- Anna Welscott
Good Bye San Diego....Hello Mexico!
Bienvenido a Mexico y Feliz Ano Nuevo!: Welcome to Mexico and Happy New Year!
After replacing our motor and testing it out multiple times, it was time for us to pack up, provision, and look for a good weather window to set sail to Mexico! We had been in San Diego for 10 months and we had really enjoyed our time there, however it was time for us to move on with our adventure. We met some amazing people that we will remain lifelong friends with!
We were so fortunate to have bought Karuna in San Diego! We were able take advantage of the awesome year-around weather and we were thankful that we didn't buy somewhere that had cold weather to contend with! Although we were there in the thick of COVID, we were still able to enjoy our time. I think we did miss out on some experiences due to COVID restrictions, but we figure we will be back some day and we can make up for lost time.
As we were getting close to the end of the engine install we started looking at departure dates. On numerous occasions we set a date to leave, only to push it back due to mechanic related issues or weather. It started to get humorous on the docks as we would say goodbye to people, only to see them the next day because we couldn't leave for one reason or another. I think some of our marina neighbors weren't sure if we ever would leave.
Doug's parents drove their motor-home from Michigan, for an extended visit in November. It was great to have them there and we appreciated all that they did to help us get ready to leave: sewing projects, boat projects, emotional support, driving us around, and amazing meals!
There is a lot of preparation that goes into leaving the dock for extended cruising, especially when leaving the country. We heard that getting parts in Mexico and beyond is quite difficult so we had to go through every system we have on-board and create a spare parts list, just in case we needed to fix something along the way (which is bound to happen!!). We have everything from various re-build kits to a spare water pump. We have extra hoses, clamps, gaskets, engine parts, port hole glass, and everything in between. We sold our car back in September and relied on biking and walking, with the occasional use of a marina neighbor's car; which added a layer of complexity to getting everything we needed. We had most items shipped to us, but we both were running multiple trips to get everything we needed.
Along with all the spare parts and extra tools, we also keep enough food on-board for multiple months. We also have 170 servings of emergency freeze-dried food, which we hope we never have to use. To make packing more complicated we had a storage unit at the marina packed full with our bikes, a life raft, sewing machine and other parts for miscellaneous projects that we plan to tackle as we travel. It was overwhelming, and at times seemed impossible to get everything packed. We have filled every drawer, cabinet, locker, and shelf that Karuna has to offer!!
After deciding on a departure date of Monday, December 28th we did our final chores: laundry, grocery shopping, meal prep, parts run, and also had our favorite burger from Mitch's. A few days beforehand, we decided to postpone due to a winter storm that was coming through. The storm was bringing lots of rain, wind, and swells so we decided to let it pass and leave Tuesday, December 29th.
We left in the evening to arrive in Ensenada, Mexico in daylight. We estimated that it would take 15 hours. Our fantastic marina friends came to see us off: thanks to Vice Admiral Dixon and Kiki, Lucinda (Jason was there in spirit as he was heading to Ensenada for a boat delivery), and Kelsi and Lawrence (and Bella too). It was way more emotional saying goodbye than I thought! There were many tears: happy, sad, excited, and nervous! We officially pushed off the dock at 19:10. On our way out of the marina, we had some other neighbors, Brad and Mark & Yuri, waving from their boats. It was bitter sweet to leave Sun Harbor Marina.
There was a full moon, which made for a bright night! Once getting into the ocean, there was some left over swell from the storm that had just passed, so it made for a rolly trip. We were in 9 foot swells, coming every 11 seconds on our starboard front quarter. We raised the sails around 21:00 as we had been motoring since there was little wind. Doug had to go forward a couple times to deal with some issues, which is never fun...for either of us! Doug tethers in when he goes forward, however when it's dark and rolly,it's a bit stressful. Once things settled down, I went down below to sleep for a couple hours. After getting some rest I relieved Doug from his watch and I took over the helm, so we could get some sleep. We settled into our watches, and the sun was rising before we knew it.
We made it in 15.5 hours, arriving on December 30th, and we were excited to get into port. As I mentioned our friend, Jason, was on his way down to Ensenada to deliver a boat back to San Diego, and the timing was perfect as he was able to catch our lines as we pulled into the Curiseport Village Marina!!
The check-in process took us two days. The marina fees include an agent who help with immigration and checking-in with the port captain, which is awesome. We had to make some corrections on our TIP (temporary import permit), so it was great to have someone helping us along.
We don't have a departure date on when we plan to leave Ensenada. We are enjoying our time here and tackling a couple small boat projects. We have great internet and the weather is in the 70s and soon to be 80s, so we can't complain! For now we are settling in a bit, exploring, and practicing our Spanish.
**A big shout out to Jason & Lucinda and Kelsi & Lawrence for helping us in our final days at the Marina before leaving! Thank you, thank you!!!**