As Remembered by Marta from “El Castillo”
Sometime either late 1987 or early 1988 it occurred to Jay Ramos (skipper of a 21’ sailboat by the name of “Hay Chihuahua”) that a cruisers’ club in La Paz might be a good idea. He suggested this to Sr. Coppola of Hotel Los Arcos asking if they could offer such a place to hold meetings. He agreed. So, in March of 1988, 162 people became charter members of the newly formed Club Cruceros de La Paz and Jay was elected as our first Commodore. It was agreed that the Coppolas would be made Honorary Members and were assigned membership numbers 1 and 2. The rest of us drew our numbers and that’s how I received #6.
Note: Click here to see a list of those first 162 members
Another order of business was the holding of a contest for the design of our burgee (won by the first mate of “Cruzan” Lauri Blackeby). This design still stands. Also, a committee was appointed to come up with the club’s emblem.
The Club House
Sometime around 1991, Marina de La Paz graciously offered us some space (free of charge) where we could build a Club House. Our then Commodore, Don Perkins (“Perkee II”) and his team of amateur carpenters put together the building that still serves us. Its first location was where the Dock Restaurant sits today. Then, the Marina asked the Club to serve as recipient of mail; so, a separate P.O. Box was obtained by the Club and we receive both member and nonmember mail.
The Club House was moved to the land side of the Marina because it was in the way of the Dock Restaurant soon to be constructed. This happened around 1998. At this time, Connie Hinton, the first mate of “Topaz”, completely re-did the Clubhouse; she built book cases, the back room wall and shelves and painted all surfaces, including the floor. About this time, the mail was rifled, so a lock-up was put in for incoming Club member mail and a slot in the wall was installed for the deposit of outgoing mail. Nonmember mail is kept in an open box. The back room houses club merchandise (T shirts, burgees, etc.), bulk mail, crutches, and sundry supplies and equipment of the Club.Modernization of the Marina then required a second move to its present location along Encinas and the water. Hopefully, it will never have to move again as the site overlooking the marina together with the lovely area for the gathering of friends is simply perfect.
When it became obvious that the Club would need a radio, Marina de La Paz came through once more and donated one. Because of its access to the public it receives the abuse and misuse one would expect and has had to be replaced and/or repaired more than once. At one time its regular caretaker was Mel Langley of “T’n Honey”.
Raceweek and Bayfest
There are differing opinions as to how Raceweek came to be and who initiated it. Richard Spindler of Latitude 38 claims to have organized the first one. It has been rumored that the first race was an impromptu one started by one guy saying to another “I’ll race you to Partida!” Be that as it may the Club’s involvement was at the request of the Tourist Bureau in 1988.
If I remember right, in 1989 the Club started having the traditional “Opening Day” event where a King and Queen were elected to preside over Raceweek. These events usually included some kind of music, dancing, food, etc., and were held a different location every year.
In 1995 in place of Raceweek, the Club sponsored the first of what would become known as Bayfest. This took place at the foot of Marquez de Leon on the beach and in what was then the Estrella del Mar restaurant; and included a race called The Rock to the Dock (the “Rock” being Lobos light outside of el Merito and the “Dock”, the municipal pier), as well as several types of dingy races. We had the pleasure of listening to an ensemble from the School of Music, led by Clara Russell (first mate of “Maverick”).
Sadly, Marta is no longer with us...
Does this bring any stories to mind? Have photos of past Club activities? Can you fill in any blanks for us? Just email the club at email@example.com!