What a Surprise!

 
 
 
Well, well, well what a complete and total surprise!
 
 
 
Before deciding on which marina to stay in when we arrived in Ensenada, I decided to put the question to the Nordhavn Owners Group to get a little feedback.  The majority of folks suggested Hotel Coral & Marina with the balance opting for the marina downtown in the thick of the action called “Cruiseport”.  One thing that virtually all who responded indicated was that Ensenada is a small town. Head south!  Hell, what are we in for?  One can only imagine our thoughts pre arrival.  We even received two calls on our way south while underway from folks who suggested we simply keep on going to Puerto Vallarta to have some fun! 

The beauty of travelling by boat is that it takes you to places you may not visit normally.  Ensenada for us is such a place.  Ensenada can hold it head high as for us, this is a special little place that we will long remember.  The marina was spot on, the people were friendly and I might add at no stage did any of us feel unsafe and the wi-fi at the Hotel Coral Marina was good, in fact better than in Los Angeles.  The town itself is a blend of just about everything and the sunsets and sunrises are amongst some of the best we have ever seen.  So far, Ensenada is everything we thought it wouldn’t be and we are all very pleased indeed we stayed here.

 
Pendana all tied up
Pendana all tied up
 
 
Wi-Fi speeds not normally associated with marinas
Wi-Fi speeds not normally associated with marinas
 
The marina and the staff have been faultless and the Dock Master, Fito Espinoza (fito.espinoza@hotelcoral.com) is beyond helpful to make sure everything is sorted as quickly as possible.  The marina is modern, has great wi-fi (as stated), is clean and comes with many amenities including resort swimming pools both indoor and outdoor, fitness club, sauna and steam rooms (mind you the steam rooms are so hot I couldn’t manage it at all), massages and spa services, a number of restaurants onsite, free shuttle services, boating maintenance services, water sport rentals ie kayaks etc, shall I go on?  OK then, the marina has its own fuel dock , 24/7 security and pump out service.  Honestly what more could one ask for?  I know, how about a view? Well it has that as well and it produces some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets I have ever seen.  If you are coming to Ensenada then drop Fito an email as you will be pleased you did.  Compared to the other marina in town is like comparing a Rolls Royce (Hotel Coral and Marina) with a Volkswagen (Cruiseport). I know which one I prefer!

 
Sunset in Ensenada. Abi took this photo
Sunset in Ensenada. Abi took this photo
 
 
Mexico like things BIG and this flag is massive!  The flag measures 50 meters long / 164 feet by 28 meters/91 feet wide and weighs a staggering 120 kilograms/264lbs. The flag pole stands an impressive 103 metres/337feet in height
Mexico like things BIG and this flag is massive!  The flag measures 50 meters long / 164 feet by 28 meters/91 feet wide and weighs a staggering 120 kilograms/264lbs. The flag pole stands an impressive 103 metres/337feet in height
 
 
 
 
Even their seals are super-sized
Even their seals are super-sized
 
One small negative about the marina, if there is one, is that the surge inside the marina is a little intense from time-to-time and more than you would expect from a marina in a relatively well protected coastal position.  Then again, I guess that’s why we have fenders and I am sure pleased we have Pro Stock Marine fenders.  Sure, they are rather expensive but they are the most wonderful fenders on the market.  These fenders are simply indestructible and do not mark the hull!

 
These just keep getting better
These just keep getting better
 
 
Pendana N62 sitting pretty
Pendana N62 sitting pretty
 
Ensenada is a very Mexican and you soon get the feel of what the place is really like.  A great example of this is that occasionally you will be confronted with a motor bike or car going the wrong way (safely).  If this were to happen in Australia there would be an angry confrontation but here in Mexico, nobody seems to be overly concerned.  Surely that’s a good thing?  Another example - and there are many – are the folks who wash Pendana climb all around here without safety lines.  Again, in Australia, where there seems to be more laws than people, boat wash guys need to wear a safety harness even to go onto the roof of Pendana.  Look, I appreciate that maybe one person slipped and died when washing a boat but surely that doesn’t mean we need restrictive laws to be brought in. Anyway, it’s refreshing to see that here in Mexico good old common sense prevails.  Gotta say I like that!

 
Sign outside a local drinking hole. Ok, so maybe this is a step too far!
Sign outside a local drinking hole. Ok, so maybe this is a step too far!
 
