Internet Newsletter

From The 90 Day Yacht Club Guide to Ensenada

September/October 2006

Volume 4 , Number 9/10

 

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

True Traveler Publishing

P.O. Box 60023

San Diego, CA 92166

Phone:

(619) 857-0368

E-mail:

sitka@truetraveler.com

 

 

 

WELCOME/BIENVENIDOS!!!

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READ THE PROFILE IN THE JULY SEA MAGAZINE ABOUT THIS AUTHOR, OUR BOOKS AND THIS WEBSITE! CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW THE ARTICLE - SEA MAGAZINE!

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LAYOFFS FOLLOW PROFIT SLUMP AT WEST MARINE

Perhaps a direct result of the temporary change in the 90 Day Yacht Club Law?

          An undisclosed number of employees at West Marine's Watsonville key control center are losing their jobs in the wake of spiraling boating-industry turbulence, which pushed second-quarter profits down 39 percent compared to a year ago. Besides layoffs, open positions at store floor help and administrative positions are not being filled. The in-store electronics installation departments are currently being closed in two of the leading southern California stores. In October of last year, the company reported it had 5,143 employees, including 602 in Watsonville where corporate headquarters are located. Analyst George Ure calls West Marine a definitive "category-killer", dominating the marine-supplies market with its own mega distribution centers. The company reported disappointing earnings earlier this month (August, 2006). Specialty News, part of the Gear Trend Network, used the word "tanked" to describe the company's fiscal situation. Net income for the second quarter, usually the busiest, was 65 cents per share compared to $1.07 per share a year ago. Company officials said at the time 30 to 40 of the 400 stores would be closed. West Marine's stock closed August 24th 2006 at $13.22, up 22 cents. Its 52-week range is $11.03 to $19.53. The company has increased sales — up 4 percent in the second quarter — yet has been unable to match last year's profit levels.

In the past I have implored top echelon Port Supply and West Marine officials to become more involved in the lobby efforts to re-instate the 90 Day Yacht Club - now is the time for this huge Marine Trade supply entity to mobilize and have their collective power felt in Sacramento!

You will find our book available in the West Marine computers referenced by the SKU # 5107735 and our True Traveler Publishing vendor # is 36936. Our book can be transferred to your local store from any other store in the chain of over 350 stores nationwide that has our book in stock.  

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CLICK THE BELOW BUTTON TO SEE A MOVIE DESIGNED AS A PRELOADER FOR THIS WEBSITE, THEN AFTER FURTHER DISCOVERY IT WAS DETERMINED THAT FOLKS JUST SIMPLY DON'T LIKE WEBSITE PRELOADERS AND THEY MESS WITH YOUR WORLD WIDE WEB IDENTITY BROWSER TAGS. YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU VIEWED THE MOVIE AS IT IS A BEAUTIFUL SLIDESHOW OF LOCAL ATTRACTIONS - HIT THE REFRESH BUTTON TO SEE THE MOVIE AGAIN... AND AGAIN! MINIMUM LOAD TIME AND YOU NEED FLASH ADDED TO YOUR 'PUTER TO VIEW; A PROGRAM YOU SHOULD ALREADY HAVE OR DOWNLOAD (FREE AT THE ADOBE FLASH SITE) AS THIS KIND OF PRESENTATION IS THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE...

AQUACULTURE IN THE TUNA PENS OF ENSENADA AND THE CORONADO ISLANDS

Tuna Farm Vaqueros

            Local to Ensenada and the Coronado Islands True Traveling mariners and road warriors can observe many seaborne circular enclosures which are serving as underwater feedlots for the creatures called "the kings of the sea"; thunnus thynnus orientalis, or Pacific bluefin tuna. These valuable fish are symmetrical, with pointed noses, vacuous eyes, and rigid appendages. This is the fish prized above all others by connoisseurs of sushi and sashimi. The fish whose belly meat (called toro) commands the highest prices on Japanese restaurant menus (with the exception of the potentially poisonous fugu, or blowfish, which is not nearly as widely sold). At its best, when the fat content is high, and the fish has been meticulously handled; the flesh is fabulously tender and buttery, ranging in color from a soft pink to a deep wine red. Obviously too luscious to cook and begging to be eaten raw.

            Unlike salmon, tuna has not yet been successfully farmed - that is, raised in captivity from egg to maturity. Currently, all bluefin must be caught in the wild, not only the Pacific species but also its giant, biologically similar Atlantic cousin, which is perhaps slightly less desirable from a gastronomic viewpoint. Around the world, fishermen facing declining quotas for high-quality bluefin tuna are discovering that one way to maximize the return on their reduced catch is to add value to it, only in a novel way; catch them live and fatten them up. That’s what Australian tuna fishermen have done in a big way. Concerned over the sustainability of the species, fisheries managers and the industry established quotas in 1984 to limit the tonnage of fish caught to 14,500 metric tons. That was reduced to 6,250 mt in 1988 and 5,265 mt in 1989.

