Kayak in Baja?

My name is Rachel. I am a student at Alaska Pacific University. For January 2011, we are looking into organizing a Sea Kayaking Expedition class to Baja, California. The trip needs to be around 21 days to qualify for Expedition credit. I’ve been trying to do some research into a trip that might meet this requirement and be feasible with January weather conditions down there. Any suggestions would be appreciated! What are your thoughts on a Mulege to La Paz trip? How long would it take, how is the weather in January, and are there places to get water drops in between? Also, are there any kayak outfitters in or nearby Mulege?
Thanks so much for your time,

One Response to “Kayak in Baja?”

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  1. el codo says:

    Hi, I did not do this trip but I have gone out in various places along your route and I think I have some relevant tips that may help you. Some of the info is not comforting but I don’t want to scare you either as this is a trip of a lifetime.

    You’ve got to carry enough water to last a week and even in January you can go through a lot. Water purification is an absolute must as some fishing villages will share water from storage barrels.

    Winter winds can be downright hazardous at times. They usually come from the northwest and can set up a chop that can become in my opinion dangerous and it can last for days on end. You’ve got to know in advance where you can beach, and how long it’s going to take you to get there. For example if the wind kicks up at a certain hour each day in order to make progress you will need to study the topo map and guesstimate time and distance so as to not get caught. A water resistant GPS with some way to recharge it would in my opinion be mandatory.

    I would urge you in a form as strong as possible to obtain topographical maps for your route shoreline and then study them as you go along to see what kind of hidey hole or beaching possibilities exist for your day’s travel. Some landforms that run for miles (the points) have sheer palisades that would defy a mountain goat going ashore.

    Try to get ahold of a copy of a GUIA ROJI Mexico road map and photocopy the pages that have your route area. Villages of any significance at all will be marked and this can be useful.

    If you can ahold of an EPIRB and verify that it is the current model, the one that is monitored it can save your life. An EPIRB sends a signal to a satellite that shows your exact position. These critters are not cheap.

    Talk to your doctor beforehand about a list of “What If’s?” Appendecitis, strep throat, diarrhea, infected tooth, whatever. A small first aid kit is a must. Get the stongest sunscreen you can lay your hands on as well as a pair of really dark glasses. A marine supply store can outfit you with at least one parachute flare — like the orion. Get the brightest and highest flare that you can afford.

    Take a tent and be aware of the possibility of running into a scorpion or rattler. You may find a source of water like for bathing but check it out real good because rattlesnaks just love to stay near them sometimes, waiting for dinner.

    Flashlights fail and wind-up emergency flashlights can get you through a tough spot.

    Time? Oh jeez, two weeks, and perhaps more if you have to weather a stiff nor’wester. It can be done faster, but don’t stake your life on it. You also may find a place that you’ll want to hang your hat for awhile.

    Hope This Helps, You Lucky Person!