Internet Newsletter

From The 90 Day Yacht Club Guide to Ensenada

 

July/August 2008

 

Volume 6 , Number 7/8

 

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!

DONATE HERE!

SUPPORT OUR SITE'S CONTINUED EXISTENCE

THANK YOU!

________________________

FUEL RATIONING IN ENSENADA!


ENSENADA MARINE DIESEL FUEL SUPPLIES AFFECTED

PEMEX is the world's fifth-largest oil company and Mexico's state oil monopoly, engaged in both upstream and downstream activities. The company accounts for approximately 30% of the Mexican government's revenues. Its vast oil and gas reserves include proven reserves of 34 billion barrels of oil equivalent. It is protected from competition in Mexico, where it enjoys a legal monopoly on the exploration, processing and sale of petroleum. And its privileged status in national mythology affords it a certain immunity from criticism. PEMEX is also in deep trouble. It's heavily-indebted and unable to provide the capital necessary to locate and exploit Mexico's oil deposits. In 2004, then Energy Minister Felipe Calderon announced that, without more investment, Mexico's known reserves could be depleted within 13 years. This wasn't the future envisioned by President Lazaro Cardenas, who expelled the foreign oil companies and founded PEMEX in 1938, to give Mexico's oil to "the people". Annual production has dropped each year since 2004. Furthermore, it has been reported the 2005-2006 daily oil production was down by approximately 500,000 barrels a day (a large proportion of the country's 4.5 million barrels) on the previous year.


The grades of PEMEX gasoline are "Magna" (Regular Unleaded 87 octane - green pump handle) and "Premium" (92 octane - red pump handle). Previously, PEMEX offered a leaded gasoline called "Nova," but this has been discontinued for environmental reasons (Nova gasoline, like many other leaded gasolines, have been discontinued due to stringent health regulations). Diesel fuel is readily available due to the large number of trucks on the highway - however, don't confuse the green Magna gasoline pump with a diesel pump as might be the case in the U.S.. The diesel pumps are often purple or red, and are usually sited on a separate island - the marking is "Diesel" or "Diesel Sin."


The following article describes the huge run on fuel here at the Coral Marina in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico by luxury yachts and north of the border sportfishing craft. This has concerned Baja residents as there is a fear that this will force the price of fuel up locally, to the near $5 per gallon for diesel north of the border. Diesel fuel here is near $2 a gallon and many locals wondered how this glut of traffic trending south to fuel would affect the cost and supply of fuel here in Mexico.


Now we know the results of this recent run on fuel, the PEMEX oil company started rationing fuel to the Coral Marina PEMEX fuel dock on June 17th. The fuel dock had been pumping an entire PEMEX tanker truck per day, some 5000 gallons per day! As of now, the fuel supply will be rationed and quoting Fito Espinoza, the dock master here at the Coral Marina, “the fuel will be conserved for those in the marina’s use as top priority.” Already the activity at the fuel dock has lessened and the affects of this fuel rationing program are already being felt. This news will quickly filter through the yachting and commercial fishing community and soon the stream of yachts will abate visiting the Coral Marina only for fuel and not for the pleasure of enjoying the Coral Hotel and Marina’s many amenities.


Below: The luxury yacht Shana visited the Coral Marina PEMEX fuel dock for an all day process of taking on a huge quantity of diesel fuel. This entailed a wait for another tanker truck to deliver more fuel to complete the transaction. Yachts like this will now find it more difficult to find the fuel they desire at low local prices.

_____________________

 

SPORTFISHING FUEL CRISIS!


ENSENADA IS A WELCOME ALTERNATIVE

Many charter sportfishing boats in southern California are mailing fuel surcharge charts to all of their new and annually returning customers. The fuel surcharge is designed to cover additional fuel costs and fuel costs only. The owners and operators of these craft have always tried to keep the price of fishing affordable and yet still pay the bills. The majority of local southwest charter boats have been lax over the past years in enforcing a surcharge, but now it is a necessity. As recently as February the cost of a gallon of marine diesel fuel was between $2.85 and $3.00, but now the cost is near or over $5!


The 112 foot long Independence based in San Diego burns on average 600 gallons per day during a typical fishing charter trip. She set her trip prices for the 2008 season when the cost of fuel was about $2.80 a gallon. Based on the above gallons per day fuel ratio consumption, the Indy charges a $5.00 per day surcharge for every .25 cents over the initial $2.80 cost on the 2008 charter price schedule. That works out to a $40.00 surcharge a day for every $2.00 of fuel price increase in cost. These projected season trip prices were set 9 months ago when fuel was at a relatively constant $2.80 a gallon, my how things have changed since then!


