Baja to the Mexican Mainland and Back, April 2nd to 17th 2004.

John Somers and I had paddled out to Isla San Lorenzo in the Sea of Cortez in December of 2001. This island is part of a north-south chain that includes Isla Angel de la Guarda, but is also part of an east-west chain that extends across the Sea of Cortez. Looking at the maps later (John and I didn't have good maps at the time) I saw that our crossing from San Francisquito to Isla San Lorenzo was actually the largest crossing necessary to go all the way across the Sea of Cortez. A kayaker could cross the entire "sea" by making only 4 crossings, all less than three hours each. After my trip around Angel de la Guarda I started planning the trip across the Sea of Cortez (and back again) and inviting people to come with me.

A week before the trip I had my Toyota 4Runner checked out to make sure it was OK for the trip. It was not. My mechanic discovered a leak in the head gasket that was pushing coolant out of the radiator. Not a problem that you want to take with you into the desert 500 miles from the nearest tow truck. Since this was a problem that was likely to get worse I had to leave the 4Runner behind and put a new engine in it when I got back. Kate DesLauriers was going to be in Belize for most of the two weeks that I was going to be gone, so I sweet talked her into loaning me her Toyota Tacoma truck. (When we came back, I put on two new tires, four new shocks, and had the front end aligned as part of the thank-you. I suggested that the other people on this trip could help pay for the use of this truck by voluntarily "sponsoring" one of the new shocks. So far I have sold five of the four shocks!) It is a small truck, two wheel drive, and could only carry two people instead of the three we had planned on. With two other cars already going we were able to re-arrange gear and people and make it work.

All text and images Copyright © 2004 by Mike Higgins / contact