For the last three years, we've stuck to the Baja side of the Sea of Cortez, as many people do. There is so much to see and do over there that there didn't seem a need to come to the mainland side.
However, after three years of ending up in Santa Rosalia both for the last provision kick off before the summer, and then the clean up and reprovision after the summer, we decided we were ready for a break. When you provision for a family of three with a large dog, you end up with hundreds of pounds of food and fuel that you have to get onto your boat. Santa Rosalia (population 12,000) is great but it is a hard place to provision. There is no public transit system. There are no "large" grocery stores so you have to go to several stores to get all your stuff. It's always hot. The taxi bill is always high since you have to ask them to stop at several stores and wait while you shop.
So this year we decided to give Guaymas a try. Man, I wish we had figured this out years ago. Guaymas has so many advantages over Santa Rosalia that it is not even a contest. Like Santa Rosalia, Guaymas is a great, working Mexican town without a lot of tourists (like us) mucking things up. After that, there aren't a lot of similarities. Guaymas is a city of about 130,000 built on an extensive, well-protected, natural harbor. The Singlar marina is just a few blocks away from the downtown with it's bustling Central Market and a very good grocery store. The bus system is frequent and fast and costs 5 1/2 pesos per ride! The town boasts a Walmart, AutoZone, McDonald's, Leys', and much more all conventiently assessible through the transit system. It's easy to anchor out with lots of room and good protection.
The only negative to Guaymas is that the Singlar here has a very popular bar on the top floor that just gets cranking up around 10 pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They book great bands and we have enjoyed quite a few concerts from our boat. Unfortunately they have a karaoke machine that they turn over to the drunks after the band stops playing around 1 am. They entertain themselves until around 3 am. With the volume at the max, the singers warble out Mexican tunes or badly pronounced songs in English. It's painfully funny and the first night I sat up laughing. I thought about vidoetaping it for the blog but decided to spare you. It's not so funny now after several nights missed sleep. Bring ear plugs.