Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ahoy from Mexican waters!

Our story so far has been amazingly blissful. It took forever for us to push off (Sunday 26th at 11 am finally) but it turned out to be pretty perfect timing for the weather. We caught the tail end of a passing trough. Nice SW winds moved us along at 5 knots and then petered out around 9 pm. We bobbed for a while, then motored for 3 hours at which point really nice off shore winds filled in from the NE getting us back up to 5 knots until morning. The sun rose as we were passing Point Loma, which marks the entrance to San Diego Harbor. A few miles further, just past the border to Mexico near Los Coronados the winds went to nothing and for an hour we bobbed. They filled in from the NW building all day until we were flying wing-on-wing solidly 6.5 knots and surfing up to 9.3! Wanting to use the amazing wind, we thought about passing Ensenada and checking in at Isla Cedros, but since we able to get to Ensenada just a bit after sunset, we decided to make it our check in. We anchored at about 7 pm having made it from Newport Harbor to Ensenada in a quick day and a half.

Of course it turned out to be illegal to anchor in the harbor (apparently Ensenada Harbor has grown recently and this is a new rule that they have been trying to implement for the past 6 months). The next morning, Chris went ashore to check us in and Shawn stayed with Tao (which is good because the "harbor patrol" came to explain that we couldn't be there). When Chris got back around 2 pm he had a wicked headache, so instead of just sailing out as we had planned, we decided to relax and take a slip for the night to appease the policia. What a surprise as I had expected to be sailing for at least a week... But it turned out to be fortuitous that we stayed because not only would we not have checked out of Ensenada properly if we had sailed away, we weren't yet checked into Mexico quite right either...

Checking in with our boat was quite a process which is made "easy" in Ensenada with all the buildings you need to visit in the same complex. Still, it is a mountain of paperwork which turns out to be difficult with no ability to photocopy... We'll spare you most of the details but basically we visited; immigration, the bank, the port captain, the bank (where the woman took pity on Chris and made photocopies), customs, more photocopies and paperwork and then back to the port captain the next morning to check out. We lucked out with a green light at customs so they didn't have to come check our boat. Phew! What we didn't luck out with was customs overlooked the fact that we hadn't gotten the right stamps from the port captain. Relatively easy, though, when you compare it to all we've gone through to prepare for this adventure.

After checking out on Thursday the 29th we pushed off for our next passage south. It has been amazingly beautiful peaceful weather so far. With great winds shifting from offshore to onshore depending on time of day and dotted by lulls of calm in which we hear the pods of passing whales racing by us. We're nearly to Isla San Martin and are planning to think about landfall farther south for some possible surf at Punta San Carlos. We hope all is well for you all in your current adventures. Love from Tao and her crew as we prepare for another night at sea.

1 comment:

  1. sounds lovely. i was wondering if you were having any kind of whale encounters. that's all i can imagine down there in baja- whales! and that's the part I was there to see the most. the entrance to mexico sounds about right in terms of bureaucracy and tedium, and chris' headache is probably the appropriate response. perhaps he needs more experience with red tape to inoculate himself for future challenges. and i can't BELIEVE you didn't think to pack your xerox machine! amateurs! :) love the posts. keep them coming...