            The notion of capturing gold ingot valued tuna and holding them for the market has been around for a quarter of a century. It started in St Margaret’s Bay, Nova Scotia, in 1976 but stopped a few years later when the giant Atlantic bluefin tuna altered their migration path. Since then, various forms of bluefin aquaculture have been developed, the best known in Port Lincoln, Australia, but with operations spread around the world in Croatia, Malta, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Japan and Mexico. After entrepreneurs found that the high prices paid for such tuna outweighed the cost of building pens, operations quickly expanded into the Atlantic, to Australia, and then to Baja California.  Japan drives the market for fresh fish, it's literally almost a stock exchange. The Japanese auction block determines local tuna prices.  After being caught by local seiners, the fish are then transported to farming facilities at the Coronado Islands and the Ensenada area run by Mexican tuna ranchers. Upon arrival at the site, the tuna are herded from the seiners underwater panels into the farm's football field-sized pens, where they are fattened with sardines, anchovies, and other bait fish for three to six months. After months of gorging, the tuna are auctioned at Tsukiji, Tokyo's fish market. Beginning in the 1970s, international fishing laws prohibited Japan from trawling foreign waters in their own boats. Japan had to import, looking to tuna ranches.

            The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has listed the bluefin tuna as "critically endangered" on its Red List of species at risk. The number of bluefin tuna has been reduced to less than 5 percent of its original population size in just three decades. Other scientific debates surround the tuna farms and their existence. The Mexican tuna ranchers will do whatever it takes to protect and fatten the “herd”. From the Mexican ecologically forbidden practice of shooting predatory sea lions to spending thousands on temperature-monitoring devices that cool the water so the bluefin build up fat stores and, in turn, fetch a higher price.

            Much of the tuna farm production is delivered to Chesapeake Fish Company at Point Loma Seafoods in San Diego for processing. These companies are involved in all aspects of the seasonal bluefin production, from the killing and cleaning of the fish to the packaging and shipping. Last year the Chesapeake employees worked from August to March to fill a quota of 900 tons of bluefin for Japan.

            The bluefin are slaughtered individually by sticking a hook between the eyes that punctures the brain. Attached to the hook is a long pipe that's inserted vertically into the fish. This shocks the spine and speeds up rigor mortis. A tuna's value is determined by its grade. The grade is determined by the fish's color and fat content. Number two grade is more highly valued, as it has more fat content, and number one grade is considered less desirable. There are four grades of tuna; however, most fish buyers recognize only the first two, as number three and number four grades are often either canned or frozen.

            Negotiations begin on the dock of San Diego. Buyers from Japan inspect the fish, checking fat content, color, and visual appeal. After calls to Japan to determine current prices, high bids are accepted, and the tuna is submerged in crushed ice -- after being sliced up and boxed for shipment and shipped by Chesapeake's fleet of delivery trucks from the company's Harbor Lane facilities to LAX, where it will go to Tokyo via air freight and be auctioned at Tsukiji, all within 48 hours.

            Most of the tuna caught off the coast of California is not bluefin, and only a certain clientele is interested in bluefin, mainly the Asian market. Local fishery officials worry that there is simply not enough room in local Mexican waters for more pens to meet the growing demand. In the Ensenada area, there are six tuna-ranching operations either functioning or approved for operation by the Mexican government. The first and largest of these, Maricultura del Norte, on the south side of Punta Banda, operates 15 pens, and legislation to authorize the first American tuna-ranching operation is being drafted.

            With funding from Chevron, Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute of San Diego is seeking permits to operate an experimental fish farm and hatchery for three years at Platform Grace, a relay point along an oil pipeline owned by Santa Barbara oil company Venoco Inc., near Ventura in federal waters. The Grace Mariculture Project would include four submerged pens, encompassing 1H square miles. The project's goal is to help supply a growing demand for seafood. The largest trade deficit in the U.S. is oil, the second is seafood imports. As part of the three-year project, the institute would raise bluefin tuna, California yellowtail, California halibut, striped bass, and red abalone. The Grace Mariculture Project would be used to determine the economic and environmental feasibility of tuna ranching in the U.S. a pilot program to determine just how lucrative commercial bluefin farming is.

