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Old 28-11-2014, 18:36   #16
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

I dont know what's up with my fellow White kin that are cruisers. Allot of them seem not to have any balls and are scared shitless from what the media tells them about Mexico. Then they insist listening to other cruisers that are overly goody-two-shoes, arm-chair sailors, or dock potatoes, and paid out the ass to be proper, and now wants company for their misery.

Oh, the wonderful MORDIDA! That there is something to consider using for your advantage and also watch out for. My experience is that it is all based on attitude. If you are an up-tight proper snob, then they will take you for a ride, but if you play it cool, then they will more than likely let you off paying little. Its all part of the life here. Mexicans make other Mexicans pay mordidas too, so you are not alone.

Ensenada: A trap! It is expensive, there are mordidas here, and 90% arm-chair sailors, 5% rookie sailors attempting to go South, and the other 5% real sailors passing through.
If your boat isnt ready about the time you get to Ensenada then dont expect deals on parts or services. Ensenada is the most expensive place for sailors on the Pacific side of Mexico.
Also consider this: If you got a good weather window in San Diego and you shove off south, bypass Ensenada because more than likely the weather is going to be great all the way to Turtle Bay. But if you stop in Ensenada, you might wait around for another weather window, thus sucking up money paying for slip fees. Ensenada is only worth checking out and hoofing around on foot in town on your way back on the Baja Bash, that's when you do your clearance checking-out of Mexico. Keep in mind, Ensenada is a huge tourist trap, nothing authentic about it concerning real Mexico.

Checking in: All of sailors that leave the States and enter Mexico think they have to check into Mexico in Ensenada. Not true! If you stop in Ensenada then yes, but if you sail down the coast and make stops in Turtle Bay, Bahia Santa Maria, or Mag Bay, that is no problem, but Cabo or Mazatlan are also Ports of Entry. Checking in other ports of entry other than Ensenada seems more laid back. If they happen to ask why you didnt check in at Ensenada, you can easily say you bypassed it. No law saying you have to!

Violence: Very rare that a tourist is victimized by Mexican violence. If you are dumb enough to walk in obvious areas that are bad, or looking to score putas, and some dope, then your chance of being a victim just went up. Another no-no is staying in one place too long, this can up the chances of victimization as well.

So this is my opinion, from a sailor who has lived in Mexico for over 15 years and still does.
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Old 28-11-2014, 19:25   #17
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

What it boills down to is Fox News,Fear,mistrust projected onto anything or one "foriegn".
Face it,the USA,USA,USA has engenderred fear and aggresion.Open carry gun ,stand your ground law..... Just the way military industrial complex likes!
My family been here before was USA under George.
Every generation served armed forces since revolution.OSS,CIA,STATE.
Eventually,retreated to Suisse,Fance or Canada.

Truth be told,most merican rethugs have no realization them and there sons are fodder for kinettic violence and corporate profit.

Mexico- living life there!
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Old 28-11-2014, 19:27   #18
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

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Old 28-11-2014, 19:31   #19
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

Wrong,

I'm going to try and put this issue in historical perspective for you. Before Jim and I first went to Mexico, people used to say things like, "oh, you'll get caught and have to pay mordida!" "You'll get robbed." "Your dinghy will be stolen." And, at that time, there was really ugly anti-Mexican slanging: greasers, beaners, Panchos by some people in the US.

We never paid any mordida. No one tried to rob us. No one stole our dinghy, or our outboard. And one memorable morning, a Mexican fisherman was working his way through the anchored boats, towing someone's dinghy, stopping to ask everyone if it were theirs. To me, they are a lovely people.

And you're hearing pretty much the same stories today, hopefully without the racial epithets.

Try not to buy into the media-enhanced paranoia prevalent in the US. It is so much a part of daily life there, that you may have to make quite a great effort in saying to yourself that a fearful population is more easily governed, hence, I should expect others to try to make me feel afraid.

I am sorry you had previous bad experiences in Mexico. I can see how it would put you off. It probably feels more risky to you now than it is, but one can't know that, and you will stay out of harms way if you honor your feelings.

Still, if you feel uncomfortable contemplating visiting Mexico, don't go. You can leave from SD for the Marquesas, too, and it seems as if there used to be a race from LA to Papeete, also. Either routing can start you on the way through the Pacific.

Ann
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Old 28-11-2014, 19:31   #20
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

Had a great checkin in Ensenada in 2013 after the Baja Ha Ha passed. Seemed like a great spot to spend some time for a weather window. Only complaint was a bouncy slip. It beats Tijuana as a good border town. I'd rather spend time in Ensenada than in Cabo San Lucas. It's not the same since the hurricane so I don't know what it'll be like next time. I liked La Paz. Lots of nice folks there.

