Dreaming of the Sea of Cortez

Nicola here, commandeering the luxury yacht Wenchly Winds to escape the frost and snow of the UK at New Year and sail in far warmer waters. On board Wenchly Winds I would like to re-create a trip of a lifetime and invite you to join me.

This time last year I was preparing for a wonderful holiday, a whale watching cruise in the Sea of Cortez Star of India followed by ten days in the US exploring the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley.  We flew out to Los Angeles in February and took the train to San Diego. This in itself was a treat for me as I had never been on a "double-decker" train before and really enjoyed the view from the top deck! I loved San Diego and we spent a wonderful day down by the harbour. My dh was thrilled by the USS Midway Museum and I have to admit that I enjoyed it more than I had expected! But the treat for me was exploring the Star of India, the world's oldest active sailing ship. What a beauty she is!

Later that day it was time to board our very own, somewhat smaller vessel, Searcher, and set out on our own adventure so in my dreams, this is where I board Wenchly Winds and set a course south down the coast of Baja California. The next morning we make our first stop, dropping anchor in the bay off Islas San Benito. We go ashore and walk to the old lighthouse. The island is very arid and we have to imagine the lush tropical vegetation that springs to life after the rains. There are seals sunbathing on the rocks and seal pups playing in the surf.

Whalegrey In the Laguna San Ignacio we moor amongst the grey whales and go out in little boats to sail amongst them. In the old days of whaling the greys were very hostile to man (and who can blame them!) and were known to break a small boat in two with a single smack of their tail. These days they must be able to sense the awe and wonder with which we approach them because they are extremely friendlly, approaching the little boats so that we can touch them and even bringing their babies over to "meet" us. This is the most moving part of the entire trip – touching a baby whale is an extraordinary experience and sailing amongst them whilst they play beside us, diving under the boats and sticking their heads out of the water to peek at us – spy-hopping, as it is called - is so much fun. We are reluctant to leave the lagoon but there are other whales to see, blues whales and humpbacks. On one memorable and very stormy day off Los Cabos we see four humpback males vying for the attention of a single female, leaping out of the water, breaching, jumping higher and higher in an effortIsla San Jose to impress her!

We also sail amongst the uninhabited islands of the Sea of Cortez, to Isla Saint Jose with its red sandstone cliffs and Isla Santa Catherina where we see the famous wavy barrel cactus and other stunning desert plants.  It is blissfully warm and sunny every day and I take a book and curl up on deck to read up on the rich history of Baja California…

The New Forest This year we are planning a winter trip to… The New Forest in the South of England. I'm sure it will be beautiful with lots of history and wildlife to explore. But for now I will sit here and imagine that I am sailing in Wenchly Winds on the Sea of Cortez with the sun pouring down and the cool sea breezes and the dolphins swimming ahead of the yacht and calling to each other as they go.

If you could choose to be anywhere in the world now, with friends or family, or visiting places you have always wanted to see, where would you go?

65 thoughts on “Dreaming of the Sea of Cortez”

  1. Sign me up, Nicola! You made this particular cruise sound irresistible. Definitely a spot for the Wenchly Winds. After, maybe we can continue south to the Galapagos?
    Another cruise I’d like to do and might in 2011 would be a river boat cruise in France. There are two itineraries possible–one northern France and Normandy, the other southern France to Provence. If I had to choose one, I’d take the south, but better to do both!
    Sail on, sister sailors…
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  2. Sign me up, Nicola! You made this particular cruise sound irresistible. Definitely a spot for the Wenchly Winds. After, maybe we can continue south to the Galapagos?
    Another cruise I’d like to do and might in 2011 would be a river boat cruise in France. There are two itineraries possible–one northern France and Normandy, the other southern France to Provence. If I had to choose one, I’d take the south, but better to do both!
    Sail on, sister sailors…
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  3. Sign me up, Nicola! You made this particular cruise sound irresistible. Definitely a spot for the Wenchly Winds. After, maybe we can continue south to the Galapagos?
    Another cruise I’d like to do and might in 2011 would be a river boat cruise in France. There are two itineraries possible–one northern France and Normandy, the other southern France to Provence. If I had to choose one, I’d take the south, but better to do both!
    Sail on, sister sailors…
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  4. Sign me up, Nicola! You made this particular cruise sound irresistible. Definitely a spot for the Wenchly Winds. After, maybe we can continue south to the Galapagos?
    Another cruise I’d like to do and might in 2011 would be a river boat cruise in France. There are two itineraries possible–one northern France and Normandy, the other southern France to Provence. If I had to choose one, I’d take the south, but better to do both!
    Sail on, sister sailors…
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  5. Sign me up, Nicola! You made this particular cruise sound irresistible. Definitely a spot for the Wenchly Winds. After, maybe we can continue south to the Galapagos?
    Another cruise I’d like to do and might in 2011 would be a river boat cruise in France. There are two itineraries possible–one northern France and Normandy, the other southern France to Provence. If I had to choose one, I’d take the south, but better to do both!
    Sail on, sister sailors…
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  6. I’d join you on the southern trip, Mary Jo! We’re thinking of going to Provence this year and a river boat cruise would be lovely. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Normandy, which isn’t to say it would be any hardship to go there again…

