Sailing to Ensenada

Two posts in one day?! Wowsers! (I’m catching up before heading off to turtle bay where the connection is spotty)

After finally managing to leave San Diego,

we actually had a pretty wonderful sail down with 5 knots of wind on a close reach, propelling us from anywhere from 4 to 5 knots right at where we wanted to go – the colonnade islands. These are just South of the border and we were going to anchor there for a few hours, as I wanted to arrive at Ensenada (the place to clear in) in daylight.

We were just about to cross the border when to EVERYONES complete surprise I actually managed to get a fish – not on any of my new fancy tackle but on the old handline / jethead I had bought in Victoria and been dragging for over a 1000 miles. I didn’t even notice the strike, just thought the line looked a bit weird and when I tugged on it, it tugged back… a short while later and my first ever gaffing attempt we had a beautiful 7lb Bonito (member of the tuna family) in the boat. Please excuse the blood – I had wanted to kill it as soon as possible and it got a bit messy.

A really really pretty fish. After thanking the fish and the ocean I processed it and then realised we were in Mexico!

We anchored in the colonnade islands for a few hours, and then a bunch of freezing cold fog rolled in. Boo. Then the wind vanished. Double boo. I did some bottom fishing and caught a few of these fish that were a couple of pounds – I put them back as I couldn’t ID them but I think they might have been baby yellowtail jacks? The fins/tail looks right but the body colouring is wrong. Answers on a postcard please.

This meant the trip to Ensenada was very cold, very loud and very uncomfortable. At least with a crewmember I could go below and warm up for long periods of time – I have no idea how I managed to do this all down the coast solo!

On the way I put up the yellow Q flag and retired the US courtesy flag – pretty battered after it’s trip down the coast.

We were going to Baja Naval as apparently the staff there are very helpful but it was closed, being a Sunday, as were the government offices. So we tied up, wandered around until we were stopped by a security guard who gave us his pass so we could get in and out, and then went exploring. Mexico is fascinating, though I wish my Spanish was better (although Liz is doing a good job of helping me out and it’s way easier to learn than French). After buying some groceries we went back to the boat and I carried on with boat work while watching the sunset.

and eating bonito (it’s really damn tasty)

clearing in the next day was dead easy – I had a fantastic mexico guide so I had all the photocopies etc in advance and the marina had someone help us fill out the forms and he went down to the CIS office to help us through it all. It all went without a hitch and we had our TIP (for the boat) and FMM visas (for us) in around an hour. It’s recommended to clear in at Ensenada as all the four(!) offices you need to go to are in one place, as opposed to being spread out around town. We cleared in and out on the same day and made preparations for the 250 miles to turtle bay. Looks like light winds so it may be a while!




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