>On the advice of two netters and a local windsurfing type, we didn't take
>our rigs down to Baja this past weekend. I'm pretty glad we didn't.
>Although we roamed between Rosarito and Encenada, and saw quite a few nice
>areas to launch, the wind was disappointing at best.
> -John Kalucki
I did take my board down to Baja a few years ago, and had quite an experience. Lack
of wind was NOT a problem. What was a problem was my unfamiliarity with the local
The place we went to was called Puerto Ecitos, which is 60 miles south of San Felipe
on the inside of the penninsula. The first day I was there, the wind had started
to pick up. I was the only one with a working rig. Unfortunately, we had had an
accident on the way down, and everyone elses sail bags were tourched (about
$2000 worth of gear, gone in seconds). Watch out for people throwing cigaretts
in your trailers!. Anyway, that should have been a warning.
I was our for about 1/2 hour, when I noticed that the wind was picking up RAPIDLY!
I was just figuring out the patterns of the area. I was sailing about 3/4 of a mile
from the beach. The waves were picking up quickly, and my sail was much to big for
the conditions. About this time, I started to see sea bats popping out all around
me. If this wasn't an unfamiliar place, I probably wouldn't have been so aprehensive,
but it was and I was.
I was having difficulty with my turns at this time, due to the force of the wind.
It was definately gusting well over 20 knots. I was wishing I had my smaller sail,
and also wishing I was on the shore, which I was only seeing occasionally over
the now huge swells.
I started back in. On my first tack, it happened. My boom was torn from my hands,
and the sail and mast hit the water so hard that it snapped my mast at the point
where my boom attached.
I was on my 9'6" Aitken, which fortunately floated very well. I quickly wrapped up
my sail, and began a fruitless attempt at paddeling in. At this time, I was over a mile out, and being sent out to the center of the Gulf. After about 10 minutes,
I decided I better ditch my sail, and try to get in with my board only. But luck
was with me (for the first and only time on that trip), and I heard the sweet sound
of a jet ski (which I had never considered an acceptable sound before). One
of my buddies said that after not seeing me for over 20 minutes, decided to perform
a Search/Rescue. Thank god!
So, It really depends on where you go in Baja. I know the inside is typically more
windy, from experience. I too travel down through Rosarito and Ensanada frequently,
and have seldom seen wind worthy of bring my board out.