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Old 25-01-2013, 15:08   #16
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Re: Update from the Sea of Cortez

Chebba I am so sorry that this happened to you and appreciate you sharing for the sake of balance. Mexico does indeed have some wonderful cruising grounds and some dangers exist as well.
By the way does anyone have any information on Mazatlan's old harbor anchorage and stone island anchorage being closed down by the port captain due to crime? I heard some rumors and was curious if anyone had the real scoop?
Jackie
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Old 25-01-2013, 15:35   #17
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Re: Update from the Sea of Cortez

Mazatlan was the worst I visited in the mid 80's. In a week there, one dingy was stolen, another was attempted and I witnessed a bloody fight with tire irons right on the embarcadero along the water. I moved on.....
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Old 25-01-2013, 15:41   #18
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Re: Update from the Sea of Cortez

zeehag, you almost make me feel quilty for not being nicer to the poor or maybe I'm just weak? I don't really know for sure what you mean. believe me when I say that I love kids and my partner puts in at least 15 hours a week at the rehab center for alcoholic girls and church functions and the orphanage. I have no wealth to speak of. the trip to Manzanillo was a christmas present. I didn't say anything about weak people only the relative strength of security systems. my strength or weakness had little to do with it since I was sound asleep when he stabbed me. Mexicans with a little money put up elaborate security systems. that's the reality. you can talk all the nice stuff you want but please don't mislead people. Everyone has security fences or electrical fences or pit bulls. that is the reality of mexican life. period.
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Old 25-01-2013, 16:41   #19
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Re: Update from the Sea of Cortez

Times must have changed a lot since we lived aboard in El Cid Marina and Marina Mazatlan. Never a whisper of problems, same for PV and Barre Navidad. Delivered many boats both power and sail in and out of that area and over 15 years never had a negative encounter. Zee has the right idea IMO... keep a low profile, help out those in need and don't flaunt whatever you have because someone who is less off may take it from you. Z-Town and A-town were both a little rougher but if you knew where not to go, you were fine. Last time I was in Cabo, around 5 years ago, it was getting noticeably rougher (seems to have gone down hill since they began paving the roads). Mexico is still one of my favorite spots in the world. Phil
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Old 25-01-2013, 17:32   #20
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Re: Update from the Sea of Cortez

We did almost four years in Mexico, a short while in Ensenada then mostly in the Sea of Cortez. The only thief we encountered was in Mazatlan. A so-called diesel "mechanic". He was a Gringo. Lesson re-learned: hire locals.

Otherwise, we enjoyed just about everything, from the people to the food to the weather to the scenery. The language seemed easy enough to pick up, so that improved life as time drifted by. {My opinion: many Mexicans qualify for sainthood, as without exception they would patiently wait when we initially struggled to express ourselves.}

Good times fondly remembered, and I'd highly recommend the Sea as a cruiser's destination.
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Old 25-01-2013, 18:24   #21
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Re: Update from the Sea of Cortez

My uncle was murdered, yes murdered, in Puerto Cistos (sp), south of San Felipe. He had lived on leased acreage for over 10 yrs. One day, bright and early, he supposedly drove his 4 wheeler off a bluff and onto the beach. "They" said, he was drunk. The thing is, he never touched a drop in his life.

What he did do, he flashed money. He built a church, he built several homes for the nationals. He bought water tanks for several families in the area. He was, bottom line, generous with his pension. For this he lost his life. And "they" tried to cover up his murder with all kinds of rational.

They is the murderous neighbor who hold the perception that gringos drip with money.

Cruisers by their very nature do not stay long in a port. Even if they should stay long, measured in months not yrs, they are fairly isolated by physical locale, anchored out or in secured marina, so are not privy to the real goings on.

Even when I and my B-I-L and our wives went to collect Uncle Ed's belongings, we were treated to suspicious eyes. They knew and we knew, the gringos, even with a lease, have no legal standing in even Baja. I knew I looked into the eyes of his murderers and they only smiled as they served us great heaps of fresh shrimp dinners and endless supplies of cervesa. If I thought I could have gotten away with it I would have blasted those lying devils full of holes. They knew it as did I that I couldn't have gotten away. Behind their smiles was laughing.

