Concepcion Bay boat ramps

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dougba
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Joined: Tue May 14, 2019 7:42 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M

Concepcion Bay boat ramps

Post by dougba » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:16 pm

I am planning on trailering the 26M from Calgary to Baja in February or March. Looking for information on boat launches and truck and trailer storage near the Concepcion Bay or Mulege area. I will be towing with F150 4x4 so may be able to launch from a beach if there is firm sand but would prefer a proper launch. Does anyone have recommendations.

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Chinook
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Re: Concepcion Bay boat ramps

Post by Chinook » Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:50 pm

We cruised in that area in 2007, and I don't recall a launch ramp at Mulege. Probably sand beach launch opportunities in the Conception Bay area, however, I would think them risky due to shallow slope and prospects of getting the truck stuck. I do recall a launch ramp at the Loreto boat basin, a ways south of Mulege. Also, there is a substantial Mexican government marina a few miles south of Loretto, and I believe there is a ramp at the marina. I can't recall the name of the place, but it's popular with cruising boats from the states. Another question you'll need to address is secure storage of truck and trailer while out on the boat. That could be readily arranged at the marina, I think. You'd need to make local connections and arrangements at Loreto. We opted to trailer to San Carlos on the mainland side, near Guyamas, because the San Carlos marina is an excellent facility, well managed and popular with cruisers from the states. Good options exist for secure parking of truck and trailer. Access to San Carlos is via 4 lane, divided highway from Nogales AZ, probably a much better road than the Baja highway to Mulege and Loreto. Starting from San Carlos does require crossing the Sea of Cortez, a 75 mile passage which is best done at night, for several reasons. The sea tends to lay down more at night, and morning is the best time to arrive at the Baja side. If you choose to stay on the mainland side, there is some excellent gunkholing to be had north of San Carlos. Try to allot as much time as possible to the trip. You'll find those waters enchanting, and if your experience is like ours, you'll not want it to end.

dougba
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 14, 2019 7:42 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M

Re: Concepcion Bay boat ramps

Post by dougba » Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:08 pm

Thanks Chinook, I have read your blog of the 2007 trip you made more than once. I have been monitoring Predict Wind for a few weeks now to see how long weather windows last to make the crossing, I would be single handing the first part of the trip. I have friends in Baja now with a truck and camper and I am hoping that my daughter would fly down to Loretto for a week or two. Highway 5 from Mexicali to highway 1 is almost all paved now and should be completed in February. There is just 2.5 miles not paved now. I know there is a boat ramp at Puerto Escondido which is the marina just south of Loretto and there is secure storage for the truck and trailer for around $70/month. In 2016 I spent a month and a half in Baja with the truck and pop up camper and am familiar with the roads which are narrower than Canada or the US and have no shoulders. If there are no suitable ramps in the Mulege or the Santa Rosalia area I could launch at Loretto. Would a single handed crossing from San Carlos to Santa Rosalia be practical. The boat is equipped with an autopilot.

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Chinook
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Re: Concepcion Bay boat ramps

Post by Chinook » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:51 pm

Single hand crossing is certainly possible. As I recall, it took us around 12 hours to make the crossing. We followed local advice and made an overnight crossing, which gave us settled seas out in the middle, and got us in just after sunrise. An afternoon arrival risks being affected with strong daily downcanyon (chubasco) winds. With the two of us on board, we took turns. I manned the wheel from 6pm until midnight. Sandy took over from 12 till 3am while I slept below. I got up at 3 and took us the rest of the way. I think if I were planning on single handing, I'd be inclined to head out, armed with a solid weather forecast, with departure around 3am and arrival 3pm or so. Aside from possible strong winds and rough seas, the primary hazards in a crossing are collisions with another boat or a whale. Oh yeah, there are one or 2 islands to avoid. The risk of singlehanding overnight, even with auto pilot, would be dozing off.

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