Internet Newsletter

From The 90 Day Yacht Club Guide to Ensenada

September 2004

Volume 2 , Number 9



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












              As we transition from the 90 Day offshore delivered Yacht Club to the somewhat nebulous realm of the 1 year offshore delivered Yacht Club it would be illustrative at this time to point out the two types of clientele that we have encountered here in the quote un-quote Club. The first group is the folks that are here to just “get their business done” and basically are noncommittal to the area and it’s attractions in a seemingly inconvenienced attitude of law compliant necessity. Cell phones always at the ear and ringing, kids carping at the parents to get home to their video games after the x-number of $’s of fireworks are blown; and after their time is served, gone and hardly missed. The second group are the true “True Travelers” who are continually dragging their feet when it’s time to do that dreaded border crossing back to the north, again dragging their feet when the 90 days are over, and often spend 4 to 6 months here in complete bliss and Pacifico (er, pacified) spent days of escape from the stress of civilization’s daily struggle.

    We that live here in Ensenada welcome both groups but are more in tune to those that share our views about the beauty of this area of Mexico and are inclined to stay as long as possible. I came hear for 90 days 5½ years ago and am writing this happily on my boat in a place I have come to call my home. Growing up in San Diego in the 50’s and 60’s spoiled me rotten and this place is a resemblance of that little town I once knew, now overrun with overpopulation. Here I look upon barren hills that will one day be another Pacific Palisades and drive through undeveloped country that will be the next Rancho Santa Fe. This coming Wednesday I will help take an 80-foot boat back to the seemingly blissful state of existence of a huge home in Huntington Harbour with private dock space at the estate. These are new boat owners that will fondly remember their time spent here, are bummed to be heading north, and say they will come back every year with their new yacht for a month or so to again experience the wealth of attractions Ensenada has to offer. So… having to spend one year here for those of you that are open to the benefits of the beauty of the area will experience absolutely no inconvenience at all; in fact it will be a blessing to you and your familyJ Hurry down though, as we expect the no vacancy sign to be displayed as soon as the Club fills up with new members and the turn around time is lengthened to 1 year. 

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Santana Winds or Santa Ana Winds?

            The Santana Winds or Santa Ana Winds, most common in the late summer, fall, and early winter, begin with dry air moving in from the interior of the U.S. towards Southern California. This is caused by a high pressure mass stationary over the Utah and/or Nevada area clearly seen on isobar weather maps during the event. The most violent winds are often felt in the Los Angeles area. As this air flows down into the Los Angeles Basin through the low gaps in the mountains (notably Cajon Pass on the east end of the San Gabriel Mountains and Soledad Pass south of Palmdale), it compresses and warms about five degrees Fahrenheit for every 1,000 feet that it descends. Though these winds are much cooler high in the mountains, they can become hot and dry and assume gale force when descending into the Los Angeles Basin. These Santana winds often hit the mountain passes and coastal low lands with gusts of up to 90 MPH. The winds find many other paths through the mountain passes east of San Diego and Ensenada and assume the same characteristics as they descend to our coast. During especially strong Santana occurrences the atmosphere locally will be just as unstable and dry as experienced to the north, creating the dreaded fire danger and damage that we have witnessed recently. While these winds blow locally, in the Sea of Cortez the waters will be battered by the notorious Northerlies blowing south at a force that makes this usually tranquil sea impossible to navigate. In many parts of the world we find that local weather conditions of outstanding characteristics are named after their localities. This is especially true in Spain and Italy. Did you know that for a time Volkswagens were named after notable named winds? Sirocco, Golf, and Jetta are a few windy names that come to mind. Sometime during the 1970s, southern California TV reporters (mostly folks imported from other parts of the U.S.) started calling them Santa Ana winds. Sources credit the Santa Ana Canyon in Orange County as the origin of the name Santa Ana winds, thereby arguing for the term Santa Anas. This might be supported by early accounts which attributed the Santa Ana riverbed running through the canyon as the source of the winds... Other accounts placed the origin of Santa Ana Winds with an Associated Press correspondent stationed in Santa Ana who mistakenly began using Santa Ana winds instead of Santana winds in a 1901 dispatch. We wonder, what did Saint Ann have to do with these winds? (Saint Ann is the mother of the Virgin Mary — Jesus’ grandmother). The original spelling of the name of the winds is unclear, not to mention the origin. Although the winds have been commonly called Santa Anas, many argue that the original name is Santanas. Both versions of the name have been used. The name Santana is said to be traced to Spanish California when the winds were called devil winds due to their heat. The word santana is Spanish for devil — which is appropriate because these winds are like something out of Hell! You can just imagine the early Spanish settlers encountering these winds for the first time. The heat and fire combined with their inability to fight these fire storms must have made them think that they were suffering Satan’s wrath.

