Internet Newsletter

From The 90 Day Yacht Club Guide to Ensenada

January/February 2008

 

Volume 6 , Number 1/2

 

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

True Traveler Publishing

P.O. Box 60023

San Diego, CA 92166

E-mail:

sitka@truetraveler.com

Phone:

(619) 857-0368

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                 

AUTHORS NOTE: MICROSOFT FRONTPAGE, THE PROGRAM THAT PUBLISHED THIS ENTIRE SITE TO DATE CRASHED AND ALMOST TOOK OUT THE WHOLE SITE ON DECEMBER 23, 2007. I HAVE PURCHASED ADOBE DREAMWEAVER SUITE AND AM LEARNING THAT PROGRAM. SEEMS MICROSOFT WORD AND DREAMWEAVER HAVE SOME CONFLICTS. I WRITE MY SCRIPT IN WORD, HENCE YOU WILL SEE SOME STRANGE PARAGRAPH VARIATIONS IN THIS MONTH'S NEWSLETTER. THIS IS A GROUP EFFORT TO KEEP THIS WEBSITE UP AND RUNNING. IF YOU APPRECIATE THE INFORMATION ON THIS SITE AND/OR YOU HAVE SAVED MONEY (BOAT BUYERS) OR MADE MONEY (BOAT BROKERS) THROUGH THE USE OF THIS SITE, PLEASE DONATE!

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BAJA BOATER SAFETY

Recently Baja California has been the subject of many new stories regarding crimes perpetrated against visitors from north of the border. As in all walks of life, one must take all measures possible to prevent being in the “wrong place at the wrong time”. But if you find yourself in an unfortunate situation, the glaring difference in Mexico is that you are basically on your own and can’t rely on local authorities to protect you or to pursue those that may have committed a crime with you being the ill-timed involved party.

Any trip south of the border must be well planned at the outset. Whether traveling by sea or by land, file a float plan or a road itinerary. Be sure that those at both ends of your journey have a copy of your agenda. Try to depart and arrive during daylight hours. While in Mexico stay in well populated areas preferably gated with guards in attendance. Install an alarm system on your yacht and know how to activate the alarm in your vehicle. Always secure your vehicle with a club device and park in well lit and well traveled areas. If possible, transit by convoy on the road, or fleet by sea. The support group strength in numbers is a great haven when in a new and unfamiliar country.

Be sure that your yacht and car insurance are extended to cover you and your crew south of the border. Bearing arms in Mexico is strictly prohibited, and if you violate that law you will spend time in a Mexican jail. Your best weapon in Mexico is a working cell phone. Be sure your phone plan includes Mexican coverage before you depart. All areas of northern Baja now have excellent cell coverage. Arrange to have someone on speed dial back in the States to act as your personal 911 contact.

Above all, behave respectfully while in Mexico. Mexicans resent the “ugly American” syndrome and can sense it immediately. Speaking what little Spanish you know goes a long way toward bridging the gap between cultures. Remember, attitude begets attitude, and your good behavior while in Mexico will often determine the mood and tenure of your surrounding environment. But, again, careful pre-planning is the key to any adventure in Mexico. We hope to see you here soon!

  ADDED NOTE: If you are carrying a cell phone and need vehicle roadside help during your True Travels to Ensenada you are encouraged to dial 01-520-800-990-3900, if you need crime prevention help dial 01-520-800-440-3690. There are also phones along the way on the Toll Road at various distances that will connect you directly to the Green Angels green emergency service trucks.

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Some of the worst mistakes of my life have been haircuts.
Jim Morrison

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NEW PASSPORT LAW UPDATE

UPDATE 1-8-2008: DURING OUR FIRST BORDER CROSSING OF THE NEW YEAR A BORDER PATROL OFFICER SAID THEY ARE ACCEPTING A FORM OF IDENTIFICATION SUCH AS A DRIVERS LICENSE AND YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE, UNTIL THE HARD PASSPORT IS DEEMED TO BE NECCESSARY. IF YOU DON'T HAVE THOSE, YOU WILL BE DETAINED IN THE SECONDARY INSPECTION AREA AND INTERROGATED.

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In the movie “Born in East L.A.,” actor Cheech Marin’s character Rudy — a U.S. citizen — gets deported to Mexico and isn't’t allowed back in because he doesn't’t have the proper identification. Starting on January 1, 2008, life could imitate art.

