And So It Begins: Ensenada (31 50 39N 116 38 03W) y Isla Todos Santos (31 45 69N 116 45 56W)
Environmental conditions: Hot in Cruiseport, but too nasty to swim in the marina. At Todos Santos, Rand took a cruiser shower (brrrr) and intended to clean da boat bottom a bit, but got freaked out by the dark and depth (think: shark!).
Fridge temp: Perfect
Battery state: 13.2V (i.e., perfect)
We slip the lines at 0300. We see SNL with her nav lights on, getting ready to release terra firma as well. Karin and Ryan aboard S/V Flo are awaiting us in the main fairway to escort us out and away from Shelter Island, our home for the last 10 years. It hasn’t sunk in yet, what we’re doing, the experiences that lie ahead. We’ve been so busy prepping da boat, wrapping up work (well, Jody anyway), and socializing with friends and family that there’s been little time to just sit with the whole notion. Well, it’s on. We’re Mexico bound…for how long, you ask? Where exactly are we going, you ask? There’s no clear answer to those questions yet. As Lin and Larry Pardey would say, “As long as it’s fun.”
First sail out was a motor-sail, but the stars were glorious! A rarity in the City of San Diego. Our first landfall was Ensenada, arriving about 1600, where we cleared customs (the next day) and immigration with the help of a guy from the marina, and took care of some lingering preparations — like finding real Mexican tortillas and gathering up pesos, among other things. We stayed at Cruiseport Village Marina for three nights, walked something like 24K steps each day wandering the streets, looking for bank ATMs, supermercados, electrical supply stores, etc., and taco stands, which were plentiful, but it was all about finding the “right one.” We did all of this with our pocket Spanish/English dictionaries in hand. Even though a lot of people speak some English, it’s time to dive in. Plus, it’s fun working through the language barrier, the native people appreciate the effort, and Spanish is a beautiful language, to boot.
Ensenada is a hustling, bustling seaside port that caters to tourists arriving daily on massive cruise ships, making the supply of trinkets and pharmaceuticals-without-a-prescription inexhaustible. So, after a few days of this, it was time to bolt.
We decided to go all of 10 miles from Ensenada to Isla Todos Santos, where we’d read in the cruising guides that anchoring would be a challenge because of the numerous aquaculture pens that have been built on the leeward side of the southern island. Guess what? The cruising guides were right. Because we were prepared for this to be the case, we didn’t fret, but as we mulled our options, two fisherman approached and offered us a couple of moorings away from the pens. Whipping out her best Spanish, Jody came to understand that the cost would be 500 pesos (~$25) for both boats, so we went for it. The fishermen left with 1000 pesos and four cervezas, having approached us separately, even though we’d told SNL what we understood the agreement to be…Oh, well. It would have been worth it if the mooring can that SNL was on hadn’t broken free (just the can, not the anchor line) and had to be rescued by FL crew, or if it had been a quiet and calm night so we could have slept. Neither was the case, but the sunset was a beautiful sight and being away from the jam of Ensenada was muy bueno.
So, we’re away. After less than a week out, we’ve spent too much on dockage/moorings but we have real Mexican tortillas and we’re on our own hook in Punta Colonet (see next post). Ahhhh.