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From The 90 Day Yacht Club Guide to Ensenada

September/October 2007

Volume 5 , 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

E-mail:

sitka@truetraveler.com

Phone:

(619) 857-0368

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                 

THE MEGAYACHTS ARE COMING TO ENSENADA

Luxury 100 to 400 footers are set to be Ensenada’s newest residents

The 273 foot O'Mega is an example of the type of yacht that will be a resident at the new Porto Hussong Marina. She carries 32 guests and a crew of 28. Any one have any Grey Poupon? See their website at; http://eliteyacht.com/omega.htm

            Plans to build “the largest West Coast megayacht marina” in Ensenada were recently announced by Meridian Development Group LLC. Plans for the 16-acre Porto Hussong include a 290-slip marina with 76 berths for yachts up to 400 feet long. An adjacent condo development will span the land along the coast at the marina site. This will totally reshape and revitalize the coastline in the area where the Hussong Quintas Papagayo Resort now stands. The rise in megayacht ownership is linked with the boom in billionaires and millionaires. There are 946 billionaires worldwide – up from the 793 last year – with 418 of them in the United States, according to Forbes magazine.

            A worldwide bonanza in ownership of 100 to 400 foot yachts has increased demand for specialized moorings to handle vessels that can stretch longer than a football field. But a lack of accommodations on the West Coast has kept megayachts at bay. East Coast behemoth yachts find this area more attractive due to the excellent prevailing weather, cheaper insurance rates and the lack of hurricane activity.  The “Land of Little Rain” and the “Land of Shorter Shadows” as Baja has been called is easily distinguished from the rest of the planet in satellite photos daily transmitted back to earth by our weather agencies. The striking image of the peninsula’s unique shape is always visible as the surrounding regions are shrouded by cloud cover and moist weather patterns. The chances of a day without rain in Baja are 95%, beating out Hawaii’s 84% and Florida’s 87%. According to the travel publication Conde Nast Traveler, Baja California is the best dollar value per hour of sunshine of any area west of Denver.

            In the last 5 years the entry level for ownership of what is termed a megayacht has been pushed from 80 feet to the now more stately and eye-popping 100 to 400 foot yacht. Originally the new Porto Hussong Marina was designed to accommodate only a dozen slips for this size craft. But after the word got out to the consumers and yacht brokers, the demand for these moorings increased the number of slips to 76 berths capable of handling 80 to 400 foot vessels. It can’t be understated the effect of this addition to the Ensenada waterfront economy. The filter down consequence of goods and services necessary to facilitate the fleet will be a huge boon to the economy of Ensenada. What will evolve is a Monte Carlo or Miami atmosphere, complete with a new malecon for admiring locals to cruise as a promenade to view these colossal cruisers.

            Currently it is impossible to find open moorages along the California coast. Most of the marinas have a waiting list longer than the Ensenada harbor entrance jetty. And those waiting must post a nonrefundable deposit to remain on the list. Oceanside Harbor now boasts a 3 to 5 year wait for a slip, dependant on the slip size required. Contrary to this increasingly meager availability of California marina space, Ensenada is right now drowning in open slips waiting to be occupied. These slips are of the less than 80 foot size vessel accommodation. One of the marinas in Ensenada has a megasize yacht dock, but it is floating in only 14 feet of water depth, much to shallow for the draft of one of these monsters. When the new Queen Mary 2 recently visited, she had to anchor outside the Ensenada harbor and delivered her guests by shuttle boat.

            The profile of yacht owners has changed from traditional old money to newly made money. People that can afford the privilege now want the best car, the best cigars, the best homes and addresses and the best yachts.  At the end of 2002, there were 482 yachts 80 feet and larger under construction – a 73 percent increase in the annual new-construction rate since 1997. At the end of 2005, yacht orders jumped an additional 44 percent to 688 under construction, according an international listing of yacht orders.

            Currently there are new marinas planed in the downtown Ensenada harbor where the old Catalina Ferry is stuck in the mud, in the area of the San Miguel community and the El Sauzal harbor, and the marina at Las Salinas is being expanded. As of the publication of this article, none of those projects have plans to compete with the megayacht Porto Hussong Marina that will soon be in place. No doubt the demand for space to park these mini-cruiseships will expedite the process of construction. Megayachts can spring mega rivers of revenue.

