Internet Newsletter

From The 90 Day Yacht Club Guide to Ensenada

November 2003

Volume 1, Number 2



A true traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arrival®










 Restaurante Kaia; Cocina Tradicional Vasca: Ave. Moctezuma #479. Welcome to Benny Novelo A.’s house! This is a truly unique experience as you are actually a guest of the owner and his family at his casa, and are treated as a very special addition to the family. The deserts are outrageous! On the menu you will find a fine selection of traditional Mexican meals; many you may not be familiar with, but will be glad you discovered at this warm and friendly home.

E-mail: Tel. 178-2238


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 Recognition is what you write for, it’s much more than money. You want your book to be valued. It’s the basic aspiration of the serious writer.



  If you are in the Shelter Island area of San Diego, stop by and visit our friend Captain Ann Kinner at Seabreeze Books. You will discover a two-story building full of nautical books, charts, gifts, jewelry, art and lots of other interesting water themed items to fuel your wanderlust and educate you about the world of yachting. The store personnel are all well versed on the store inventory and can direct you to one of the myriad titles to be found on the shelves. A charming loft aloft contains more surprises and also serves as Ann's perch ordering books, insuring you have a complete selection available whenever you visit. What they don’t have, they will order for you. Seabreeze has books for the beginning, intermediate, and advanced boater. For years, Seabreeze Books has been the first stop for boaters wishing to explore the sea by armchair. You will find our book The 90 Day Yacht Club Guide to Ensenada at Seabreeze, please tell them we said hi while you are visiting!

Call Seabreeze Limited at (888) 449-7011 or (619) 223-8989





  You will find The 90 Day Yacht Club Guide to Ensenada available in the West Marine and Boat US computers referenced by the SKU # 5107735 and our True Traveler Publishing vendor # is 36936. Our book can be transferred to you local store from any other store in the chain of over 300 stores nationwide that have our book in stock.


  For those that may be traveling from Europe, Canada or the continental United States, and don’t own a yacht or plan to buy one, we have a new book for you. If you only need travel information about Ensenada and do not need the offshore delivery yacht info, order our new Land and Sea Guide to Ensenada at US $14.95 from our Booksurge page linked from our order page. Currently this book is only available online…




Here is how the law reads regarding pollution in Mexican waters in our best English translation. Note that the fines levied in Mexico are based on the minimum wage, currently at approximately US $4 an hour.

  Article 416

  A penalty of 3 months to 6 years in jail and a factor of from one thousand (1,000) to twenty thousand (20,000) multiplied by the minimum wage in currency will be levied on those violating yachts without proper authorization.

  Prohibited is the discharge, deposit, or infiltration of residual waters of chemicals, biochemicals, or any other contaminating material in the soils, seas, rivers or federal water resources that can cause damage to the public health, natural resources, the flora and fauna, or the quality of the water and ecosystem.


  You will find this marina next to the cruise ship terminal and behind the Corona Hotel.  At this location you will find 200 value priced slips from 36’ to 60’, a close proximity to town, and all of the conveniences offered by California marinas. This marina is very quiet, has no surge, and no rude fisherman cleaning fish in the marina attracting seagulls leaving guano on the docks. Live aboard is permitted and there is gated 24-hour security. A new bathroom and shower building is planed to be finished by spring on the northeast side of the marina, serving those on the A thru E docks, therefore saving them the current brisk stroll to the bathrooms now in existence. Contact Gerry Wiseman or Gabriel Ley.

Tel. 1-877-219-5822 from U.S. or 1-800-027-3678 from Mexico.




  The Mexican makers and packagers of crackers and cookies do the consumer a great service. Instead of opening the container of these items and finding a large quantity of product just waiting to go stale and spoil, you will find the product packaged in the box or bag individually in small quantities which means the contents last a lot longer in the marine environment.  If you are looking for toothpicks (try acting out a toothpick if you don’t know the word in Spanish, as I did, and felt pretty stupid gouging my mouth with an imaginary stick) ask for “palillos redondos”. Speaking of pickin’; pick up the best cocktail peanuts (cacahuates salados alivianados) and potato chips (papas fritas con sal) we’ve ever tasted manufactured by Sabritas. The perfect compliment to your cervesas and ABC (avocado, bacon and cheese) sandwiches is spiking your fest with the original, all natural, all purpose seasoning “SPIKE” found at your favorite local U.S. Health Food Store (a herb combination that dates back to our days surfing in the 70’s) made with a fresh baguettes purchased at La Baguette, #49 on our site location maps. Today we bought 3 good sized ripe avocados for less than US $1 at our local Ensenada Gigante store!


