[031122, 1604 UTC, Ensenada, BCN, 31º51.5' N/116º37.5' W]
We are in Ensenada, Mexico, having arrived on Thursday after an overnight run down from San Diego. We're thrilled to be on our way again while we still have a little money for cruising. San Diego was a pleasant spot but very expensive; we were ready for something new.
Our trip down was uneventful. We sailed west of the Islas Coronados and had good sailing for most of the trip except for a couple of hours with winds so light that it was hard to keep the boat going south! We arrived on Revolution Day and were greeted by a city full of locals celebrating the holiday, combined with cruise ship and motorcycle racing gringos.
We have not yet been able to check in with the Capitania de la Puerto because he took Friday as a holiday too! We have however checked in with immigration, paid our requisite fee at a federal bank (complete with four armed guards), and now have our visas officially stamped.
We're anchored in the bay off a marina/boatyard complex called Baja Naval where we will access their showers, secure docks and other facilities. Rogelio, the manager, is very helpful, professional and friendly.
So far we've explored downtown including the fish market run by the local cooperative (we purchased a half a kilo (just over a pound) of Cazon last night for roughly $1.50 US or 15 nuevo pesos), the shopping district and a local grocery store or "supermercado" called Gigante (pronounced Hi-gon-tah). We also purchased some Controy (similar to Triple Sec) and some "limons" (limes) in order to make some killer margaritas (4 ounces Tequila, 4 ounces of Controy and the juice of 10-12 Mexican limes - salt is optional). As a local tee-shirt here says: "One margarita, two margaritas, three margaritas...Floor!"
Communicating in Spanish can be a little intimidating but we're stumbling along and getting better with every encounter. Today we'll search out a barber to trim Philip's locks since he's beginning to get curls!
We spent last evening with a nice young couple, Nia and John Schmidt on Jovita, who are returning from the Sea of Cortez after sailing for a year on a vintage 1964 Cheoy Lee ketch. They enthusiastically recommended many lovely anchorages and provided us with the names of helpful local vendors and other valuable tidbits of cruising trivia.
The weather south of us is promising to be horrible for the next couple of days so we'll just have to eat more fish tacos and drink more cerveza (beer) while we wait for a weather window. Since we've been foiled in our attempts so far to complete our check-in, it's not a big deal.
Leslie, Philip & Jake the cat