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"The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedoms."

William O. Douglas (1898-1980), US Supreme Court Associate Justice.

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BOOK REVIEW

¡ASK A MEXICAN!

BY GUSTAVO ARELLANO

        This recently released best selling book is a compilation of the author’s answers to the questions sent him in the ¡ASK A MEXICAN! column he writes in the Orange County Weekly. The author was a food editor at the paper, and had answered a couple of idiotic questions from readers each week about the subtleties of Mexican culture. Arellano is hilarious; this book is smart, well-researched and subversive. Within these pages we find an entertaining way to immerse yourself in Mexican culture and an immensely amusing collection of questions and answers about that culture.

            Arellano explains the genesis of the column in 2004, “…one day my boss asked why don't you start a column called '¡Ask a Mexican!'?” I thought to myself, “That's a weird idea, but sure, let's do it.” So I made up the question, "Dear Mexican, why do Mexicans call white people gringos ?" And my response was "Dear Gabacho , Mexicans don't call gringos gringos , only gringos call gringos gringos . Mexicans call gringos gabachos .” So we ran the column. We figured it was a one-time-only joke. We knew we were going to get a reaction, but we were only planning to run it that one time. Once we realized we were getting a lot of questions, we figured we'd hit some nerves and that we needed to continue this. So we started answering those questions. Then one week we didn't run the column just because of space restraints and we started getting even more comments, "Hey, where is the Mexican? Why aren't you running the Mexican anymore?" Except for special issues, we have run it every week since.”

            This is one of those coffee table books that you will pick up every day for further enlightenment. It’s hilarious, ribald, sometimes bordering on and being profane, and completely politically incorrect. You will soon realize that beneath Arellano's offensive stereotypes and penchant for vulgarity, the book's heart is in the right place. He states, “Ultimately, I like to confound people. I like to challenge people on every level, with every word I use.” In the book we explore simple questions such as “Why aren’t there any Mexicans on Star Trek?” and “If Mexico was settle by Spaniards, why do Mexicans drink beer and not wine?” To the question, “Why do Mexicans always cram into a small car?”, Arellano answers, “Because a burro can’t support more than 3 people!”.

            The book also contains a handy collection of common Mexican terms defined as only this author could. Such as “”Otro lado – The other side. Otherwise known as the United States.” And “Virgin of Guadalupe – The patron saint of Mexico. Appears everywhere in Mexican society, from churches to silk shirts to hubcaps”. Also included, “Chuntaro – a Mexican redneck. Term used mostly by Mexicans against each other. Jeff Foxworthy is a white chuntaro.”

            The most asked question in ¡ASK A MEXICAN! history?  “Why do Mexicans always swim in the ocean with their clothes on?”. The authors answer is both astute and well informed,  ““As with gabachos, an alarming number of Mexicans are out of shape… 24% of Mexico’s population is overweight. That’s the second highest obesity rate in the world, following-wait for it- ¡los Estados Unidos! Unlike gabachos, Mexicans respect the public when it comes to flashing our flabby chichis, pompis, and cerveza guts- so when we are out near the pool or by the beach, we cover up. It ain’t Catholicism, machismo, or a homage to our swim across the Rio Grande, its good manners.” Remember this when you visit your local Baja pool or beach this summer!

            Arellano concludes, “The column attacks everybody. Sure, I'll go after white racism, but I'll also go after Mexican racism with the same knife. But I would say that the people who ask me the questions are roughly a 50-50 split between Latinos and everyone else. More importantly, though, when I am out there in the community, when I am out there talking to people, people will come up to me and say, "'¡Ask a Mexican!' that's my favorite column,” and almost always it's people like myself, young Latinos.”

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Why is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person?
  Francois de La Rochefoucauld

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At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated,

"If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash........ twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

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We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.
  Francois de La Rochefoucauld

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GREEN LIGHT FOR THE RETURN OF THE 90 DAY YACHT CLUB!

CLICK ABOVE BOOK COVER TO ORDER

Yacht, plane, RV owners once again will be able to glide past sales tax

LA Times Article

By Evan Halper
August 22, 2007

SACRAMENTO -- State university students, mass transit riders and the low-income elderly will all feel some pain from the budget the Legislature passed Tuesday. But for one select group, the spending plan could prove a financial boon: owners of yachts, planes or recreational vehicles.

