Sail Gemini

(Updated July 1, 2001)

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Northern Sea of Cortez                            
                              Southern Sea of Cortez

Log 6:  Summer in the Sea of Cortez

July 13 - October 30, 2000

The Summer 

 La Paz to


(See Leg 6 South Map)

Anxious about the heat,  but excited about the wildlife, we headed into the Sea of Cortez for one of the most delightful summers of our lives.   It was hot, but worth it!!!  Beautiful anchorages, abundant sea life and good friends made the temptation to fly to cooler climes disappear.  We've tried to capture some of the highlights, but you really can't imagine such a unique experience until you've snorkeled for your dinner, swum with whale sharks, marveled at the geology and participated in "dinghy raft-ups" with cruising friends.  Take a peek at the fun we had!

July 13 - July 16

 Caleta Partida

(See Leg 6 South Map)

Isla Partida is the closest island north of La Paz, and is always a good place to test your systems after being "marina locked".  The thrill of seeing creatures from pilot whales to good-sized bugs convinced us that anchoring was indeed the only way to go.  

July 19 - July 22

El Gato &

Agua Verde


(See Leg 6 South Map)

El Gato was a new anchorage for us, but after a great dinner aboard Sea Angel the rough water was so uncomfortable, we left for Agua Verde and re-anchored there about midnight.  Luckily, we had been at Agua Verde before, so had a good track on the GPS to compare our position.  Next day we met John & Linda on Hawkeye -- Les & Diane volunteered to take the Sonrisa net on Saturdays and Sundays--good ham radio practice!

July 23 - July 26

Carmen Island

(See Leg 6 South Map)

Marquer, a short hop from Loreto, provided a magazine-cover anchorage with crystal clear water and shellfish aplenty.  After a couple days of this paradise, we moved around the corner to La Lancha under perfect wind conditions.  A power boat there decided to put out a stern anchor, causing us to re-anchor after the winds changed direction.  We were a little anxious about the craggy reef off our stern, but decided we were just wimps when TakeitEZ rounded the bend in the dark and set the hook without a sweat.  Next day, the four of us went snorkeling inside a beautiful cave past "Vee Cove", followed by smoothies aboard Gemini.

July 27

La Ramada

(See Leg 6 South Map)

After coaxing the sails in marginal winds (including the spinnaker!), we coasted into La Ramada, just to the north of  San Juanico.  This delightful anchorage offered good protection from rolling seas and Dorado galore, which we saluted properly with Dave & Kathy aboard TakeitEZ.  July 29 was a big day for us:  celebrated one year since leaving San Francisco Bay to begin this adventure.

July 28 - Aug. 1

Santo Domingo

(See Leg 6 North Map)

At the entrance to Conception Bay, this point offers some relief from the tortuous heat, too-warm waters and lack of wind that sometimes plague the inner bay.  After a fun dinghy ride we were caught off guard by the muddy river entrance into Mulege but were delighted to discover Costco products at "Saul's" grocery store and a tropical oasis in the middle of this desert peninsula.  After dinner aboard Gemini, everyone went back to secure their boats as we noticed a fierce "Chubasco"  was brewing.  With classic cloud formations, frequent lightning and shifting 40-knot winds, these brief storms are a sure sign that summer in The Sea had officially begun!


Aug. 2 - Aug. 5

Isla San Marcos

(See Leg 6 North Map)

We shared this area called "Sweet Pea", with Sea Angel & Kona D.  Mornings provided a show of rays flying out of the water, while sunset brought sperm whale just aft of our stern.  Guy & Deborah gave us a tour of their catamaran "Elan"-- whole new perspective on sailing.  Did you know they don't heel over?  Imagine pictures and glass bowls of seashells sitting on the counters underway!  Another treat they shared:  six episodes of NYPD Blue.

Aug. 6 - Aug. 8

Santa Rosalia

(See Leg 6 North Map)

In the 19th century, a thriving French company named "El Boleo Copper" brought this town into existence.  Shutdown in 1985, the mine left behind a fascinating museum, an abandoned mill and a unique touch of French traditions, cuisine and architecture.  The most famous example is  Iglesia de Santa Barbara, the church designed by Eiffel and built in Paris before being shipped to Mexico.  For cruisers, the most memorable features are the  "Palapa of Knowledge" at the marina and the delicious hot dogs served from a cart in front of the church each night.  But with the oppressive heat and no breeze in the anchorage, we didn't linger long. 