            In the early days of Spanish exploration, it was the custom to name places and occurrences for the saint on whose day the discovery or event took place. Several blows of hurricane force are so named in the logs of early navigators. Some accounts found in these logs state that the first Santa Anas during Spanish times was experienced on July 26th, Saint Anne's day, and was named for her. This seems doubtful for two reasons. The first is that the first Santa Ana would not have been an important enough event to rate a name. The second is that early records of the missions and expeditions do not mention these winds by name, although attention was paid to weather conditions. Another theory offered was that the winds were named after the blustery Mexican general and president, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. This theory has been discredited by pointing out that the winds were called Santa Anas in records written before the man was known. Still another writer thought that the name was derived from an American Indian word Santana, meaning big or bad wind. This point of view has gained an increasing support, and has become official in some circles. Now, the gringo press uses Santa Ana Winds exclusively. This is indeed unfortunate because Santana is so much more accurate in describing the character of these winds. Using Santana is more respectful of California history. There can be no doubt that the Spanish settlers would have objected strongly to these winds being named after one of their most beloved saints, the mother of the Virgin Mary. Many Ensenada residents have heard the word Santana straight from the folks who knew what they had been called for over 200 years. When you see the neighborhood kids using their fingers to illustrate horns on their heads as these hot Santana winds scourge the atmosphere, there is no doubt they are referring to these annual winds as winds from Satan. Whatever you call these common experiences we share; dry and dusty ash filled throats crying for a cervesa, wicked orange sunsets in a backdrop of smoke filled skies that are awe-inspiring but remind us of the potential danger, and the fear for ours and our neighbor’s casas and livelihoods. It is strongly suggested you keep all your possessions covered by fire insurance or do as we did, move onto a boat! After all, being surrounded by water in the middle of the Ensenada’s  Bahia de Todos Santos sure can put a halt to an approaching fire storm and makes sipping a cold Pacifico more enjoyable while viewing the holocaust at a safe distance.




            I would like to share my experiences that I had at Ensenada's premier yard...Baja Naval.  I brought my boat Bad Dog over last Sunday, July 11 which was a real convenience, being able to get her set up for a haul out on the following day, Monday. On Monday, I was introduced to my assigned yard manager Arturo who took an enthusiastic interest in greeting me.  They painted my bottom to perfection and repaired some underwater damage sustained from a runaway anchor in heavy seas.  The gel coat work on the hull was to where she looked brand new and they matched the hull's white paint to where you would never know.  They also installed some under the swim step lights and the mounting was impressive. Baja Naval is a very clean and professional yard that I would recommend to any of you (my buds and editors). I have been described by yards as a tough customer, as I demand the jobs to be done right.  To add to this difficult customer I brought all my tough friends over, Mike Kraus, Tom McInally and Juan Lu Cardona-Sepulveda who added the professional's point of view.  We were all impressed and Bad Dog left Baja Naval this morning with more than one happy customer. They even washed my decks upon


           Yes, this is my second time at Baja Naval, and each time I have not been disappointed.  I recommend this yard to all of you and I will be going back.


Hasta la bamba.....defending carnitas, margaritas and the Mexican way.....


