Internet Newsletter

From The 90 Day Yacht Club Guide to Ensenada

July 2004

Volume 2, Number 7



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









The second edition of The 90 Day Yacht Club Guide to Ensenada has just been released and is now on the shelves of your local marine store and bookstore!!! New restaurants, places to shop, and more interesting facts about the area are included in this 2nd printing of our book.  



          Follow the link below to read an article on the front page of the June 30th Los Angeles Times that mentions “The 90 Day Yacht Club Guide to Ensenada” and discusses the future of the California tax law in regard to offshore delivered yachts. Search the archives for the keywords “yacht tax”. The name of the article is “Loophole You Can Sail a Yacht Through” by Evan Halper and Richard Marisi.

LA Times Synopsis

         At issue is the state's sales tax of about 8% -- depending on the county -- on most purchases, including vessels of all kinds. For most boat buyers, the tax is no more than a few thousand dollars. But for boats costing $400,000 and up, many financial advisors say it pays to avoid the sales tax altogether by taking advantage of the loophole in the ...


            In carefully preserved photographs and home movies, the decades of life of the Russian settlers in the Guadalupe Valley have been preserved for those who now inhabit this beautiful area. At one time, this valley was the paradise that we all dream of retiring to in order to escape the persecution of the mere existence of the masses. The records of previous generations bring serenity to those who remain as residents and remnants of the original colony that migrated here almost 100 years ago. These Russian immigrants had received a 70 year window of permission from the government of Nicholas II, czar of all the Russians, to leave the land of their birth and migrate to another country. These people bore the name of Molokans, which means milk eaters. Whether this is because they were great producers and consumers of dairy products in their native land is lost in antiquity, and the true origin of the name is unknown. The Molokans split off from the Russian Orthodox Church in the 18th century. Their Bible-centered religion emphasizes pacifism, and they rejected mandatory service in the czar's army. The Bible was their guide and their religion was known as that of the Molokan Church. These intensely religious people prayed to God that they might be delivered from further warfare and somewhere in the world find a refuge where they could reside in peace, cultivate the soil and live in contentment. 

            The Molokans dispatched agents throughout the world to determine where a suitable place for colonization could be found. Three of their number embarked on a voyage of exploration to the New World.  In Los Angeles, the trio met a banker, who informed them that a large tract of land, in the Guadalupe Valley, could be purchased and on easy terms. The three advance men inspected the property, found it suitable, and reported to their people in the homeland. They accepted the offer, the deal was closed and two hundred Russian men, women and children said goodbye forever to their homeland, to its wars and persecutions, to its troubles and sorrows. The boys of military service age were denied exit visas and many were disguised with wigs and makeup to be smuggled with the troop through Turkey to Los Angeles. In 1905 they moved further south and settled in this beautiful valley first explored seventy years before by the Dominican friars, who had established a mission there. The Russian colony’s new property extended from the valley through the Rio Guadalupe river bed to the shores of La Mision.

            As the 1940’s emerged, the weddings were now including Mexicans as the new life partner. This practice was frowned on by the early Russian settlers, but by the 40’s was accepted and a common occurrence. Wearing the garb of the old country, the men wore high-neck shirts and the women covered their heads with scarves, just like their ancestors. The men sweated together in saunas behind their houses every Saturday night. This was a form of purification before the next day’s church services. Every Sunday, they came to worship in the simple wood room of plain white boards and softly filtered light. They sang psalms and drank tea brewed in samovars brought from Russia. They stayed for hours, drinking tea and eating their borsch: vegetable soup in the South Russian style; and los blintzes: crepes resembling very thin pancakes. And though they learned Spanish, they spoke Russian to each other.

            The farms prospered in the fertile ground of the Valle de Guadalupe. Thriving rows of alfalfa and grapevines marched up and down the lushly rolling valley. But this spell of idyllic peace and harmony was ended in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. Three of the settlement’s number had by permission from the group signed the document of ownership for the vast tract of property they then possessed. When the Mexican government outlawed land barons by proclaiming that a land holder could only own a small number of acres, hundreds of Mexicans moved into the area squatting on the land displacing the Russian families claiming they had the right to do so because the Molokans were no longer owners of the land. The Molokans pleaded with them and showed a signed proclamation from Mexican President Porfirio Diaz, granting their rights to the land. The Molokans were pacifists, unwilling to use guns and fists to hold on to their land. Most of the group then moved back to Los Angeles , which had been their temporary residence during their original migration south.

            Since then, the remaining Molokans have gone into the heritage business. They greet the tourist buses that come over the bumpy road from Ensenada. They maintain two museums, right across an unpaved road from each other. In the early 1990’s, a growing tourism trade brought visitors and museum money to the valley. The Russians collaborated to put together the first museum in 1991. They rummaged in closets and storage spaces, and came up with a vast collection of dresses, photographs and samovars. They reconstructed a town map, showing where the original settlers had lived. But in 1998, a dispute over how the museum was being run led its director--a Mexican married into a Russian family--to quit and establish a competing museum. It was directly across the road from the first. Though their exhibits were substantially the same--photos, maps, bright Russian dresses and samovars--many townspeople insist there are serious differences between them. Although the colony had numbered 200 and there normally would have been a natural increase in population, the village now consists of only about 100 persons, consisting of about twenty five families. Those still in the village claim that fewer than 20 remain that are of "pure Russian blood”, which now comprise the last three families that remain in this beautiful area of Baja California.

