Wednesday, June 30, 2010


There are 2 major marinas in Ensenada, Cruise Port Marina and Marina Coral. There are a couple of smaller marinas but they are old and only have room for a few dozen boats. We have always stayed in Cruise Port Marina mainly because it was near the downtown area while Coral is outside of town and you need a bus or taxi ride to get to town. Cruise Port is also cheaper, this year a lot cheaper as Cruise Port lowered their rates from last year while Coral had a slight increase. Coral is at a resort and has the amenities of a resort including a swimming pool and onsite restaurants. Both have newer, well kept docks and clean well cared for grounds.

What is surprising is that Cruise Port Marina is only 37% occupied according to the office manager, down a great deal from previous years and Coral's occupancy is also down from last year. It seems that many boaters have taken their boats back to the States or left them in marinas further south in Mexico. Whatever the reason, both major marinas in Ensenada have very low occupancy this season.

This is jellyfish we saw floating around in the marina. It's about 15" across.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Portia RIP

We lost another member of our family shortly after arriving in Ensenada. Portia died at the age of 16. We will miss her a great deal.

We are now without a cat companion for the first time in 20 years. It is very quiet at night with out the pitter patter of little paws around the boat.

Here is a picture of Portia, on the left, with Clouseau who passed earlier this year.

Baja Bash

May 30th - June 5th - Los Frailes to Ensenada

All of the weather forecasters said there was at least 4 good weather days coming to the outside of Baja so we left los Frailes at 7 PM on Sunday in order to go around Cabo Falso in the early morning hours when we hoped the seas would be calmer. Well it was a good idea at the time. As we approached the cape at around midnight the seas began to build and the wind started to howl. We had 10-15' seas, the nice steep sided, low interval ones, and winds over 40 kts from mid-night to 6 AM. After rounding the cabo we plotted a course near shore hoping to get a break from the seas but we had to get behind Isla Santa Margarita off the south end of Bahia Magdalena before the seas calmed down. By the time we were off the entrance to Mag Bay, 10 AM June 1st, the wind had died and the seas calmed so we decided to continue and not stop at Mag Bay. The next go or no go point was Punta Abreojos but when we go there at 13:00 on June 2nd the weather was still calm and improving so on we went. And so it went. With the improving weather as we went north it became harder to stop and risk losing the good weather. If there were just 2 of us on board we would have been tired and stopped but with 3 of us we were all getting some rest and felt like continuing.

At 9:00 on June 3rd we were off Turtle Bay and decided to keep going. At 14:00 on June 4th we were off of San Quintin with continuing good weather and we could be in Ensenada in just another 24 hours so on we went.

We arrived in Ensenada on Saturday June 5th at 8 AM. 7 days and 6 nights after leaving Los Frailes. 134 hours
of continuous cruising. Here's the numbers from La Paz -

Engine hours - 153
Fuel Used - 322 gal
GPH - 2.1
NMPG - 2.6
Avg Speed - 5.53 NM per hour
Distance - 846 NM from La Paz, 742 NM from los Frailes without stopping.
No mechanical failures or issues. The boat performed beautifully.

We all felt a great sense of accomplishment and were very tired. We had given ourselves 16 days to get to Ensenada and arrived in 10. As it turned out we could have stopped and rested, the good weather continued for another 5 days but we didn't know that at the time.

Our good mate and friend Nancy started worrying about all the things she needed to do back home and moved her flight up 3 days but we had 4 days in Ensenada to mess around and we found maybe the best fish taco stand in Mexico. Time well spent.

If we do this again we'll give ourselves more time, at least 3 weeks, and stop and rest at least in Mag Bay and Turtle Bay. The outside of Baja is an interesting place and it is too bad that we missed it all this trip.

Los Frailes

We spent 3 days here waiting for a good weather window and while swimming I ran into a school of what looked like jelly fish (see photo) that gave me a nasty sting on my forehead. It felt like a bee sting but only lasted 90 minutes and then was gone, just like that.

Here's a pic of the little bugger that got me (or at least one of his relatives) -

La Paz

We arrived in La Paz on May 17th, 6 days before our additional crew member and Linda's friend since grade school, Nancy, was to arrive at the Cabo airport and then it was up the outside of Baja to Ensenada, weather permitting of course. We spent those days provisioning and readying the boat for the 900 NM trip up the coast. It's amazing how dirty a boat can get in 50 days without being washed.

May 27th - Depart La Paz

There was a good weather window starting on Sunday or Monday so we left La Paz on Thursday planning to stop in Los Muertos and then waiting in Los Frailes for 2 nights until the good weather developed on the outside of Baja. We had a beautiful trip to los Muertos and then onto los Frailes on Saturday and spent two nights there and departed late Sunday so that we would be rounding Cabo Falso at 4 AM Monday morning. This sounded like a good plan at the time.

Islands in the Sea

Ok it's catch up time. It's been a couple of months since our last update and a lot has happened.

After crossing from Mazatlan to Baja on April 1st we spent 50 days in the Sea of Cortes going from one anchorage to another. It was a great time! At first it was a little cool but on May 5th it was as if someone threw a switch and it was summer, the air and water both turned warm and at times hot. We traveled from the SE tip of Baja to Bahia Concepcion, went to Loreto Fest and returned south to La Paz for a total of 50 days at anchor or on a mooring ball. At one point we nearly ran out of food and had to return to Escondido a few days ahead of schedule to go into Loreto and do some major provisioning.

Despite the blustery weather we had a great time in the islands for over 50 days before going to La Paz.

Isla Coronodos
Our favorite location might be Isla Coronodos for it's crystal clear water and sandy beaches. We spent 4 days there and it was just great including a get together with the other boaters in the bay one evening on the beach. When we first arrived at the anchorage we were the only boat there but by night fall there were 13 other boats in the bay, including one nearly an arms length away from us.

Whale Sharks
Here's some pic's of the whale shark we saw in Bahia Concepcion. It's a young, small shark only 15' or so in length, they can grow to over 40'. See Wikipedia - Whale Shark . We also saw one in Bahia Escondido.