SAILING MEXICO
La Paz to Loreto
In this installment we will take you from La Paz, north into the Sea of Cortez to the beautiful and historic town of Loreto.  The
coastline along this stretch is some of the most beautiful we have seen to date.  The contrast of the arrid, red-rock mountains and
the deep blue of the Sea of Cortez is nothing less than splendid.  You can find corresponding pictures by clicking on the
Photo Album
button above.  Remember, you can always look at our previous ramblings by clicking on the archived Journal Entries above and the
corresponding archived Photo Albums on the
Photo Album page.

We said good bye to La Paz for what we thought would be at least six months.  Little did we know we would be back in La Paz in just a
few short weeks to deal with boat repairs.  But that's a story for another installment.  Our first stop was the small island of Isla
San Francisco.  We by-passed Isla Espiritu Santos and Isla Partida in order to make some miles.  We needed to be in the Loreto area
to pick up our friend, Birgit Hiassig, who was coming down for a visit.  We anchored in The Hook at Isla San Francisco. The Hook is a
very popular anchorage because it is well protected and very beautiful.  The water color goes from deep blue to emerald green as you
approach the shoreline.  When we were looking for a place to set our anchor we noticed a couple of large dark patches that we took
for either rocks, grass, or deeper water.  We avoided them.  It turned out that the dark patches were huge schools of bait fish!  
Check out the pictures in the photo album.  The pelicans were having a great time diving into the school.  At times there were as many
as 20 pelicans dive bombing the water right next to the boat!  We liked this anchorage so much we spent two days there even though
we were on a rather tight schedule.  The second day we took a day-trip over to Isla San Jose to explore the lagoon at Bahia
Amortajada.

We left Isla San Francisco and headed north toward Loreto.  Enroute we spent the first night at Bahia Los Gatos on the Baja
Peninsula (approximately 45 nautical miles north of Isla San Francisco), and the second night at Honeymoon Cove on Isla Danzante
(another 45 to 50 nautical miles to the north).  As we said, the coastline along the Baja Peninsula is amazing.  The mountains are
predominantly made up of volcanic rock, the source for which can be traced to volcanoes located on the mainland.  These volcanoes
were active millions of years ago when the Baja Peninsula was still connected to the mainland.  The peninsula separated from the
mainland 25-30 million years ago as a byproduct of the formation of the famous San Andreas Fault.  The mountains along this stretch,
part of the Baja Peninsular Range, are referred to as the Sierra Giganta (pronounced hee-gan-ta).  The Sierra Giganta Mountains are
similar to the Sierra Nevada Mountains in that they are both formed from fault block batholiths, and in both cases the block has been
tilted upward unevenly to create a steep face, or escarpment, along the eastern edge.  OK, enough with the Geology lesson.  We'll just
suffice it to say these here mountains are damn beautiful!  Our pictures are good, but they don't do the area justice.  You'll just
have to come for a visit and see this for yourself.

In our next installment we will present the town of Loreto and the islands located in the Loreto area.  Until then, as always, we wish
you all a fresh breeze and following seas!
ARCHIVED JOURNAL ENTRY #11