            The original colony was named "Colonia Russia de Guadalupe” or “The Russian Colony of Guadalupe”. After the Mexicans took the land in the 1960s the name was changed to "Francisco Zarco" in 1962, but the name of the valley remains Guadalupe. “Francisco Zarco" is the name of the store/post office/bus stop near Highway 3 about 3 miles from the Russian colony. In the valley’s once only Russian cemetery you will find headstones that date back to the early 1900’s. The oldest of these are made of wood and do not bear crosses, as do the Mexican grave sites. 

Find someone to encourage. It will lift you up too!



            Just after you cross the first set of ridges leaving Ensenada en route to Tecate on Highway 3, you will enter the little pueblo of San Antonio de las Minas. Fast becoming a center of activity surrounding the local wineries, restaurants, and bohemian art culture; San Antonio is growing in popularity as a weekend destination for Ensenada residents. On the right hand side of the road after the big curve and little white bridge is the new La Galeria de San Antonio opened March 28th by Maria Dolores Rubio. Known as Lola in the art community, Senora Rubio opened the art studio in the former local police headquarters as a result of her studio at Rancho Verde being burned and proclaimed a total loss during the past October firestorms. Lola came to the Ensenada area 5 years ago from Guadalajara and was soon supplying candle art to the Origenes shop in Ensenada. Her paintings have won her past awards while studying at the University of Guadalajara and she subsequently owned a studio in Mexico City in the mid-1990’s.

            In May the new studio hosted a wine and cheese reception featuring the art of Jose Carrillo Cedillo. Senor Carrillo Cedillo has 2 murals and a display of garden metal art at the Rivera Pacifico and his art is highly valued by collectors. You will find his works signed by simply “Carrillo” followed by the year of creation. The Galeria is currently showing a 30-piece collection of Carrillo art.  In addition, the visitor will discover a varied selection of paint, ceramic, candle, metal, sculpture, and jewelry art. An interesting array of yard art surrounds the studio, which is set in a peaceful country atmosphere.

            At this shop one could spend from a few dollars to as much as 2000$ (USD) on striking items designed to grace the home as a personal keepsake or a gift. Contact Lola if you would like to be included in a series of fine art paint lessons starting in the next few weeks. The establishment is open Friday through Sunday from 9am to 7pm. The telephone number is 155-3156. 

  Unfortunately this studio closed in 2005.

 Click on these photos and the following photos in this newsletter and use your web browser back button to return to this page

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(baithookerous castoferous)

            I really don’t like to be up quite this early, my typical target time to rise is 8 am and here at the peaceful Coral Marina and I can usually roll around ‘till then in overly padded bow bunk rest and relaxation. Unless of course, that one seagull that has roosted on one of the boats nearby decides to trumpet at the first light of day- as I say in my books, if they only tasted like chicken, we would all have many a free bird bar-be-que! How that one seagull seems to find me when I visit my boat in San Diego, I’ll never know… I digress, the reason I am listening to the 3930th consecutive Sunday pre-dawn broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is the renewed attack of the creature of the depths commonly known as “weekend fisherman guy”. This morning he employed a new means of torment in the waning dark of night to shock my senses from post-rem sleep; absolutely brilliant… dropping bags of ice right next to my bow on the cement dock. I assume this was a necessary pre-casoff ritual, but did they have to drop the bags from over their heads more that 20 times to get just the right ice consistency? Please don’t get me wrong; I realize the necessity of this primeval race in the food chain and many a little 2 inch fish in the marina would not survive as long into their golden gill years if some bored reverse hat wearing “dude” hadn’t pulled them onto their hook and returned them to the sea after a grin of supreme authority and prowess.

            Showing their parents that the wise investment in a new toy (a few hundred thousand dollar boat and a lot of fuel) can show a return (a few fish) is a noble endeavor, although by now that probably isn’t a valued priority in the parental offspring monitoring process. That spare room was now long ago left empty by that rebellious youth; and now has been converted into a room for such crafts as gluing colored gravel onto a framed palette to form an elongated cat to make something called a “mosaic”, or storing that 20 volume home improvement set of books where Johnny used to stack his Black Sabbath albums. A CD collection and a rack of fashionable gold Penn reels have now replaced that old record album collection. Standing back with the crew and admiring the docked jewelry reminds one of Pee-Wee Herman admiring his growing scrap foil ball.

