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 Post subject: mexico expedition
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:04 pm
Posts: 9
Location: colorado
Two years ago my buddy and I drove from central Washington to Mexico with our two hobie 16s behind my Subaru.Image
We drove to Punta Mita, just north of Puerto Vallarta and put our boats in the water. We were able to drive the boats right on to the beach, assemble them there, push them in and sail around.
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We had two vintage hobies, outfitted with oars and oarlocks, three drybags, anchor, spare parts and two surfboards on each boat. We were able to find someone for $50 would keep our car in his garage for our voyage southbound.

So we set off sailing south. First across the Bahia de Banderas.
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Then we set up near Cabo Corientes and waited for some good weather. This was the crux of our trip, every sailor in Punta Mita said this would be the roughest part. We were camped a couple miles away from the cape and waited two days on an isolated beach for what came to be perfect weather.

We left the bay and entered the Pacific under perfect conditions. Great downwind sailing and surfing on 5-6' waves. I got my gps to 15 mph. It felt like I was moving with all the gear on the boat.
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We continued sailing south until we got to the first protected area. These areas were all tucked in a bay of some sort and on the north side. We would essentially scan the beach and look where the pangas (Mexican fishing skiffs) were parked on the beach and pull our boats somewhere near theirs.

The beauty of Mexican beaches is there is an amazing restaurant on every beach. So indulged in some fresh caught fish, cervezas and sweet relaxation.
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The next morning we continued south for what was to be a long stretch of sailing with no good spots to pull up on the beach. Just pretty gnarly shore break for 50ish miles. We left early in the morning rowing out of the bay and into the pacific. Wind picked up nice a little before noon, and we were making good time. Cruising down wind 10 mph or so. Soon enough though the wind picked up and before you know it we were surfing down 8-10' swell. Down one wave, up the one in front and down that. I looked at my GPS one time and I was going 18 mph. Fully loaded boat, in the middle of desolate Mexico, hauling ass, adrenaline was pumping. I eventually hove to and dropped the main.
I then looked over and saw my buddy sam flipped his boat. He had ended up jibing and on the other jibe went to much up wind and took him over. He was able to get his boat upright in a jiffy and he sent it into shore. Unfortunatly he lost his surfboards, and spear gun in the process. There is a lucky Mexican fisherman out there with a couple of nice boards and spear gun now. So we both sent our boats through the gnarly shore break and onto a steep beach where we got our boats up real quick to keep from being throttled.

We slept on what was a real nice beach for the evening.
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The next morning we pushed out through the break which was a challenge. Timing was everything. Sam flipped his boat once, but got it back up and out. I made it out after getting sideswiped and losing a few things off my trampoline. But was able to eventually row out past the breakers. The oars totally saved our ass during the entire trip. Whether the wind died, or we needed to get through a break or pulling our boat in somewhere, they were crucial to have.

After that event the sailing became super tame, with afternoon winds pushing us south around 10-12 mph. We healed down to Bahia de Chamela. We spent a few days there.
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Everyone loved our boats on the beach. Only hassled a few times. And when we did get hassled it was usually by someone with a big gun telling us to get off of the private beach. Supposedly in the Mexican constitution it claims there are no private beaches. We never questioned these guys, just simply moved on.

The coast on this portion of mexico is absolutely stunning. Big cliffs with small beaches dispersed throughout. We would sail within a couple miles of the shore, so we got to see the coastline up close which was real cool.
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We continued south to Bahia de Tenacatita which was an amazing bay tucked away and a hotspot for big boat cruisers. We sailed right past the big boats and straight on to the beach and set up camp. It was turning out to be an amazing way to travel.
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We stayed here a few days. At night the luminescence in the water was amazing. There was a small beach break wave which when surfing on at night would light up. You could see fish swimming below you by the glow in the water. Truly incredible.

We stayed a few days here.

I got bit by a scorpion!
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I was nervous at first, but ended up being like I took this incredible drug that made my whole body tingle. Super weird. A section of my foot stayed numb for 10 days. But no major issues, like foaming out of the mouth and dying, like people had told us further north.

We spent christmas in Barra de Navidad. How appropriate. There was a descent enough surf break there and a good place for us to park our boats. Christmas eve we spent with a family camping on the beach who's son worked at a tequila distillery. The big green jug is full of tequilla. Party time!
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We stayed there all the way through new years.
We continued south. We would sail 30 or so miles as the crow flies a day. Sometimes more sometimes less. Our max was 100 miles in 18 hours. Stopping often for surf excursions. Michoacan had some great breaks that we would anchor outside of, paddle our boards in and surf away. Breaks all to ourselves!
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We would fish in the mornings when the wind was calm.
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And keep the fish if they were good ones to eat for dinner. Here's me with a sierra.
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We continued sailing south until we got more than 400 miles to the south in Zihuatanejo. We pulled our boats up on the beach next to the first people the whole trip that rented hobies on the beach. Super friendly guys and great to be around. Within 18 hours of pulling our boats up, we had them both sold. We spent a few days in the Zihuatanejo area. Surfing, hanging out, and partying. We then bought bus tickets back to Puerto Vallarta. Found our car, sold the trailer, and headed home to go powder skiing.
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Great trip!!


