Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Baseball & Cleanups in La Bocana

News from Baja Blanca in La Bocana

Last Sunday was an important day in La Bocana. Our local baseball team (MARINEROS) celebrated 40 years of existence at the season inaugural game against Bahia Asuncion's team.


The stadium was packed, almost all of us local gringos were there and the original players were honored with commemorative t-shirts. Those that have passed had t-shirts given to the family - see the light blue shirts.

At half time - sexy team princesses revealed the plaque with the names of the original players. Might I just mention that they will be scholarship recipients for 2018 should anyone be interested in being a sponsor (I am speaking seriously LOL). Between the two games, one gentleman proposed to his fiancée and got yes as an answer.

In the ceremony, 25 little kids held flags representing the 25 years that the team has won the championship! They have won the last 8 in a row....this town takes baseball verrrrrrrrrrrrrry seriously.

It was a great game and La Bocana won the 1st game, Asuncion the 2nd.

Come Monday morning, I had scheduled a cleanup with Brett, an Illinois woman who has spent the last 4 months in La Bocana enjoying her retirement. I got her and we did the outside of the kids' stadium first.

Afterwards, although I wanted a siesta, I knew that high wind was predicted for the afternoon and the stands were filthy. The mess created by the winds would blow trash right towards the off I went to clean the stands.

A lot of beer was drunk!

Lots of trash was already blown to the end of the stadium and as you can see, it is right next to the opening beyond which is a road that leads to the boat launch area.....I left it spotless! You can bet I slept like a baby last night LOL.

Blanca & her husband Les own Baja Bocana B&B should you ever find yourself on Baja's Pacific coast in La Bocana. Thank you for the report and for cleaning up!

Le Blanc Spa Resort Debuts Los Cabos Property

Palace Resorts announced the debut of Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos, set to open in fall 2017. The second property comes after the success of Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun, the brand's flagship property. Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos is the second property to open under the umbrella of Palace Resorts.

The beachfront property will offer 373 expansive suites with private terraces; a 29,000-square-foot full-service spa with 25 treatment rooms; a 3,961-square-foot fitness and wellness center with personal trainers, TRX training, Aqua Spinning and Pilates; juice bars; four plunge pools; specialty cuisine; butler service; 14,000-square-feet of meeting space; four breakout rooms and more.

For dining, guests can enjoy seven gourmet restaurants and six bars with an extensive wine and beverage program. Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos is located 35 minutes from the Los Cabos International Airport and 15 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas.

Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos will be composed of four oceanfront buildings with all suites, and restaurants and bars offering ocean views and large terraces.

Suites at the resort range from 760 square feet to 1,400 square feet and each come equipped with a private terrace, living space, a king or two standard double beds, soaking tub and rain-shower head. Guests can take advantage of personal butler service, a nightly aroma therapy menu, a selection of pillows from the pillow menu, and luxury in-room amenities like CHI blow dryers, CHI flatirons and BVLGARI personal products. Suites are also stocked with mini-bars, high definition SMART TV's, Apple TV, Lavazza coffee makers, complimentary Wi-Fi and a signature beach tote and umbrella.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Endangered Vaquita Porpoise in the Sea of Cortez

Vaquita mother & calf. Artist: Raziel Levi Mendez Moreno

The seldom-seen Vaquita is a small porpoise (similar to a dolphin) that lives only in the northern reaches of the Gulf of California between the states of Baja California and Sonora below the Colorado River delta. Unfortunately, a rare Sea of Cortez fish called the Totuava swims in that same region. The Chinese value the bladder of Totuava in the thousands of dollars making fishing very profitable for the fisherman of the area. The problem is it's illegal to catch Totuava so it's done clandestinely. The same nets used to illegally catch this fish are killing off the Vaquita as a by-product.

The Mexican government has banned gill nets in the northern region of the Gulf of California. The Mexican Navy is now patrolling the region plus other organizations such as Sea Shepard have stepped in as a last ditch effort to save the marine mammal from extinction. They believe there are less than 60 left in the world.