If you plan on driving or traveling by sea to Mexico before June 2008, you WILL need to show proof that you have applied for a passport after January 1st 2008. The passport requirement for 2007 only applied to air travel. Due to the backlog of passports now being processed, you will not need to have the actual passport document until June of this year. This was the opinion of 2 border patrol agents interviewed during a recent border wait. It is the view of many web sites online that the delay is due to be pushed back until June 2009. If you do not have the necessary paperwork you will be detained in the secondary area and made to answer a series of questions by border officials.

There has been a lot of confusion this year about the new passport requirements for returning to the US from Mexico.  Valid U.S. passports will become the “documents of choice” for citizens who want to re-enter the country from countries in the Americas, Bermuda and the Caribbean, according to officials at the Department of Homeland Security. Other forms of identification that will be valid include Border Crossing Cards, and SENTRI, NEXUS and FAST cards, which are granted to individuals who registered with international frequent traveler programs.         

In 2006 when a new travel law enforcing everyone going out of the country to present their passport, there was a clamor in most travelers. The announcement was abrupt and the agency that issues passports were on a backlog. That seemed to be unfair since for years US travelers only need to show their identification to be able to Mexico. Because of the inconveniences, the law was temporarily suspended. But those that are allowed to travel without a passport still have to show proof that they applied for a passport.         

The US government was able to produce 12 million in 2006 to answer the backlog. When the backlog of passports started, it used to be more than two months before you could actually receive the passport. The usual turnaround time for passport requests is now in six weeks which is the standard procedure

Why is the Passport Law Changing?

As part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the Department of Homeland Security is supposed to implement a plan that requires all travelers to the US to provide a passport or similar documentation upon entry into the US. This requirement applies to all US citizens and foreign travelers. This plan is called the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.


                     When Will Passports be Required for Re-Entering
                                          the US from Mexico?                             


The passport requirements are being applied at different dates for different types of travel. There are 3 different classifications for traveling into the US.
1: Air Travel - (By airplane):
As of January 23, 2007, all travelers - including US and Canadian citizens are now required to have a passport when entering the US by airplane.
2: Sea Travel - (By boat or cruise ship):
The exact deadline for when passports (or similar documentation) will be required for entering the US by sea has not been set. However, current legislation has been passed that requires the deadline to be no later than June 2009. The sea travel deadline will be the same as the land travel deadline.
3: Land Border Travel - (Driving a vehicle or walking across the border):
The exact deadline for when passports (or similar documentation) will be required for entering the US by land has not been set. However, current legislation has been passed that requires the deadline to be no later than June 2009. The land travel deadline will be the same as the sea travel deadline.

              Why has the Passport Requirement for Land and Border

 Travel Been Delayed?

Originally, the passport requirements for land border travel were supposed to be implemented by January 2008, but in October 2006, President Bush signed into law a delay of this deadline until June 2009. The main reason for the delay is because the Department of Homeland Security is attempting to develop a PASS CARD system. This system will create drivers license-sized cards that will serve as limited use passports for land border entries from Mexico and the US. The Senate recognized that the PASS CARD system could not be properly implemented by the original deadline, so they passed the Leahy-Stevens Amendment which delayed the deadline until sometime prior to (or on) June 2009.

Should You Get a Passport Now?

If you think you may be driving to Mexico after June 2009, then you should probably go ahead and get a passport sometime soon. The passport processing times will only get longer as we get closer to the passport requirement deadline. It is currently taking up to 15 weeks to receive a new passport without paying extra for expedition. Plus - you already need a passport if you want to travel to Mexico by airplane!

                         Links on How to Obtain a US Passport:
                                                 First Time Passport
                                       Where To Apply for a Passport
                                 Renew or Get a
Passport in a Hurry

To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to one of 9,000 passport acceptance facilities located throughout the United States. You will need two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification, such as a driver's license. Acceptance facilities include many federal, state and probate courts, post offices, some public libraries and a number of county and municipal offices.

      You'll need to apply in person if any of the following apply to you:

bullet You are applying for a U.S. passport for the first time
bullet Your expired U.S. passport is not in your possession
bullet Your previous U.S. passport has expired and was issued more than 15 years ago
bullet Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16; or
bullet Your currently valid U.S. passport has been lost or stolen.


A personal appearance is also required if you’re passport has been expired for more than 15 years. For passport renewals, you can go online and download the form. Send the form with two passport-worthy photos and $67.00 renewal fee. If you want your processing expedited, add $60.00 for rush processing but standard processing is only six to eight weeks.

                         ________________________

ON FRIDAY 11/30/2007 AT 11PM THIS STEEL SAILBOAT WENT ON THE ROCKS IN A DRIVING RAIN STORM NEAR THE CORAL MARINA

  ________________________

The great tragedy of Science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an
ugly fact.