            A local fishing tournament was affected by the existence of the tuna ranches. On Saturday, Sept. 17, 2005, the Ensenada Club Nautico sponsored the Torneo Internacional De Pesca Deportiva Verano, a huge Baja Norte fishing tournament with over 300 anglers competing in a vastly publicized largest fish contest that was held based in Ensenada. The second place fish, a 64 pound yellowfin tuna was disqualified because it was proven that the angler had bought the tuna from the Salsipuedes pens. Later others commented that the man who submitted the fish had rock cod on his boat and no gear to catch such a fish. The eyes were white and the fish was black and covered in flies. The cheating fisherman got so violent, it was necessary for the police to take him to jail!

            Local boats net the fish, tons at a time, as they cruise along the coast, 20 to 30 miles offshore.  Then, the tuna are towed at less than two miles an hour, still in the water in specially designed enclosures, to Puerto Escondido Bay. There they live the life of Riley, splashing happily about in the huge circular pens, gaining weight and building their fat content on a sardine diet - all the fish they can eat, three times every day, six days a week, for four to eight months. To avoid damage to their livers from overeating, the tuna are fed only six days a week.  And on those six days, the sardines are broadcast across the surface of the water to force the big fish to compete aggressively for food. Some farmed salmon are criticized because, having no need to work for nourishment, they develop a flabby texture. This method of fattening takes a run-of-the-mill fish, a so-so fish, and transforms it into a superstar, a fish ripe for the markets of the sushi and sashimi connoisseurs of Japan.

            The tuna are caught between June and August, as they swim between Magdalena Bay, near the southern tip of Baja California, and Monterey Bay, south of San Francisco. They are sold between October and March, by which time most of the fish weigh up to 190 pounds. Some of the larger tuna in the pens approach 330 pounds.

            When the largest local tuna ranch company, Maricultura del Norte gets an order, an appropriate number of fattened tuna are harvested. That gives them an edge over conventional suppliers: they have to sell as soon as their boats dock. They sell when they want to, whether the demand is high or not. At Christmastime, when the demand peaks, Maricultura sometimes harvests as many as 900 tuna in a single day, working from sunrise to sunset. The current price for a gutted bluefin, with head and tail on, runs about $9.50 a pound for small fish, $12.75 a pound for medium fish and even more for larger fish. The meat sells at retail for as much as $45 a pound, despite the lasting slump in the Japanese economy. A 410-pound tuna was sold for a record $160,000 last year. Buyers insist on quality - tuna without bruises or blemishes, with vividly colored flesh, with maximum oil and fat content. When the pen is ready to harvest, it is like a ripe fruit, the fish at a perfect point in their development.

            The harvesting of the fish is a systematic display of proven methodology. Divers in black wet suits start by raising a barrier inside one of the pens, separating a dozen or so tuna from the rest. Next they grab the fish, one by one, one hand on the tail and the other in the gills, and hoist them onto a barge, where another crew of workers holds them in place. Instantly that team spikes each tuna in the head, killing it, cut a main artery behind the gills to bleed it, and ran a fine steel wire down the fish's spinal column, paralyzing it immediately. Another team, astonishingly deft like the first, then takes over, cutting out the gills and guts in one swift motion and tossing the bluefin into a 32-degree saline water solution. The whole process takes only about 50 seconds. This method is employed to preserve the tuna's quality in two ways: by avoiding the formation of excessive lactic acid and by preventing the fish's blood temperature from rising after it has left the sea. This yields a cut of fish that is blissfully sweet and custard-like, with no hint of the metallic flavor that mars the elderly fare served at second-rate sushi bars.

            About 95 percent of Maricultura's output goes to Japan, the other 5 percent is sold in San Diego and Los Angeles, mostly to top restaurants. Chilly from their cold-water bath, the fish are cleaned, weighed, tagged and measured before being placed with cold gel packs in plastic-lined boxes to keep them fresh. If they are harvested on Thursday, for example, they are packed on Friday morning and trucked to Los Angeles International Airport on Friday afternoon. They arrive in Tokyo on Sunday, local time, and go on sale at 5 a.m. Monday. Most of them will be consumed by Wednesday at the latest. That may sound like a very long time. But in fact it is almost ideal; like a number of other fish, such as Dover sole, bluefin only reaches peak flavor and texture four to six days after it has emerged from the water. The Ensenada operations have a marketing advantage over numerous other tuna-penning locations because of its proximity to the Los Angeles airport with its 19 flights a day directly to Tokyo.

