I think we are true cruisers now because our plans seem to change daily. The current plan is to stay in Ensenada for the winter and then head back to southern California for the spring and summer. We are hoping to have our grandkids come down and spend some time with us next summer and it will be so much easier if we are in the US. And that would be unlikely if we headed to the typical central/southern Mexico cruising grounds as the 750 nautical mile trip back north along the Baja peninsula would be very difficult. But more important, we are really enjoying Ensenada and want to take time to get to know the people here. Jan has met a couple of local ladies in the sauna and we are hoping to get to know them and their families.
Ensenada has a little of everything. It is a major stop for most of the cruise lines because it is a major port of entry into Mexico. So the cruise ships stop here and get everyone checked into Mexico and then head south to the gold coast. The cruise ship dock is downtown and not surprisingly the area around the dock is what I would call "Little Tijuana". If is full of little shops overflowing with tourist junk and high pressure salespeople. It brings the quote "for you, nearly free" to mind. If you show any interest in anything you can bet the someone will be on you immediately pushing you to buy it. And if you start to walk away, the price will start dropping. They will even chase you down the sidewalk lowing the price with every step you take. It is fun for a little while, but gets old pretty quick.
We are berthed in a marina called Marina Coral (pronounced Coraaaal, and they are not shy making sure you know that). The marina area is basically "San Diego south". Virtually everyone here speaks english (to some degree - some of them speak english about as good as my spanish). It is a very nice marina, except they might want to pressure wash the docks once in a while. The big downside to Marine Coral is the surge. The breakwater is very big and robust but there is only a single breakwater. If you plan to stop ocean swell you need a double breakwater. So when the swell is kicking up or coming from a direction that causes reflection to the marina entrance it can get pretty rough at the dock. So I am keeping a close eye on our dock lines and fenders. The other thing that makes this "San Diego south" is the "big box store" area. Just south of downtown is an area of a couple of blocks where you can find Costco, Walmart, Home Depot, McDonalds, etc... You can find virtually every chain store/restaurant that you know from the US.
We are really loving our bikes! Jan has a thing from her childhood about getting a "brand new" bike so she was really excited to get a "brand new" bike. In any case, we have really used them a lot here. The marina is about 5 miles north of town so we would be on the bus or a cab without them. There are only a few major folding bike companies and then several very small companies. Without question the biggest company is Dahon. One of their close competitors is Tern. Tern was actually started by the son of the man that built Dahon. So they are very similar bikes. Anyway, we bought Tern bikes.
|Ready to ride|
|Folded and ready to go below|
|Mike with a lingcod|
|Mike with the barracuda|
We went fishing yesterday and had a good day (well, *Jan* had a good day). We were trolling around one of our favorite spots and Jan about jumped out of her skin. I looked over and she was holding onto her rod with both hands for all she was worth. I asked if she had a fish on and she could only shake her head. So I killed the motor and got my line out of the water. It was all Jan could do to hold onto the rod so there was no way she was going to be able to crank the reel. Finally she said "the line is going the wrong way" (it was spooling off against the drag pretty fast). She said it was too much for her so I took the rod and the fight was on. I finally landed a bonito tuna after a good fight - it was major fun!
|Jan and her tuna|
The bottom line - the bikes and the dinghy were very expensive purchases before leaving the US, and were worth EVERY penny!