After our aborted departure on October 30th due both to a stabilizer issue and then 50 knots wind reports telling us to stay in port, we had a lazy afternoon with a nice lunch courtesy of Sean (thanks Sean!) at the Kona Kai resort next to the Police Dock. It was a beautiful day, although we did feel a bit like we were in limbo.
The next morning we were up and out and successfully made it to Mexico. The winds were still gusting up to 35 knots for a few hours with big waves and we took a lot of water over the bow and port side, but we had secured everything well and rode it out into Ensenada. The winds had another effect which was fires – we saw several large fires on our way down the coast, including one that seemed to have started spontaneously as we passed with huge amounts of black smoke suddenly pouring off the hillside. On our way into the Ensenada harbor there were fires on the shore – we could see firefighters actively fighting them.
In Ensenada Marina Coral staff took us to town to the Customs and Immigration offices, as well as the Port Captain. It was hopping there as this is prime season to enter Mexico by boat. We had to check ourselves into the country and obtain a Temporary Import Permit (or TIP) for the boat. The TIP allows us to have the boat in the country for 10 years. They ask for a list of equipment on the boat and serial numbers of the engines. If you do not get a TIP, the government has the right to confiscate your boat. It seems similar to the US process of registration and tax collection. In this case no tax payments are required.
There was some confusion over names. The boat documentation has Jr. listed next to Larry’s name, which he never noticed was there, but it’s not on his passport. Much confusing discussion in Spanish and English ensued about where the owner, his son, was (we do not have a son), and us telling them the boat is named after our daughter. Hijo versus Hija and lots of perplexed faces all around. In the end, we reached comprehension and the officials decided I would be listed as the sole boat owner on the TIP to avoid any problems with the mismatched Jr. Larry seems ok with that for the moment.
That evening there was a spectacular seafood feast for us hosted by Marina Coral. They obviously specialize in all types of ceviche and oysters cooked with various toppings. I ate until I felt like I would explode. We listened to a lecture by a professor who is part of a conservation group kayaking the entire Baja peninsula to bring awareness to the history and environmental gems of Baja. It sounded somewhat harrowing at times with the huge Pacific swell! Topped off the evening with the best margarita I have ever experienced – no mix used here, and churros, a classic Mexican dessert.