 Bad Dog.jpg (230807 bytes)  



            Your stay in Ensenada may include a visit to the downtown harbor to either sightsee, check-in to the country, or perhaps to enjoy a free night on the hook. Here are a few True Traveler tips to help you when in this area.

            Yachts can anchor inside the harbor as long as they are outside the main navigation channel. The bottom is composed of soft mud and the holding is not very good in the high afternoon breezes that often rake the harbor waters. If there is an especially strong wind or a storm approaching, an onboard watch stander is advised.

            A few dozen moorings are available east of the channel just off the docks inshore. They are all privately owned by either local fishing boats or the following listed marinas. Moorings available for rent are owned and operated by either Sergio’s (VHF-06), Juanito’s (VHF-18a), Gordo’s, or Bandito’s. If you can’t raise them on the VHF or you would prefer to take the mooring of your choice, simply circling the mooring ball will cause the pangas (small skiffs) to appear from perhaps more than one of the waterfront businesses listed above. They may all vie for your business, and the bidding and competition should be entertaining for you and your crew. Try to cut a deal that will include trips to shore on their water taxi (which you can arrange by VHF when you need a ride ashore), or a place to land your skiff at their docks. The personnel that rent you your mooring ball will then become a great liaison for trips to town, locations of goods and services, and any general help you may need.

            Before you settle a deal with these fellows, have them lift the shackles and cable for inspection for sea worthiness. If so overgrown with growth you can’t see the fittings, that is an indication that the ground tackle may not have been serviced recently, and you should decide whether you want to chance using that particular mooring. This is especially important if you are mooring a large yacht of large gross tonnage weight.

            When approaching this area, be aware of the very shallow sand bar that is between the northwest corner of the cruise ship dock and Baja Naval. DO NOT attempt to shortcut across this area as we have been involved in more than one instance of saving a grounded vessel that has wandered upon this sandbar. Low tide has seen more than a few sailboats healed over on the bottom waiting for a high tide. Often a group of pangas can be seen feverously working to get a big powerboat off the bottom before the tide goes lower and further damaged the struts and props occurs. Unfortunately, these pangas have a tendency to gouge your gel coat as they push and pull your now high and almost dry yacht.

            Our advise is to arrange to dock your yacht at either of the three prominent marinas in the Ensenada are; Baja Naval, Cruiseport Marina, or the Marina Coral. Better security, facilities, and safety will be found at these establishments, which will make your visit to Ensenada more enjoyable and care free.



Being an author is 5 % writing and 95% promotion





or in Spanish the Virus del Oeste del Nilo

          They are coming to a bedroom, bunk and outdoor entertainment area near you! Those pesky little buzzing near the ear sleep invaders are indeed here again but this time they are packing a big hazard which could threaten the very lives of your family. Last night I slept with one here at the Coral Marina but the night was so hot that I couldn’t keep the covers on, so the little bloodsucker had his way with me, the host, all night long. As I write this in early August the radio is right now telling me about 3 recent deaths in the LA/Orange county area. Truly bad news for our collective future if we don’t take the necessary precautions to avoid this new plague. Standing around the bar-b-que with stern floodlights blasting is not an option this summer and fall.  

West Nile Virus is a flavivirus commonly found in Africa, West Asia, and the Middle East. It is closely related to St. Louis encephalitis virus, which is also found in the United States. The virus can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses and some other mammals. It is not known how long it has been in the U.S., but scientists believe the virus has probably been in the eastern U.S. since the early summer of 1999, possibly longer. In the temperate zone of the world (i.e., between latitudes 23.5° and 66.5° north and south), West Nile encephalitis cases occur primarily in the late summer or early fall. In the southern climates where temperatures are milder, West Nile virus can be transmitted year round. One of the species of mosquitoes found to carry West Nile virus is the Culex species which survive through the winter, or "overwinter," in the adult stage. That the virus survived along with the mosquitoes was documented by the widespread transmission the summer of 2000. The continued expansion of West Nile virus in the United States indicates that it is permanently established in the Western Hemisphere.

