We appreciate your interest in the Vagabundos del Mar Boat & Travel Club, the oldest and only non-profit travel organization specializing in Baja California. When you participate in our numerous RV-ing, boating and travel events you will be rewarded with new friendships, knowledge and experiences which are always unselfishly shared by fellow Members.
How the Vagabundos came to be and what we stand for: a brief history of the Club may be helpful in becoming acquainted with us.
The Club had its real beginning in 1966 as the result of a group of trailer boaters who “buddied” up. 29 people in 13 small trailer boats cruising from Bahia Kino across the Sea of Cortez. This adventure attracted others with similar interests, more trips resulted, and the sharing of experience and knowledge became an integral part of this group and the ultimate cornerstone of the Club.
After several years of this informal association, the Club evolved into a non-profit organization of more than 10,000 Members. One of the tangible benefits of getting organized has proven to be our ability to obtain or create good deals for Members on various travel services – low-cost insurance, Adventure Tours, discounts, books, clothing and more. No one does it better than the Vagabundos.
Reports from far-flung Members document that the Club burgee is flying year-round on land and water adventures to Alaska, the San Juan Islands, the California Delta, and throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Our Club was incorporated in the State of California in 1971 as a non-profit corporation. We took our name, “Vagabundos del Mar,” from the Mexican fishermen who used to roam the Sea of Cortez in log canoes, prominently portrayed in the book “Sea of Cortez” by the late Ray Cannon. Although they have become a vanishing breed on the Cortez, they truly were “Vagabonds” or “Gypsies of the Sea.” As our numbers have grown, we certainly have become an extension of their belief of freedom on the water, as well as on land.
We are grateful to our Commodore Eternal Ray Cannon and President Emeritus, Chet Sherman, for introducing us to Baja and the Sea of Cortez and bringing us together. Chet used to say this was a hobby he started in his garage “that just got out of hand.” He had the special talent of “organizing the unorganizable” and was a Pied Piper. He started writing our publication, Chubasco, Spanish for big wind. The dedication and hard work of the Club’s previous and present Officers and Directors, the many volunteer Members as well as the ladies in the office, have made the Club what it is today.
Ray Cannon so eloquently expressed his love for small boat cruising in a previously unpublished essay that is included in Gene Kira’s book, The Unforgettable Sea of Cortez. As we reflect over the past Half Century, this expresses the founding Credo for the adventurous band of small boaters that formed the Club. This essay follows:
“To the young in spirit, no matter the years, to those with an inner ache to thrill once again with wild and true adventure, or who long to capture the storybook romance of cruising out in search of hidden treasure on an island, to explore painted caves for Indian artifacts, and like a primitive, live off the fat of the land and waters, for all this and more, I say ‘go down to the sea in little ships’.”
Through the years, the Club has donated thousands of dollars to worthwhile conservation and other causes in the Western U.S. and Mexico; and organized many activities and trips by boat and RV that ventured all over Mainland Mexico, including the Yucatan and through the Copper Canyon, Baja California, Bahamas, Canada, Alaska, and locations in between.
Our members best realize the benefits by participating in the activities. No other Baja travel Club offers this sort of program. We believe in using our RVs and our boats, which come in all shapes and sizes, even though Membership does not require that you have either.
Our annual Crab Feed provides an opportunity to renew old friendships, make new ones, review past adventures and plan anew for the season ahead.
What best describes why we continue to operate a truly non-profit organization comes from the many Members who have told us, “We use our equipment and have more fun since becoming a Vagabundo than ever before.” Many Vagabundos RV and boat trip travel acquaintances have become life-long friends. Our Club continues today on the above concepts. That’s what it is all about, amigo. You have the opportunity to “get on board” with the greatest bunch of fun-loving, adventurous tow-boaters and RVers to be found anywhere.