Thomas H. Huxley  
________________________

 

THE 90 DAY YACHT CLUB RETURNS TO BAJA


BUT NEW SAFETY CONCERNS ARE RAMPANT


          The recent two year hiatus of the local 90 Day Yacht Club’s existence ended in August of 2007 after the California legislature restored the law in the act of passing the last budget. The Club consists of yacht owners that spend 90 days in northern Baja waters in order to save the sales tax on the new yacht’s purchase. The stay was changed to one year by the legislature for 2 years hoping that California coffers would realize the taxes collected from the yachts being purchased in-state and not choosing to spend an entire year offshore in another country.
            The intent of the change in the law failed. The posh yachting colonies north of the border instead simply stopped buying new watercraft. The boat brokers experienced a non-formally organized embargo on boat buying.  Soon the state of California was not only hurting its own tax collection agencies, but the filter down economic benefit that the sale of one luxury yacht creates. Local Baja area marinas felt the pinch immediately and occupancy levels plummeted. This halting of north of the border yacht arrivals was also felt by the waterfront chandlery and service trades as well as the local Captains, in addition to the marinas.
            Now the tide has turned as each ebb and flow brings forth an influx of new arrivals. First the high end yachts arrived and now the mid-level dollar yachts are beginning to sail to Baja. That populace is the bread and butter of the 90 Day Yacht Club, the mid to one million dollar yacht and the arrival of those power and sailboats is indeed a good sign for the local waterfront’s economic future.  
Occupancy is again up, and the businesses that support the boats while they are here are again thriving. First the yachts fill a marina slip, then they call the canvas man for additional sea environmental protection and coverage, then it’s the mechanical and electronics workers that are called upon. Local fishing and general oversee maintenance Captains are also feeling the boom.
Yes, it looks like a strong year to come for the local Baja marine trade economy.  But the local authorities MUST get a handle on the recently reported crime wave now being aired out in the California press. In discussions with new arrivals and also seasoned veterans on the larger craft in the marinas, a concern has been shared about the future of their safe travels south to visit and enjoy their new yachts. One gentleman has been here for three years on a 61 foot power cruiser fit for fishing the big ones. He just returned from a 2 week trip to Magdalena Bay from Ensenada to bring home a load of wahoo and other exotics. He had parked his Cadillac Escalade truck at his home marina during his travels but is now considering buying a beater to drive south and back. He mused, “I have worked all my life to realize this moment, retired with a fishing boat in Mexico, now I am having second thoughts.”


Indeed, the future looks bright for the local marinas within their sheltered and protected gated confines, but it is imperative that the paths to and from must be made secure to keep the big yachts and the big dollars they spend coming to Baja for the 90 Day Yacht Club tax savings.

LOCAL BAJA RACE TEAM TAKES RACING CHAMPIONSHIP IN CALIFORNIA

It was a difficult, challenging and rewarding season at the Barona Speedway for the local Baja Mighty #29 race team. Barona is the most prestigious race track on the West Coast south of Los Angeles located near Lakeside east of San Diego. With an Ensenada gringo ex-surfer as sponsor and a Punta Banda gringo surfer and dive shop owner as driver and car owner, the established red necks at the track had a few lessons to learn from this upstart rookie team in the Street Stock class, the highest rank of cars at that venue. Over a 14 race schedule that was largely staged by-weekly from May to November, the team managed to take home the coveted 2007 Points Championship trophy after a hotly contested battle of horsepower and track politics. 

Dale Erwin and Lonnie Ryan met at the San Miguel beach surf spot.  Ryan was doing some winter surf photography and Dale was out ripping the waves with the kids at the ripe “old” age of 51. Conversation turned to auto racing over the weeks of March and April and Dale said he had a car to campaign at a track up in California. Lonnie had always enjoyed the sport and they cooked up a scheme to get the car ready for the first race in May. With fuel costs nearing $10 a gallon for specialized high octane race fuel and tires costing $130 per, it seemed that an alliance would make the effort stronger and more viable. They would be competing against other well established and sponsored San Diego area cars and pilots that had been racing for the 5 years of the tracks existence. The Barona Speedway is a 1/4 mile clay oval with speeds of up to 80 miles per hour on the straights and is located on the Barona Indian Reservation.

Staging the races and working on the car was the first big challenge. A shop was found in Santee near the track for the car, parts and tools needed to keep the car competitive through the entire season. This meant that the team would have to commute 2 or 3 times between races north of the border to prepare the car and go racing. Joined by Punta Banda resident J.I. Yarber, the team traveled to their Santee headquarters eating local junk food, sleeping in the shop and in their vehicles.