I rode the bus all the way back to Tijuana from La Paz and never got robbed once. Imagine that?
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Old 28-11-2014, 19:39   #21
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

We were Robbed at knifepoint in the middle of the night while camping in San Filipe at a crowded campground IN OUR TENT; wallet and camera stolen at a Porto Vallarta resort, friend kidnapped then ransomed BY THE POLICE in Baja. Three years ago in Acapulco, told by the tour staff to not get off the bus because 12 tourists had been murdered in the city over the past week... army and police throughout the beach area with AR15s everywhere while we were in the city.

Here in Massachusetts.... very few severed heads rolling around, none that I've seen anyway.

Hey... visit Mexico if you like, what do I care? You'll probably love it right up until you have a gun or knife in your face.

We still go there.... but on a cruise ship.
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Old 28-11-2014, 21:07   #22
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
. . . We still go there.... but on a cruise ship.
Guess it takes all kinds to make a world! I wouldn't want to discourage that sort of adventuring at all.

I was walking one evening next to the river, in a run-down part of Ensenada. As I went past a funky-looking character, he turned and said "Hey! Hey, man!" I couldn't just ignore him, so I said "yeah?", thinking he would ask for money or offer me drugs or something. "You're American?" he asked. "Yeah." I said.

"I just want to thank you for visiting my country. We need more people like you to come visit us!"
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Old 28-11-2014, 23:02   #23
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

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Here in Massachusetts.... very few severed heads rolling around, none that I've seen anyway.
I seem to remember a few Boston gang murders, etc, over the years. Ain't Boston in Massachusetts? Perhaps the fact that they don't often decapitate their victims makes you more secure, I dunno.

And going on a cruise ship? Sheesh, I sure hope that it isn't a Carnival line boat, for those are well known to be very hazardous to your health and well being.

It is clear that you will never have a good time in Mexico with your history, we get that message. But statistically your experiences are not typical, nor were they in a cruising yacht situation... camp grounds and a PV resort. For those who tend to stay in the anchorages at night and avoid known bad areas, the risk isn't all that great, at least so far, and to categorically deny the safety of cruising those waters is paranoid at the least.

During the 18 months that we sailed in Mexico, one yottie of our acquaintence got in trouble: he got drunk, went to the cock fights in La Paz, placed a bet and then tried to welch on it. Got beat up for his trouble... complained about mistreatment, too. The rest of us had a very good time, and I'd go back today if it were not so far and upwind!

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Old 28-11-2014, 23:05   #24
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

No Go. Don't come. If you are coming in with those worries, I think they will become self-perpetuating prophecies. I used to believe that travel opens peoples eyes, but now I only think it works for some, unfortunately.

I'm worried that you will join the leagion of cruisers that only hang out with other cruisers, have lived here for many seasons and still only have a handful of token local friends. These people sit at the morning coffee and bitch about local policies, laws and customs. Just go home already.

I have lived in Africa, the middle east and now Mexico for a season. I have had people attempt to rob me or get bribes many times. Have talked my way out of them all. I dont know, maybe its the way I dress or carry myself.

Ok. I'm stepping down from the soapbox and headed over to reddit for the night.
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Old 29-11-2014, 03:06   #25
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

November, 2014 due to a recent dream recalling graft and corruption I encountered in countries during two previous near global circumnavigations. At the top of the list, because it would be my first landfall sailing toward the Marquesas, is Mexico. I was stung twice, once on each of two seperate visits by incidents involving mordida in La Paz. Immigration and the port captain facilitated the successful attempts to extract these payments from me. The increasing level level of violence in Mexico was also a consideration. Moreso after the recent murder of 43 students involving Mexican officials and a 'gang'.

Additional justification for my concerns arrived in news articles published over the last few days recording elevated levels of violence in Cabo San Lucas and La Paz.

Killings Surge in Mexico State at Tip of Baja - ABC News[/QUOTE]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Almost every country has issues with violence and corruption in certain areas. Almost any town/village will have it's very own "gut" area. Knowing what areas to avoid can make all the difference. Mexico is no different than a lot of other countries when it comes right down to it. Most local folks are more than willing to point out places to avoid. Projecting a respectful attitude towards the locals can go a long way towards making your visit a fun experience. The Mexican people overall are extremely gracious and friendly. Act like a tool, and you will find the place as friendly as a prison shower.

Mordida is is still around in a few areas, but it is slowly going away in most because the federals finally started cracking down on it after realizing the loss of tourist revenue.