The good news is the plight of the Vaquita, which means "little cow" in Spanish, has spread rapidly across both social and regular media (#SaveTheVaquita). And possibly with the outpouring of support, this magnificent creature may be saved. Please take a look at the links and articles below for more information and to possibly help the cause.

We've put together a list of articles, websites, videos and organizations

- Basic Facts about the Vaquita from Defenders of Wildlife

- The Last Vaquitas segment on 60 Minutes

- The time is now: Solutions for lasting change in Upper Gulf of California - ¡VIVA Vaquita! is a coalition of like-minded scientists, educators, and conservationists, who strive to increase the attention given to the vaquita, the World's most endangered marine mammal species. Our goals and mission are to generate awareness of the vaquita and to promote a healthy Upper Gulf of California ecosystem. We conduct research, public awareness and education activities to bring this about. Ultimately, we aim to help save the vaquita from extinction, and to do so in a way that also provides long-term benefits to the fisherman and other residents who live around the Gulf of California, Mexico. - Souls of the Vermilion Sea is a feature length documentary about the struggle to save the world’s most endangered marine mammal, the vaquita.  Searching for the Vaquita is the first short film in an ongoing series about this small species of porpoise, focusing on the Vaquita Survey Mission that took place in the Fall of 2015.  See what life was like on board the vaquita survey vessel, Ocean Starr, and hear about the struggle to save this species from top vaquita experts as well as local fisherman. - I’m Aidan Bodeo-Lomicky, a 16-year-old boy living in Greenville, South Carolina. I play tennis about 15 hours a week, but when I’m not, I’m either birding, making music, drawing and painting, or working on marine mammal conservation, (oh yeah, and school). A few years ago, I stumbled upon the vaquita, a tiny endangered porpoise. I was heartbroken when I read its story, so I decided to start this blog, along with many other efforts to help this species. V-log (pronounced VEE-log) started as a website where I posted updates, artwork, facts, and poetry about the vaquita weekly, and had other pages to help inform you about the vaquita and its helpers. It has grown tremendously and become a primary source for vaquita news and information about our conservation initiatives. I hope I will help save a species in need. - Vaquita Endangered Porpoise is a science documentary project exploring the decline of the critically endangered vaquita porpoise. We explore solutions for the species and local communities in the Upper Gulf of California, Mexico.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The craziest volleyball tournament/party in the world!

Part Beach Volleyball Tourney/Part Mexican Fiesta!

Just south of the US/Mexico border at San Diego, you'll find the beachside town of Rosarito Beach. And on the sands of the beach, Mexico International Volleyball puts on a two-day volleyball tourney every June. In fact, this will be their 40th year.

The tournament was previously called Estero Volleyball Tourney, due to the fact that it was held just south of Ensenada at Estero Beach for the majority of years. Even though the tourney is now in Rosarito Beach, many still call it Estero or Esterito.

Many people sign up and play in this weighted-draw tourney, but there are many who come down with friends just to party and relax. Among the highlights, besides volleyball, is the Saturday party at Papas and Beer beach club. After playing all day Saturday, the music and drinks at this bar is a welcomed way to blow off some steam. In fact, for those players who make it to Sunday's playoffs, getting through Saturday night (and the flowing drinks) is part of the process.

On Sunday, with more than half the players out of the running for the finals, the party continues. Tacos, beers, margaritas, tequila shots on the beach. Friends gather and follow their friends who are still in it from court to court until you get down to the semi-finals on the main court.

The semi-finals and finals take on a different vibe. The courts get crowded with spectators within feet of the court. Drinks are flowing and the crowd is getting loose. The peanut gallery is in full force with everyone one-upping each other on heckling. Make a mistake and expect to see a tequila bottle fly on the sand court. If the players don't drink it, the crowd will let them have it. Eventually we have women and men's champions who are exhausted, elated and a little drunk. And that's how you throw a volleyball tourney/party.

