You remember that we were celebrating our TIP success by going zip lining while we were in Ensenada Mexico (see Blog #19) Below is a YouTube video that Ashley made of our adventures. I would highly recommend doing this adventure with Desert Nest , if you are in Ensenada. It was a blast!!!
We had 5 zip lines & suspension bridge! We all had a great time, the service was excellent and they went out of their way to get a special sunset trip for us without anyone else. We felt very lucky.
Leaving Coronado/San Diego early in the morning with the fog hanging low & a small chill to the morning air. The water was a smooth as a lake, as we cut through the opening of our marina entrance. Dan and I were thinking so many thoughts….WOW, we really doing this! Our plans & dreams for Mexico and beyond were coming true with this next leg. It was leaving the USA that was the intense feeling and the unknown of a foreign country. Many boats have done this trip and it may not be a big deal for them, but for us it was! It was a bit intimidating. We will not let fear control us EVER! We were so glad and grateful for our friends Ron and Ashley who joined us for the trip from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, they are both very experienced captains which gave us some comfort. But the what if’s still invaded our minds.
We had decided to leave before the Baja Ha-Ha Rally boat parade in San Diego Bay because we wanted to stop in Ensenada, which wasn’t a planned stop for the rally. We needed to get some paperwork done for our boat and we hoped to get there before they closed. “Mexico requires a TIP (Temporary Import Permit) for boats arriving in Mexico” If there is an old TIP from a previous owner, it must be canceled by the that owner before a new one is issued. For our boat, the previous owner didn’t cancel his TIP and we had to figure out how to solve that problem. This added huge complication to the whole “allowing the boat into the country”
“Dan worked really hard before this leg to assure we had everything we needed”
Expecting to have everything go smooth with the TIP paperwork in a foreign country where we don’t speak the language & don’t TOTALLY understand the rules and regulations was not likely. We had one of the most complex situations. If it didn’t go well we would risk either being sent back to USA or being stuck without the ability to move until it is solved. We Planned for 2 nights/3 days in Ensenada and hoped any issues would get solved in that amount of time and we could catch up with the Baja rally.
We had great weather and arrived @ 2pm, just in time to head off to the office. We were staying at Hotel Coral & Marina and were told the office would help us with the process of the TIP cancellation, new TIP and customs for our arrival. Dan gathered his paperwork and headed to the office, he was sent back quickly and we was told to wait until tomorrow, “Strike 1″. We decided to hit the hot tub at the hotel after a great dinner at their restaurante. The next morning Dan was waiting for the office to open with all his paperwork. The marina personnel asked “where is the rest of your party”…they must go with you”, “Strike 2″. We hurried around and got going & joined Dan. We were driven to the Capitano de Puerto office a few miles away. Then the 3 of us (Ron, Ashley and I) waited while Dan was shuttled from window to window paying fees as he went along for an hour. Than with some miracle we were done… yes.!!! We were WINNERS & SUCCESSFUL! no strike 3. Dan could not believe it! We successfully cancelled and set up the new TIP, checked in our boat and ourselves. All of Dan’s prep work was of great value. I didn’t realize how stressed out Dan was about the paperwork until after the success! He did a good job preparing and it paid off.
We celebrated by heading off to a fun day of wine tasting & zip lining a short ways from the Marina.
Ashley and I walked around the winery while the boys were chatting. We found 2 wooden boats on land. We think they use them for events and beautiful decor, of course.
On the 3rd day of our trip we needed to accomplish a long run of aprox. 270nm to Bahia Tortugas. (Turtle Bay) where the rest of the Baja Ha-Ha’er were at. With the 4 of us we were able to do a 3 hour watch through the middle of the night. This would get us caught up with the rest of the rally. We arrived at 4pm the next day to a bay with 100+ sailboats and a few of us motorboats. We took a Panga (water taxi) to shore for dinner at a recommended location in town. A very local spot with 4 tables and no english speaking staff, at Restaurante Tortugas.
Dinghy Down the next day with a trip to the beach for a Baja Ha-Ha beach party.
“OKAY… Dinghy naming contest! I don’t want keep calling her Dinghy. Add comment for naming contest. 1 rule… we don’t want it to be associated with the name Angelique, something totally different”
The following Day was the start of leg 2, another overnighter of 250nm to Bahia Santa Maria. We did so good with the watch schedule on leg 1, we just kept it for this leg.
A Pic of the helm at night, what night watch looks like. Yes, there is a helm bow window on top of the controls… it is just too dark to see anything other than the controls with which we drive by.
We did some fishing on this leg and caught a couple small Tuna. All went well with not much wind or waves and arrived the next morning at Bahia Santa Maria. Did some miscellaneous project and had an awesome fresh tuna dinner with our fresh catch of the day, after our arrival.
Ashley’s beautiful photography with Angela’s Soy, Garlic, Ginger, onion, marinade then seared tuna. We taught Ron and Ashley how to play our family 500 game. They learned really quick and we enjoyed playing throughout the whole trip. On the 8th day of the trip, as with all mornings when we are at anchor, the rally Poobah does a roll-call of all boats asking; who has mechanical issues, health issues, other issues etc. This is all done on VHF radio around 9am. Ashley and I were manning the radio that morning as the boys were working on some fix or improvement project.
