San Diego and Ensenada

I ended up in San Diego for about a month, which was mostly spent doing boat stuff.

The last week or so I met my friend Kerri and went on her sweet beach cat which I made a video of, but still haven’t really edited enough to post (honestly though it’s mostly me making scared noises as the boat goes over 8 knots, also the worlds worse hiking over the side)

I managed to get hold of some self tailing winches, which I cleaned and rebuilt and even got one (1) installed! Meaning I have one side self-tailing and one not self-tailing. Not to worry, I am sure I’ll get around to installing the other side very soon (3 months later note – I did not).

Having easy access to a pickup location I went on a bit of a buying spree, probably too much so, picking up a bunch of little bits and pieces that had broken and needed fixing, although I also got a guitar (first one I’ve had for years!). I’d almost picked one up in Morro Bay before deciding against it, but then Cass (off MQ Point) told me off with massive Older Sister Vibes .

The first night in San Diego was in the Glorietta Bay Park anchorage, which is… fine but incredibly tight, and probably the tightest anchorage I’d been in so far (and in fact has only been beaten by one since). I was 50′ away from the other vessels as you have to cram into a very tiny space. Luckily the next day I got approved for the cruisers anchorage and was allowed to stay there a month. Not only was there a bit more room, but also it was a bit closer to stuff. Still a bunch of rowing to get to the (frankly incredibly sketchy) dinghy dock but hey, at least my arms were getting a workout.

Phil and Ally turned up after a week or two for a week, having had to leave their boat in a marina and fly back for a wedding, so that was really fun.

We hit up the San Diego Yacht Club using our reciprocal privileges from the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and holy smokes, I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere fancier. They have a pool! And a tennis court! It was fun hanging out at the bar and looking at all the fancy people, and actually the club was extremely welcoming, even to a trio of filthy, dirt poor sailors.

Ally and Phil set off around 2 weeks before I did, needing to meet Phil’s Dad in La Paz, while I stuck around for a bit longer – I had some stuff I wanted to do and to be honest I was really sad having just broken up with my girlfriend and didn’t really feel like doing, well, anything so was in a bit of a slump. I did have a bit of a timeline to get to La Paz to meet 8 of my (and Phil’s) friends so I couldn’t sit there forever, so I decided to wait for Maquinna PT who had left their boat in Ensenada for a month, while Holley flew home to do some work to get some money and Cass worked on the boat. They were leaving at around the time I wanted to, it would be nice to have company (especially as I was now single-handing instead of doing it with my girlfriend as originally planned), and at this point we’d sailed 1000 miles together and a few more wouldn’t be that bad (3 months later note, ‘a few more’ turned into 3000 more miles).

Holley was flying back through San Diego in some really complicated sketchy attempt to meet a guy with a truck to pick up some chain or something, it fell through so she hitched a ride on Sooner back to Ensenada with me.

This was an overnight, but barely – being one of those awkward passages where if you left in the morning, you’d get in in the dark. We ended up leaving late afternoon, managed to get a tiny bit of sailing in and then ended up motoring the rest of the way through the night. There was some phosphorescence however and some dolphins in it – one of my favourite things in the world that is also almost impossible to photograph so you’ll have to take my word for it – it was real cool.

This was technically my first crew since I dropped off Kelsey and Russel in San Francisco and it was really nice being able to actually sleep at night. By far the most exciting part of the ‘passage’ was dropping the US courtesy flag after 2000 miles and putting up the yellow Q flag followed by the Mexican flag – very cool!

Ensenada was well, Ensenada. It’s fine, notable for the enormous amount of pharmacies everywhere. Holley and Cass had their boat in the luxury resort marina having been banned from the other two marinas (lol), a story which can be found on their blog. This meant that they had access to a Jacuzzi, which I took full advantage of, being in the other, poor persons, marina, although we all ended up getting kicked out of the jacuzzi for being in there too late and being drunk on thermos wine (classy).

We hung around for a couple of days, I got checked in, and then we all set off for the next stop – Turtle Bay, a passage of around 260 nm.

Oh, and I caught the first fish since Half Moon Bay’s halibut, a small Bonito on the approach to Ensenada.




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