They will once again be able to avoid paying sales tax if they keep those items out of the state for just 90 days after purchase. That's how the law worked before 2004, when lawmakers closed what most considered a loophole by requiring state residents to keep those pricey purchases out of the state for a year to receive a sales tax exemption.

The stiffer rules forced more yacht, plane and RV owners to pay their fair share, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office. The result: a $45-million boost in revenue for the state each year since 2004.

A book for yacht owners, "The 90 Day Yacht Club Guide to Ensenada," schools Californians on the art of avoiding sales tax by temporarily docking in Mexico.

A provision intended to keep the one-year requirement in place was removed from the budget last month at the insistence of Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman of Irvine, himself a yacht owner.

"It's a commitment we made to Dick Ackerman," said Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles), who in 2004 fought to stiffen the tax exemption's eligibility rules during budget negotiations. "Hopefully they will make him president of the yacht club or something."

Ackerman said in an interview Tuesday that the stiffer rules were pushing yacht brokers and manufacturers out of the state. The boost in sales tax payments was the result of more Californians buying jet skis and smaller vessels, not yacht owners forgoing that long trip to Mexico, he said.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has worked with Democrats to keep the one-year requirement in place. It had been renewed each year since it was enacted -- until now.

"This was going to be an experiment," Ackerman said of the 2004 law -- one he believes has failed. Others say the sales tax break is an outright giveaway.

"Everybody recognized this as a scam," said Lenny Goldberg, executive director of the nonprofit California Tax Reform Assn. "People had even made a business out of this scam. And now the state is going to permit it again."

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SEA MAGAZINE

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THE CONSTRUCTION CREW OF MEXICO

 DUE TO THE HUGE AMOUNT OF NEW CONDO CONSTRUCTION ALONG THE COAST BETWEEN TIJUANA AND ENSENADA, WE REPRINT A CHAPTER FROM OUR BOOKS FOR YOU

            During our travels in Mexico, we have noticed a common feature of the panorama that defines the backdrop of your memorable Baja California experience. In the most scenic and strategic areas of the hills and beachside communities you will see while cruising on your new yacht, or traveling through and visiting by car, there exists an alarming number of unfinished structures. Whether it is a villa on the seaside cliffs, a hacienda at the riverfront, or the estate by the lake, they are left to crumble as the local animal and rodent population lay claim to the empty multi-room, wind swept abodes. Did a pestilence suddenly interrupt the best-laid plans of men, did a bank foreclosure derail the progress of civilization, or did the cast of "The Night of the Living Dead" invade the labor force as the work was being performed?

            We are talking about homes and multi-storied buildings that would be worth hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars if located in Southern California. With all due respect to our neighbors to the south, we have a playful theory that perhaps could alleviate the speculation.

            A construction crew exists that is so far superior to all the others, that it is the only one called on to work on the many job sites available to be completed. They rotate throughout each Mexican territory when the priority list directs them to a specific location. The city of Ensenada completed a new bridge recently in one fell swoop that obviously had the funds and political pull to employ this band of talented artisans. Marina Coral had these craftsmen duly pay rolled for the length of time needed to make the job complete. But just next to the Coral Hotel there is an unfinished high rise structure that is so far not so fortunate, shown above.

            Whatever the real reason these unfinished projects are now blowing in the wind, we see a great opportunity for those who would invest in the possibility of their fortunes being tied to the many buena vistas viewed by these homes needing owners.

            In the future, the narrowing bridge between our two bordering countries should make these unfinished projects more available to those wishing to own and occupy these properties and see them complete in their as yet unrealized potential beauty and refuge from the struggling toils of the overpopulated California lifestyle. Enlightened generations from the north would be wise to find this short drive south a welcome relief, and an opportunity to forge a new self-realization of tranquility and the resultant renewal of spirit necessary for the survival of our race.

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"Men are slower to recognize blessings than misfortunes."

