Wednesday, December 9, 2015

We Live in Ensenada Now

    We're still in Ensenada for another week or so. My new thing
is to just LIVE wherever we are, for however long we stay there.

                                                  ...So...we live in Ensenada now.


Magenta sunset over the Baja Naval marina in Ensenada, Mexico

It was more than a week ago that we optimistically threw off the dock lines in Ensenada and headed south for the 2 night passage to Turtle Bay, Mexico. 

Unfortunately about 4 hours into the windy, blustery sail, our rudder post started wiggling and squealing again (pig references in regards to rudders, or anything on a sailboat,  are usually not good), so we turned around for the 3rd time since we left San Pedro last month to deal with the issue in Ensenada.

Unfortunately it was pitch black night by the time we entered the harbor approach. Two fishing boats passed us extremely closely, appearing out of nowhere. Then, just as we were entering the harbor, a cruise ship picked THAT MOMENT to exit the same small space.

This photo shows how close we were to the big guy. General rule: When you can see the cabin lights reflected in the waves on the surface of the water, you're too close. 

We found our original dock at Baja Naval, tied off and went to sleep.

Baja Naval is the most economical of the 3 Ensenada marinas

Fortunately the marina has a good shipyard, so we hauled out Espiritu to rebuilt the failing rudder post support system.

I was very involved in every area of the job -- fiberglass, sanding, etc.

Of course...I'm kidding. What I did was...I supervised. And I provided encouragement, drinks and snacks and irish and old-timey music for the workers entertainment (they were very kind, bobbing their heads approvingly).

Me "supervising" Francisco sanding a rudder part

For the first time in my life, I'm living in Espiritu "on the hard" as they call it, in the boatyard, while the work is done on her. The upside? No rocking and rolling. The downside? Well, there are a's very dirty due to the constant sanding, etc. And there's no running water or toilet on board.  So cooking -- and other things -- are a challenge.'s a minor hardship, but we're grateful we're in a good spot for Espiritu to receive repairs.

We try to think of it as living in a floating treehouse, which it kinda is.

Also -- the ladder is really, really steep!

Reading on the deck of our floating treehouse

Fortunately we're not the only southbound sailors stuck in Ensenada getting work done.

Espiritu crew with new single-hander buddy Marty of Desiderata. We've never seen Marty without his hat and shades, so he actually might be Brad Pitt taking some time away from Angelina and the kids.

Marty loaned us his most prized possession: Seasons One and Two of Game of Thrones. 

With the female nudity and bloody violence, I'm probably not the target demographic for Game of Thrones. But ya gotta love Peter Dinklage. What IS it about him? I'm curious how a little person like him has such a deep voice.  Hmmmmmmm.

We splurged on a Chinese dinner in town with Don and Lisa of Windcharmer 
and Richard of Golden Skye

We learned a new fortune cookie game. It's called "In Bed."

The way it works is, everyone reads their fortune out loud, prefacing it with the words "In Bed."

"(In bed) Patience is your ally at the moment. Don't worry!" 

It's pretty funny. We laughed and laughed. Try it during your next visit to a Chinese restaurant.'ve got kids. Maybe you could adapt the game.

Kids version: "In school..." or "In sports..." Ah, well, forget it. The game only works with adults.

Speaking of "patience in bed," did you know that apparently Ensenada is the Viagra capital of the world? Well, if it isn't, it feels that way.

This superhero stands outside one of the countless pharmacies in town that sell Viagra without a prescription. 

So THAT explains why I saw Rush Limbaugh walk
 by the other day! (kidding, kidding -- or AM I?) ;-) 

We found this poster featuring an old man 
with a cane at another pharmacy in town

This sign is aimed at the cruise ships crowds 
which dump into Ensenada a few times a week

When I heard there was a Walmart in town, I hightailed it on over there to provision. I brought 800 pesos for the shopping spree. Sounds like a huge amount, right?

800 Mexican pesos = ONLY $42 American dollars

Once you're inside Walmart it pretty much feels like the U.S. version, except the prices are cheaper here and of course everything is in Spanish.

But there are always a couple of things you see in a Latin American big-box store that you would never find in the U.S. version.

For example:

There's a guy chopping and preparing cactus in the Walmart produce section


Trojan condoms are for sale at kiddie-eye level next to the candy and magazines in the check-out aisle! In the U.S. they are almost always behind glass/lock/key.

Well, I guess with all of the Viagra floating around, they've gotta 
do something to help prevent a full-on population explosion! 

And of course, we've been using this extra time to walk and explore all over Ensenada.

Super-big Jesus at the Catholic Church

Even Ensenada is getting into recycling!

There are always cruise ship occupants from L.A. visiting the town.

A Filipino family from L.A. poses during a weekend cruise together

We met a young Jewish expat from L.A. 
here who is trying to start a temple in town

The Bahia Hotel, site of countless Newport-Ensenada Yacht Race awards ceremonies and parties. As we've done the race several times, it was weird seeing the place without a soul out on the grass area.

Elegant Italian restaurant

There's even an old-west style Steak House, complete with 
cowboy and barmaid statues sitting on the bench in front

When there's no ship there, the cruise ship dock 
has an almost South-Pacific feel to it

Papas & Beer actually sponsors the town's street signs

Look! They sell flocked Christmas trees in the town tree lot!

So, that brings us up to date. We may be here another week to finish the work and find a weather window for Turtle Bay. Who knows where we'll be at Christmas? 

Until next time...

Feliz Navidad.


  1. Home ...becomes a brand new word for folks like you......Hope you are settled somewhere...anywhere for Christmas. Love ya both and Merry Christmas.

    1. Merry Christmas, Kat, from Chris and Liz with much love. We will think of you and Island Bound everywhere we go in Mexico. *HUGS* Feliz Navidad...send me an e-mail to catch up, OK? XOXO Liz :-)

  2. LOVE your sense of humor, Liz! Feliz Navidad y Bueno Ano Nuevo! (Sorry, no tildas on my Hawaiian keyboard!) -- Michael