Another Day in Ensenada #1

Another Day in Ensenada #1


There is no way to write about a typical day for a cruiser here in Ensenada. So here is one example:

            Up at 7 for a quick breakfast of cereal and fruit. Met Ron and Susana (Gold Eagle) and Stephan (O Dadis) on the Malecon (seaside walkway) at 8 am. Ron drove us about 30 miles north to check out another Marina (Marina Salinas). Salinas is more isolated from Ensenada than the other Marinas. We had hoped the price might be lower and the surge less of a problem. Turns out the price is not that great, and the distance and isolation would be problematic for us. The subjective analysis: we don’t like the feel of it. But it was good to check it out, and lots of fun in the car with good company. On the way back, we stopped at a store that sells only coffee, mainly to commercial enterprises. It’s a tiny store and it specializes also in the mixes that are used to make frappe-those frozen ice drinks that are so popular here.

            Back to the boat about 10 am. Tony and I had a snack and then walked over to the end of the bay where the fisherman congregate. We were looking for a certain haul-out place we had been told about. We walked and asked and asked and walked, and didn’t seem to be able to get an understanding or an answer from the locals. (In the Spanish for Cruisers book, the word “travel-lift” is the same (trah-veh-leeft), but it didn’t seem to ring any bells with anyone. Just as we were about to give up, and talking about asking Gary (Sparkle) for more specific direction, we looked up, and there was Gary! He took us to the right place. The person we needed to talk to was not there, so we left our info. with the pleasant (English speaking) office lady and headed back to the boat. Tony did some more dockside consultation while I put together a quick lunch of Vietnamese salad rolls (the last of the rice wrappers and some homemade bean sprouts). A short siesta and reading spree, and suddenly it was 3 pm. Off to the Marine store to try to find stainless steel nuts and bolts. We were most impressed with the materials available just a few minutes walk from our marina. The price was excellent-cheaper than the US or Canada (about $20 US for 4 large bolts with nuts and washers), and the service was perfect.

            Back to the boat, and I went walking with our hand cart to buy water. The water refill store is just a couple of blocks away, and it’s so much fun to greet and chat with the locals along the way—the young man who paints the sidewalks brick red- oh-so-proud of his latest job, young families with spinning tops, the young women who clean the outdoor telephone booths, wiping the buttons and receivers with disinfectant, the mariachis gathering for the evening’s work.

            Two five-litre water bottles were filled for 4 pesos (about 40 cents). That includes filling, drying the bottles and loading them into my bags.

            3 pm, back at the boat, Tony is about to head out with Gary and his son, Spike (yes—named after Spike Africa). They are going to look at the space Spike has offered for the building of the bowsprit. Spike mentions that there is a great supermarket right next to his house, so I tag along.

            Spike and Gary have been living in Mexcio for years and both speak fluent Spanish. It would take a whole big book to tell the story of these two amazing sailors.

            Spike’s house is at the other end of Ensenada, so we get a great tour of the town, in places we haven’t seen yet—an area of 2nd hand stores and markets, and a view of the surrounding hills. Spike’s place is tiny, but a magical and wonderful little hide-away. Hours pass and we have only begun to comprehend the depth ad breadth of this young man’s imagination, skill, knowledge and ability.

            Hung all around on the ceiling are model airplanes—but model airplanes to surpass any inventor’s wildest dreams. Spike has been developing these planes and using them for aerial photography at a very sophisticated level. Tony was in heaven talking with Gary and Spike about aerodynamics and inventions and all of the aspects of sailing and flying that interest all three of them. We heard some of the amazing stories of the family adventures in Mexico. We shared lots of laughs about mistakes you can make when you are learning a new language and culture (eg embarrassoso means embarrassed, while embarassado means pregnant—perhaps sometimes meaning the same thing, but not always!).  I took a trip to the grocery store and returned to find that the conversationcontinued at a lively rate. Spike offered us a shower (much appreciated-hot water with great water pressure—better than the fancy hotel) and there was some talk about the building of the bowsprit. Suddenly, it was 9 pm. Time to get back to the Marina. On the way home, we stopped at a little Mexican Restaurant for some food. A tutorial on the difference between flautas and tacos and empenadas, all food, while empanas are pawn shops (There are more pawn shops here than I understood—good to get that cleared up). Some rice milk, beer and limone. More laughs and more philosophy. 

            It had been an action-filled day, and once again, our brains were full with new information, new words in Spanish, and a greater understanding of the culture here. And our hearts were full of appreciation for the folks we are meeting in this cruising life. You have to feel more positive about life and the world, when you continue to meet people like Gary and Spike!

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