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December 2003

So we shook out the sails and headed south from San Diego just before Christmas.  Next stop, Turtle Bay, Baja California, Mexico. We thought about the many challenges we had ahead of us. The trip down from Washington to California tested us but this was the next step. Off to a different country, a different language, and all the unknowns waiting for us. Baja is a rough, raw coast and there is no easy place to put in until Turtle Bay and that is three days away from San Diego. Were on our way!

Betsey:  Borderlands and border-crossings have a special significance in my field of Multicultural Studies.   Gloria Anzaldua speaks of borders as the place where "two or more cultures edge each other, where people of different cultures occupy the same territory, where under, lower, middle, and upper classes touch..." Anzaldua maintains that it is in the margins, in the border spaces between cultures, races, genders, social classes, where the real work of reconciliation takes place.

So I have been thinking about borders, and about crossing them, and what it will mean to my family.


Soul Catcher under full main and jib
Los Coronados 12.21.03Los Coronados,  a few miles south of San Diego, our first look at Mexico.

We were very excited at finally leaving the US, and beginning this next part of our journey. With our arrival in Mexico began a new set of adventures with Port Captain check-ins called the paperwork Cha-cha. All cruisers are required to check in with the port captains at major (and some minor) ports. This involves showing your ships papers and paying the port fees when you arrive and then again when you leave. This is probably the major complaint cruisers have about Mexico. Every port captain interprets the rules differently so you often don't know exactly how each check in will go. Sometimes it's easy and some times it's like a bad dental visit.

This is Isla Cedro, the next big Mexico landmark going south, looking like an island from Mars.

It was when we started down the Baja past Isla Cedros that we picked up the single sideband cruiser nets for the first time.  We discovered the weather Guru, Don, from "Summer Passage". Don is a retired cruiser whom has been to Mexico many, many times. He broadcasts a daily weather update to the cruiser nets in Mexico and Central America as well as many who are crossing the Pacific to the Marquesas. 

Isla Cedros
Mexico sky at dusk

Lots of cruiser folks  listen to Don's weather advice.  If you consider it as advice and make your voyaging decisions using his weather predictions and observations in conjunction with good judgment and local observation you will do just fine. That disclaimer aside, I listen real hard to what Don has to say and seek his input anytime I can get it!


Home Up Baja

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Last modified: April 27, 2010