Should you dare go (why wouldn't you?), be prepared for a couple crazy days of beach volleyball, friends, sun, sand, parties and of course tequila.

There's some serious volleyball being played

Friends gather, drinks flow and volleyball is played

What's better than a day of volleyball on the beach?

As the day goes, so do the hi-jinx

The courts are in front of Papas and Beer where the famous Saturday night party is held

Rosarito Beach, Baja

Traditional tequila shots during finals play

Tequila, beer and beach volleyball. Doesn't get any better.

The finals on Sunday

Adios Amigos! See you next year.

Rosarito Beach Hotel & Spa just south of the tournament has ocean view rooms including a new 17 story tower. US Tel: 1-866-Rosarito

Tacos! Try El Yaqui tacos for their famous Perrones. The line is worth the wait. It's one block east of Rosarito's main street from Festival Plaza Hotel.

Don't drive in Mexico without car insurance. We used Baja Bound Insurance Services. Easy to buy/print online at

Information/Photos: Ted Donovan

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

American Football in Rosarito & Baja

Did you know Football Americano (American-style football) is being played by high school kids in Baja California? We didn't. When we received a press release from Rosarito coach Mike Robles, we were curious. So we sent him a couple questions to be answered and asked for some photos. Looks exciting and we are sure they would love to see you at a game this fall.

BajaVisitor: American football in Baja? How did this come about?

Coach Robles: There have been teams in Baja and throughout Mexico for many years. For the past 4 years I have been collecting, importing and distributing donated equipment for Baja players. So Cal supporters with donations include the Chargers, seven universities, a dozen high schools.

BajaVisitor: Coach Robles, can you give us a little background on yourself and how you ended up in Rosarito? 

Coach Robles: I played high school (Wilson Los Angeles, a national power) and college football, Claremont McKenna. I coached high school and college football and baseball for 30 plus years in So Cal, head coach and assistant roles. I was teaching and coaching the previous 3 years in Ensenada (UABC and CETYS).

With the collapse of the highway connecting my home in Bajamar to Ensenada, I decided to look for who I could help in Rosarito. My wife, Kate, and I have owned in Bajamar for 12 years and have lived here full time the past 4 years.

BajaVisitor: Are the rules the same as in the U.S.? How many teams play in Baja and how many games will you play in a season?

Coach Robles:  The rules are the same as USA. In Baja there are over 30 high school, 8 college, and numerous youth teams that play American football. A few compete with teams in So Cal. Teams play about 10 games each season.

BajaVisitor: How do we find more information on the team? Where/when do they play? Is there a website?

Coach Robles: The players are from COBACH Primer Ayuntamiento High School Playas de Rosarito. The COBACH system (38 high schools in Baja - 2 in Rosarito) is simular to So Cal Magnet Schools providing for the top public school students in Baja. We have 40 players, ages 15-18, only 5 have ever played American Football.

Our first game is Sept 6, 1PM, Rosarito, Government Sports Complex Stadium (one mile north of Walmart, next to COBACH).

There is a COBACH website:

BajaVisitor: Any final thoughts you'd like to pass along?

Coach Robles: We are blessed to have 5 assistant coaches - we are all volunteers - 2 retired Americans who coached football in USA, 1 Mexican vetenarian who played professional soccer in Guadalajara, 1 American working in Rosarito (photographer) who played college football in USA, and one Mexican Dad who played football in USA.

Baja leaders have been helpful with importation of donations- Nicolas Saad/Owner of San Nicholas Hotel, Ensenada and Baja icon, Mariano Escobedo/Director of Baja International Relations, Oscar Escobedo/Director of Baja Tourism, Linda Casillas/Director DIF Rosarito.

Editor's Note: Coach Robles' team (COBACH Primer Ayuntamiento High School Playas de Rosarito) has made it to the the playoffs. They play the weekend of Nov. 21st-23rd at a TBD location.We are sure Coach wouldn't mind more fans, so if you are interested in seeing the game, please email him at