            It is the reliability of supply and consistency of quality that make farmed bluefin popular, but they will never replace free-range bluefin in the very top echelon of the market. The true connoisseurs still prefer a wild fish, as they prefer a wild salmon. The muscle and meat structure is not the same from a pen 50 feet across compared to thousands of miles of ocean. Consumers complain about the meat structure and say the fat doesn’t taste right. The wild bluefin still get the top price. When a farmed Australian is going for 3,000 yen per kilo, in the same day a fancy wild bluefin from the East Coast or Spain with good fat will go for 6,000 or 7,000 yen per kilo. It is just a different product; it is not in the same size class, and it is also natural.

            Whether tuna farming will serve as a model for farming other species, such as black cod and halibut, remains to be seen; but fishermen in many fleets have a definite success story to ponder as they contemplate the future of their industry. The world's, and especially Japan's, appetite for tuna seems insatiable. The question is whether stocks of bluefin can withstand the pressure. Already, the giant Atlantic bluefin, which can reach up to 1,500 pounds, is listed as endangered by the Monterey Aquarium, which monitors such matters. The southern Pacific bluefin, which is caught off Australia, has also been over fished, but so far the northern Pacific bluefin, caught here, appears to be in better shape.

Click on these photos and the following thumbnail photos on this page

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The below illustration depicts the location of the fish pens pictured above. Note the interference in the course line previously taken by many mariners before the new construction of the LNG plant. Be aware in this area and deviate course as necessary.

 

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"There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read."
  GK Chesterton

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BIG JESUS DEDICATED

          On the road between Rosarito and Ensenada you will notice and can't miss the behemoth Jesus statue that overlooks the area above Kilometer 36 just beyond the lobster village Puerto Nuevo while heading north to the border. His arms outstretched and beckoning, the heart of the savior is etched clearly on his chest. The figure was officially inaugurated with formal services on Friday, June 23rd, 2006. Sr. Obisbo don Rafael Romo Munoz, a Catholic Bishop from Tijuana blessed the statue and oversaw the special ceremony. During the service, called "La Santo Misa" the Bishop threw Holy Water on the edifice. The services were open to and attended by all faiths. Pilgrimages are expected to visit the immense risen one from all over the planet.

 

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All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.
Walt Disney


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MARINA ETIQUETTE

 (A Sample Chapter from our Books) 

            This is being written after being, yet again, awakened by the surge of two high power diesels being started at high RMP's, spewing noxious smoke and toxic fumage into our hatches, filling the boat with a new atmosphere lingering long into the morning, due to it's heavier than air blend of airborne oil and carbon monoxide. Not quite what I had in mind as a compliment to my coffee, and far more bracing as a wakeup call. Some weekend mornings, when the 90 Day Clubbers are here for their frantic two-day collection of receipts, and the sport fishers are vying to be the first on the banks to boast, we are reminded of the Indy 500, after that cute little old lady says "Drivers, start your engines". The difference is, this is a race that starts at 3 or so in the morning and keeps starting all day long. 

            This is obviously an uncontrollable and inevitable element of marina life. We'd have to be at anchor somewhere every weekend to avoid the carnage. But there are witnessed many other instances of a just plain arrogant, in your face, attitude. Or sometimes it's simple absentminded ignorance. Like that precious little scruffy dog, a few slips down, that seems to bark at that certain piercing volume and pitch all day long. And the owner's, John and Martha, are oblivious to the din, having lived with this somewhere in Placencia their whole lives. When we complain, and the dog is put down below, peace is restored again, until next weekend when the process starts all over again.

            We have a couple that has lived aboard at Marina Coral for 4 years. These folks enjoy piling their stuff in one of the marina dock carts, and sit there at happy hour and relish the glory of having a personal charge at the wait. While the rest of us walk the length of the marina looking for a cart, realizing the time spent finding, or not finding one, could have been spent making the 5 trips required to carry all our stuff down to our boat. We sigh, boil it down to "needing the exercise", and carry on realizing all that unpleasant karma those cart hoarders are creating.

            Then there was the guy who wouldn't buy the electrical cord splitter to supply shore voltage to both banks of his AC panel. Why, pray tell, are boats wired that way anyway. So, of course, this new boat owner needed to start his generator at 6 in the morning to heat the boat and run his stove. And his genset exhaust was right at our bunk hatch! Incredibly, no amount of "suggestion" would dissuade him from this behavior, nor would he buy the proper cord. Luckily he was only here a few weekends, and finally left the marina one morning, without checking out of the country, and I might ad... with more bad karma. 