A welcome port of call on the horizon has altered the daily looming and spiraling disastrous fuel vortex enveloping the fleet. As of yet Mexico has not seen the cost of fuel rise significantly both on the road at the land based Pemex stations or on the sea at the Pemex marine fuel distributors. There is one fuel dock in northwest Baja located at the Coral Marina and Hotel near Ensenada. Here can be found a deal that the fish charter operators simply can’t resist! Priced at near $2.00 a gallon, the short trip south to visit the Coral Marina fuel dock pays for the trip and the necessary paperwork for customs turn around before heading back north to welcome the new boarding passengers in California.


Recently the Vagabond, Shogun, Islander and Top Gun 80 have visited the Coral Marina Fuel dock. This is a very new experience for most if not all of the sportfishing boats based in southern California. These fishing expeditions can last up to 2 weeks or more. The Independence advertises a limited load of 25 passenger trip for $4250 each customer. This is a 16 day trip that will take the lucky passengers and crew to the tip of Baja California to catch huge and exotic sea fishing treasures. Bluefin, yellowfin, wahoo, and dorado as well as marlin will be gracing the decks of the Indy during that trip. At 600 gallons a day fuel consumption, the cost of fuel is a very important aspect of smart and financially successful trip planning.  By the way, the record for whopper fish caught on the Indy is a 357.8 pound yellowfin tuna caught by Bill Asbell, undoubtedly on one of these long-range trips to the south of the Baja California peninsula.


Local Ensenada Captain David Camacho employed aboard the gringo luxury yacht Michelle Christina commented “I hope the fuel prices remain the same here in Ensenada, I have many friends in the Port of Ensenada that operate charter boats and they would not be able to support their families without the cost of fuel remaining low thus enabling them to continue their fish based trade.” Captain Camacho just returned the Michelle Christina from Puerto Vallarta where the owner and his family spent the winter fishing that mainland area of Mexico, a practice that many other yachts duplicate. Because of insurance reasons, those boats return north to Ensenada every year to summer in Ensenada and avoid the hurricane season that begins June 1st. These yachts are an important contributing financial force to the Mexican economy and the Ensenada area. Keeping the cost of fuel low locally will keep these yachts and the Southern California sportfishing fleet coming here and fishing Mexican waters.

The San Diego based Sportfisher Islander fuels at the Coral Marina fuel dock

________________________

  ________________________

Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.
Groucho Marx

  ________________________

Spring Trip to Porto Santo Tomas Slideshow

20 miles south of Ensenada on the Baja trans peninsular highway and just 18 miles west from highway 1 is this totally remote native fishing port and village. Here you will also find a few gringo casas that languish empty waiting for the owners to return from the states for an occasional visit. One of these structures is the subject of the famous book “God and Mr. Gomez” written and lived by Jack and Denise Smith about building their dream house in the 1970’s in this wild and isolated area. One of these photos is of their humble red brick casa. It is strongly suggested you find this book at your local library!

If your browser does not display the slide show below, see it here.

________________________

If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.
 Johnny Carson

  ________________________

 

BAJA 500 RACE HOTLY CONTESTED

7 SECOND MARGIN OF VICTORY

B.J. Baldwin won the Baja 500 by the slimmest margin in the 40 year history of the SCORE Desert Series event. This truly classic battle may prove to be one of the most memorable in desert racing lore. The Baja 500 and 1000 have often been referred to as the best races staged that no one ever sees due to the wild nature of the race course’s meandering outback path.


Baldwin drove solo for 441.15 miles in 9 hours, 10 minutes, 47 seconds and averaged 48.06 miles per hour and captured the overall 4 wheel victory by a mere seven seconds over second place. Mark Post and Rob MacCachren, the reigning SCORE Trophy Truck champions, finished first in the elapsed time race but the adjusted time revealed their second place overall finish. Baldwin started 60 seconds behind Post/MacCachren, but came to the finish line just 53 seconds after MacCachren had crossed it.


The race featured 289 starters, competing in 27 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. There were a total of 195 finishers, the third most in the event’s 40 year history.


“This win is massive. It is very important to me,” said Baldwin, “I have a handful of trophies, but what I don’t have is that Montezuma thing, the first overall in a SCORE Baja race. That’s what I always wanted.”


Brian Collins finished third overall with teammate Chuck Hovey. They crossed the line 15 minutes behind Baldwin. The Collins teams were competing for their 3rd straight Baja 500 win after winning the Baja 250 at San Felipe earlier this year.


