Two years ago my buddy and I drove from central Washington to Mexico with our two hobie 16s behind my Subaru.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
We would fish in the mornings when the wind was calm.
And keep the fish if they were good ones to eat for dinner. Here's me with a sierra.
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.