Monday, February 06, 2012

A different kind of winter self support trip

Having done a number of southern hemisphere paddling trips over the years I was looking for something different to do this fall and winter in the off season. The opportunity arose unexpectedly when a good friend invited us on multi-day self support trip in Baja. Everything sounded great, warm sun, great group of friends, not to crazy of logistics (it seemed at the time), and a physically challenging agenda. Only one thing i was concerned about it lacking, rapids. It was a sea kayaking trip, of which none of us had done before, where we would be hopping from island to island in the Sea of Cortez off the coast of Baja for 150 miles. Initially my reaction was that it just wouldn't be the same without big horizon lines and technical rapids, however I found many of the exact same challenges I've come to love on multi-day self support whitewater trips with the added benefit of being about to do it in the winter and with some great friends!

Two weeks of food, packing, logistics, shuttle drivers, etc was the same if not more complicated.

Some of the mountains off the ocean are 5,000' straight up, so there are only two 4wd road access points in the entire 150 miles section. Remote does not begin to describe ones location.

Camping under the moon for two weeks

The only "store" and Pacifico stop for 150+ miles

Potluck dinner

Another great sunrise

Wild burrows

Whale skeletons

Fresh coconut extraction

Not the best eating fish in the sea

A tiny fishing village on a island a few hundred yards wide.

One of our camping/snorkeling sites

Snorkeling at lunch stops and all along the way.

Last sunrise on the Sea of Cortez. :(

I have to say, despite the lack of whitewater, everyone in our group had a bast! While a lot of work, the nice thing is it is a multi-day trip you can bring anyone along who enjoys camping, fishing, snorkeling, and if they don't know how to kayak, you have plenty of time to practice. We brought all our whitewater gear like first aid kits, Watershed Duffel dry bags and Watershed Futa Stow Floats along with our white water boating shoes and my regular Astra Green jacket. We had enough room that we bought some nicer camping gear like portable table and a tarp along with tents which were good for the one or two buggy beaches. If your looking for a different type of fall/winter paddling trip, give Baja a try!


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