developed wonderland for sailors and adventurers.
Latitude reader Derek Rice and a buddy recently had big fun tapping into the region's magic aboard a 44-year-old Catalina 22 daysailer.