of the Portland-based motorsailor Iron Maiden, and Fonatur's then-manager Constanza Noreiga. The Fonatur honchos from Mexico City finally decided to end the troubles by offering Noreiga a manager position at two of their other facilities, and by prohibiting Simpson from working in their boatyard. Simpson, in a widely distributed email, said that made his staying there untenable. Noriega has returned to her roots in Cuernavaca, while Simpson was most recently seen in San Diego. Fonatur then brought in what some have described as "an extremely young, inexperienced, new manager from the mainland who doesn't have a clue how to deal with the laidback and easy-going culture of Puerto Escondido." So in addition to the rates being raised as they were at all Fonatur facilities, the manager instituted "petty new fees for garbage and showers" — which had previously been included for those who paid boat and/or car fees — no longer allowed more than two people to congregate, and prohibited sitting in front of the yacht club or Pedro's tienda
to chat and have a beer with a friend. "Our little sanctuary from the real world," wrote one longtime resident, "has been absolutely decimated." A number of Baja cruisers tell us they've left Escondido and have been anchoring off the Villa del Palmar Resort seven miles to the south. The resort has gone overboard putting the welcome mat out for cruisers, going so far as to deliver breakfast to boats in the morning! As for Puerto Escondido, it's where we first cruised Mexico in the late '70s, so we hope it can recover. It's always been an offbeat place with more than its share of characters, but God knows the world needs a few of those. The Grand Poobah has always recommended a dash up to the islands off La Paz and up to Puerto Escondido immediately following the Ha-Ha. This is a very special area in the
Ray Wyatt won the costume award at the Talk Like a Pirate Party at Ensenada Blanca. Alas, he's had his fill of Puerto Escondido.
world of cruising, and if you get there before the Northers start to blow, the water will still be warm and the weather wonderful. Yes, it requires covering quite a few miles rather quickly right after the Ha-Ha, but we've done it, and we think it's worth it. "I had to beat a hasty retreat from the Coches Prietos anchorage at Santa Cruz Island — often described as the most beautiful in Southern California —
Baja Ha-Ha XVIII SEND-off parade On San Diego Bay Monday, October 24, 9:00-11:00 a.m.
You’re invited to escort more than 160 sailboats out the bay for the cruise of a lifetime!
ual 18th ann e h t g n i t Celebra Ha-Ha rally Baja Thanks to the San Diego Port Tenants Association (619) 226-6546 www.sdpta.com
9:00-9:30: South Bay boats pass city en route to Harbor Island. 9:45: All boats gather off America’s Cup Harbor between Harbor Island and Shelter Island. 10:00: Parade past southwest corner of Shelter Island by the San Diego fireboat. 11:00: Official start of Baja Ha-Ha 18 just outside San Diego Bay. Sponsored by
BAJA HA-HA www.baja-haha.com October, 2011 •
• Page 157
The October 2011 eBook issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.