            The slip next to us has contained a plethora of novice "yachters". Like the "captain" of the brand-new 45 foot sailboat that insisted on practicing docking with his son, with no line handlers on the dock. We shared a space without a dock finger between us, and he was upwind of me. One fine, sunny, windy day he was in full docking procedure mode, yelling out orders in the most authoritative of tones. Lines rigged to perfection, son in the proper strategic placement, and, of course, to raise the level of difficulty, backing in, into a stiff afternoon 15-knot wind. His tone changed to a wimpy "I'm in trouble" as he looked at me shortly before the impact. Luckily my davits suspend a fine natural fender, my 8 foot Carib inflatable, and the only damage was done to this "mariner's" ego. Karma?                      

            One Friday night, at 10 pm, the engines in the powerboat next to me roared to life at the usual 20K RPM that it must take to insure these engines keep mechanics in business. Unlucky for me, the wind was such that all the fumes were settling on my deck and snaking into my hatches. I closed the

boat tight and uttered a few unrepeatable words of welcome in the direction of the new boat owners next door in full "throttle-up" mode. I'd been through this routine before and waited for the time to pass until either their wrists got tired manipulating the controls or they ran out of fuel.

            This guy's son had been down a few times before, installing a rad stereo dude, etc., and had told me they owned a "yacht commissioning business" in a condescending tone. Judging from the fish on the hook painted on the transom, in the motif of "kindergarten sketched with a 5 color water paint box", I doubted the validity of this claim. Very nice, a very primal contribution to this 200 thousand dollar boat.

            Forty-five minutes later I heard a lady down the dock yelling "are you guys gonna run that boat all night long!" Well, bless her heart, she had raised the issue, so I took this opportunity to pile on. I took a deep breath of fresh air from the cabin and prepared to open my companionway door. Rather than just yelling "incoming!", I explained that they were pouring smoke into my boat and to get busy and shut 'em down. Well, these two “yacht commissioners” informed me that they couldn't shut 'em down! I explained the air and fuel starvation theory of arresting mechanical detonation, or maybe they should just pull the stop cable connected to the injection pump. That boat ran for more than 2 hours until after midnight, with these two thumbing through engine manuals with a flashlight until a marina mechanic could be summoned from home to turn the key off. The only help I could, or would, have rendered to these novice boat owners was a bucket of sand to pound up their... or should I say, into their air intake. A true karmic moment...

            Then there is the current most fashionable of fads, next only to the ownership of an SUV and cell phone: choking, er, smoking a cigar. Reminds us of all the yea-hoos in the early 80's we saw attending San Diego Charger football games on TV when we lived in Seattle. Fresh off a mechanical bull, and chewing on a hayseed, were 55,000 spur wearing fadits knocking off each other's cowboy hats in response to a completed Dan Fouts pass. Truly noteworthy was that now forgotten urban cowboy era.

            Smoking a cigar wouldn't be such a noticeable event if it weren't flaunted with the usual absurd flourish of seemingly understood importance, wealth and stature. The little cough in between puffs is a comical completion to the Renaissance Man painting hanging on the wall of this guy's mind's parlor wall. And of course, each flick of the ash goes into our precious mother ocean's mouth. And when done carefully rolling that burning rope around in between those yellow fingers with little finger extended, without a thought, in the drink it goes, now resembling that floating tootsie roll in that old Bill Murray movie. The ocean is not an ashtray or a trash can-would you like it if we dumped all that refuse you uncaringly toss overboard into the ocean into your SUV, making it impossible for you to find your cell phone somewhere heard ringing in the big wet pile which surges out of the door in a gush onto your new suit as you open the driver's side door? Need we again utter the "K" word?    

            Finally we have the case of the bright red and white Nordhavn pinball. Marina Coral has rather narrow channels between docks and an entertaining weekend endeavor is a beer, some chips, and avocado dip, back dropped by new boat owner antics while docking. A wife falling off the bow a full 2 slips away from the assigned dock space and in the middle of the channel has been observed, failure to find reverse at 5 knots notated, and then there was the winner of the Golden Sombrero. During the tranquility of another quiet marina morning, one fine day occurred an event of truly noble scope. A brand new Nordhavn, which is built like a tugboat, pulls straight forward at an alarming pace and bow to bow powers into and mushrooms the bowsprit of the 45 foot power boat across the dock from me, driving it's swim step up onto the dock until the boats’ dock lines stopped both boats’ momentum.

            The Nordhavn, now in reverse, releases it's grip on its power boat dance partner and the swim step, now suspended in mid-air over the dock and a few feet from my boats’ bow, settles down on the dock ripping out the step's mounting screws making an absolutely awful sound. The Nordy then backs down into the self-steering system of a sailboat. After the dust settles, this sweetheart of a guy has his insurance fix the damage on the powerboat because he was observed in that collision, but he denied contact with the sailboat, which was not witnessed, and refused to repair the now geometrically twisted self-steering mechanism. This left the sailboat owner to remove the assembly and cart it all up to San Francisco himself for repair.

