Sail Gemini
(Updated March 1, 2001)

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Log 5:  Mazatlan to La Paz

May 4 - July 12, 2000

Click here for "Latest Add-Ons"

May 4-7

Los Muertos

(See Leg 5 Map)

The overnight journey westward back to the Baja peninsula was wonderful, and even included enough wind to turn off the engine for half the trip!  This time we tried 3 hour shifts, which gave us a much better chance to rest.  And after the mainland, we were thrilled to see the water clear, not rolly, with beautiful beaches and crystal green water showing a lazy anchor chain in the sand.  Even got a huge piece of yellow-fin tuna from an American after his fishing charter & shared it with Takeitez.

Also met a delightful couple, John & Linda (see who were travelling by car and reminded us of all the goodies we'd been missing--like Mother's Cookies.  It's going to be a loooong month at anchor!

May 8-9

Puerto Balandra

(See Leg 5 Map)

A short hop, we sailed around the north tip of the La Paz peninsula to be greeted by fierce evening winds.  Especially common during the summer, these "Corumuels" were described in the cruising guides as "an evening breeze, a refreshing relief from the summer heat".  As we learned after several attempts at anchoring (and listening to others' tales of dragging during the night), these  winds start in the evening and build to a screaming howl during the wee hours of the morning.  We're a bit more experienced after these challenging conditions, and have more patience about pulling up the anchor and re-setting if it doesn't seem exactly right.  We now routinely do an anchor watch every hour or two during the night, and subscribe to what we call the "Johnny Cochran" school of anchoring:

If it makes you fret,

You must reset!

We heard Sparrow on the VHF radio, so called them to swing by en route to La Paz so we could pass them their mail--cleverly maneuvered with a boat hook & some duct tape.  We discovered in the morning that our sacrifice to the wind gods had been the American flag mounted on a pitiful ring aft of the cockpit.  Oh, well.

May 10-14

Caleta Partida

(See Leg 5 Map)

After waiting for winds to diminish to about 12 knots, we headed north, arriving at a beautiful cut between two islands in mid-afternoon.  Already, it was too windy to launch the dinghy, so we made English Muffins from scratch and opened our last jar of homemade blackberry jam.  Sometimes extreme winds don't seem so bad!

That evening, the winds gusted to 40 mph -- a power boat even dragged partway onto the beach before helpful cruisers set another anchor for them. Then, the following day was calm and warm, so we took our inflatable across the cut, snagged some sardines and caught a Pargo--delicious fish!  Finally, a chance to snorkel, beach-comb, collect shells, visit with King's X, Nanjo and Alii Kai. Dennis & Tina, headed back to La Paz, donated their fresh veggies to us.  Also, after some high-powered negotiations, Alii Kai consented to the great litter swap:  clumping (for Cami) in exchange for non-clumping (for Moby)!  All that executive training finally paid off!

May 15-18

Isla San Francisco

(See Leg 5 Map)

Heading north, this time we can take advantage of the Corumuels and sail with the wind behind us.  Caught 4 fish (released 3), all with the green/yellow/orange "Rapala" lure, which we've now nicknamed "killer".  Visited with Emeryville's Michael & Desiree on Amante and enjoyed one of the most idyllic anchorages we've ever seen.

Increasingly amazed at pelicans diving head-first into the water,  we spend about an hour each day wondering at their perseverance.  Les explained that pelicans rarely die of old age...the majority get cataracts and concussions!  There is one photo below, but for the full impact, take a peek at a series of pelican shots!

May 19-20


(See Leg 5 Map)

A very large cove, Evaristo teems with fishing boats and has one palapa restaurant that serves a meal of fish of the day if there was anything caught that day!  A fun hike over the hill brought us to a peaceful oasis where children greeted us and sea salt was available from their evaporation ponds.  This proved an extra-wise move when we caught two spotted sand bass, rolled them in the coarse salt and grilled them on the barbie.  