Titus Livius (59BC-17AD)

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THE POINT OF THE PICTURE OF DEATH

“Punta de la Pintura de Muerte”

            Back in the 1940’s the stretch of road headed south to Cabo San Lucas from Ensenada was challenging due to the fact that there was little or no maintenance in these remote areas of Baja California. There simply was no well kept road along the way in those frontier days. In many places the furrows in the dirt road worn by the tires were so deep that you needed a vehicle with a very high road clearance to avoid high siding the frame of the vehicle in the middle. Roads would change from hard pack dirt to washboard rock to cavernous potholes without any warning. The experienced Baja traveler learned quickly that the color of the dirt on the road was the only clue as to what was coming up around the next bend. Livestock seemingly appeared out of nowhere and many accidents were caused by a cow or steer crossing the road. Night passages were not advised as the whole of the Baja frontier lacked light due to the absence of electricity. In addition, many stretches of road had only one lane and if you met someone coming from the other direction and there was no available turn out, one of the vehicles would have to back up until a place to pass was found.

            Perhaps the most dangerous feature of the entire passage south was the series of switch back hairpin turns in the mountains that were carved out of the rock with barely enough room to avoid the breathtaking drop to the valley thousands of feet below. Negotiating these turns was literally a matter of life and death illustrated by the wreckage on the bottom of the adjacent valley floor. The most famous and dangerous of these was in the Bay of Conception area on the road south of Santa Rosalia. This section of road was marked by a skull and crossbones painted on the rock and was aptly named “The Point of the Picture of Death”. Even the mailman, who had driven this road many, many times got careless one day and had gone over the grade. Here the road was especially deceptive and treacherous and those traversing this stretch of road for the first time were advised to stop and analyze the situation before proceeding. The series of curves included a beautiful buena vista of the Sea of Cortez, and if you failed to negotiate the area properly taking in the view, you would drop off the road into the bay far below.

            The area consisted of one lane with two slight curves with a stretch of dirt road in between that was extremely narrow, carved out of the rock face with only enough room for your left-hand wheels to skim the cliff top which dropped straight to the sea below as your right-hand wheels grazed the granite rock overhanging on the right. If you got it wrong, you would find yourself trapped and unable to pull forward or back jammed against the cliff on one side and unable to maneuver on the other side due to the sheer cliff edge. If this unfortunate circumstance happened, the steering wheel would become useless and trying to manipulate the vehicle with the wheel could prove to be disastrous. The only safe remedy was to move the car with jacks to reorient your angle of direction. Trying to back down this expanse of narrow road to alleviate the situation was also discouraged, as that is far more difficult than going forward. In order to get it right, you had to correctly size up your approach before preceding much like a golfer surveys a putt on the green.

            This was only one of many mountain curves and hairpins that characterized the road from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas. In those days you had no assurances that any of the roads would be passable south of Ensenada. The many junctions you encountered were devoid of road signs and you could very quickly find yourself lost in the middle of nowhere. Streams had to be forged without knowing their depth and vast distances of road negotiated without prior knowledge of their condition. Many of these roads crossed miles of desert where any form of auto accident could lead to disaster. It was advised that you travel with another car and you carry all the spare parts you could muster. Being stranded in the desert could lead to certain death as there are very few water oasis areas between either of the coasts of the Baja.

            Today we have the Half-way House at KM-52 on the old road, established in 1922, as a reminder of just how treacherous the trip to Ensenada could be, necessitating a stop mid-way in the journey from Tijuana. By the 1940’s a slick paved two lane road carried you quickly to Ensenada from Tijuana and Ensenada began to emerge as a more attractive tourist destination from north of the border. Any further exploration south was due to be an adventure you would never forget in the wild expanses of the unexplored areas of mid 20th century Baja California.

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If the Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me
  Jimmy Buffett

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COURTESY OF STEVE AND GAIL ROSS ON THE BAD DOG

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POLITICS TRASHING BAJA?

POLITICAL SIGN PHOTOS TAKEN 8-16-2007

The political signs from the recent elections in Baja California on August 5, 2007 are now twisting in the wind, and many in the high wind areas of the coast are now on the ground waiting to be blown into the sea, the ones with a wind break are still as they were when they were put up in July... not one has been taken down by any candidate. Isn’t there enough trash everywhere in Baja without the political candidates who ran on the promise of the future wellbeing and beauty of Baja contributing to the litter problem?