    Here are preventive measures that you and your family can take to protect your family and yourself from mosquito bites: apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin. The more DEET a repellent contains the longer time it can protect you from mosquito bites. A higher percentage of DEET in a repellent does not mean that your protection is better—just that it will last longer. DEET concentrations higher than 50% do not increase the length of protection. Choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time that you will be outdoors. Repellents may irritate the eyes and mouth, so avoid applying repellent to the hands of children. Whenever you use an insecticide or insect repellent, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer's DIRECTIONS FOR USE, as printed on the product. Spray clothing with repellents containing permethrin or DEET since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to exposed skin. If you spray your clothing, there is no need to spray repellent containing DEET on the skin under your clothing. When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever you are outdoors. Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when you are outdoors with infants. Consider staying indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening, which are peak mosquito biting times. Install or repair window and door screens so that mosquitoes cannot get indoors.Help reduce the number of mosquitoes in areas outdoors where you work or play, by draining sources of standing water. In this way, you reduce the number of places mosquitoes can lay their eggs and breed. At least once or twice a week, empty water from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, and cans. Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out. Remove discarded tires, and other items that could collect water. Be sure to check for containers or trash in places that may be hard to see, such as under bushes or under your home. Note: Vitamin B and "ultrasonic" devices are NOT effective in preventing mosquito bites. Is there a vaccine against West Nile encephalitis? No, but several companies are working towards developing a vaccine.

    Most people who are infected with the West Nile virus will not have any type of illness. It is estimated that about 20% of the people who become infected will develop West Nile fever: the symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands. The symptoms of severe infection (West Nile encephalitis or meningitis) include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 150 persons infected with the West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of disease. The incubation period in humans (i.e., time from infection to onset of disease symptoms) for West Nile encephalitis is usually 3 to 14 days. Symptoms of West Nile fever will generally last a few days, although even some healthy people report having been sick for several weeks. Symptoms of severe disease (encephalitis or meningitis) may last several weeks, although neurological effects may be permanent. Occasionally, an infected person may develop more severe disease such as “West Nile encephalitis,” “West Nile meningitis” or “West Nile meningoencephalitis.” Encephalitis refers to an inflammation of the brain, meningitis is an inflammation of the membrane around the brain and the spinal cord, and meningoencephalitis refers to inflammation of the brain and the membrane surrounding it. Although there is no treatment for WNV infection itself, the person with severe disease often needs to be hospitalized. Care may involve nursing IV fluids, respiratory support, and prevention of secondary infections.

Current Data Map


Pink: Positive Test Results

Aqua: Samples Submitted

Yellow: No Data

West Nile Virus Website

Kids can learn how to protect themselves from mosquito bites on

"The Buzz-z-z-z on West Nile Virus" (NOW A BAD LINK!)

Mexican West Nile Website



Make effective use of your most valuable asset, your time






            The sad faces of the tiny Indian children from mainland Mexico will tug at your heart, begging with their paper cups. Unlike the truly poverty stricken children you see in Tijuana, these children are a part of a scam. This is their job, however young they may be. The unseen facet of they're seemingly meager existence is that they live on communes in groups outside Ensenada overseen by male patriarch's. These women and children are trucked to town every day and pimped along the boulevard in a staged display of poverty, when in fact the men hiding in the shadows unseen collecting the benefits of the daily take are only using them. Truth be told, we imagine these men live a far better standard of life than their conscripts left daily in the hot sun to play a pathetic role. But when you are not looking, and the prospect of a tourist dropping a peso or two their way is exhausted, they can be observed smiling and enjoying each others company.


Now that we baby boomers are nearing retirement age and have paid all the funds necessary for our retirement into the fund- the government is considering raising the retirement age to 67 because there are so many of us- we that have contributed to the fund that has been raided now for years to fund the shortfalls of failed programs must suffer do to the ineptitude of the system that is denying us the right to the offshore delivered 90 Day Yacht Club fund savings, now expanded to one year. No funds/no fun...




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