This was not an Airstream trip, nor do I ever envision taking the Airstream south of the border, instead it was a boys yellowtail fishing trip put on by Pat’s brother, Bill. It was quite odd to not have to do any planning, just show up, and ride in the back seat. We didn’t even need to bring money. Bill was going to pay for everything and we would just cut him a check when we got back.
Bahia de los Angeles, or LA Bay as the gringos call it, is over 400 miles from San Diego on the Sea of Cortez. There are more remote places in Baja, but LA Bay is probably the most remote reachable by pavement. It’s a long beautiful (as long as you look past all the trash on the side of the road) drive. But going through all the towns can be a drag, especially the large towns of Ensenada and San Quintin. They are quite congested with traffic. It was also sad to see so many stray dogs. They were all mutts, neglected, and wandering the streets. Even sadder was seeing the dead dogs that had been ran over on the road. It was just heart breaking. We breezed through all the check points, two military and one federale, both directions, no problem. It’s strange seeing what look like teenagers holding machine guns.
LA Bay has changed a lot since the last time I was there in ’97. Back then there was no electricity, everything was ran on a generator. And the generator was turned off at 10pm! It was really just a fishing village. In 2007, electrical power lines were brought into LA Bay. The town is larger now, but still small, with an approximate population of 800. Fishing is still king, but they are also doing eco tours.
House and I got a real kick out of listening to the Acomb brothers bicker and banter. We never spent much time with Bill growing up because he is six years older. The bantering was mostly good-natured fun, but it was also a little window into their brother-brother relationship. It made me miss my brother, yet it still put a big smile on my face.
The only real stress was being sure you had your morning constitutional, if not you’d be squatting over a five gallon bucket, out in the open on the panga, with everyone laughing at you. So there we were, four old guys, all getting up at least an hour before departure, walking around thinking positive and hoping it would happen. The anxiety of getting it done only made matters worse. On the second day of fishing, we were all at the boatyard, getting ready to load up, and Bill got all wide eyed, jumped in the truck and said, “I have to go!” So he hauled ass back to the motel room and went. That’s the closest we came to using the five gallon bucket.
We didn’t hurt ourselves, didn’t get into trouble, and caught a lot of fish. The two day boat total was 15 Yellowtail, at least that many Cabrilla (seabass), 2 Ling Cod, a Halibut, a Red Snapper, and a few Chilipepper rockfish. We each came home with around 25 pounds of filleted fish. Too bad it’s always such a buzzkill, time sink, traffic nightmare crossing the border back into the USA.