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Spread; A Latitude 38 drone view of the entrance to the mangroves at spectacularly beautiful Bahia Santa Maria. Note the panga heading out. Inset; The location of the channel on the inside is to the northwest. Outside in the surf, it depends on the state of the tide and the surf. Follow the pangas.

figured we'd have to wait until we got back to California to get the work done. A month later friends sailing in the extreme northern part of the Sea of Cortez told us that the Rocky Point Boat Yard at Punta Penasco has a 150-ton Travelift, a machine shop, and painters. Yard manager Salvador Cabrales, who is fluent in English, made a good impression on us over the phone and gave us a good quote. He said we could even leave our boat there for hurricane season. "When we told cruisers we were headed to Penasco, they wondered if we were crazy, given that we'd be taking a deep draft boat to an area where the tidal changes are extreme. But coming from an area where we have 15-ft tides all the time, it was not problem. We anchored in Refugio before crossing to Penasco, and constantly had whales around us. In addition, the scenery was amazing, with

some of the most beautiful colors we've ever seen. Our boat with her 10-ft boat got into Penasco when it wasn't even high tide. Once there, we discovered they are building a cruise ship terminal as well as a new marina. "As for the boat yard, we were very happy with the workmanship, and the face the yard is just 90 minutes from the U.S. border. While Rocky Point is quite a bit out of the way for most cruisers in Mexico, it is an option." Following the HaHa some boats head right back up to California, lots go up to La Paz, a few go over to Mazatlan, and a bunch go to Banderas Bay. Not Jim and Kent

Milski of the Lake City, Colorado-based Schionning 49 Sea Level. The vets of four Ha-Ha's and a circumnavigation headed back up the Pacific Coast of Baja to Mag Bay, then did something we've always wanted to do — made their way 50 miles or so up the inland passage to the village of Mateo Lopez. Bob Hoyt, a longtime friend of the Ha-Ha who runs Mag Bay Outfitters, advised the Milskis that most days they shouldn't have any problem going over the bar and back into the Pacific. We'll have a full report with photos next month. Despite the tragic passing of Philo Hayward a few months ago, we're happy to report that Philo's Music Studio and Bar in La Cruz, continues to rock on. The Wanderer and Doña de Mallorca were there the second week in October, and it was like old home week. The first people we met were lovebirds Christian Mancebo and his world traveled Czech fiancee Petra Švehlová. They were soon joined by the lovely Maria Joaquin Sierra, who for all intents and purposes was Philo's wife. It was reminicing time, for Christian, who is now harbormaster at the refurbished Marina Vallarta, was the harbormaster at the Riviera Nayarit Marina when it opened about eight years ago. And Maria worked for him. "The first two boats in the marina were Ha-Ha boats," laughs Christian, "and they arrived a couple of days before the marina was even open. The first was a Hunter, while the second was Jim Taylor — who for many years ran the racing program at the St. Francis YC — with his Beneteau 473 Sooner Magic. Jim sailed that boat more than anybody I've ever seen. And even though she wasn't for sale, somebody bought her based solely on a photograph of her that appeared in While at Philo's, Marina Vallarta Harbormaster Christian Mancebo was bookended by the lovely Petra, left, and the lovely Maria, right. LATITUTDE / RICHARD

LATITUDE / RICHARD

IN LATITUDES

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Latitude 38 Dec 2015  

The December 2015 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 Dec 2015  

The December 2015 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.