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!!
Aclamaciones Amigos desde Angelique