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diving baja in jan/feb?

Discussion in 'General Travel and Vacation Discussions' started by val&tim, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. val&tim

    val&tim Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ariège, France
    27
    6
    3
    Hello,

    We will be travelling in Mexico in Jan/Feb 2014. Is it worth going to the Sea of Cortez for the diving at this time of year? We are looking at Loreto - is that a good choice for encounters with manta rays, sea lions etc? What water temperature and vis can we expect?
    Is it worth doing a liveaboard or can you get to all the dive sites easily from the shore?

    Thanks in advance for any help and advice.
     
  2. Julie T

    Julie T Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Luis Obispo, California, United States
    3
    0
    1
    Our favorite place in the Sea of Cortez is Cabo Pulmo, which is in the East Cape of Baja. In fact, we just returned from spending two weeks there. There's a coral reef complex near the shore that is a national marine park which has been protected from fishing for more than a decade, and the fisheries there have seen tremendous recovery - a study done a year or so ago found they had experienced the greatest recovery of any reserve in the world. We haven't gone diving there in January and February; the latest we've gone is November/December, and then in May. I believe the water temps can get down to the high 60s in Jan/Feb, so it would definitely call for a wetsuit. I've heard that the winds can be a concern in the winter, so that might be something to look into, since if the winds are too high, the scuba boats don't go out. Our favorite dive shop in Cabo Pulmo is Cabo Pulmo Watersports because of the experience of the divemasters they employ - it's not the largest shop, but the people there have been there for a long time, are great people, really know the reef, and know diving (Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cabo-Pulmo-Watersports/313205445396773?ref=br_tf). During our dives at Pulmo this vacation, we encountered massive schools of jacks (posted a video on youtube: Dropping through a tornado of jacks in Cabo Pulmo with a ray at the bottom - YouTube), and saw a few of the bull sharks that have been hanging out at one particular site (Diving with bull sharks in Cabo Pulmo, Baja - best viewed in HD - YouTube). And one day while we were on the way back in from a dive, a whale shark swam by, so we all jumped off the panga to snorkel with the whale shark for a few minutes. If you haven't been to Cabo Pulmo, it's a gem, if you enjoy peaceful retreats.
     
  3. SoCalRich

    SoCalRich Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Inland So CAlif.
    254
    82
    28
    Greetings Val & Tim,
    The Sea of cortez has some great diving I have been to Cabo Pulmo many times. And have been diving many of the locations in Cabo San Lucas as well. The diving is cold in the water and hot in the boat. Lots of big schools of fish. Not much coral. BUT mexico is off my list of travel destinations. IT IS UNSAFE, You can be hassled, hustled, robbed, stolen from or even arrested at any time for any reason. (And everyone that goes there knows this, but they roll the dice anyway) It is just as expensive as Hawaii but the quality of everything from food to construction is a crap shoot as well . If your coming from France, go to Florida, Roataan, Belize, The Crib., California.
    Good Divin
    SoCal Rich
     
  4. george_austin

    george_austin Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Los Angeles,CA. Alcoi, Espana, Los Barilles, Baja
    573
    288
    63
    I'll be in Loreto from 7 - 12 January. Loreto as well as La Paz are completely safe for travel. Wonderful people and absolutely gorgeous nature. I am diving with Dolphin Dive Center out of Loreto. Water temps will be in the low 60'sF - 7 mil wetsuit required. Visibility will be usually between 20 - 50ft - Not as good as Sept - Oct. when vis is 100ft and water temp is upper 80'sF - expect a little wind. Daytime air temps low 70's to mid 70's Loreto is wonderful.
     
  5. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
    26,281
    5,854
    113
    I believe in Jan/Feb 2014 all the liveaboards (Rocio Del Mar, Solmar V, Nautilus Explorer, MV Sea Escape) will all be out at the Socorros Islands - 300+ miles off the Mexican coast diving with the big stuff. It's cold, deep and Unbelievable. Mantas, dozens of Sharks species in schools by the 100's, Whale Sharks, Pilot, Bowhead and other Whales, Sea Lions, Dolphins on just about every trip. It's also $3300 plus per person, takes all day to cross over, often a 10-14 day trip and IIRC all leave from Cabo San Lucas. Nautilus is just a nice boat, Solmar V is part of the Hughes DivEncounter network now and Rocio is the newest. Full disclosure - an acquaintance locally owns it. They built it to be a dive boat about 10 years ago. I don't know Sea Escape.