Aug. 9 - Aug 14

San Francisquito,

Puerto Enmedio

(See Leg 6 North Map)

Initally anchored in the center bight, we squeaked through the "keyhole" to anchor in San Francisquito's inner cove and discover the unique taste of "orange Tequila slushes" made by Sailor's Run.  A few days later, we moved to Enmedio, a cozy anchorage just above the 28th parallel separating the two states Baja California and Baja California Sur, joining Nanjo, whose intelligence & sensitive style are always a delight.  They seem to have mastered cruising with diabetes and are thoroughly enjoying Mexico.  

Aug. 14 - Oct. 3

Bahia de Los Angeles

(See Leg 6 North Map)

"Racing" Nanjo to Puerto Don Juan made the arrival into Bahia de Los Angeles ("BLA") even more thrilling.  A perfect hurricane hole, this deep and protected cove would serve as our home base through September and taught us about "careening" to paint the bottom of a boat at low tide.  With dinghy rides to the "village" of BLA for hamburger & fries at Guillermo's, a night all to ourselves at Alcatraz Cove (with the eerie howling of coyotes at night), a day at "The Turtle Farm" and a journey to our most northerly and rewarding destination, Puerto Refugio, we couldn't have imagined a more perfect summer...until we swam with the whale sharks, the experience of a lifetime.

Oct. 4 - Oct. 28

A Journey South

(See Leg 6 North Map)

Leaving BLA wasn't easy, but the weather was cooling and the northerly winds were starting to blow--clear signs to head south. Discovering different areas like El Pescador, Punta Chivato, Concepcion Bay, Caleta Ramada, San Juanico's "Cruisers' Shrine" and Puerto Escondido softened our sense of disappointment at leaving the Bay of L.A. behind and brought some new highlights to our adventure.

Oct. 29 - Oct. 30

Puerto Escondido

(See Leg 6 North Map)

Our last stop on the Baja Peninsula, this huge bay is well-named ("Escondido" means "hidden").  With 40' depths and almost 100 boats, it was one of our more challenging anchoring jobs.  More laughs with Seashell, a quick run up the mast to install a new wind-indicator, and we're off to Mazatlan.  Summer is officially over for Gemini.

Click on any thumbnail to see a better picture.


Pilot Whales give Gemini a wonderful send-off from the La Paz area, and wild life we hadn't counted on:  Big Bugs on the boat and tiny "Blinney" fish stuck in our intakes.

 A Dolphin Feeding Frenzy.  Usually an indication of tuna nearby, but we have yet to catch one!  Also, our First "Chubasco" Storm.  These unannounced thunderstorms frequently bring sudden winds and lightening during the summer.  Everyone calls it "The Chubasco Drill" when awnings, windscoops come down in a hurry.  heThen, the calm after the storm -- good times aboard Gemini

with friends from TakeItEZ, Different Worlds & Daydreamer


The Church in Santa Rosalia

, Les & Diane being tourists and the Santa Rosalia Harbor as viewed from the hill.

Santa Rosalia's famous "Plapa of Knowledge" and Sunrise at Santa Rosalia Harbor



A shellfish called "Amarillo" adds to our culinary delights.


Our "Home Away from Home":  Scenic Don Juan in the Bahia de Los Angeles.


"Hamming it up" on the Sonrisa net at 7:30 am is tough after listening to coyotes howl all night.


After a 12-hour bus ride from Tijuana,

hitchhiking from the highway into Bahia de Los Angeles is a unique experience.


Sierra, an energetic fighter, makes a mess of our dinghy but is good eating.


In Bahia de Los Angeles, sea life became a main attraction: 

whale sharks, turtles and all types of creatures made snorkeling

an awesome experience and a welcome relief from the heat.

Click here to learn more about whale sharks


Steve (Dreamweaver), Bill (Good Medicine), Les (Gemini) and Antonio of the Turtle Farm.


An awesome sight: Sail Rock as we approach Puerto Refugio.


Did Sailor's Run forget about the tide?  Click here to find out more about Careening!


Two things you thought you'd never see:  

Bill Gates' Windows motif in real life, & power-boater Larry loving the wind in the sails.

More Yellowfin tuna near Punta Chabato, Baja California en route to San Francisquito, where we get 

haircuts on the beach with Kona D, Also II and Cambria.  The cruiser's shrine at San Juanico

is where boaters leave a token on this rock pile to mark their passage.


Mulege--a charm all its own.


As friends say "Goodbye" at a raft up in Puerto Refugio...


Summer in the Sea vanishes like an unforgettable sunset.


Click here to see photos of more cruising friends.

Coming next:   Six Months in Mazatlan

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