Thursday December 12, 2019
Twelve hours to Ensenada, Mexico from San Diego, motoring all the way due to light winds. We did a night transit in order to arrive at the marina in Ensenada in the morning (the better to get all of our official paperwork completed: tourist visa, customs, boat import, etc.) Night passages are going to take some getting used to for the light-weight sailor on board!
We splurged for our entry into Mexico and docked at the Hotel Coral Marina (its spendy). But they had a good reputation for helping newbies like us get through all the paperwork to enter Mexico and it was worth it. The marina staff took us to the Port and Immigration authorities (including a “doctor’s certification of health for which we didn’t even get out of the Hotel van). It was unbelievably easy and we are very glad to have splurged on the Hotel Marina Coral for this smooth entry into Mexico. Big, big shoutout for our agent, Juan, who got us in and out of the central processing office in an hour. Afterwards, we went back to the boat, slept, and then spent the rest of the day lounging by the pool, recovering from the over night sail.
Friday the 13th – Not an auspicious day to begin our sail to Cabo, so we spent the day instead being tourists. We got a driver from the hotel to take us through town to the opposite side of the bahia to see a popular Ensenada attraction – La Bufadora! Its an ocean blow hole, not just surf, the water rockets up through the rocks like a fountain. It was pretty cool. We could have done without the funnel of vendors hawking tourist stuff (blankets, coconuts of pina coladas, leather purses, etc.–though we did buy a bag of churros…) But the vendors are not permitted at La Bufadora so it was remarkably quiet once you got through the market to the actual blow hole.
The drive to La Bufadora was interesting too–agricultural as soon as we got out of town and the coastline going south was gorgeous. We stopped and got honey and olives at a roadside stand (local specialities) on the way back to town and had our driver drop us off at the large downtown fish market, Mercado de Pescado, for lunch. Fish tacos were the order of the day and they were inexpensive and yummy.
Ensenada Smileys and Frowns
Hotel Coral Marina (though expensive) paved the way for an easy transition into Mexico. We especially recommend their Marina service to help with the Mexican paperwork for visas, immigration, customs, etc. Worth every penny.
We didn’t have enough time in Ensenada! We would have liked to explore more but we have a weather window of beautiful sailing conditions forecast so off we go in the morning!
Ensenada has a reputation for wonderful food and our short stay meant we were not able to sample much more than tacos de pescado at the downtown fish market and tapas and one dinner at the Hotel Coral restaurant. BUT, we did start on our search to find the best flan in Baja and can give the Hotel Coral restaurant two thumbs way, way up for their flan–a delicious start to this search.
We are off tomorrow morning for Cabo. Possible stops along the way include Bahia Tortugas and Bahia Magdalena. It will be the light-weight sailor’s longest passage yet: 5-7 days to Cabo, depending…always depending. Wish us(me) luck!