Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sunny San Diego and Baja Bound

     The Baja Ha Ha Cruisers are starting to arrive in preparation for the 130 boat rally south to Cabo San Lucas on Oct.24th. Our plan is to slip out of the harbour ahead of the gang, and get to in La Paz at the end of the month. In the meantime we have met up with good friends (and newlyweds) Grayce, from back home in Victoria, and her husband Tripp, who graciously invited us to their home, with a stellar view of the entire San Diego Bay area, for a good old Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, and an American Columbus Day celebration and a sumptuous meal it was! Rib-eye steaks , yorkshires and mash. Daragh was in his element. We have also made the acquaintance of Karen the doggy groomer at Doggy Deluxe, where Georgie spent the day getting spiffed up for the Mexican dogs. She left us with a very handsome pooch and a bag of Persimmons from her tree, no extra charge.
     We have relocated next door at another spiffy yacht club, the SouthwesternYC, and Daragh is busy emptying his pockets at the mecca of marine stores in the area, a sailors paradise! Later we took a well-deserved respite from life at sea and spent a pampered evening with Daragh's aviator friend and partner in crime, Ivor, and his wife Deann, and devoted companions Maverick and Sophie, the family Retrievers, at Rancho Santa Fe, a pastoral setting nestled in the hills outside of San Diego. The socializing has been a pleasant diversion from preparing the boat for the trip south to Mexico. Grayce assisted me with provisioning  food and supplies, while Daragh spent the day at Shelter Island buying such essential gadgetry as 'Flopper Stoppers'.
        On Saturday, after an invigorating sail in the harbour with new arrivals Colin and Dora, the last of the Irish contingent surfaced, Joey, and we were whisked off to his lovely beach house at Oceanside for a final night of revelry before heading off. Our closing day in beautiful San Diego was spent scrubbing decks, cleaning the cabins, replacing the dinghy prop, and generally completing last minute preparations. We had a farewell burger and bevy in the SDYC chartroom with Kim and Tom, who had just arrived on 'Exit Strategy'. So great to see our pals from RVYC and the BCA Fleet back in Victoria, whom we had shared our dreams and plans with so many months before. Alas we could dally no longer, the sea was calling us back.
         October 19th, we set out once again on the next chapter of 'The Voyage of Chantey', hoping yet again for fair winds and following seas, as we crossed over the border into Mexico.
         Ensenada, our first port of entry, marked a day shrouded in red tape and bureaucracy. The day started with a nice bracing cold shower as the local plumbing left a lot to be desired, and of course, the language barrier is challenging at best. One can only apologize with 'no hablo Espanol, muchos gracias', so often, while absorbing the blank, bored stare of the sales clerk. Time to get out of our comfort zone!  We spent most of the day roving from one government department to the next , and paying the ubiquitous 'fees' at 'Immigracion' in an attempt to clear customs. Actually, most of the people have been very helpful and tolerant of us Gringos who ought to know a little more Spanish. We are on our extra-good behaviour since we have crossed the border , especially after observing the ominous presence of the Mexican military, notably, the adolescent boys in fatigues wielding semi-automatic machine guns! As the afternoon drew to a lazy close, we hoisted the mainsail and set course for a double-overnighter to Cedros Island, and then on toTurtle Bay, Baja. Til' Mañana........
Adios Amigos!

May the road rise with you
And the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rain fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What an awesome trip you are having.
    It's great that you had a visit with Grayce and Tripp.
    Happy sailing. I'm enjoying your blog.
    Felt like it might snow this morning.
    Cheers, Sandy