 
View from hotel gym – can’t get much better than that
View from hotel gym – can’t get much better than that
 
At the marina there are approximately twenty stray cats living together doing very well, I might add.  These pussy cats are simply adorable and being the cat lovers that we are we can’t but help taking up the odd few cans of cat food and dry biscuits for these delightful animals. The good news is that they all appear well fed thanks to a fish cleaning station very close by.  Nonetheless, they are too cute to ignore so most days we head up to see the troop and give them some fresh water and food.  Adorable!

 
So cute!
So cute!
 
 
These two are always the last to arrive
These two are always the last to arrive
 
 
Notice the nice new water bowl care of Pendana
Notice the nice new water bowl care of Pendana
 
We were told in Los Angeles about a great restaurant called Sanos Steak House here in Ensenada so we were quick to hunt it down and give it a try.  Wow, superb is the only word that comes to mind. Truly superb!  Great atmosphere, service, prices ($20 Filet Mignon) and food make this place a must go-to if ever in Ensenada! 

 
 
 
 
The other day I spotted a power cat moving about with lots of advertising along the side and on the stern of the vessel.  I thought to myself, there has to be a story here.  Stay tuned for more, as there is a very good chance that I got to interview the folks on Knot Wafflen and it may very well be Pendanablog’s December interview!

 
Knot Wafflen moving around the marina here in Ensenada
Knot Wafflen moving around the marina here in Ensenada
 
Close by to the marina there is a very steep hill with the University of Ensenada (Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior University) at the very top.  I asked the security guard if I could drive up and take some happy snaps to which he kindly agreed.  Just a real shame I didn’t have my tripod with me!

 
View from above
View from above
 
 
A little zoom
A little zoom
 
 
And a little more…..
And a little more…..
 
 
Pendana in the morning sun
Pendana in the morning sun
 
While in Ensenada I decided it was high time to dump the used oil in our tanks.  The last time I did this was in Australia so it was required.  With help from the local marine shop a couple of chaps came over and removed a total of 270 litres / 71 Gals of used oil.  For some reason we could not manage to thread the hose down into the tank from the outside so decided to head into the engine room and split the hose from the oil transfer manifold and do it that way.  Job done!

 
Used oil being removed
Used oil being removed
 
 
250 litres of the 270 waiting to be taken away
250 litres of the 270 waiting to be taken away
 
 
Trip top Ensenada’s blow hole
Trip top Ensenada’s blow hole
 
 
Sure looks good
Sure looks good
 
 
Mexican sweets
Mexican sweets
 
 
Rainbow appeared every time the water blew and no, this was not photo shopped!
Rainbow appeared every time the water blew and no, this was not photo shopped!
 
 
The blowhole
The blowhole
 
 
Corn anyone?
Corn anyone?
 
 
Desolate looking building against a vast backdrop
Desolate looking building against a vast backdrop
 
Another job was to replace the battery in the jet-ski, remove 40ltrs / 10.5glas the old fuel and top off with new fuel.  Poor jet ski has not been used since Australia (sorry Mark) so I was surprised she actually ran perfectly once new battery and fuel were in place.  I do love this jet ski and both Abi and Bianca love it even more. 

 
Getting ready to be splashed!
Getting ready to be splashed!
 
 
Abi skimming across the Mexican seas
 
 
Abi and Bianca going pretty darn fast
Abi and Bianca going pretty darn fast
 
 
Lost in the spray
Lost in the spray
 
Now something that is pretty cool is back in June 2013 we visited a little island by the name of Percy Island which is at the southern end of the Whitsunday Island chain in Queensland, Australia. Anyway, as is custom, boaters from all over the world leave something on the island behind to mark their visit. So, in the spirit of tradition we decided to jazz up an old life ring to leave behind.

 
We left this old life ring behind
We left this old life ring behind
 
Now, what is cool is that Bill and Emmy Baker aboard Roxia N62, (formally Lone Wolf) have recently visited Percy Island and sent through the photo below.  I for one, reckon its held up rather well!

 
Our life ring is still on Percy Island over four and a half years later.  Amazing!
Our life ring is still on Percy Island over four and a half years later.  Amazing!
 
Another funny thing, well not so funny if you are me, is that I have been doing my best to speak the local lingo (Spanish) and had been proudly telling everyone I met, for about a week,  “Buenos Aires” which as we all know is the capital of Argentina rather than saying  “Buenos Dias” which is “Good morning/good day”.  It’s no wonder so many folks gave me rather odd looks during our first week in Mexico.  It was a bit like going around the place saying in a loud voice, “Sydney Australia”.  Ah well, such is life!