    Reply
  7. I’d join you on the southern trip, Mary Jo! We’re thinking of going to Provence this year and a river boat cruise would be lovely. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Normandy, which isn’t to say it would be any hardship to go there again…

    Reply
  8. I’d join you on the southern trip, Mary Jo! We’re thinking of going to Provence this year and a river boat cruise would be lovely. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Normandy, which isn’t to say it would be any hardship to go there again…

    Reply
  9. I’d join you on the southern trip, Mary Jo! We’re thinking of going to Provence this year and a river boat cruise would be lovely. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Normandy, which isn’t to say it would be any hardship to go there again…

    Reply
  10. I’d join you on the southern trip, Mary Jo! We’re thinking of going to Provence this year and a river boat cruise would be lovely. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Normandy, which isn’t to say it would be any hardship to go there again…

    Reply
  11. I was stationed in Oahu, Hawaii courtesy of the Navy many,many years ago. I’d like to go back and tour some, if not all of the other islands in Hawaii. Brings back memories just thinking about it.
    Someday
    Soon.

    Reply
  12. I was stationed in Oahu, Hawaii courtesy of the Navy many,many years ago. I’d like to go back and tour some, if not all of the other islands in Hawaii. Brings back memories just thinking about it.
    Someday
    Soon.

    Reply
  13. I was stationed in Oahu, Hawaii courtesy of the Navy many,many years ago. I’d like to go back and tour some, if not all of the other islands in Hawaii. Brings back memories just thinking about it.
    Someday
    Soon.

    Reply
  14. I was stationed in Oahu, Hawaii courtesy of the Navy many,many years ago. I’d like to go back and tour some, if not all of the other islands in Hawaii. Brings back memories just thinking about it.
    Someday
    Soon.

    Reply
  15. I was stationed in Oahu, Hawaii courtesy of the Navy many,many years ago. I’d like to go back and tour some, if not all of the other islands in Hawaii. Brings back memories just thinking about it.
    Someday
    Soon.

    Reply
  16. Nicola, your post just put me THERE! I think you should be the official Destination Planner for the Wenchly Winds! I loved the bit about the whales. I had no idea they had gotten so friendly that they came close enough to pet. What an incredible experience that must be.
    I have a friend who just returned from two weeks in Hawaii, and that is one place I would like to visit while aboard the Wenchly Winds. I was there once, for a week, about 25 years ago, and loved it. For that whole week my allergies cleared up and my contacts didn’t make my eyes red. Must have been the super clean marine air.

    Reply
  17. Nicola, your post just put me THERE! I think you should be the official Destination Planner for the Wenchly Winds! I loved the bit about the whales. I had no idea they had gotten so friendly that they came close enough to pet. What an incredible experience that must be.
    I have a friend who just returned from two weeks in Hawaii, and that is one place I would like to visit while aboard the Wenchly Winds. I was there once, for a week, about 25 years ago, and loved it. For that whole week my allergies cleared up and my contacts didn’t make my eyes red. Must have been the super clean marine air.

    Reply
  18. Nicola, your post just put me THERE! I think you should be the official Destination Planner for the Wenchly Winds! I loved the bit about the whales. I had no idea they had gotten so friendly that they came close enough to pet. What an incredible experience that must be.
    I have a friend who just returned from two weeks in Hawaii, and that is one place I would like to visit while aboard the Wenchly Winds. I was there once, for a week, about 25 years ago, and loved it. For that whole week my allergies cleared up and my contacts didn’t make my eyes red. Must have been the super clean marine air.

    Reply
  19. Nicola, your post just put me THERE! I think you should be the official Destination Planner for the Wenchly Winds! I loved the bit about the whales. I had no idea they had gotten so friendly that they came close enough to pet. What an incredible experience that must be.
    I have a friend who just returned from two weeks in Hawaii, and that is one place I would like to visit while aboard the Wenchly Winds. I was there once, for a week, about 25 years ago, and loved it. For that whole week my allergies cleared up and my contacts didn’t make my eyes red. Must have been the super clean marine air.