At the end of the session there is time when boat owner can ask anything. The sailboat “Jane O” asked if anyone had baked goods for trade for Wahoo fish that they caught. I quickly said “we do” as Ashley and I were planning on baking Chocolate Chip Cookies. That was an easy sell and we did a trade of fish for cookies a few hours later and got to meet some other rally members.
Angelique and her crew did a small detour the next morning. We wanted to visit the bay just on the other side of the peninsula, Bahia Magdalena. We enjoyed seeing more of Mexico and stayed the last night of leg 2 in this bay. The 3rd and last leg of our trip was to Cabo the next morning, we all slept well and up early for our last overnighter of 170nm to Cabo San Lucas. We are now at day 10 of our trip (Thanks to Ashley for keeping such good track of each day on FB!) This was our easiest overnight trip as it was the shortest. We were all use to our watch schedule and we arrived at 6:45am. But the arrival was a bit hectic. We were heading into the marina to fill up with fuel and came face to face with 100+ fishing boats all mulling around at the mouth of the Marina making it almost impossible to head in. They were all hovering for the shotgun start at 7am for the Marlin fishing tournament.. Luckily we managed to get just on the other side of the group and pass them 3 mins before they all took off in a roar, and it was a roar when they all took off.
Welcome to Cabo! We fueled up & anchored out in the bay as planned. We were pretty close to shore and Ron and Ashley took a swim to shore.We had a nice evening and celebrated with a Happy Hour on board Angelique. The next day the winds and waves kicked up pretty hard. We did get the dinghy down and went into town a couple times and had fun looking at the Huge Yachts in the marina.
“Your boat is only as big as the one next to you, Perspective = The relation of two figures in the same plane”
We also took the dinghy over to the El Arco, The famous arched rock landmark at the northern point of Cabo. The swells, waves and boat traffic were crazy and we didn’t spend too much time. We all would have like to snorkel a bit in that area but not that day. We went that evening to a fabulous dinner at El Peregrino Brazilian steakhouse, as we were all looking for a good steak. We were not disappointed and would recommend it to anyone coming to Cabo.
We also did a surprise on Ashley for her B’day which was a couple weeks away, but wanted to let her know we were thankful they came with us and we were thinking of her! Thanks Ron/Ashley for that wonderful dinner!
We stopped off at the Baja Ha-Ha awards ceremony. They pick winners of each group. We were in the motorboat group with 5 other boats call “Pollo” (Spanish for chicken) I guess the sail-boaters think we aren’t brave enough to have a sailboat. But we won the 1st place for our group. (I think we were the only boat in our group to turn in our paperwork…)
On Day 14 we had to say goodbye to our good friends. They had to head back and it was a sad day for us. We enjoyed having them on this long adventure… sometimes crazy adventure! The bay was still so rough Dan called the marina to see if we could get a slip and squeeze in. With luck we got one for 3 nights, not cheap but with Dan doing a repair on heat exchanger for the port generator and I wanted to do a Costco run, it made things a bit easier. With successful projects done, Dan and I headed out to anchor for 1 last night in the bay before heading to San Jose Los Cabos.
It was a beautiful day when we anchored but within a couple hours we got the scare of our lives. The wind and waves started picking up and bashing us side to side. We were not prepared for this type of weather and stuff went flying. (Normally when we head out, everything is stowed for sea conditions) Well we weren’t prepared and it hit us hard. We finally had to make the decision to pull up anchor and have the engines and stabilizers help with the weather. Dan got pretty wet on the bow with waves hitting him as he was pulling up the anchor. We got it up and just started heading out not sure where we were going. It was rough everywhere. Our friend Dean found a place at San Jose Los Cabos where we were told there wasn’t any space available until the next night. We headed out as quick as we could and got there just at dusk. Thank God we were safe and found a place to get out of the weather. I have thought often about the other boats in the bay, because it wasn’t safe out in open waters that day.
Watch for our next blog with more Mexican fun, more friends and more locations!!
As we prepared to leave the Bahia Marina in Oxnard CA and head out to anchor at Santa Cruz Island which is part of the Channel Islands, we had a balancing act to perform.
“Our performance was one of skill, maneuvering, humor and sweat”
The audience was the folks on land and the “liveaboards” at the marina. The reason for our performance was because of the type of dock we were at. We had a slip rather than a side tie and we needed to use our crane to hoist up our dinghy to the top deck. If you don’t understand the difference; a slip has two dock arms one on each side of the boat and a side tie only has dock on one side of the boat. Being that we were in a slip we had to back out of our slip and hover in the middle of the canal to be able to lift the dinghy up. We had looked for a side tie spot to move our boat to for a few hours, without luck. To complicate matters we had our new dinghy and have never lifted it before. (blog #17)
There were so many unknowns with this balancing act… will the lifting bracket fit good in the new dinghy and be level as we lift her, will the dinghy fit into the cradle on the boat, will we be able to get it done with just 2 of us and not risk our big boat? Yes, we are crazy, but yes, we did it. Lots of adjusting to get it lifted correctly and a bit of juggling to get her down in the cradle, so we could secure her. Sorry no pics, our hands were a little busy, but I’m sure the audience got a few.
