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Channel to Nowhere

In a move which falls under the heading of "unclear on the concept" the outer (red and green) channel markers at the La Paz harbor entrance were moved west recently, apparently due to operations near the Pemex fuel facitlity. The problem? Keelboats passing between the two buoys were led directly onto a shallow shoal. Unfortunately, the puzzling change came as dozens of sailboats were headed for La Paz earlier this week, having just completed the 14th annual Baja Ha-Ha Rally.

The two wayward buoys are shown at center left – the small ones – while the main channel lies in the foreground.

© 2007 Axel Heller

Cruiser reports out of La Paz this morning indicate that the Port Captain was due to address the problem today. Until changes are made, however, arriving boaters are advised to hail nearby Marina Costa Baja on VHF channel 16 for specific directions, or hail local cruisers for info via VHF 22A.

Several hundred sailors are expected to arrive via the channel this week to attend the annual Governor’s Race and party at Costa Baja. Festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. this Saturday.

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