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.
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.
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.
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.