After our acrobatics, we headed just a short way to Santa Cruz Island and found a quiet anchorage and settled in for the night on the north side. We giggled a bit about our daily activities as we sat on the top deck and took in the view, we wondered what others thought, as they watched us.
Our plan was to explore the islands, but the winds kicked up a bit and we decided to wait another day. The next day the winds didn’t settle down as expected, they started to get stronger and we had no cell service or internet to be able to get a detailed weather forecast. We only had XM weather and VHF radio weather, which limited our view. Throughout the day things on the boat were starting to rattle and bang in the winds and one of our top canvas bimini covers was getting caught in the wind and we had to take it down because it was starting to rip. That was no easy tasks getting it down in the wind. We spent part of the day making sure everything was tied down good. I thought it was kinda fun watching and listening to the wind…. Dan probably wouldn’t have used the word “fun”. We had been told that the Santa Ana winds were something to watch out for. Which we now understand why. We had sustained winds of 20-30 miles per hour and gusts that topped 50+ even with us tucked in behind the mountain top and in a cove. Glad we weren’t out in the open. We were actually doing pretty good for as strong as the winds were. We had two other boats with us in the cove.
One chose to leave in the heavy winds. The other waited until about 3 pm when the winds settled down a bit. He called us as he was leaving and said that he was moving because the winds were changing directions. We had also talked about moving to the other side of the island and quickly left just after the second boat did. When we arrived “Ocean Echo”, the boat that chatted with us was also in that cove on the other side of the island. We were lucky that the winds had settled down by the next morning and we were very thankful as I’m sure other boaters were too. This pic was taken as “Ocean Echo” was leaving and the sun was coming up that calm morning.
With the calm weather we decided we were getting out while we could and aimed for Avalon on Catalina Island. The sun was out, the weather was beautiful, and I was at the helm! Up top, of course!! We had a beautiful cruise down the coast and as we approached Catalina Island I kept thinking that it looked very similar to the Channel Islands we just left behind. Brown, bare and plain. It surely doesn’t compare to the San Juan Islands in WA! My expectation was that Avalon (coastal resort town) would be a bigger more expensive Roche Harbor, but it certainly isn’t as pretty from 1 mile away. I was hoping it would get better. As we got close to the marina a harbor patrol boat came and escorted us to our mooring ball. It was nothing like we have seen before. It had a front bow loop and a back stern loop to keep you facing in the correct direction. (to fit more boats in). This was our only choice for anchoring in Avalon. Most mooring balls will not hold the weight of our boat. But they actually have mooring balls that hold boats that are 100 feet and larger.
Avalon didn’t disappoint us. It was a much bigger and more built up town than Roche Harbor. There was so much to do. I highly recommend it if you haven’t been before.
You don’t even need a boat. You can take a ferry from LA location over to the island, they have many B & B’s, hotels etc. I would love to go back. Lots of good restaurants, tours of the island, rent golf carts and parasailing which was a lot of fun!
We took off early Friday morning, as soon as we had light of day and headed to San Diego. We had a full days run and didn’t want to arrive at Fiddler’s Cove Marina in the dark. This Marina is on Coronado Island and is a Naval base outstation for those that are active or retired military. The welcoming was over the top, they helped catch lines and were very happy we were on their guest dock for 10 days. Folks kept telling us, we were making the marina look nicer. We had a great stay.
We had the opportunity to go the Navy/Notre Dame football game while we were in San Diego. Navy lost, but it was tons of fun. We also went to the Annapolis alumni tailgate party before the game and had a great time talking to lots of people Dan went to school with and lots of new folks.
Our son Chase joined us again with some friends for a long weekend. It is always nice to have guests! They stayed busy while we were counting down our last days in the US. We were preparing for our departure to Mexico with the Baja Ha-Ha Sailing rally. Doing last minute provisioning and Dan was taking advantage of some of the classes that the rally was offering. The last day before departing, our good friends Ron and Ashley joined us. They are both captains and own the Zephyr which is a research vessel. Our trip south with Baja Ha-Ha’s was a 2 week vacation for them and we were very grateful for their help on our trip to Mexico. Before we left San Diego the Baja HaHa Rally had a costume Party with all the travelers. We picked Vikings as our theme…
I think we pulled it off well and looked pretty “viking like” The next photos were the last two we took in the United States before leaving San Diego Bay.
“Okay… are you asking, why did we join a sailing rally?”
Yes, we aren’t a sailboat, but a few motorboats join the rally. We had lots to learn from others that have done this before, lots of events, classes, beach parties, and learning along the way as we gained new connection. So yes, we joined a sailing rally.
Look for our next Blog “Baja Ha-Ha, A Mexican Adventure…#19”
Hope you are living Your Dream…. or at least planning for it!