Topolabampo; Sea of Cortez; Mexico, mainland side

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Once you make it past the bar entry that can be calm or scary depending on weather and tide, the inner harbor is very enjoyable. However our Navionics charts did us no good here. The channels were well-marked with red and green buoys(in 2016) which made it doable. However if you stray from the channel even a few inches you will find a solid mud wall with your keel. We first anchored off the secondary shallower channel in the front of the Club Nautico in 10 feet over sand, around 25 35’26″N 109 03’50″W. This was a cool anchorage, you have to dinghy over to the marina to get to shore, then it’s a nice walk into the little town.

We also anchored in Bahia Ohuira the large deep bay around the other side of the peninsula. As we bypassed the large tankers we were escorted by dolphins into the bay. The water is very deep in front of town, and it also has a lot of traffic. We anchored on the far side of the bay in 17 feet over sand, around 25 35’12″W 109 02’20″W. At this anchorage we were kinda far away, and needed to rig up an outboard to make it over to town. But the holding was good and the Dolphins keep you company almost all day.

 

 

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Altata; Sea of Cortez; Mexico, mainland side:

Once you make it through the breakers and over the bar following the red and green buoys in, (there in 2016) the 10 mile stretch up to the town can be shallow. Our charts did us zero good, luckily we were with friends who had different charts. They led the way through the shallow areas till we were in the main channel closer to the town. ( the shallowest we went over was about 10ft). It is said that you can call and get a pilot sent out to you to guide you in. When we were there we tried hailing for this service, but no one answered. Once we were near the town, we were met by Charlie, he is the pilot, he had heard us and was on his way out to meet us along with a shrimp boat. He was only about 2 hours late for us and was very sorry.

We anchored right in front of the town, pretty close to the shore in about 20 ft, over mud/sand around 24 37′ 37″N 107 55′ 42″W. This anchorage is next to a pier we could use to land our Dinghys. When we went to shore, the tide went out leaving maybe a few inches under our keel in that spot ( we could have anchored a little further out and had been fine) but we moved over to the other side of the bay. The main reason we moved to the other side was because of the noise at night ( noted to be like New Orleans for the locals on the weekends) On the other side we had to watch for shoal areas and dropped out hook in about 27 feet over sand/mud around 24 37’33″N 107 56’23″W.

Altata was amazing and we were treated like royalty! It is a great spot to see and to wait for a weather window.

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Guaymas, Mexico: The Large Protected Harbor

We anchored In a few different places within the massive harbor.

We tried a spot on the west side of the bay, around 27 5.0056’N 110 52.7315’W. The holding was good here, but the dinghy landing was in stinky mud, and the bobo’s at the boat were enough to drive us nuts.

We really enjoyed the anchorage in front of the marina and downtown. We dropped the hook in about 12ft-10ft. The holding here is great, the marina lets you use the dock to land your dinghy, and you are so close to everything!

We simmered our boat in Guaymas at the Marina Saca ( aka Marina Guaymas/Gaberials yard or the dirt yard) and found the protect anchorages were great when we were decommissioning our boat, and also when we got back, to put her back together.

 

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Bahia Santa Barbara: Sea of Cortez on the mainland side

This was a great anchorage! We dropped the hook in about 20ft over sand bottom around 26 41.0646’N 109 39.4287’W. We had the whole place to our selves. There is great protection from the north which we needed as we waited out a northerly here. The holding was good, and the beach landing was gentle. The long white sand beach was perfect for long walks, and bonfires. We did not head over to the small fishing village Though. Every once in a while some shrimp boats would come in and stop for the night before heading back out into the rough weather.DJI_0004DSC00584