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Northern Sea of Cortez kitesurf spots

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  • loco4viento
    Hi everybody, I thought I d share part of a letter I wrote to a friend in southern California who was looking for kitesurfing info for the northern part of the
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 1, 2001
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      Hi everybody,

      I thought I'd share part of a letter I wrote to a friend in southern
      California who was looking for kitesurfing info for the northern part
      of the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) that is easily accessible to
      those of us in the southwestern USA. I apologize to most of you who
      will find this totally worthless, but hopefully a few of you will
      benefit from the info.........


      The northernmost tip of the Cortez is El Golfo de Santa Clara, about an
      hour south of the border nearest Yuma, AZ. HUGE tides to the tune of 25
      VERTICAL feet can make low tide kind of a pain. Sandy and smooth, can
      get a good amount of swell on a south (more of a summer/early fall
      thing). I've had some nice kitesurfing there, with some fun waves to
      play on if they hit the sand bars right. Don't get your vehicle stuck
      in the sand below the high tide mark...the tide moves so fast over the
      flat beaches you can see it rise and the sea occasionally snacks on a
      gringo's coche.

      In Baja, the most convenient place for a Californian is San Felipe, a
      nice little town known for fish tacos, with a few little pool halls and
      clubs to go along with the tacos y cerveza. 120 miles south of the
      border at Calexico/Mexicali. Pretty big tides. Great beaches. Mountains
      of Baja to the west a bit. Gets great wind funneling down from the
      northers, esp. when high pressure builds over Nevada and the Four
      Corners states. The conditions that set up a good Santa Ana can give a
      great time in the entire Cortez from San Felipe all the way down. South
      of San Felipe another 1-2 hrs on the same highway is Puertecitos,
      similar deal by report with mellower tides but some transmission-
      shaking potholes and probably not worth it. Bahia San Luis Gonzaga is
      farther south on even crappier roads and would be great if you want
      adventure, but for a guy in SoCal I think not worth it since the west
      coast of Baja is better anyway WAVES :-)!!!. I've had some great
      windsurfing in San Felipe and think this would be a great spot for
      kiting. Probably 7 hrs from LA and 6 from my place in the Phoenix area;
      4 1/2 from SD. Generally windiest winter and spring, and generally
      north winds at these times.

      Rocky Point is called Puerto Penasco in Mexico, and is in Sonora, about
      an hour south of the border at Lukeville, AZ south of Ajo and Gila
      Bend. Puerto Penasco is almost straight east across the Cortez from San
      Felipe and has similar tides and great beaches. That shot I sent you
      with my Arc is from Rocky Point. Often the best spot for me as it's
      about 3 1/2 hours from my house. Similar to San Felipe in weather,
      bigger town; Penasco gets lots of good south winds in the late summer
      and September, as well as the northerly stuff I mentioned with fronts
      and great basin highs. Compared to San Felipe, I'd say Penasco is
      similar but better in the south winds but doesn't benefit from the
      funnel effect of the mountains during a north.

      In Sonora, I've kitesurfed in other spots such as Kino Bay and San
      Carlos (near Guaymas/Sonora Bay Club Med) over the past 2 years and
      have a list of other spots that probably won't interest you for a quick
      trip, but the San Carlos area has a group of winter windsurfers that
      usually are on 4.5-5.5 sails. One guy just started kiting and has a
      deal with Naish.

      For weather, intellicast.com has what I need as I can go to sailcast,
      select windcast, and click on Arizona on the map for a nice 48hr
      forecast of the northern Cortez that's pretty spot on. In general I'd
      think you're best set up for San Felipe if you see north winds with a
      bit of yellow or yellow-green on the map. This is common December-
      March, but started in November this year. It seems to coincide with
      those highs I mentioned, especially when associated with fronts that
      march across the southwest US between these highs. When the maps show
      some yellow, I've yet to be skunked. Green only can be iffy, but I
      still generally score with green maps since I've got the big Mossie in
      the van. Another great weather resource to help one understand the
      Cortez is in the Baja section of the pages in iwindsurf.com...this guy
      seems to have lots of Baja experience and I think his weather comments
      are excellent, although clearly more geared to the southern Cortez
      windsurfer on a long vacation. The northern Cortez is AWESOME for the
      SoCal/AZ guy who wants to get away quickly and get to good kitesurfing
      within 2 hours of the border with minimal hassle. Intellicast is all
      you need. by the way, www.wunderground.com also has sketchy info on
      Puerto Penasco and San Felipe, but it's been absolutely useless to me
      (no forecasts and anemometers that don't seem to correlate with
      conditions on the water).

      Hope this helps somebody out there. The combination of me talking too
      much and being too lazy to write all this stuff down every time
      somebody wants a quick summary of the region is what caused all of you
      to get this note.

      Wishing all of you a windy year,

      John
    • loco4viento
      If interested, here s an example of the intellicast info for the northern Cortez...... http://www.intellicast.com/Sail/World/UnitedStates/FourCorners/Arizona/
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 1, 2001
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        If interested, here's an example of the intellicast info for the
        northern Cortez......

        http://www.intellicast.com/Sail/World/UnitedStates/FourCorners/Arizona/
        Phoenix/WINDcast/d2_00/

        Adios,

        John
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