Earning a third consecutive overall motorcycle victory was the team of Robby Bell and Kendall Norman. Riding the fastest ATV in the race was the team led by Wayne Matlock, Marc Spaeth and Wes Miller.
This year’s Baja 500 was unique as the finish and start were at the same place located in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Museum. This enabled the Mexican Navy and Army security forces to be localized and concentrated in one area. Previous races have finished at the soccer stadium. This proved to be a big success and all the SCORE folks the Baja News interviewed related they liked the change. Odds are good that SCORE will hopefully do the same thing for the Baja 1000, a big loop back to Ensenada that will keep all the people here, good for the local economy!

ROBBY BELL FIRST IN THE MOTORCYCLE CLASS

BJ BALDWIN FIRST OVERALL BY JUST 7 SECONDS!

SECOND PLACE MARK POST AND ROB MacCACHREN RIVIERA RACING

THIRD PLACE BRIAN COLLINS AND CHUCK HOVEY

LOOK FOR MORE PHOTOS SOON ON OUR 2008 BAJA 500 PAGE

 

ENSENADA AREA GIRLS SOFTBALL

If your browser does not display the slide show below, see it here.

The season is starting locally for a new fast pitch softball league drawing girls from the Ensenada, El Sauzal, San Antonio de las Minas and the Valle de Guadalupe areas. The players range from 5 to 12 years old. The concept was not founded by any one person, it is a community effort to benefit the welfare and spirit of these often poor and less advantaged children. In life frequently we find our greatest happiness can be realized by contributing to the welfare of those less fortunate than ourselves.


During the third week of May team leaders were out recruiting players for the clinic on June 7. On Wednesday May 21st they assembled at one of the local schools in El Sauzal and held a practice for the kids.  In all, there were over 100 girls involved in the practice. They set up stations for catching and throwing along with hitting drills for the girls to get them interested in the game.  By the end of practice over 80 girls signed up for the summer clinic with the organizations administrator, Dr. Irma Lozano. These practice sessions will extend through August 23. The new league had an exhibition game in San Antonio de las Minas May 22nd. There were 2 teams from Ensenada showing off the game to that community.  In El Sauzal, they held a big 4 team round robin tournament on May 31st at 11am.

 
Along with the players, the league is seeking to recruit both male and female coaches. Currently there are 4 female coaches and 4 male coaches. The league is encouraging all in the community to volunteer to help in any possible way imaginable from transportation to coaching. For the clinics in El Sauzal, since most of the players will come from El Sauzal, the girls will just walk to the practices.  As for the Valle de Guadalupe, the coaches will offer transportation and will pick up the players and take them to the clinics, only a 15 minute drive.  Also, the league is looking for parents who can help with transportation.  The Valle de Guadalupe has proven to have awesome players, they just need a bit of support. The parents there typically don’t have the money for gas for transportation to the fields of play.  Hopefully the families will be able to attend, making this venture an entire family event bringing together the whole community surrounding healthy sporting competition.

  
Ensenada is already ahead in the development of their girls softball leagues as they have over 30 experience players.  One of the girls is named ADANESNE, pronounced Ada-Nes-Nay which is Ensenada spelled backwards. She is 9 years old and she’s been playing in Ensenada for 2 years. She works out with the bigger older girls because that’s really the only place to for her to play.  There is no league yet for 5 to 12 year olds in Ensenada.  This new league is designed so she can play on a team of her own age group against girls her own age. 


Quoting Coach Charles Tawil, “Because the sport is new to almost every girl involved, it’s mission critical that we demonstrate in person and put the balls and bats in the girls hands so that they can get the enthusiasm for the game that we know will spark them to participate. We need at least another 60 gloves for the clinics as most players can’t afford to buy them. ” When asked if there are any local Churches involved, he added “The underlying core principles of what we do are centered in the teachings of “being good and doing good”.  There is no specific church locally involved but our leadership absolutely leans on the moral values espoused by the Judeo Christian ethic.  All players of all faiths are invited to the program.  Everyone plays and everyone is truly important.”


The response has already been more than the league can handle.   It is feared there will be too many players and not enough coaches.  “Don’t worry,” commented Coach Tawil “you don’t have to be a pro coach.  You only have to have the desire to help out, learn the game, and be willing to persevere while we all learn and progress together. We will take everyone who cares.  Remember, this is recreation softball and 99% of players are beginners too.  We are all in this together.”


If you have any time or money to invest in these worthy children or equipment to donate please contact info@bajasoftball.com or visit the league’s web site at www.bajasoftball.com

If your browser does not display the slide show below, see it here.