            The ice bag wielding squad jumped in their boat and I don’t quite know how they did this, but they started the boat, put it in gear and left all in one motion, as of the boat was already adrift in the slip. A contrast to the boat that is warmed up for seemingly an hour and smokes heavy un-burnt diesel fuel into surrounding hatches. Occasionally one can manage to go back to sleep during the idling process only to be awakened by the cavitations of swirling props fighting to gain purchase on the ocean for forward and reverse motion. If this somewhat stealthy sound creeps into your dream you may think you are being sucked into a vortex or up a straw.

            Later that day, upon completion of the day of fish kill blood lust, the returning troop that was a bit too preoccupied by emptying beer cans must now find a place to clean the newly captured booty. Yesterday, a neighbor who has just bought his first fish finding machine took over a half-hour cleaning one fish in surgeon-like precision, not wanting to waste a tasty bite. All the scrap was bagged and put in the trash, so absolutely no scavenging seagulls were attracted. Good show matey! He was then visited by a more seasoned “weekend fisherman guy” who proceeded to show him his patented speed fish cleaning process. How he didn’t cut off a finger or throw the scraps into the drink as a matter of habit, I don’t know. The practice of tossing fish skeletons into the marina waters is forbidden by marina rules, but is often violated by visiting polluting pirates. There is a Hoover bull seal that resides in the marina that cleans the carcasses as they are tossed, but unfortunately he can’t clean the gull guano that dries like cement on the surrounding boats and docks.

            We marina residents that witness the arrival of all this pomp and color on Thursday thru Saturday are all rewarded for our patience by the exodus on Sunday and the restored peace on Monday. Anchoring out every weekend to escape the carnage is simply not an option. I keep telling the “weekend fisherman guy” about the fish market in Ensenada, but for some reason he is programmed to bypass the trip there and instead hit the bait dock to purchase little fishes designed to catch bigger fishes. What a concept! Meanwhile, it’s time to turn on AM 1090 where I can listen to “Let’s Talk Hook-up” every Saturday and Sunday from 7am to 9am to track of the fleet and it’s fishing adventures. As hard as we all work for our freedom and that weekend escape, you deserve every beer and butt kickin’ fish mates. Buena suerte and safe passage!!!




Page 5

The little white sign on the opposite corner that said "Ensenada Libre" as you turn right off  Paseo De Los Heroes to cross the hills to Rosarito that had been there for years is now gone.


Page 58

The Cruiseport Marina Office has been moved to a new location in a new building adjacent to a new restroom building and recreation area.

Click on the below map and use your web browser back button to 

return to this page

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Page 74

The Toll Road highway help phone number has been changed on the signs to:




            When traveling by boat in Mexico, it is best to have two forms of boat insurance. The standard policy that you would ordinarily carry in the U.S. is your first line of protection. This is necessary to present at most yacht marinas before they will allow you admittance to a slip. This policy usually contains liability and replacement insurance and should be carried at all times whether at sea or during happy hour at the dock. It would cover the clean up if your boat should sink at the dock, a fall taken aboard by a guest, or fix any damage incurred or inflicted in the event of a collision with another boat or the land. Some policies in the U.S. require a surcharge if you are operating the boat in a foreign country. Consult your agent as to whether you need this additional coverage. 

            The other insurance you will want to consider is a policy written for Mexican liability. If you happen to damage another boat and/or hurt personnel aboard the boat, this insurance is indispensable. Without this insurance you will be liable for a cash settlement and may also face imprisonment. You can find an agency that deals with Mexican liability insurance in either Mexico or the U.S. .

You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.



            All passengers and crew onboard must have personal identification for the check-in procedure at your Mexican port of arrival. Before departure, have all parties on the boat check to be sure they have their ID. The best form of ID is a Passport, but a driver's license is accepted. We understand a birth certificate with a notarized letter of authenticity is also acceptable, but the two forms of photo ID mentioned above are universally accepted, and will not cause you any unnecessary extra explaining or delay while completing this already time consuming process. For a small fee, most Mexican marinas will do the check-in process for you, but you will still need to present ID for all of those arriving in the country with you on your boat. A Tourist Card for you and your crew is not necessary in the Ensenada area as the first checkpoints for this documentation are south of town. Tourist Cards are a valuable part of your paperwork presented as proof to the taxman for the owner and spouse of the yacht and are available at the Immigration (Migration) office for a current fee of approximately US $20.

            We advise you to let the marina you are entering in Mexico do the clearing in and out paper work for you when you arrive and depart. This can be done for a nominal fee and will be well worth the small amount of money spent. But if you choose to do the procedure yourself, be prepared to make trips throughout town from the Immigration Office, to the bank, and to the Port Captain’s Office with copies of crew list, crew tourist visas and crew identification in hand. When dealing with Mexican officials, two ingredients will make the process run smoothly and expediently. A good attitude is essential, regardless of the sometimes stressful situations which may surround you. A smile and a few Spanish phrases will help oil the works! Regardless of how good or bad your Spanish speaking attempts may be, the mere fact that you made the attempt is the important factor.


The famous Bajamar Golf resort on the road to Ensenada.

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