Sunday, 6 November 2011

life afloat, ensenada-style

First, the skies became grey, the temperature dipped... Then the squalls started. Not quite what we expected from Mexico! Oh well, we're taking it in stride and pretending we are not blowing our budget by spending extra nights at a dock. (Anchoring out is not an option anymore.) We are patiently waiting for Monday's weather window that will send us south. In the meantime...

The city keeps on going and going. As we wander away from the tourist turf into Ensenada proper, there is a palpable  change in the energy, yet it is familiar somehow. It reminds me of my travels in Ecuador' larger cities. The sidewalks are a bit of an obstacle course, there are the ever-present taco stands, and those stands selling cheap merchandise. You find your way through small and large clusters of friends or buyers,  alleyways between colourful buildings are also crammed with cars, dogs, more people... I love it.

My buddy Dylan and I
One of the aspects of the bohemian life I relish, is how quickly you can connect with people. Remember when you were 5 years old? You would see another kid your age on the playground and ask them to be your friend. And just like that, you had a new friend. As a traveler, you get to experience these kinds of instant connections all over again. Heidi came by our boat looking for someone else in our marina. We fell into an easy conversation. Heidi is an Australian sailor. She and her husband and little boy have  been in Ensenada for a few months. Their boat is undergoing a major refit.The next day she came by with Dylan to invite us to a celebration at his Montessori School.We first invited her and Dylan aboard for a cup of tea. A while later, we were sidestepping puddles as we made our way to her car and the outskirts of Ensenada. Immersed in a Mexican world of tamales and skull face-painted children, we soaked in the lively atmosphere. We met other expats as well as Mexicans seeking an alternative education for their children. We were transplanted into a different world and we liked it. We saw Heidi, and her husband Kent and little Dylan the next day. They introduced us to Bohemia Obscura - our new favourite dark Mexican beer! Thanks guys!

We are meeting more sailors since we've arrived here. Many of them are American, with a few Canadians sprinkled in among them. It is true what they say, the cruising community is indeed very friendly. We've come across quite a few boats from the northeastern Pacific. Among them, we've met the crews of  SV Wondertime, SV Eagle, and SV Shannon. Super friendly folks that we hope to get to know better as we run into them along the way. 

Rick has begun uttering a few Spanish words out loud. Me, I'm still stumbling along. I have always liked to jump right  into a new language, whether I know it a little or not at all. Barely a week later, my brain will go into complete overload. For example, since yesterday, my Spanish has been getting worse! When I first arrived in Mexico, I was happy with how much I remembered. Now, I forget easy words. (This has happened to me on past trips abroad.) I know I just have to wait it out. In two weeks or so, I'll settle in, find my words again. And then, it'll keep getting better, (I hope). This is yet another exercise in patience. 

Alfonso's has great breakfasts. The server, was very amused at my Spanish. I learned from him that while you are eating something delicious, you can say: "Es muy bueno...". You have to wait until you are done to say "Me gustó". A woman at the Montessori school told me later that you have to be sure to emphasize  gustó, so it doesn't sound like you are extolling how much you like yourself  when you are trying to comment on the food! So many subtleties...
Evidence of Chaos: When Kyra wants to clean,
organize, and stow and Rick is making up the
berth with clean sheets.
This morning, we headed to Alfonso's once again, this time, with a large contingent of boaters heading out tomorrow. This southbound group set up a net for the SSB radio.We don't have an SSB radio, but SV Eagle offered to relay for us on the VHF. We'll be listening in on our receiver.

There's another cold front coming in Friday, we may have to skip over some of the anchorages we'd hoped to get to before Bahia de Tortugas. That bay is well protected compared to the open and lumpy anchorages north of there. We are staying open to the possibility of anchoring at least one night at Isla Cedros or nearby, before arriving in Turtle Bay. Again, we'll just have to go with the flow... And the winds. Until then, we're trying to organize the boat (again, still), and getting boat chores done.

The operative words are: Stowing, fixing, losing, cursing, finding, breaking, fixing, hugging.


A big shout out to Rogelio - Baja Naval dockmaster extraordinaire! Always ready for a laugh, unfailingly helpful and patient. We are glad to have crossed paths with him. (Even if he teased me mercilessly... Rick may add, especially because!) Muchas Gracias Rogelio!

A net is an on-the-air gathering of radio operators, (sailors in this case). Most nets convene on a regular schedule and specific frequency. They are often organized among sailors traveling in a particular area, to touch base, relay messages, discuss weather, and for emergencies. It makes me wish we had an SSB radio...



1 comment:

  1. Wouldn't it be great if we still had the innocence and inhibitions of a 5 year old? Glad to hear you're enjoying the cruising community in Mexico. Hope the weather gets better for you soon!

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