Last edited by islandcruiser on Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: mexico expedition
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:35 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
Great Story, but you sold your cats?????????? What the heck is wrong with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: mexico expedition
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:43 am
Posts: 109
Location: Brisbane, Australia
That is one super inspiring story for anyone who loves to sail, surf and travel. I was Google mapping the Mexican names to get an idea of the areas you were sailing and all I can say is WoW! Love the photos which compliment your story.

Whilst I too can't believe you sold your boats I can understand the relief you must have felt after living with/on them 24/7 for days on end not to mention the logistical nightmare it would have been to get them back to your car.

Tell me, how long did your sailing trip take?

Are you planning to buy a Hobie again for a new trip?

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1999 Hobie 17 - 'Halcyon'
Hobie Bravo - 'Hobie Bites'


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 Post subject: Re: mexico expedition
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:53 pm
Posts: 334
Location: san diego
I totally agree with Matt15! I too was impressed and inspired by all the planning you must've made and the courage you both had in taking this journey. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your pictures.
It appears that you both sailed solo on both boats and carried all your toys and camping gear on each boat. Your boats weren't new and you modified both boats with oar locks. I can understand why you sold them before heading back north to your vehicle, but how did you get all your gear back to Punta Mita?
What were your plans if you hadn't been lucky enough to sell your boats in Zihuatanejo?
Great story and pictures! All the BEST to both of you!
Rich


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 Post subject: Re: mexico expedition
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:04 pm
Posts: 9
Location: colorado
45 days sailing, sleeping and living on the boats we were ready to be done. Logistically it would have been a total pain to get the boats back up. We also would have had to drive through Michoacan, which at the time didn't have the safest things being claimed.
Not to mention hooking up Jose Luis with a couple of great boats. You can't go on craigslist in Mexico and buy hobies like you can here in the U.S. He was beyond pumped to get those boats. Its how he feeds his family by renting out the boats. Felt great to hook him up.
Sam bought his boat for $500 and I bought mine for $200 and we went on an incredible voyage, not to mention all the sailing in Washington. We got our moneys worth! :wink: And we have two sweet 16's with trapeze lines in Zihuatenajo waiting for us to come back and rip around.
We never really had a plan to sell them, actually the whole trip we tried not to have a plan, we talked about stashing them wherever we stopped and continuing the following year. Things just worked out how they did. When we got to Zihuatenajo, we contemplated heading south farther, but its pretty committing south of there without many hiding spots. Plus I called home and found out that it was snowing hard. I love powder skiing!
This is an incredible trip and should be done again!! November through January. Perfect weather, nearly all down wind 10-15 knot sailing. Warm water. Great fishing. Great Surfing. Great adventure! Beautiful beaches with lots of good food and water. And the people were so incredible. So great!
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 Post subject: Re: mexico expedition
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:23 pm
Posts: 100
What a great adventure! This is the coast where I live. The trip from Bahia de Banderas to Bara is a favorite of ours (never on a Hobie though). We have done a fun regata for cruising boats in Tenacatia the last 3 years and we may take the new Hobies down to sail in February.

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 Post subject: Re: mexico expedition
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:03 pm
Posts: 66
Absolutely speechless! cant tell you how much I would've loved to do a trip like that.

Thanks for sharing.
Bravo!


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 Post subject: Re: mexico expedition
PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:49 pm
Posts: 65
Location: dana point
Kudos dudes,only wish I could break away for 45 days sailing & surfing down deep Mexico & especially Costa Rica,those awesome killer long surf breaks & pristine tropical beaches!.


Last edited by aussiebob on Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: mexico expedition
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:29 pm
Posts: 72
Wow what a epic story and trip!! That is awesome!!! I bet you just made 100% of the people that have read this jealous!!!
Mbounds this should be in a future hobie hotline this is a story that would get some interest as a cover story fersure!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: mexico expedition
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:30 pm
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Location: Seattle WA
Wow, surprised this thread isn't much longer! That's an epic trip! Do you have a more detailed blog/writeup somewhere?

Where do you go skiing? Been some excellent powder this week in the Cascades!


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 Post subject: Re: mexico expedition
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:27 pm
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Location: Central Oregon
This is screaming to go in the Hobie Hotline! Just freaking awesome!

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 Post subject: Re: mexico expedition
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:01 am
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Location: Minneapolis
So impressed with this story! An adventure that you will always treasure. Glad to hear how it all worked out in the end with selling the boats. These things have a way of working out if you have the right attitude which you clearly do. Thanks for sharing.


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 Post subject: Re: mexico expedition
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:49 pm 
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Hi guys, your blog was incredibly inspiring! In fact, my friend Jackson and I are planning a similar trip down the Baja Peninsula in November. We would love to pick your brains about your trip. Did you register your boats in Mexico? Were there any paperwork issues with selling them? Anyways, thank you for the awesome story! If you get a chance, I would love to learn more from you before we set out. Thank you, Dru Taylor druskifast@gmail.com (nine70) 38nine-one276


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