    Reply
  20. Nicola, your post just put me THERE! I think you should be the official Destination Planner for the Wenchly Winds! I loved the bit about the whales. I had no idea they had gotten so friendly that they came close enough to pet. What an incredible experience that must be.
    I have a friend who just returned from two weeks in Hawaii, and that is one place I would like to visit while aboard the Wenchly Winds. I was there once, for a week, about 25 years ago, and loved it. For that whole week my allergies cleared up and my contacts didn’t make my eyes red. Must have been the super clean marine air.

    Reply
  21. I would LOVE to visit Hawaii. I’ve just been reading a book set there and it sounded blissful. Thank you, Sherrie, for appointing me official Destination Planner. I accept with pride! Yes, the gray whales are very friendly. It was amazing petting a baby whale. It simply floated next to the boat and looked at me whilst I stroked its head!

    Reply
  22. I would LOVE to visit Hawaii. I’ve just been reading a book set there and it sounded blissful. Thank you, Sherrie, for appointing me official Destination Planner. I accept with pride! Yes, the gray whales are very friendly. It was amazing petting a baby whale. It simply floated next to the boat and looked at me whilst I stroked its head!

    Reply
  23. I would LOVE to visit Hawaii. I’ve just been reading a book set there and it sounded blissful. Thank you, Sherrie, for appointing me official Destination Planner. I accept with pride! Yes, the gray whales are very friendly. It was amazing petting a baby whale. It simply floated next to the boat and looked at me whilst I stroked its head!

    Reply
  24. I would LOVE to visit Hawaii. I’ve just been reading a book set there and it sounded blissful. Thank you, Sherrie, for appointing me official Destination Planner. I accept with pride! Yes, the gray whales are very friendly. It was amazing petting a baby whale. It simply floated next to the boat and looked at me whilst I stroked its head!

    Reply
  25. I would LOVE to visit Hawaii. I’ve just been reading a book set there and it sounded blissful. Thank you, Sherrie, for appointing me official Destination Planner. I accept with pride! Yes, the gray whales are very friendly. It was amazing petting a baby whale. It simply floated next to the boat and looked at me whilst I stroked its head!

    Reply
  26. Nicola, I lOVE the Baja Peninsula. I was just in Los Cabos, at the very tip, in October and took an adventure tour out along some of the Pacific side beaches, which are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I would love to go up the coast a bit to Todos dos Santos, which is said to be a lovely old colonial town that has become quite a haven for artists and craftsmen.
    As for other “to die for” place to visit, I’d love to go to South Africa, and have a chance to see some of the game reserves—and the wine country!

    Reply
  27. Nicola, I lOVE the Baja Peninsula. I was just in Los Cabos, at the very tip, in October and took an adventure tour out along some of the Pacific side beaches, which are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I would love to go up the coast a bit to Todos dos Santos, which is said to be a lovely old colonial town that has become quite a haven for artists and craftsmen.
    As for other “to die for” place to visit, I’d love to go to South Africa, and have a chance to see some of the game reserves—and the wine country!

    Reply
  28. Nicola, I lOVE the Baja Peninsula. I was just in Los Cabos, at the very tip, in October and took an adventure tour out along some of the Pacific side beaches, which are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I would love to go up the coast a bit to Todos dos Santos, which is said to be a lovely old colonial town that has become quite a haven for artists and craftsmen.
    As for other “to die for” place to visit, I’d love to go to South Africa, and have a chance to see some of the game reserves—and the wine country!

    Reply
  29. Nicola, I lOVE the Baja Peninsula. I was just in Los Cabos, at the very tip, in October and took an adventure tour out along some of the Pacific side beaches, which are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I would love to go up the coast a bit to Todos dos Santos, which is said to be a lovely old colonial town that has become quite a haven for artists and craftsmen.
    As for other “to die for” place to visit, I’d love to go to South Africa, and have a chance to see some of the game reserves—and the wine country!

    Reply
  30. Nicola, I lOVE the Baja Peninsula. I was just in Los Cabos, at the very tip, in October and took an adventure tour out along some of the Pacific side beaches, which are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I would love to go up the coast a bit to Todos dos Santos, which is said to be a lovely old colonial town that has become quite a haven for artists and craftsmen.
    As for other “to die for” place to visit, I’d love to go to South Africa, and have a chance to see some of the game reserves—and the wine country!

    Reply
  31. Nicola, what a fab trip. I visited San Diego a few years ago and it was so beautiful. As for the rest of my trip, I might just follow in your footsteps. It all sounds beautiful.
    But then the world is a beautiful place and really, I’d be happy just to be traveling right now.

    Reply
  32. Nicola, what a fab trip. I visited San Diego a few years ago and it was so beautiful. As for the rest of my trip, I might just follow in your footsteps. It all sounds beautiful.
    But then the world is a beautiful place and really, I’d be happy just to be traveling right now.

