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~ A mid-life crisis by Carlos Fiesta


Carlos Fiesta on departure day in Los Angeles Harbor


    On Wednesday October 24th, 2001 Chuck Chambers (aka Carlos Fiesta) departed Los Angeles Harbor for a 2,000+ mile solo adventure to circumnavigate the entire Baja Peninsula. His only companion was a 15 pound Halloween pumpkin with a wig and a painted face affectionately called Elvira, donated by his wife upon departure. The final destination was the mouth of the Colorado River Delta, where it meets the Sea of Cortez. Carlos completed the adventure and arrived back at his home in Los Angeles on Monday November 19th.

    The boat used for this trip was a 19' panga that had been used as a fishing boat in Fiji. In addition to being used for fishing, the boat was used to access the outer reefs of Fiji for the local surfers. It was powered by a 40 horsepower 1993 Yamaha outboard motor and a 12 gallon gasoline tank. It was shipped to southern California by freighter in a crate and used as a fishing boat in southern California until he purchased it on September 11, 2001. Because of the distance between marinas with fuel in Baja the boat had been provisioned with 5 auxiliary gas cans. The name of the boat is "Vaka Viti" which means "The Fijian Way".

    There was no set itinerary for the adventure, but Carlos wanted to experience an intimate look at the hundreds of beaches and many islands on both the Pacific Ocean side and the Sea of Cortez side of the Baja Peninsula. In addition to land adventures Carlos encountered a variety of sea life along both sides of the Peninsula, including dolphins, seals, turtles, fish, manta rays, whales and a many different types of birds.

    Both the Pacific Coast and the Sea of Cortez were extensively documented with photographs and notes, some of which have been placed on this web page.

    Most of the boating was within 500 feet of shore during the entire trip, and Carlos stopped and went on shore "wherever the coast looked inviting". To avoid getting lost Carlos kept the Baja coastline on the "left side" of the boat most of the time.

    This page of Baja Expo has been created for others to "follow along" on this one month excursion and to catch a glimpse of the daily events he experienced. Since his return Carlos continues to add information to these pages until the entire trip has been documented. Enjoy!

    To give you an idea of the 2,000 mile route you can review this space photo of the BAJA PENINSULA.

    The pages below are the first steps towards a book that Carlos is writing about his adventure. If you have any questions about the trip or any comments about his story he would enjoy hearing from you at!


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