The crew was mentored by Jason Pontsler, who had built the car and raced it previously at the now defunct El Cajon Speedway on pavement. As the team's Crew Chief, Jason learned how to set up the car for dirt, a whole new racing science for him. Through the first half of the season, Jason and Dale together worked to learn the art and Zen of oval clay track racing and by small degrees made both the car and driver more competitive. By mid season the crew had established an overall points lead over the other competitors through a combination of speed, consistency and grit. From midsummer to September Dale won 5 heat races in a row, collecting valuable points, but his first main event win still had eluded him. Always finishing in the top 5 places in main events had helped him gain the points lead margin. By September the Mighty #29 team possessed a commanding 63 point lead! Then the politics of racing struck the crew’s fortunes.

After a second place main event finish on September 15th, the team was deemed to be in violation of one of the track rules, a limit of under 200 pounds of compression in the engine’s cylinders. This ruling was very suspect, because the test gear was found to be “defective” and after repairing it the #29 team’s engine tested within the limit. After wrangling till 1 am following the race with track officials, it was ruled that the second test would not be allowed. This took away the 98 points that a second place awards and dropped the team to 20 points behind the other competitors in the points total for the season! With only 3 races to go in the season it seemed impossible to again gain the lead. But karma came through for the team next in spades!

What happened in the final three races proved to all at the track and the #29 team it was destined to be their year. In the next race after the disqualification, Dale won his first main event as his closest points competitor had tire problems and finished second to last. In the next race his closest points competitor blew his engine and Dale finished second in the main event with enough points to gain back a 4 point lead in the Championship!  The last race of the season was delayed a full month due to the fires in San Diego county.  On November 17th Dale Erwin finished third in the main and claimed the 2007 Barona Speedway Championship as both of his closest competitors in the points chase had serious problems. One fell back to last place on the first lap due to spin, and the other rival blew out his rear end gear box! Now the biggest trophy of the race year awarded by the Barona Speedway is at a Punta Banda dive shop owner’s casa, collectively celebrated by the entire local gringo, surfing and racing communities.

                                         

VISIT DALE'S DIVE SHOP AT LA BUFADORA SOUTH OF ENSENADA

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A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
Bertrand Russell

  ________________________

Most cigarette filters are composed of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic. The white fibers you see in a cigarette filter are NOT cotton, but a plastic that can persist in the environment as long as other forms of plastic. Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter in our everyday world and are estimated to last in your local gutters and in our sea for up to 15 years before they biodegrade… Have you ever looked down at the street gutter at a busy red-lighted left hand turn lane? Everyone seems to think this is the place to empty his or her ashtray- YUCK. Next time you have a family gathering or take a walk along an ocean or bay jetty, look between the jetty rocks and you will see piles of cigarette butts. Mother Earth is not happy, as demonstrated by the recent natural calamities that have befallen our global society. One who smokes a pack a day can potentially litter the earth by the mindless flick of their 20 butts per day, 7,300 items per year. In fact, over 4.5 TRILLION toxic, non-biodegradable cigarette butts are tossed into the environment annually by smokers. Please think before you discard your next butt into our environment. Better still, STOP SMOKING for yourself and the family you love and the family of man we hope to preserve.

  ________________________

About the time we think we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends.
 Herbert Hoover

  ________________________

BIG WEDNESDAY! 12/5/2007

          Big wave star Laird Hamilton used his head and his shorts to rescue a surfing partner after he wiped out in a monster wave off Maui. Hamilton stripped naked to tie his surf trunks into a tourniquet after Brett Lickle suffered a large gash on his left calf from a surfboard fin in a wipeout caused by what Lickle said was an 80-foot wave.

          Lickle, 47, who called the rescue “the most intense thing I've been through,” was recovering at home yesterday in Haiku with 50 staples in his calf. Lickle was cut by the fin of a board attached to the watercraft he and Hamilton were using Monday to reach big waves at a tow-in surf spot called Outer Spreks. “If ever you're going to find a 100-footer, it's there,” Lickle said in yesterday's editions of The Honolulu Advertiser. Lickle said he was trying to stay ahead of a monster wave, but it crashed down on him. He reunited with Hamilton about three-quarters of a mile offshore. After tying the tourniquet, Hamilton swam “like a bat out of hell” for about a half mile to recover the watercraft and return to his injured partner.

LOCAL BAJA WAVES

 

 

 

 

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