             As another man's karmic wheel spins into action, may the sun shine always on your hatches grasshopper... and we advise you to keep your insurance always current. 

 

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"It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth."
  George Burns

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THE COST OF GROCERY SHOPPING IN ENSENADA

          A recent trip to the local Gigante Mercado yielded these prices for 22 items. The cost of fuel here in Baja is still around $2.50 a gallon so that factor has not or will not drive the cost of food to the unbelievable levels I see when I visit the states. The local Mexican population simply could not drive their cars or eat if they were getting abused at the pumps and at the market as you are north of the border! Check these prices out- all this for a total of around $34.00 mas o menos according to the exact daily exchange!!!

.282 Kilograms (1 Kilo is 2.2 pounds) of top sirloin hamburger- $1.70

.326 Kilograms of Rib Eye steak- $2.70

1 liter of milk- $ 1.00

3 large bags of cocktail style Sabritas peanuts (a good bag tastes like cashews)- $1.10 each

.282 Kilograms of Monterey Jack cheese- $1.60

2 large ripe avocados- $.80

A generous 137 gram package of crackers- $.35

1 loaf of honey wheat imported Roman Meal bread- $1.85

A 12 slice package of bacon- $1.90

4 large bananas- $.70

1 large head of lettuce- $.30

1 roll of paper towels- $.65

A generous 175 gram bag of Sabritas chips (much fresher, tastier and crispier than Lays chips)- $1.60

2 liter bottle of coke- $1.30

1 liter bottle of rum- $6.50 ($13.00 in the states)

Cigarettes for a neighbor- $1.80

4 Ballenas of Pacifico beer (940 milliliters or almost a liter, roughly the size of a quart bottle)- $1.10 - With refundable deposit of 40 cents each which you get back every time you buy 4 more bottles by exchanging the empties. 

Mexican Taxes- $4.50

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MEXICAN MOVING TRUCKS

 An interesting facet of your True Traveler trip south may be you encountering moving trucks cruising down the road almost tipping over as they navigate the many curves in the road. I’m not talking about full size moving trucks, as we’re accustomed to north of the border. What you will see is many generic old pickup trucks fully laden stacked to the top of the cab and perhaps five feet beyond. Unfortunately the shocks on these old trucks don’t accommodate the weight of the load and getting by one of these trucks on a two-lane road is something you want to do quickly and cleanly.

 

DOCKWISE YACHT TRANSPORTATION VISITS ENSENADA TO DELIVER MORE BOATS PURCHASED OUTSIDE THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

A fully laden Dockwise Yacht Transport ship enters Ensenada Harbor for off and on loading. See our January 2006 Newsletter for an article and more photos covering this service that will deliver your yacht to all points of the globe.

HURRICANE JOHN UPDATE – PLEASE JOIN THE RELIEF EFFORT TO HELP THE AREA SURROUNDING THE BAY OF CONCEPTION!

         During Labor Day weekend hurricane John spared Cabo San Lucas and passed over Rancho Leonero on the East Cape and La Paz. Wind gusts of over 100 mph were observed by those that witnessed the hurricane's landfall at the Cape. Many of the wooden and concrete power line supports in the rural areas affected were blown down and power in these areas was interrupted for more than a week. Unprotected car windows were shattered and 150 mph storm shutters blown out in the area surrounding Cabo del Este. Thankfully La Paz was only affected by allot of rain and some gusty 80 to 100 mph winds, as the hurricane weakened traveling over the land heading to the northwest after the landfall at the East Cape.

          Unfortunately, we must report that the area surrounding the Bay of Conception was deluged by unrelenting rain and high water. The towns of Mulege and Santa Rosalia were very hard hit by these torrential rains as John moved north and weakened. There are relief efforts under way and more help is badly needed. This area is a refuge for many Americans, as well as the home of a gracious and welcoming Mexican community. A fund raising auction was held at the Joanna Jones Galeria in Cantamar Sept 30th. Click the attachment below for further information including phone number contacts through which you can contribute help. The Mexican government has a website set up with further information here:

 http://www.bahiasdebaja.com/Huracan/John_ingles.asp

 

IN MEMORY OF STEVE IRWIN

THE CROCODILE HUNTER - RIP

The rule is... don't approach a stingray within 1 foot... apparently Steve got much too close and his incredible life-long luck ran out. "He came on top of the stingray and the stingray's barb went up and into his chest and put a hole into his heart," John Stainton, Irwin's friend and colleague, told The Associated Press. Our prayers go out out to his wife and two young children. Taken at only 44 years old, we all enjoyed his childlike approach to wildlife. A passionate and dedicated environmentalist, the always effusive self-proclaimed "Wildlife Warrior", this animal planet will miss him!

