Kayak Touring the Sea of Cortez and Whiskey Paddle Review

Over the entire month of March myself and two fellow kayakers had the pleasure of paddling a couple hundred miles of the spectacular coast of Baja California.

One of the many beautiful, protected beach camps

The scene in Baja can be hard to describe. When driving through the peninsula the arroyos and mountainsides are alive with thriving cactus and spectacular green desert growth. It is the closest thing to a desert forest I can imagine.

As you descend into the clear blue waters of the Sea of Cortez the mountains behind seem to grow and provide a dramatic background to any paddling adventure.

Paddling from secluded beach to secluded beach and catching fish everyday makes the day to day life on this tour a real treat. If we weren't paddling we were eating, swimming, or relaxing. There’s really not much else to do besides that.

Paddling at dawn, our favorite time to paddle.

Our days started before dawn to observe the general weather of the morning. Being calm as many Baja mornings are, we would glide our kayaks through the glassy dawn waters and begin our day of paddling hoping to get off the water before the afternoon winds pick up. Baja has notorious northerly winds “norteños” these winds blow in the afternoon. Sometimes they turn an awesome day of paddling into a adrenaline fueled tail wind that can help you gain some serious mileage. But be warned, these winds can also make for dangerous seas so we enjoyed finding camp sometime around midday. Other times the wind never comes and the sea stays glassy all day. These days make for great fishing and scanning the horizon for whales.

 

In preparation for this kayak tour I had my concerns about the strain that might be put on my body when touring with the high angle blades of a Whiskey Carbon paddle. In the Sea of Cortez there is not much coastal surf play to be had but there are plenty of long days on still water. I was not sure how the high angle blades would feel after six straight hours of paddling for multiple days in a row.

 

To my delight the paddle felt great and my shoulders did not bother my once throughout the entire month of paddling. The bent shaft and adjustable feather made the whole experience of touring very comfortable. I have been using this paddle on the Lake Michigan surf with much enjoyment and felt the same power and flow of the paddle even after miles and miles of flat water. This tour has put my faith in the versatility of the Whiskey Carbon paddle.

A glassy afternoon

There is a lifetime of exploration to be had in Baja and the Sea of Cortez. Even after a month of paddling I am still eager to return.


Authors

About The Author
Nick Sander Bio
Nick Sander

Growing up near Lake Michigan made water sports the summer activity of choice. Before I could walk was sitting in kayaks, on sailboats, and enjoying all that Lake Michigan had to offer. I have been lucky enough to continue to to pursue these passions in my young adult life. When I left for college in Oregon I started paddling with a little more intensity. I quickly got into whitewater kayaking and expedition based sea kayaking all over the west coast, Canada, and Mexico. Kayaking has become my life, it gets me out of bed in the morning and after a long day returns the favor by making me tired and putting me to sleep.

I am now a kayak instructor and guide in Oregon and Chicago. I am passionate about education and staying safe on the water. I am always trying to get more paddlers on the water and look forward to using my skills to connect more people with the sport and find the same joy I find in paddling.

I would not be the paddler I am today without my family and friends they accompany me on adventures and inspire me to push the sport.

Let go paddling sometime!