    Reply
  33. Nicola, what a fab trip. I visited San Diego a few years ago and it was so beautiful. As for the rest of my trip, I might just follow in your footsteps. It all sounds beautiful.
    But then the world is a beautiful place and really, I’d be happy just to be traveling right now.

    Reply
  34. Nicola, what a fab trip. I visited San Diego a few years ago and it was so beautiful. As for the rest of my trip, I might just follow in your footsteps. It all sounds beautiful.
    But then the world is a beautiful place and really, I’d be happy just to be traveling right now.

    Reply
  35. Nicola, what a fab trip. I visited San Diego a few years ago and it was so beautiful. As for the rest of my trip, I might just follow in your footsteps. It all sounds beautiful.
    But then the world is a beautiful place and really, I’d be happy just to be traveling right now.

    Reply
  36. Since it is about 9 degrees out, someplace warmer would be nice. Actually, sailing the Sea of Cortez on the trip you described would be wonderful. My husband would enjoy that too. My other choice at a warmer time of the year would be the Highlands of Scotland.

    Reply
  37. Since it is about 9 degrees out, someplace warmer would be nice. Actually, sailing the Sea of Cortez on the trip you described would be wonderful. My husband would enjoy that too. My other choice at a warmer time of the year would be the Highlands of Scotland.

    Reply
  38. Since it is about 9 degrees out, someplace warmer would be nice. Actually, sailing the Sea of Cortez on the trip you described would be wonderful. My husband would enjoy that too. My other choice at a warmer time of the year would be the Highlands of Scotland.

    Reply
  39. Since it is about 9 degrees out, someplace warmer would be nice. Actually, sailing the Sea of Cortez on the trip you described would be wonderful. My husband would enjoy that too. My other choice at a warmer time of the year would be the Highlands of Scotland.

    Reply
  40. Since it is about 9 degrees out, someplace warmer would be nice. Actually, sailing the Sea of Cortez on the trip you described would be wonderful. My husband would enjoy that too. My other choice at a warmer time of the year would be the Highlands of Scotland.

    Reply
  41. Your trip to Los Cabos sounds great, Andrea. I only saw a little of the town when we flew back but I would love to spend more time there. And Anne, my only complaint about San Diego was that I didn’t have enough time there. So pleased that you enjoyed the city as well!
    It looks as though Wenchly Winds may have to set sail for a cruise around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, taking you with us, Pat!

    Reply
  42. Your trip to Los Cabos sounds great, Andrea. I only saw a little of the town when we flew back but I would love to spend more time there. And Anne, my only complaint about San Diego was that I didn’t have enough time there. So pleased that you enjoyed the city as well!
    It looks as though Wenchly Winds may have to set sail for a cruise around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, taking you with us, Pat!

    Reply
  43. Your trip to Los Cabos sounds great, Andrea. I only saw a little of the town when we flew back but I would love to spend more time there. And Anne, my only complaint about San Diego was that I didn’t have enough time there. So pleased that you enjoyed the city as well!
    It looks as though Wenchly Winds may have to set sail for a cruise around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, taking you with us, Pat!

    Reply
  44. Your trip to Los Cabos sounds great, Andrea. I only saw a little of the town when we flew back but I would love to spend more time there. And Anne, my only complaint about San Diego was that I didn’t have enough time there. So pleased that you enjoyed the city as well!
    It looks as though Wenchly Winds may have to set sail for a cruise around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, taking you with us, Pat!

    Reply
  45. Your trip to Los Cabos sounds great, Andrea. I only saw a little of the town when we flew back but I would love to spend more time there. And Anne, my only complaint about San Diego was that I didn’t have enough time there. So pleased that you enjoyed the city as well!
    It looks as though Wenchly Winds may have to set sail for a cruise around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, taking you with us, Pat!

    Reply
  46. I finally read down far enough to read about Nicola’s trip to Baja. Her description of San Diego brought back many happy memories. My husband & I first visited the city often while he was stationed California. The Star of India is an old friend.

    Reply
  47. I finally read down far enough to read about Nicola’s trip to Baja. Her description of San Diego brought back many happy memories. My husband & I first visited the city often while he was stationed California. The Star of India is an old friend.

    Reply
  48. I finally read down far enough to read about Nicola’s trip to Baja. Her description of San Diego brought back many happy memories. My husband & I first visited the city often while he was stationed California. The Star of India is an old friend.

    Reply
  49. I finally read down far enough to read about Nicola’s trip to Baja. Her description of San Diego brought back many happy memories. My husband & I first visited the city often while he was stationed California. The Star of India is an old friend.

    Reply
  50. I finally read down far enough to read about Nicola’s trip to Baja. Her description of San Diego brought back many happy memories. My husband & I first visited the city often while he was stationed California. The Star of India is an old friend.

    Reply

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