Irwin is survived by his wife, Terri, from Eugene, Ore., their daughter Bindi Sue, 8, and son Bob, who will turn 3 in December.

ABOUT STINGRAYS:

When disturbed, they will lash out with their tail ( WHICH CAN GROW TO BE 10 FEET OR MORE IN LENGTH!) and attempt to sting any creature that may be a threat. The stingray's tail has spines and the edges resemble a serrated knife. In the past the native peoples of the Pacific region used the stingray's tail to make spears and knives because of it's ability to tear flesh.

FOR MORE STINGRAY INFORMATION CLICK BELOW:

SURVIVOR OF STINGRAY INJURY TO THE HEART...

http://www.nswseakayaker.asn.au/magazine/47/stingray.htm

ICHTHYOLOGY, TAXONOMY, HABITAT AND BIOLOGY...

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/AtlanticStingray/AtlanticStingray.html

AND...

SHOULD THE VIDEO OF THE EVENT BE RELEASED?

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/entertainment/gossip/15445690.htm

 

REALITY TV CELEBRITY AND BOUNTY HUNTER ARRESTED FOR EXTRADITION TO MEXICO

Dog Update 10-11

COLORADO REP. TOM TANCREDO IS URGING SECRETARY OF STATE CONDOLEEZA RICE NOT TO EXTRADITE THE DOG TO MEXICO

            An extradition hearing is now set for November, that is why Rep. Tancredo is asking Secretary Rice to get involved. In a letter signed by 29 members of Congress Tancredo is urging Rice to deny the extradition request. In it, Tancredo said the judge dismissed the charge which would allow Mexico to extradite Chapman. Tancredo wrote that it makes no sense for the Mexican authorities to go forward with the case. "Thanks to Mr. Chapman, Luster is now serving a 124 year sentence," Tancredo wrote. "It seems that Mexican authorities are pressing this case only because they are so stung by the embarrassment of failure where Mr. Chapman succeeded," wrote Tancredo. Chapman lived in Tancredo's Colorado district and ran his bounty hunting business out of Edgewater for some time.

Dog Update 9-29

DOG'S ANKLE BRACELET REMOVED

            Duane "Dog" Chapman has been enabled to remove his ankle bracelet. A Honolulu judge has let him remove the electronic monitoring device for a few days to take a pre-scheduled business trip to New York. He is due to be back in Hawaii Wednesday. Dog was ordered to wear the device as a condition of his bail due to his pending extradition to Mexico as a result of illegal bounty hunting charges in Mexico.

Dog Update 9-24

DOG CHAPMAN CONSIDERS OFFERING MEA CULPA

           Duane "Dog" Chapman has had enough, and doesn't want to be extradited to Mexico on illegal bounty hunting charges.  According to his attorney, he is prepared to offer an apology to the Mexican government. Chapman and his attorney are examining options and possibilities to resolve the Mexican government's request to extradite him, including an apology, paying a fine, forfeiting the bail he posted in Mexico and making a charitable contribution. Chapman’s attorney said. "What we hope to do is approach Mexican authorities with an apology for having left the country and (make) an effort to resolve any concerns that can be done short of formal extradition and prosecution." However, Chapman will not apologize for capturing Luster (see below original article). Dog Chapman was released on $300,000 bond. Son Leland Chapman, and associate Timothy Chapman are out on $100,000 bond each. The federal government is being asked to reconsider honoring the Mexican government's request for the return of the three because "we have strong arguments that extradition is probably wrong here."

Dog Update 9-19

TRADING A PAWN FOR A DRUG LORD?

            Dog Chapman and his family have suggested that he may have been nabbed as part of a prisoner exchange between U.S. and Mexican authorities - specifically, Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, a Mexican drug lord who is alleged to have run the Tijuana drug cartel and was wanted in the U.S. Felix was transferred into U.S. custody last week - two days before U.S. marshals took Chapman, son Leland and business partner Tim Chapman into custody on orders from the Mexican authorities. The U.S. Department of Justice says the Dog is barking up the wrong tree. Chapman, who is out on $300,000 bail, said on the Today show that if he goes to prison in Mexico, he will be killed by inmates avenging the thousands of fleeing felons he's brought to justice. "I won't last two days," he said.

