January 29, 1997 |
The Hotel Serenidad opened to an elite international clientele on the shores of the Gulf of California nearly 30 years ago. Almost overnight, it transformed this sleepy village on the eastern shores of Baja California Sur. Complete with a new, 4,000-foot landing strip, the hotel drew such regulars as John Wayne, Olivia Newton-John and other stars and became an engine of progress and relative prosperity for Mulege and its 3,000 residents.
September 15, 1996 |
Hurricane Fausto damaged 1,700 homes as it swept northeastward across the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California before being downgraded Saturday to a tropical storm, officials said. Fausto's ranking was lowered when its winds weakened from 80 mph to 45 mph after it came ashore before dawn on the mainland near Topolobampo, a port hit hard last year by Hurricane Ismael. About 90 fishermen died when they were surprised at sea last September by Ismael.
September 14, 1996 |
Hurricane Fausto battered Baja California on Friday, downing power poles, smashing windows and disrupting tourism on the usually sunny coast before speeding across the Gulf of California to menace the Mexican mainland. At least one person, a San Diego man, was reported killed when a power line toppled onto a trailer near Cabo San Lucas. More than 2,500 people, mostly in poor neighborhoods around La Paz, were evacuated to shelters at schools, the Red Cross said.
July 3, 1996 |
A giant grouper cautiously circles the outer fringes of the reef, barely visible in the blue haze, hovering above the ocean floor like some odd-shaped blimp. A slithery green eel, secure in its crevice, sticks its rubbery neck out and flaunts a set of powerful jaws and needle-like teeth. Large parrotfish peck away at coral, stopping every few seconds to look around, and prickly little pufferfish wander slowly and aimlessly through what might as well be outer space.
April 14, 1996 |
Sitting in the seaside restaurant at the La Fonda Hotel, surrounded by the sounds of Spanish, guitar music and heavy surf, my old friend Joni Stauffer and I talked about the magic. Just a few hours after leaving home we were in a foreign land. No airport hassles, no cramped airplane seats--we simply threw my two schipperkes, Minke and Buster, and some clothes into the back seat of my old van and we were off. The drive from Santa Barbara had been easy. We'd left at 8 a.m., got through L.A.
July 1, 1995 |
A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck Mexico's Southern Baja California peninsula at dawn, rousing sleepers, breaking some windows and knocking plaster off La Paz City Hall. But scientists who monitored Southern Baja's strongest quake in memory said the peninsula was spared major damage, and no injuries were reported.
March 10, 1995 |
Police on Thursday were investigating the latest assassination of a government official in this border city: the ambush murder of the director of the state penitentiary. A gunman killed Jorge Alberto Duarte Castillo, 42, who had worked to keep the peace at the notorious La Mesa prison, in front of his modest, two-story house at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday.
March 6, 1995 |
As Baja California residents celebrate the California gray whales' annual arrival at birthing grounds along the peninsula's shores, environmentalists warn that the most pristine of the four bays that become whale nurseries each winter is seriously threatened. A salt company that shares the whales' winter home is planning to more than double a mining operation that already makes Mexico the world's second-largest salt exporter.
October 12, 1994 |
High atop a desert road an hour or so from town, the sky seems to open, and, looking down, a sea of towering cacti gives way to the vast and beautiful Sea of Cortez. The sun seems to actually rise from the edge of the sea, a wavering ball of fire that sets the morning sky aglow. The gulf is deserted, its glassy surface yet unbroken by the local commercial fishing fleet. Cerralvo Island, silhouetted by the sun, looms off the coast, a dark and barren mass.
September 21, 1994 |
Cody Butler sat at the bow of the boat, exhausted. His legs dangling overboard, his chin and arms resting on the aluminum rail, he watched a man on a nearby panga struggling with a powerful tuna that had him red-faced and flustered. "Misery," Butler said with a sigh. Misery indeed. The man in the small boat, Bob Mead, 45, from Anaheim, had been playing tug of war with the giant fish for nearly an hour, and the stalemate was nowhere near an end.