    Search Youtube for Solmar V videos if still interested. They make one every trip showing what they've seen that week. It's generally pretty spectacular. They're popular trips so may be all sold out for this season also. Rocio is sold out for 2014 already.
     
  6. gkornfeld

    gkornfeld Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: san diego
    59
    1
    8
    Any thoughts of the diving conditions for Baja diving (off shore) last weekend in March (over easter). Was thinking of La Paz. I'm asking since I've heard conditions might not be good.
     
  7. zeppelindiver

    zeppelindiver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives:
    Location: Roatan, Bay Islands
    72
    54
    0
    We spent March through October 2010 exploring the Sea of Cortez on our sailboat. The diving was not good in the La Paz area until after July, the vis was poor & the big stuff wasn't there yet, the water was too cold & the critters follow the warm water. Once the water warmed up the diving was spectacular, we spent August through October diving all along the Baja side of the Sea of Cortez from La Paz all the way up to Puerto Refugio at the very northern end of Isla Angel de La Guardia and saw amazing wildlife. Counted 5 different kinds of whales, half a dozen kinds of dolphins, manta rays, mobula mantas that actually jump out of the water in formation & do back flips, hammerhead sharks, great fish life, turtles etc. etc.

    For divers basing out of shore locations Loreto is an excellent spot, it is central to some great locations, particularly Isla Coronados, & there are a couple of dive ops there. We can't comment on the ops as we are self-contained for diving on our boat & didn't use them, but I'm sure there are some other ScubaBoard contributors that can make recommendations. If you can find an operator further north out of Mulege, used to be one there but his shop closed after hurricane damage & I don't know if it reopened, Santa Rosalia or Bahia de Los Angeles there are some amazing locations. We watched coyotes catch sting rays off the beach for dinner in Animus Slot just around the corner from Bahia de LA, absolutely amazing, have pictures to prove it.

    Regarding the poster that said Mexico is completely unsafe we couldn't disagree more. We spent a year in Mexico exploring the Pacific coast from Ensenada, through the Baja & Sea of Cortes, down the mainland side from San Carlos to Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo & Las Hadas, Barra de Navidad, Zihuatanejo, Acapulco, Huatulco, and every little village in between, along with multiple inland trips to many villages & cities, Oaxaca is amazing! We never had any problems anywhere we went and never felt unsafe. We have also done numerous trips to the Yucatan, including Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Akumal & Tulum, including a month in that area earlier this year.

    Like anywhere else in the world, there are places you should avoid, especially at night, and certain towns or cities to stay away from. This is true in Canada & the U.S. and most countries in the world, have you been to Oakland lately? North American media has done an amazing job of convincing people that Mexico is unsafe, don't believe everything you read or hear, go & see for yourself.

    We would recommend going to the Sea of Cortes later in the year, there is some good diving around La Paz but not until the water warms up & clears up, usually around July.
     
  8. Baja Dive

    Baja Dive Barracuda

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Cabo San Lucas
    349
    13
    18
    Hi Val and Tim
    I have recently moved to Cabo San Lucas and purchased Baja Dive. We have some great diving around and in the end of Jan beginning of Feb the water temperatures are still reasonably warm (around 65-69 degrees). We have a wide range of wetsuits to cater for everyone's needs. There are some nice local dive sites including Land's end where we have a small population of Californian sea lions, pelican rock, sand falls and more. We don't have too much coral here because of the water temperature variance but the fish life is incredible and it is still very colorful.
    Cabo Pulmo is the only Coral Reef in the Sea of Cortez but unfortunately it is seasonal from July to Dec. Cabo is a very safe place and people are very friendly, unlike a lot of places that will hassle you to buy things most will move on very quickly if you say no. There are some beautiful beaches and lots of things to do while you are here.
    If you would like to know any more information please send me an email.

    Kind Regards

    Charlotte "Charlie"
     
  9. EnsenadaDive

    EnsenadaDive Garibaldi

    3
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