Make no mistake, dear cruiser, you are only tolerated for your wealth. Drop your guard for a second and you will be robbed or more. What Chebba says is not isolated.
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Old 25-01-2013, 18:44   #22
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Re: Update from the Sea of Cortez

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My uncle was murdered, yes murdered, in Puerto Cistos (sp), south of San Felipe. He had lived on leased acreage for over 10 yrs. One day, bright and early, he supposedly drove his 4 wheeler off a bluff and onto the beach. "They" said, he was drunk. The thing is, he never touched a drop in his life.

What he did do, he flashed money. He built a church, he built several homes for the nationals. He bought water tanks for several families in the area. He was, bottom line, generous with his pension. For this he lost his life. And "they" tried to cover up his murder with all kinds of rational.

They is the murderous neighbor who hold the perception that gringos drip with money.

Cruisers by their very nature do not stay long in a port. Even if they should stay long, measured in months not yrs, they are fairly isolated by physical locale, anchored out or in secured marina, so are not privy to the real goings on.

Even when I and my B-I-L and our wives went to collect Uncle Ed's belongings, we were treated to suspicious eyes. They knew and we knew, the gringos, even with a lease, have no legal standing in even Baja. I knew I looked into the eyes of his murderers and they only smiled as they served us great heaps of fresh shrimp dinners and endless supplies of cervesa. If I thought I could have gotten away with it I would have blasted those lying devils full of holes. They knew it as did I that I couldn't have gotten away. Behind their smiles was laughing.

Make no mistake, dear cruiser, you are only tolerated for your wealth. Drop your guard for a second and you will be robbed or more. What Chebba says is not isolated.
What a horrible pile of racist garbage! It is sad what happened to your uncle, whatever that was exactly, it sounds like he was a generous man. But your wild accusations and assumptions here are completely out of touch with reality. Are there bad, racist people in Mexico? Yes. Just as there are in every country unfortunately. But the kind and generous folks far, far outnumber them. Everywhere.
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Old 25-01-2013, 18:47   #23
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Re: Update from the Sea of Cortez

It should be known that I spent the last 3 years in Manzanillo full time. I left about 6 months ago. I returned for a 3 week siesta. there was no flashing of money, no drinking in bars, no activity to bring attention to ourselves. We know all our neighbors. It is and was about being the weakest security setup. There have been a number of burglaries in Las Brisas in the last couple of months. Area residents are meeting and trying to form some kind of security team. I am only saying this to balance out the general opinion that everything is esta bien, OK. it is not and I want everyone to know that you have to be careful. We don't drive at night. I agree that being nice and helping out with local troubles is a good thing. After dark? I don't know.
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Old 25-01-2013, 19:03   #24
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Re: Update from the Sea of Cortez

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What a horrible pile of racist garbage! It is sad what happened to your uncle, whatever that was exactly, it sounds like he was a generous man. But your wild accusations and assumptions here are completely out of touch with reality. Are there bad, racist people in Mexico? Yes. Just as there are in every country unfortunately. But the kind and generous folks far, far outnumber them. Everywhere.
Gee, let me recall a trip to Nuevo Mexicali.
There we blew out two tires on one of the trucks in our caravan. The "green police" (federales) got involved. Every single one of them demanded a pay-off or we all were going to jail. It was not empty threat.

A later tip to Scorpion bay...we were run over by a national while we were stopped at a roadside stand. The federales found us at fault. We could resist and go to jail or pay money and then be only found at guilt to have to settle with the owner of the roadside stand. Don't even think this wasn't a frisking of the gringo.

Another trip, me and a few peeps from Newport Beach towing our Prindles down to Petty Calico (sp). The RV with us blew 3 tires and bent a rim.........you know what, in all my land travels along Baja, it was the exception to not be frisked down often when staring down the barrel of an AR-15. I know my firearms. I know what I'm looking at. And I know the eyes of a teenager in uniform with an itchy finger.

You go on, say what I say is racist. I don't give a rip (expletive deleted). Think happy thoughts.

BTW: it was you who took my comments of a specific person(s) and applied that to a general grouping. I provide numerous anecdotal, 1st hand personal experiences. I understand they may be dismissed as anecdotal and not indicative of the gen'l population. I get that. But it was you who generalized my statements.
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Old 25-01-2013, 19:21   #25
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Re: Update from the Sea of Cortez

Eeeeverybody's got a story. There is more crime in Venice (where I live) than Baja Mexico. I just got back from Rosarito last weekend (we go a lot) and the reality is it feels safer in Tijuana than it ever has. The clubs and bars are actually decent.

