/ baja california / the interactive peninsula tm


by Kathy and Roger Nightingale

The following is an account of our experiences in the Baja. We have only been there once, so this is by no means a comprehensive guide. But if you are a neophyte Baja windsurfer, you might glean some useful information from this page which will make your trip all the more enjoyable.

We spent 7 weeks of spring living out of a full size Ford van, which got us anywhere we wanted to go. We sailed 21 out of 45 days, but that doesn't include days missed while we were on the road, or just taking a break. It also doesn't include 5.6 days, which we never rigged for. I (Roger) weigh 145 lbs, sail an 8'4" wave board and wave sails, so scale your sail sizes accordingly. Overall, it was a fantastic experience and we've been plotting our return ever since.

NEOPRENE: If you are a big person, you might get away with a 3/2 shortie on the Sea of Cortez, but otherwise, a full suit is the call. On the west coast, plan on wearing a steamer or a drysuit and a heavy coat after sunset.

THE PACIFIC VS. THE SEA OF CORTEZ - The Pacific side is primarily a wavesailing destination, but there are plenty of flat water sites. Stay away from the Pacific side in winter - it doesn't really blow 'til April. If you happen to surf; however, the winter is supposedly the time to do it. The west coast of baja is not a warm place in the winter and spring. The Sea of Cortez side works from November through mid March. Most of the sailing is done between La Paz and Los Barriles. I would recommend trying Punta Chivato if you're looking for rideable waves on the Cortez side.

STUFF TO BRING: A tarp that can be rigged to provide shade (there is none). A second tarp that can be staked to the ground is convenient. A shovel to dig yourself a toilet. A sun shower. The ability to carry at least 5 gallons of water/person (I would recommend 10 for off-roaders). One extra full size tire. Tire patch kit. A DC air compressor. Extra fuel filters and air filters. Lots of books to read and trade. Tons of peanut butter. All your own seasonings.   Places to sail