Our Life Between California And Mexican Coast
By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Founding Publisher
October 25, 2018
By now, most of the readers, who follow
this column, know that we winter in Mexico and spend the
rest of the year in the San Joaquin Valley.
It is the best of both worlds. We love
our home, 600 miles south of the border in Mexico, and we
love all our friends and family here in the valley.
Twenty years ago, when we sailed the Day
Dreamer, out the Golden Gate heading south, we had no idea
that it would change our whole life.
We had really intended on sailing around
the world, but we took a detour at La Paz, the southern
point of Baja Mexico and headed north into the Sea of Cortez.
The round the world trip never happened.
Instead, we fell in love with a little
beach community and built our home 100 feet from the water
on the Bay of Conception. Not at first, but it was to eventually
become our winter home. We don’t own the land. No
foreigner can own coastal land in Mexico (those that think
they own the land really have a bank which acts in their
behalf as the land owner).
It doesn’t matter, we reasoned, no
one takes the land with them when they go. We consider ourselves
caretakers of the land which God has allowed us to use.
The sun, the fishing, the kayaking, swimming and all the
other fun stuff is just an added bonus.
Mexico is safe! We keep telling people
that where we live in Mexico is more safe than where we
live in the San Joaquin Valley. One man who was involved
in selling drugs was killed last year, but prior to that,
we only recall of one other homicide. Note: We are not saying
all of Mexico is safe and there are parts where we would
There have been two hurricanes in our part
of Mexico in the past month; and these have hammered the
roads. We expect to use our four-wheel drive if necessary.
Our house has had the roof tiles blown
off several times. We do not have insurance because most
of the companies don’t pay. For $500 to $1,000, we
have local workmen repair the roof and we are good to go.
It works like a welfare system. After a
long summer when the tourists are gone, the local Mexicans
are hard pressed for work and income. The hurricanes help
offset this problem and everyone seems happy.
We have a whole other family in Mexico.
One family takes care of us and we have adopted them and
see that they make it through the off season.
Many other families return to Mexico each
year and they are like a whole family. They are just like
us, snowbirds, looking for the sun in their retirement years.
It will be somewhat of a celebration when we return.
And so as we leave for Mexico, we invite
you to come and visit. There is no wall between the people
of Mexico and the people of California. The wall is for
government and national security.
Keep reading this column and we will tell
you more about life in Mexico.