CLICK ON THE BELOW THUMBNAILS AND USE YOU WEB BROWSER BACK BUTTON TO RETURN TO THIS PAGE

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Play: Work that you enjoy doing for nothing.
  Evan Esar

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LEGAL OR MORE LEGAL?

THE MIGHTY #29 WINS AGAIN!

Photos by Pete Liebig available at http://paklphoto.com/

ALL THOSE THAT SUPPORTED THE UNJUST DISQUALIFICATION TWO WEEKS AGO THAT TOOK AWAY THE #29'S COMMANDING CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS LEAD DETERMINED OFF THE TRACK GOT CLIPPED THIS PAST SATURDAY NIGHT ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

MIGHT AND RIGHT OVER ENVY!

THE MIGHTY #29 HAD TO OVERCOME A LAST PLACE HEAT RACE START

Photo by Pete Liebig available at http://paklphoto.com/

A NOTICE TO THE #29 TRIBE RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!

Welcome to our new co-tire and co-fuel buyer! No need to tweak our engine, it has been legal and will continue to be!

New sponsor on board... www.portohussong.com. This sponsorship is provided by the Estudillo family, that gave Balboa Park and the Zoo properties to San Diego. They owned the oldest house in Old Town San Diego, built by the Estudillo family. José Antonio Estudillo, the patriarch of the family in the early to mid 1800's, was the head of the garrison located in San Diego by Spain. See the recent San Diego Union Tribune front page article about the Porto Hussong Mega Yacht development part owned by the Estudillo family. Pretty good lineage for a sponsor? Read the article about the new Porto Hussong development in this current newsletter.

Google Estudillo when you get a moment...

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Estudillo joined the Spanish Army at the Presidio of San Diego and eventually made lieutenant around 1824. He was granted Otay Rancho in 1829 and Temecula ...

Captain Estudillo was Commandant of the Presidio of San Diego from October 23, 1820 to September 1821 and again from 1827 to his death in 1830. ...

José Antonio Estudillo (1805-1852). Son of José María, born at Monterey, 1805. ... The Estudillo house in Old Town is restored and open to the public. ...

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THE #29 TRIBE RULES!

NOTICE TO THE #29 TRIBE

          On September 15th at the Barona Speedway the #29 won its 4th heat race in a row. This placed the car on the front row of the main event. After a strong race which the Mighty #29 lead for most of the way until caught by a competitor in the last laps, the technical inspection found the #29's motor in violation due to a compression test just over the 200 pound limit.  The test equipment broke down during the test on the next car being checked and was found to be faulty. After fixing the compression gauge's fittings and hoses we asked for a second test because we had just tested at 190 lbs. 2 weeks ago in tech and we know that our car is within the limits. The second test indeed showed the motor was in spec at 190 pounds.

          The lead track official was going to allow the second test, until he was overruled by the head of the tech department. There was one bad cop out there the other night, and he simply showed no regard to a competitor that got screwed by a bad compression test by a faulty piece of gear. That guy has not one shred of heart in him, as Dale Erwin risks life and limb out there every race to give the fans a great show AND DESERVED A BETTER RULING FROM TRACK PERSONNEL! This was apparent after the second test that he disallowed when the motor pumped 190 like 2 weeks ago when it was tested. Engines don't make compression sitting 2 weeks in the shop. 

          This disqualified the #29, took away the points for a strong second place finish, and temporarily caused the #29 to fall behind in the championship points race for the season. We have 3 Saturday's left to race at this track, and the #29 team and you the #29 tribe will do all we can to overcome race track politics and win the Championship, ON THE TRACK!

Photo by Pete Liebig available at http://paklphoto.com/

ALL PHOTOS PROTECTED BY GLOBAL COPYRIGHT LAWS

THE TRUE TRAVELER / GILL BILLY® PONTIAC GRAND PRIX

WINNING A HEAT RACE ON AUGUST 4TH

Photo by Pete Liebig available at http://paklphoto.com/

THE MIGHTY #29 SURVIVES A DIRT TRACK DUST UP!

Click on the below thumbnails and use your browser back button to return to this page

Photos by Pete Liebig available at http://paklphoto.com/

POISED AND PROWLIN' TO PASS 4 CARS!

Photos by Pete Liebig available at http://paklphoto.com/

 

 

 

 

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