May 21-26

Agua Verde

(See Leg 5 Map)


Left at 7 a.m. for our 50-mile motor-sail to meet Seashell.  Arriving at 3 p.m., we just rested for the day.  (We've been spoiled with 4-hour days 'till now!  But we shouldn't complain, because by car it would have been 160 miles of winding dirt road.)

Our friends Ron & Ingri arrived the next day and we shared dinners, lunches, snorkeling, hiking, fishing and lots of laughs.  With weekly deliveries of fresh fruits & veggies, coves to shelter us from any wind direction and clear, green water, Agua Verde was one of the best anchorages so far.

May 27-30

Back to La Paz

(See Leg 5 Map)

Agua Verde being the furthest north we could go before returning to meet family in La Paz, we said goodbye to our friends and headed south.  Fishing was pretty good over the next 5 days, producing two beautiful Mexican bonitos and a 30" skipjack for fresh sashimi, plus several other fish that we released or lost.  We're getting the sense that our anchoring techniques are really improving, too, and that we're getting smarter about departure times, waiting until 1 p.m. after the winds die down.

We stayed at the same anchorages on the way down, and climaxed our journey with a beach party at Caleta Partida.  We set the anchor just in time to launch our dinghy and join Takeitez, Ann Marie, Morning Star, Zwerver and Wanderlust, who had borrowed a fisherman's lean-to, organized a pot-luck, plugged in a CD-player and electric mixer.  Voila:  music and tequilas at sunset!

June 1-July 5

La Paz

(See Leg 5 Map)

Back at Marina Palmira, we enjoyed a 5-day visit with daughter Rebecca, who sluffed off her dot com world with ease and taught us a few things about relaxing.  Following that, brother Mark & family stayed at a hotel but spent lots of time with us discovering La Paz and all the peaceful experiences that make life here so pleasant.

July 6-July 12

La Paz

Add-On Photos

(See Leg 5 Map)

We flew home to SF for a week in June (see Family & Friends for photos), leaving Cami in the loving care of Natalie from Night Owl.  Returning to La Paz, we spent a fun-filled Fourth of July with Night Owl and Topaz and shopped at our favorite Mercado to provision for our trip north into the Sea of Cortez for the summer.  As you can see, the markets are a bit unique in Mexico.


Click on any thumbnail to see the full-sized photo.


After crossing the Sea of Cortez westward, Dave & Kathy on Takeitez share the anchorage with Gemini.  But human beings aren't the only ones learning to relax:  Cami waits patiently by her food cabinet after a long voyage.

Click here for Cami's Cat Box

Gemini at anchor at Los Muertos.  Condos now under development!


Circumnavigators Jeff and Jan on Halcyon close the circle at La Paz, Alii' Kai radio personalities Dennis & Tina and Gemini at Isla San Francisco.


High-impact pelican dives defy Darwin's theory

--by now you'd think they'd be extinct!


(See pelicans for more photos.)

The landscape in Baja del Sur is far from tropical, but has a beauty all its own.  

Viewing the sunrise at Caleta Partida convinces us that it just keeps getting better.


Remember,  "If it makes you fret, you must reset!"

Kathy watches anxiously as Dave wonders:  will Reverie's anchor hold?


A fishing shack, music and a blender make an instant party,

with romantic moments for all.


Apparently at ease in any environment,

Rebecca wins the reward for "Miss Flexibility" on Gemini.


Three kids & a V-berth . . . or a dinghy . . . always a joy!  


Diane's brother Mark is delighted with his Marlin, while Les smiles at yellow fin tuna.

Latest Add-Ons:  Photos

Natalie prepares for a week of TLC with Cami while Les & Diane go to S.F.


Emeryville buddy Rod shares laughs with Les aboard Gemini and Fourth of July in La Paz is always special with good friends like

Phil & Faye (Night Owl) and Johnny & Nancy (Topaz)...and watermelon, of course!



Provisioning at the Nicolas Bravo Mercado is unique

(See photos5 for more pictures on leg 5--Mazatlan to La Paz)

Coming next, the sizzling summer thriller:   Gemini in the Sea of Cortez

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