As most would know the Cubar/Fubar/Moobar (for power boats) boats cleared into Mexico on their trip south.  Surprisingly only about 24 boats or so are making the trip from San Diego to La Paz Mexico as a group this year. Here are a few of the Nordhavn boats taking part in the rally (and some that are not) but all of the photos below are of Nordhavns nonetheless. 

 
Albatross arrives owned by Bill and Cindy Roush
Albatross arrives owned by Bill and Cindy Roush
 
 
Floating Stones N68 Fwd Pilothouse owned by Bryan and Cheryl Stone.  Floating Stones was formally owned by Joe and Renee when she was named, “Aquilla Renee”.  It was great to meet with Bryan and Cheryl just a shame we couldn’t spend more time with them.
Floating Stones N68 Fwd Pilothouse owned by Bryan and Cheryl Stone.  Floating Stones was formally owned by Joe and Renee when she was named, “Aquilla Renee”.  It was great to meet with Bryan and Cheryl just a shame we couldn’t spend more time with them.
 
 
I was able to grab of photo of Floating Stones leaving Ensenada on their trip south
I was able to grab of photo of Floating Stones leaving Ensenada on their trip south
 
 
Saumlaki N62
Saumlaki N62
 
 
Alamir N6219 at Cruiseport Marina – owned by the charming Tomas Fernandez who has just returned from three months cruising in the Sea of Cortez.  Yes, he is the founder of Baja Naval and Gran Peninsula boatyards in Ensenada
Alamir N6219 at Cruiseport Marina – owned by the charming Tomas Fernandez who has just returned from three months cruising in the Sea of Cortez.  Yes, he is the founder of Baja Naval and Gran Peninsula boatyards in Ensenada
 
 
Enterprise III owned by Martin Brooks
Enterprise III owned by Martin Brooks
 
 
Enterprise III departing Ensenada
Enterprise III departing Ensenada
 
Maybe the Cubar/Fubar rally is losing its relevance?  After- all the Baha Ha Rally (for sailboats) which leaves a few weeks earlier was well served with around 130 entrants.  Maybe it’s just because there are more sailboats!

 
The Baha Ha Rally passing Ensenada C/o Marine Traffic
The Baha Ha Rally passing Ensenada C/o Marine Traffic
 
 
The Cubar Rally heading south
The Cubar Rally heading south
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Finally, if you know anyone who is interested in boating then here are a few Christmas present ideas for you to consider. All available at Amazon for immediate delivery.

Have you ever wanted to know what it is like to travel the world on your own boat?  “Cruising Conversations - A Million Nautical Miles and Counting”, volume one, by James Ellingford is a must read for all who dream of one day heading to sea to explore the world and it’s oceans.  This book covers interviews with people just like you, who have made the change from a land based life to sea.  These global cruisers talk openly and honestly about what it’s really like to spend their life on the water and share insights and lessons learned that only come from crossing oceans.  “Cruising Conversations - A Million Nautical Miles and Counting”, volume one, is a book that truly encapsulates what it really means to go to sea in what are, relatively small vessels that confront the power, might and absolute majesty of the open sea and it’s ever changing landscape.

 
Cruising Conversations Volume 1
Cruising Conversations Volume 1
 
From Family to Crew is the true account of James Ellingford and his family as they embark on a remarkable journey with Pendana, a beautiful vessel designed for open-ocean cruising that is docked in beautiful Bobbin Head, Broken Bay, approximately twenty nautical miles north of Sydney, Australia.   Ellingford and his wife have owned several boats over the course of their lives, but none so impressive and capable as Pendana, a Nordhavn 62.  James and his family purchased the boat and decided to write about their experiences over the first year of ownership, feeling that it would have been helpful for them if such a book was available at the time that they decided to buy Pendana.

 
From Family to Crew
From Family to Crew
 
“Cruising Conversations - A Million Nautical Miles and Counting”, volume two, by James Ellingford is a must read for all who dream of one day heading to sea to explore the world and it’s oceans.  This book follows on from the first volume in the series and again covers interviews with people just like you, who have made the change from a land based life to sea.  These global cruisers talk openly and honestly about what it’s really like to spend their life on the water and share insights and lessons learned that only come from crossing oceans.  “Cruising Conversations - A Million Nautical Miles and Counting”, volume two, is a book that truly encapsulates what it really means to go to sea in what are, relatively small vessels that confront the power, might and absolute majesty of the open sea and it’s ever changing landscape.

 
Cruising Conversations Volume 2
Cruising Conversations Volume 2
 
Ok folks that’s all for now time to grab some tacos!

Stay Safe

James


comments powered by Disqus