Pri­vate Yacht Va­ca­tions

Mex­ico’s Sea of Cortez, Cel­lar & Gal­ley

Yachts International - - Contents -

Odile, a French name, trans­lates as wealthy and for­tu­nate. Mother Na­ture, per­haps a Span­ish-speaker, didn’t get that memo. When Hur­ri­cane Odile slammed into Mex­ico’s Baja Cal­i­for­nia penin­sula this past Septem­ber, she was the strong­est storm ever on record there. The 125-mph winds lev­eled homes. Palm trees and power lines snapped like Tin­ker­toys. Re­sorts in Cabo San Lu­cas and La Paz be­came mass-evac­u­a­tion sites. The dam­age to­taled more than $900 mil­lion: ex­pen­sive and un­for­tu­nate, to say the least.

Clean-up ef­forts be­gan im­me­di­ately in the coastal ar­eas, which, in ad­di­tion to be­ing jammed with re­sorts, have more re­cently be­come hubs for western Mex­ico’s grow­ing num­ber of lux­ury char­ter yachts. Per­sonal cruis­ing has long been popular inside the penin­sula, in the Sea of Cortez, but it’s only dur­ing the past half-dozen years that larger yachts have be­gun to make the re­gion a win­ter al­ter­na­tive to the Caribbean.

Day-char­ter boats of­ten base out of Cabo San Lu­cas, and La Paz is gen­er­ally the start­ing and end­ing point for crewed char­ters into the Sea of Cortez. The nat­u­ral land­scape of La Paz helped pre­vent even more se­ri­ous Odile dam­age at its mari­nas, where most re­pairs were

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