Expect to get shaken down by cops in Mexico. I'm sorry but it's just the way it is. But you don't have to give them what they want. Just play the game. It's always the same: pay or we have to arrest you. Just be kind and understanding but unfortunately you don't have that much money and you will gladly go to the police station. There will be some back and forth but eventually they will cave and you will just give them a few bucks and be on your way. I can't count how many times this has happened to me or my friends.
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Old 25-01-2013, 19:51   #26
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Re: Update from the Sea of Cortez

I can't believe this. we simply try to interject some reality and we get slammed for being weak, drunks, stupid, racist. we get told that it's just a game and to just play along and everything will be alright. we know that there is crime everywhere. we know about hennipin ave in minneapolis. all the other bad spots. we just never get told it's just a game and to go and hand out fruit. I just wanted to share some facts. I just wanted to share some reality. warn people to be careful.
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Old 25-01-2013, 20:09   #27
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Re: Update from the Sea of Cortez

So much for the nice family cruising story.

I hear the St Johns river is nice.
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Old 25-01-2013, 21:04   #28
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Re: Update from the Sea of Cortez

No kidding! Chebba's story is truly horrifying, and I know it happens. Happened to a friend of mine in Ecuador who'd lived there and ran a popular restaurant in Quito for many years. But he moved out to the last developing ridge line southwest of Quito, to establish a homesite they owned, where poor country mixed with gentrification. Home invasion robbery by gang of four and he was macheteed but not fatally. There had been about one such vicious attack a year on foreigners by the local criminal gangs. Chebba is correct in assigning blame to having the weakest security of his neighbors. Ask any long term cruiser and they will say or admit that the thieves will target the easiest setup to steal the dink, or whatever. And there needs to be said a word about the attitude one brings to relating with locals. Some don't really like to, others do cordially through purchased services, and many find local interests that introduce them to locals, and there is a few who even relate to all comers with interest and an intended innocence that seem to cleanse away the fears that exist between people who are different and on guard.

I am enamored and enthusiastic about the voyage of the Original Poster, a 30-something Aussie family falling in love with cruising. I love the Sea of Cortez and the towns on it's border for sailors, La Paz, San Carlos, Puerto Escondido, Guaymas, but can't speak to sailing the northern end or the tantalizing west coast of Mexico. Fair winds and great kids for you guys!
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Old 25-01-2013, 21:05   #29
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I can't believe this. we simply try to interject some reality and we get slammed for being weak, drunks, stupid, racist. we get told that it's just a game and to just play along and everything will be alright. we know that there is crime everywhere. we know about hennipin ave in minneapolis. all the other bad spots. we just never get told it's just a game and to go and hand out fruit. I just wanted to share some facts. I just wanted to share some reality. warn people to be careful.
I found far fewer problems off the beaten track, but often it doesn't even come down to country level, but more local, town level when it comes to 'fines' especially in the case of accidents who is decided to be at fault...
It is changing, but both the mass media hysteria, and the totally everything perfect extremes are not quite right, the truth is in the middle somewhere...

My family has stories of running gunfights from 40+ years ago, having people open fire on the police chiefs home while they were at dinner and later a rescue by amnesty international when some hitchhikers had a bag of grenades that turned up at a roadblock.
the reasons and the location of the violence has changed, but it has been present a long time.

Many people, including my own grandfather carried concealed unlicensed pistols as well as the ubiquitous shotgun or machete... just the way it was. These days it's safer there, civilized and urbanized. However the violence has moved, elsewhere but is still present, now drug related instead. No reason not to go, but no reason to close your eyes either.
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Old 25-01-2013, 21:17   #30
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Re: Update from the Sea of Cortez

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Originally Posted by chebba View Post
I can't believe this. we simply try to interject some reality and we get slammed for being weak, drunks, stupid, racist. we get told that it's just a game and to just play along and everything will be alright. we know that there is crime everywhere. we know about hennipin ave in minneapolis. all the other bad spots. we just never get told it's just a game and to go and hand out fruit. I just wanted to share some facts. I just wanted to share some reality. warn people to be careful.
I hope you don't feel personally slammed in the controversy, chebba. We all appreciate your story and don't think you did anything wrong.

The way Richard's story was worded came off a bit racist (or at least extreme in lumping a whole town together) to me too, but only in the sense that it seems like he's saying that the whole town killed his kin because he was a gringo and were all complicit (the bit about being served food and looking to the eyes of the murderers, etc). Came off a bit extreme, let's say. Maybe he worded poorly, I don't know.
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