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A Slice of Baja

2009 April 8

A brief charter cruise of the Sea of Cortez gives a couple a glimpse of its spectacular sailing potential

When we entered the San Lorenzo Channel, it was as if someone had taken aim at the cockpit with a fire hose. Mike, standing at the wheel in his bright yellow foul-weather jacket, took the brunt as blasts of buckshot spray managed to miss the dodger entirely and hit him full in the face. My husband, Richard, tucked himself and his camera against the cabintop and grinned.

I wasn't smiling. While I'm not normally prone to seasickness, its ugly fingers snaked through my insides as we motored with bare poles through the steep and occasionally breaking waves. In gale-force winds, the seas in this shallow channel between the Pichilingue Peninsula and Isla Espíritu Santo behave much as they do in my Great Lakes home waters-which is to say they don't behave at all. It seemed Luna Pacifica was lurching and slamming in multiple directions at once.

With a shaky sigh, I stared intently at the horizon, wiped salt out of my eyes and focused on the fact that we'd soon be in the sheltered lee of the island.

It wasn't the most auspicious start for a charter cruise.

For the complete article, pick up the April issue of SAILING Magazine on newsstands now.