  As you enter Ensenada Harbor you will see a curious sight to starboard that may shiver your timbers. Half submerged and arising from the harbor mud is the carcass of a once proud ferry that served the run between California ports and Catalina in times past. For the past 18 years this navigation hazard has kept vigilance on the busy port activities in Ensenada Harbor. Brought to Ensenada almost 20 years ago to serve as an entertainment center and gambling casino, the historic ship has been the subject of controversy for many years and now may be forced out of its resting place by an adjacent new proposed hotel and marina development, aimed at increasing tourism to the area.

  But this will not happen if the S.S. Catalina Preservation Association succeeds in their attempts to save the craft. For more than a decade the funds have been sought to raise the entombed vessel and bring her back home to the states and shine ‘er up bristol new and convert ‘er into a nautical museum. A dubious but noteworthy cause this, but the effort seems to running out of not only the funds necessary but the time in patience shown by the Ensenada Port Authority. Whatever the outcome of this noble endeavor, we often share toasts with cervezas and share festivities on one of the old liberated ferry bench seats on the patio at a friend’s house in Ensenada.


  The house at Ave. Alvarado #877, the home office location of Bernardo Villalva, who manages and owns the yacht care business in the Gordo's boat yard, has been joined by a new office location. Across the street from La Baguette on Blvd. Lazaro Cardenas at #1094, Office #5, in the Plaza Centro Artesanal, Bernardo has an office open from 8 am to 5 pm. He will either be found here, Gordo's yard, or making a trip for supplies in San Diego. Very competent service, friendly and reasonable. (Note: this location was closed in early 2006)


Tel. Office- 178-8150 (from U.S. 011 52 (646) 178-8150)

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  Jacques Cousteau once called the great Sea of Cortez “the aquarium of the world”. A diver friend once told me the area reminds him of a nuclear holocaust above the sea, and that all the life in the area is below the surface of the sea. Look for our next book, the 90 Day Yacht Club Guide to the Sea of Cortez due to be published soon.


  One of the best features of your Mexico experience is the wonderful modern 4-lane toll road from Tijuana to Ensenada. This road is designated Highway 1D, the D indicating directo in Spanish. There are three toll plazas between these points and you can choose to take the entire route which will cost you between $2 and $2.50 per toll plaza, depending on the exchange rate. Service vehicles patrol the road and there are free road assistance phones along the way for you to use if you need help. Each toll area has clean bathrooms at the exit of the tollbooths in both directions.


  The authorized franchise for Vessel Assist in Ensenada is Botes Juanitos. They respond to calls and provide mechanical services and bill the San Diego Vessel Assist franchisee and are then re-imbursed and profit from this relationship. Anyone who is in distress and calls the San Diego Coast Guard to call San Diego Vessel Assist is going around the horn the long way and may find themselves, the crew and their vessel in further danger waiting for a rescue boat to make the long haul from from San Diego. 

  Next time you need help, call VHF Channel 18 and they'll come right out and save you. The business is expanding; they just purchased another boat as well as the 6 others they own. While they are not getting rich providing this service, it does add to their income and support their business in the Ensenada Harbor on the waterfront boardwalk just west of Baja Naval. They own the Juanitos pier and all the adjoining slips. Harbor cruises and charter boat sport fishing are some of their interests for local Mexicans. If we were broken down or out of fuel, we would call Botes Juanitos for help.  

 UPDATE 4-17-2005: as of when exactly we don't know because no one will tell us, but Juanitos is no longer affiliated with Vessel Assist. We found this out yesterday when neighbors paid 700$ for a 20 mile Juanitos tow and are hoping their yacht insurance covers the cost. They had no towing card so they would have paid this much anyway. If you have a towing card and are coming this way, clarify with your towing agency how they can handle a tow in the Ensenada area. All the other info above is still accurate.

True Traveler Publishing

P.O. Box 60023

San Diego, CA 92166



(619) 857-0368




We’re on the Web!





  It has been wonderful feeling the warm response from all the families that have found me on the docks here in Ensenada and given me many verbal hugs for the enlightening information contained in my book. I respond with a real hug as we part and share my hope for their continued health and happiness and safe return to Mexico. And also, I must share the gratitude for supporting my book with the purchase of the book. Last, I share the reason for pricing the book at near US $30 and how much it costs to print a color filled text these days with copy to copy color consistency, yet keep the print runs in small quantities to insure up-to-date information. Meanwhile I daily experience subtle and other times blatant good karmic blasts that indicate the time is well spent whether remunerated monetarily or not. May the good karma experienced by my efforts extend to you all, as you enjoy your True Travels to Ensenada, and contribute to the people of Mexico. Please e-mail us with your experiences, good or bad, using our books on our feedback page.


Sunset 11-2-2003 at Marina Coral, Ensenada

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Please e-mail us with your experiences, good or bad, using our books on our feedback page. Thank you for purchasing our books and we wish you many safe and happy True Travels.





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