ORIGINAL DOG ARTICLE 9-14

            In an interesting twist in the exchange of extradition requests issued between Mexico and the United States, on September 14, 2006 Duane “Dog” Chapman was arrested and scheduled to be returned to Mexico to face charges of bounty hunting in Mexico. It has been extremely difficult for the United States to gain the arrest in Mexico and subsequent extradition from that country in past years of various criminals wanted in the United States, including cop killers and drug lords. Charges have been pending against Chapman since local police in Mexico arrested him shortly after he and his dog posse seized fugitive Andrew Luster. They posted bail but never returned to Puerto Vallarta for their scheduled court hearing on July 15, 2003. A U.S. warrant for their arrest was signed by a federal judge in Honolulu on Wednesday September 13, 2006 following an extradition request issued by the Mexican government. Chapman is the star of the TV show "Dog the Bounty Hunter" which is A&E's top-rated show. A master skip tracer, Dog is considered the greatest bounty hunter in the world, having made reportedly more than 6000 captures in his 27-year career.

            On June 18, 2003, Chapman made news with his hunt and capture of high-profile rapist and Max Factor heir, Andrew Luster. Andrew Luster, had been convicted in absentia of poisoning and rape after fleeing to Mexico. The situation quickly became very complicated as Mexican authorities demanded that the Luster "hunt team" of Duane, Tim Chapman (who is not related to Duane, but he often refers to Tim as his brother), and Leland (Duane's son) transfer Luster over to the Mexican police. When the hunt team refused, they were charged by Mexican authorities for breaking extradition laws. On July 3, 2003 they were officially declared “fugitives” by a spokesman for the Mexican Government, after they left Mexico without obtaining permission from the presiding judge to leave the country. Under Mexican law, bounty hunting is a crime, and the Chapmans did not follow proper protocol when apprehending Luster.

            Luster, then 39 years old, was returned to the United States by FBI authorities after his apprehension. Luster is currently serving the somewhat controversial sentence of 124 years for the commission and conviction of his crimes. He was charged with raping three women after drugging them with GHB, the so-called date rape drug. Police said they found videotapes of Luster having sex with unconscious women, but defense lawyers insisted the acts were consensual. A jury in Ventura County, north of Los Angeles, convicted Luster in absentia after he fled the country during his January 2003 trial.

            Dog currently resides in Hawaii with his wife and business partner, Beth Smith, and three of his children. Chapman has reportedly been arrested at least 32 times. In 1977, Chapman was sentenced to five years of hard labor on murder charges; he served just 18 months before being paroled in 1979. "I am what rehabilitation stands for," Dog said after his release. Chapman's public relation skills have proven themselves by changing what historically was an unpopular career into celebrity. Now on the right side of the law, Dog is tireless in his efforts to bring in the bad guys and encourage them to turn their lives around. Over the years, the list of fugitives Dog claims to have either helped catch or single-handedly brought to justice reads like a who's who of America's most wanted. Dog credits much of his success to his knack for getting the most out of his informants. "Seventy percent of all my captures happen because some good ol' American has turned them in by giving me information," he says.

            Even so, some of his colleagues do not approve of his style or methods. Penny Harding, who is the executive director of the California Bail Agents Association said, "He represents all of the things that bail agents are trying to get away from - the cowboy image, the renegade, bring 'em home dead or alive." Others in the industry criticized his crossing the border into Mexico to kidnap Luster - saying that crossing into foreign countries is not something they condone. One bail agent said that he would not hire someone like Chapman because of concerns over civil liability. Dog and his wife Beth run Da Kine Bailbonds with his sons and his brother. Earlier in his life, Chapman owed money for child support, the judge in charge of handling the child support case asked Chapman to catch a fugitive for $200, thus a bounty-hunter was born.

            Chapman, 53, his son Leland Chapman, and associate Timothy Chapman were taken into custody in an operation involving 15 officers, said Mark Hanohano, U.S. Marshal for the district of Hawaii. The three were to face a hearing later Thursday September 14th  in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren, Hanohano said. They were to be transported to a federal detention center at the Honolulu airport pending extradition.

            They did not resist arrest, he said. "All three were very compliant," Hanohano said. "It went down without incident." Mona K. Wood, a publicist for the star of the popular A&E series "Dog the Bounty Hunter," said Chapman would be "vindicated." "He arrests the bad guys — and he is definitely not one of them," she said. Now the man that has made a living “dogging” criminals finds himself the subject of a legal arrest warrant. The Chapmans each could face up to 8 years in prison if the United States returns them to Mexico and they are convicted on kidnapping charges. Get updates from DogTheBountyHunter.com website and get a taste of Dogism.

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