________________________

There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.
 Victor Hugo

  ________________________

THE ANNUAL AND EAGERLY ANTICIPATED AUGUST ENSENADA WINE FESTIVAL

THE GALA OF THE GRAPE GATHERING

Mexico is a diverse and mostly arid country with several areas appropriate for vineyards. Mexican commercial winemaking dates from the 16th century and now is producing several very good wines at competitive prices. In the past few years, the country's leading wineries have collected an impressive array of accolades, gaining a following among wine lovers excited by the prospect of finding excellent vintages in unexpected places. This article will help you discover the varieties of wine from the Ensenada region and learn about these award-winning vintages, as well as the August festival that celebrates this winemaking tradition.

 
The vineyards are situated in coastal valleys on the western side of the long narrow Baja peninsula, facing the Pacific Ocean. The main production area is close to the American border south of San Diego. This region has become the leader in reviving the reputation of Mexican wines. 87 to 90 percent of Mexican quality wine comes from northern Baja California, centering around Ensenada. The three wine-producing sub regions, all located within 60 miles of Pacific coast, from north to south are the Valleys of Calafia and Guadalupe, San Antonio de las Minas, and the Santo Tomás Valley and San Vincente Valley. For the last twenty-five years new generations of ambitious vintners have been laboring to finally put Mexico on the winemaking map. Having decided that the time has come to develop a proper wine industry that competes with California and even France, they have begun to produce a number of surprisingly good table wines. These are accumulating good reviews, international awards and serious export interest.


The major winegrowing sub regions all lie close to the Pacific Ocean where they can benefit from the cooling ocean breezes and mists. Hot days and cool nights is a classic winegrowing combination throughout the world, allowing grapes to develop their sugars without a corresponding drop in acidity. The climate is classically Mediterranean, with low winter rainfall followed by a dry spring and hot summer. Pacific breezes and regular coastal fog make some of the coastal valleys less torrid than latitude would suggest, and several cooler micro-climates have a dependable humidity around 80%. Vines are supported by drip irrigation. All the wine producing valleys feature a mix of alluvial soils and decomposed granite. The Guadalupe Valley and especially its neighbor the Calafia Valley have become the most well-known appellations so far, although the term “appellation” may be a stretch, as the Mexican government seems even less interested in regulating wine than the Mexicans are in drinking it. Nonetheless, most producers do try to label their wines in accordance with U.S. and European standards to avoid difficulties in the important export market. 


Conquistador-turned-governor Hernan Cortez commanded his Spanish colonial subjects to cultivate grapevines as early as 1524, but the name of Mexico has never been associated with memorable vintages. Although winemaking in the former "kingdom of New Spain", now Mexico (or the remains of it, after the American annexation of California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas in 1847), dates from the early 16th century, the altitude and climate in this country, in general, is not well suited to viticulture. Jug wines have been cheap and justifiably maligned. Yearly Mexican wine consumption has been under half a bottle per person, compared to two gallons in the United States and as much as twelve gallons in Argentina. The preferred drinks, of course, are tequila, rum and beer. Still, the country has never had trouble growing grapes to serve fresh, dry into raisins, or distill. The large brandy industry is the most important in Latin America, and Domecq's Presidente brand is one of the world's best-sellers.

  
The Mexican fine wine industry is still in its infancy, but results so far are promising. For wine lovers right now the challenge is twofold: identifying what these up-and-coming wineries do best, and then locating their wines. Production and export are small, and they are more likely to be found in better urban restaurants than in retail shops. Naturally, Mexican vintners are hoping this will soon change. Mexican labels are simple, giving brand, producer, and vintage. Varietal types are often indicated, but this is optional. The best wines, “reservas” or "reservas privadas" are more likely to be made with modern and traditional winemaking techniques in a dry modern style that emphasizes fruit.


While the region may not be ready to take on the best of Bordeaux, the wines of Mexico’s Baja region are coming into their own. An influx of European vintners looking for affordable vineyard property has sparked the recent growth of an area in which grapes have been cultivated for centuries. Mexican wines are well worth trying, and have begun to lure vacationers to the source. Visitors to Baja California’s beaches and marinas find its wine country a pleasant side trip while visiting the beautiful seaside town of Ensenada, 90 miles south of San Diego. Ensenada’s annual Vendimia Wine Festival in August is annually eagerly awaited, and better hotels partner local wines with wine tours year-round.

________________________

If the fans don't wanna come out to the ballpark, no one can stop 'em.
 Yogi Berra

  ________________________

 

 

 

Click the link below to view and purchase our selection of True Traveler Products 

True Traveler Online Store

  

 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.

  

RETURN TO ARCHIVE DIRECTORY

RETURN TO CURRENT NEWSLETTER

Google

 

 

     

Copyright Sitka Sails Incorporated ©2002-2008

Website Design by Feel Flows