Any person who would write off a entire country by reading about a couple negative experiences on some forum might want to consider another form of adventure to begin with.
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Old 29-11-2014, 04:45   #26
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

While you would likely be safe, the possibility exists you will encounter problems--just as in other countries. In Mexico, however, you have an existing concern so even if nothing bad occurs that feeling of discomfort will likely haunt you. There are many other beautiful places to cruise so why go to a place where you will always feel uncomfortable? As Ann suggested, there are other jumping off points for a Pacific departure.

Personally, I wouldn't go into Mexico, especially with a valuable asset such as our boat. Of course, I also avoid major US cities.
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Old 29-11-2014, 09:23   #27
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

Wow, this really stirred folks up. Is their corruption everywhere, yes, is there violence everywhere ...yes. However, I travel all over Latin America for the last two years. I travel the US as well. I have never been to Mex where some small bribes didn't show up unless all arrangements were made by company locals who have connections. Our locals in MEX don't want to do business in the hurricane zone and we are a disaster response company.

The little bites is part of the culture. Tipping or small gifts help. If you look like a victim you will be one. That said our security guy said published numbers are confirming 10,000 kidnappings a year in Mexico...those are the reported ones. They are mostly drug lord on drug lord but others do get caught in the middle.

There are parts of New york, LA, etc. I wouldn't be comfortable in at night by myself either. They are however easy to avoid. Having been all over Mexico for the last 60 years I have to say it is a lot more dangerous if you don't know the ropes and speak the language than just about anywhere else except Venezuela.

So this group can help steer to ports that are friendlier and try to stay out of the ones where tourists are seen as a personal income source.
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Old 29-11-2014, 09:39   #28
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

Crime statistics and media reports have no correlation with my own personal experiences living and travelling overseas. The mainstream media is clearly only interested in sensationalism.

The murder rate in my quaint peaceful home town in Australia is higher than where I live in California.

I've always followed a policy of being a grey man when travelling. Do your homework, don't be flashy and stay alert.

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Old 29-11-2014, 09:53   #29
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Wrong,

I'm going to try and put this issue in historical perspective for you. Before Jim and I first went to Mexico, people used to say things like, "oh, you'll get caught and have to pay mordida!" "You'll get robbed." "Your dinghy will be stolen." And, at that time, there was really ugly anti-Mexican slanging: greasers, beaners, Panchos by some people in the US.
Beyond illustrating your experience, this says little about the current situation in Mexico. Nor does it have much value as a reference for anyone considering going to Mexico on a boat. People are robbed, dingies are stolen and money being extracted from them in the form of mordida is still a problem. Whether robberies, dingy theft and graft/corruption are more or less prevalent in Mexico as compared to other countries is a red herring. The decision to go or not go to a particular country is made independent of what's happening everywhere else. Or, has it come to the point where we are choosing the least worst destination among the countries under consideration?

Quote:
We never paid any mordida. No one tried to rob us. No one stole our dinghy, or our outboard. And one memorable morning, a Mexican fisherman was working his way through the anchored boats, towing someone's dinghy, stopping to ask everyone if it were theirs. To me, they are a lovely people.
Anyone who considers the launch of this thread as an attack on Mexican nationals is missing the point entirely. Violence in Mexico has been institutionalized in Mexico to the extent government officials, the police and in some cases even soldiers are in league with drug dealers and gangs who are overwhelmingly responsible for the violence. Pretending ties between these groups end at your particular port or marina is naive. Odds foreigners may become targets or collateral victims increase over time. Don't believe it? Look elsewhere in the world where this has happened.

Quote:
And you're hearing pretty much the same stories today, hopefully without the racial epithets.

Try not to buy into the media-enhanced paranoia prevalent in the US. It is so much a part of daily life there, that you may have to make quite a great effort in saying to yourself that a fearful population is more easily governed, hence, I should expect others to try to make me feel afraid.
I simply do not share your negative view.

Quote:
I am sorry you had previous bad experiences in Mexico. I can see how it would put you off. It probably feels more risky to you now than it is, but one can't know that, and you will stay out of harms way if you honor your feelings.

Still, if you feel uncomfortable contemplating visiting Mexico, don't go. You can leave from SD for the Marquesas, too, and it seems as if there used to be a race from LA to Papeete, also. Either routing can start you on the way through the Pacific.
Ann[/QUOTE]

Only time will reveal how much risk sailors visiting Mexico are taking on.

As for you informing me of alternative routes to the Marquesas, you seem to have missed the fact I have completed two near global circumnavigations. Don't really need your help here.
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Old 29-11-2014, 10:02   #30
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Re: Mexico. Go or no go?

Maybe you should just cruise to Bozeman, Montana. My car is parked in the middle of downtown on Main Street unlocked and the keys in the ignition right now.

Hope it's there when I go back out.
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