Sail Gemini

(Updated March 1, 2001)

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Log 2:  Baja, Mexico

Nov. 20, 1999-Jan 13, 2000

Nov. 20-Nov. 22

San Quintin

A new adventure begins!  We departed San Diego Nov. 20 and crossed the border into Mexico.  We were in radio contact with a group of boats (Phantom, Cetus, Hali Kai, Tashi and We Three), all keeping eachother company through the quiet nights on watch.  With crew Carlos and Marijke Valencia on board, we traveled in conditions a little rougher than we'd seen since leaving San Francisco--we're already spoiled!   The anchoring system that served us well all those years in S.F. Bay was put to the test and fell short of the mark.  Twelve foot seas at our first attempt in Punta Colnett broke bolts in the bow roller and a shear pin in the windlass, convincing us to head for calmer waters at Cabo San Quintin, where it was time for a small celebration, a little lasagne on board and a good night's sleep.
Nov. 23-Nov. 26

Turtle Bay

Another overnight sail...we're getting the hang of this!  Marijke organizes things so we don't have to dig in search of food, and sleeping arrangements improve with 2 hours on, 6 hours off.  Cami, in particular, starts to calm down...and realizes that with a rotating watch system, there's always  a cozy place to sleep, and usually somebody to sleep with!   Diane & the crew take the dinghy into town for a quick walk and fresh tortillas while Les works on the anchor (temporary repairs do not look very promising).   Fuel cleaning service was also available--lucky for us, as we discovered mystery silicone balls were the culprits clogging our fuel filters!  Thanksgiving dinner in Turtle Bay was a treat, with turkey breast, cranberry sauce, stuffing and pumpkin pie.  Had a chance to meet some of the people we had heard on the radio.
Nov. 27-Nov. 29

Magdalena Bay

A big bay, we stopped at Man of War cove, a peaceful anchorage where the port captain delivered fuel with a smile (for a few pesos, a couple beers and warm apple tortillas).  Later that same day, he processed all our papers for a legal entry into the Mexican port.  Few attractions on shore--the town had been without electricity for a month--so we headed for Cabo San Lucas, hoping to find someone to repair our windlass. 
Nov. 30-Dec. 6

Cabo San Lucas

During an overnight sail, we saw a number of fishing boats, sailed with Awestruck (See photos2 & visit; a 48-inch Dorado welcomed us into Cabo San Lucas.  We had originally planned to skip Cabo because it's so commercial and very expensive ($60 U.S. per night!)   But we were desperate to fix our windlass, and spent four days finding a shop and cajoling them into drilling a new hole into the equipment.  They fixed the shear pin and installed a new shim (for whatever reason) which later proved a disaster.  

After the "repair", we headed north toward La Paz.  Attempt #1 on Dec. 4 failed, as we did not yet understand that "Santa Anna winds in Southern California" led inevitably to "Northerlies blowing in the Sea of Cortez".  As a result, we were faced with head-on winds after 6 hours of sailing, and turned back to Cabo to lick our wounds and try again.  Thanks to harbormaster Tim's advice, we waited for a high pressure system in the "Four Corners" area to disappear, and raced for La Paz in perfect conditions.  (Well, almost perfect--our Alpha autopilot control panel in the cockpit died...another project lurking behind the scenes?)  Into the Sea of Cortez we went, enjoying the mild winds and the last morsel of Dorado in fish tacos--yum!

Dec. 6-Jan 20

La Paz

This is it!  We arrived at our first planned marina destination in Mexico, and were very impressed.   (We chose not to stop at Los Frailes or Los Muertos due to our questionable anchoring system.)  The town is clean, the citizens are charming and the marina is full of helpful cruisers.  Chris & Patti's new 40-foot Nordhaven "Lulu" was there to greet us as we tiptoed in at 11pm, holding our breath between scant buoys, unlit markers and a debatable entrance to Marina Palmira.  (The other location, Marina de La Paz, would have been even trickier, as an unmarked shoal catches a few boats each season.)  Here we tied up for a Christmas escape to S.F, returned to La Paz for a Millennium reunion with Emeryville's G-Dock, and  final repairs to (see photos2). 

Jan 20--??


Look for future updates as we embark on leg 3:  our journey to the Mexican mainland. 

Carlos and Marijke Valencia join us as we cross into Mexico.

Cami loves helping the off-watch crew.

On watch, life ain't so bad, either.

A 48-inch Dorado welcomes us to Cabo San Lucas.


(See photos2 for more pictures on leg 2--San Diego to La Paz)

Go to Log 3:  Baja to Puerto Vallarta

Go to Journey Map


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