Bodacious Baja!

Peregrina's Journey
Peter and Margie Benziger
Tue 30 May 2017 18:33
​25:31.2N   111:04.3W​

​                                                         BODACIOUS BAJA​

For the past couple of months, Peregrina has been cruising the Sea of Cortez, Baja California.

On many international maps the water area is labeled as the Sea of Cortez. But, here in Mexico,  it is most often labeled as the Gulf of California.  Perhaps the fondness for Cortez, who came from Spain and conquered Mexico with 500 soldiers while introducing many European diseases, is not shared by some native Mexicans!

Baja California is a state in northern Mexico. Mexicali is the capital of Baja California and over 75% of the population lives in that city or in Ensenada or Tijuana.

It is believed that people first settled on the Baja Peninsula around 1,000 years ago and that the region was dominated by only a few Native American groups. Europeans did not reach the area until 1539.

The Nature Conservancy calls the region "The World's Aquarium" as the Gulf of California and Baja California's shores are home to one-third of Earth's marine mammal species. California sea lions live on the state's islands while various types of whales, including the blue whale, breed in the region's waters.  Earlier this year we had whales jumping out of the water just a hundred meters from Peregrina!

Peregrina cruised the south, eastern part of lower Baja California which is the more remote and lightly populated area.  Look at the clouds!


The land is very dry this time of year which lends a stark and imposing beauty to the rocks. If you are a geology fan it is easy to see the different layers and colors of the rocks.


Navigation can be a bit tricky with rocks emerging straight up from the sea.

It is not the rocks that emerge from the sea that concern me. It is the rocks that do not emerge from the sea and lie within six feet of the surface. We are always looking ahead at changes in water color.

I remember that Captain Cook, one of history’s truly great explorers, said he relied on the “Three L’s.”   These were Lookout, Lead and Local Knowledge.  On Peregrina, we always have someone On Watch day and night in the cockpit to lookout. Old sailing ships used a lead weight that they tossed over to gauge the depth…we use a depth sounder.  For local knowledge, around the world, we get whatever cruising guides we can.  The “Three L’s” become more important than charts, some of which are based on surveys hundreds of years old. In Mexico, the charts can be so far off that our anchorage has been shown on land on our chartplotter.

Many anchorages are remote and mostly without inhabitants since the availability of fresh water will often determine where people can live. Fresh water is a scarce commodity in Baja California.

In the photo below, Peregrina lies in the background.


 the beaches are a fine, loose sand…just right for digging your toes into.


The desert starts just a few feet from the beach.  If you like cactus, Baja California is the place for you.


The peculiar thing is that there are some really wealthy people living along the shore in very remote places. Sailing along a desolate coast, we would come upon immense houses all by themselves. We don’t know if these are Narco abodes or simply hideaways for the rich and famous.


Our first port of entry after crossing from Mazatlan on mainland Mexico was La Paz. We had been thinking of storing Peregrina in La Paz for hurricane season but, as we passed one of the marinas, we saw this from last year’s storm.


Also, in a La Paz marina, was a very innovative vessel, called Venus, built originally by Steve Jobs of Apple fame.


Venus is 257 feet long, accommodates 12 guests in 6 cabins, has a crew of 22 and cost $120 million dollars. The cost was not a big strain on Steve because his net worth was $18 billion.  Unfortunately, Steve Jobs died before the Yacht was finished.

Ashore in La Paz, Margie made a new friend. (Margie is on the right …just joking!)


We came upon a wonderful wedding ceremony in an old, Spanish church.


Now, if you ever wake up at 2am and ask yourself: “What happens to old trucks when they stop running?” We found the answer. They become burger grills.


So, if you want a beach vacation, beautiful vistas, heavenly skies all nestled in a ‘south of the border’culture come revel in the outrageous sunsets of Bodacious Baja.


Abrazos (hugs!)

Margie and Peter

[We love hearing from you so please write!  Send a new message to peterbenziger2 {CHANGE TO AT} gmail {DOT} com.

If you hit “reply” it will send all the pictures back to us and we have limited internet bandwidth.]

Peter Benziger
I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list

Peter Benziger
I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list