Thursday, February 26, 2015

Party Time!

In hindsight, it was a good thing we remained in Ensenada another month.  We got to get some more projects accomplished, got to visit with friends Paul & Lyn and brother Vern, and we were fortunte enough to be able to enjoy the Ensenada Carnaval!

The crew of Shakedown became "officially" old, as we both are now under the Medicare umbrella.  Of course, we are not covered, as we are no longer in the U.S., but we still have the privelege of paying Part B premiums...h-m-m-m.  But we enjoyed our birthdays nonetheless.  We also found out that all the new year-long prescriptions we received after our annual physicals in San Diego, all are for naught.  Attempted to have one bottle of an Rx shipped to Ensenada from our mail forwarding service in Seattle.  We tracked its progress.  Got stuck at the Customs office in Tiajuana.  We patiently waited a week to see if it would break loose and complete the last 60 miles of its trip, but, after checking with the local FedEx office, found that the package had been returned to San Diego, and ultimately ended up back in Seattle.  The spigot at the mail-order Rx pharmacy has been turned off, and we have begun the search for replacement prescriptions.  Apparently, Mexico frowns on ANY drugs being shipped in from the States....wonder if the States are reciprocating...

Paul Flyr and Lyn Smith, from Port Angeles/Sequim, WA area dropped in for a visit during the last weekend in January.  We had a great visit and got to watch the Superbowl together at Tequilas Bar.  What a game!  They've promised to come down and visit us after we get to La Paz. 

Displaying the Port Angeles Yacht Club Burgee
Superbowl Sunday at Tequillas

Our neighbor, Bill, residing on his sailboat "Tyee" (and had just turned 80) drove us around town and enjoyed showing us some of the things we had not yet seen in this town.  We went to the Globus marketplace and walked around this "permanent" flea and farmer's market.  It was like walking into one miniature Goodwill after another.  Lots of used clothing, shoes, belts, bedding, furniture, you-name-it-they-got-it.  Was quite entertaining and we even purchased a couple of items (haggling is a must) to take back to the boat with us, including some locally grown fresh veggies. 

Spent a couple of days doing some trip planning down the Baja California coast, as we plan to head out of here on Sunday, March 1st.  Found approximately 25 places to stop for an overnight, or longer, so the conservative estimate to get to La Paz is about 30 days (or the entire month of March).  As with everything else concerning the cruising life, nothing is set in stone.  Everything is preliminary, and we will follow the dictates of weather and other ocean conditions...

Our neighbor Bill informed us that he had to make a short (couple of days) road trip to San Diego on the 8th, and we asked if we could hitch a ride.  He was happy to oblige and have some company.  We hit the road Sunday morning, the 8th of Feb., stopping at three toll booths ($2.20 each) and a 7-11 in Rosarita prior to arriving at the border.  Thankfully, it being still Sunday morning, the border crossing was very quick (about a 15 minute wait).  We met up with brother Vern in Chula Vista (where Bill's son lived) and headed up to Vern's place in Poway.  Did some shopping at the usual places (Costco, Walmart, Target, Trader Joes, Marine Exchange, etc.).  Exhausting work!  We got back to the boat on Wednesday, and unloaded our where to store it all...
At Vern's house with Oliver (the 4-legged one)

The annual Ensenada Carnaval started the following day (12th) and ran through Fat Tuesday, the 17th.  There were three parades (Sat, Sun, and Tue) and we were lucky enough to see all three.  The parade theme appeared to be Hollywood and the Oscars.  Almost every float was created with one or the other in mind. We also walked out to where the Carnaval (rides, food, beverages, bands) was set up.  It was a HUGE party, to say the least.  

The crowds gathering along parade route
Just to make sure nobody starves watching the parade

Both main and mizzen sails got new/replaced reefing lines installed, as the first ones ended up being just a little too short to comfortably tie a slip knot with.  But both sails are now in great shape and ready to grab some wind soon.  

Since the fresh water supplied by the dock faucets is not considered "drinking water", we didn't want to fill our tanks with it, so we asked Enrique, at the dockmaster's office, to order a delivery of bottled (5 gal/20 liter) water.  A truck came by, brought 11 bottles of water dockside, and proceeded to fill our tanks, five gallons at a time.  We guessed right, and exactly 10 bottles (50 gals) topped off our tanks.  The 11th bottle emptied into one of our portable 7-gal jugs.  The entire bill was 209 Pesos ($14.41).  

The Valve
While finally getting around to completing the watermaker installation, the realization that we didn't have the "final piece" (a 3-way valve) to complete it sent the Captain into frenzy-mode.  A quick couple of text messages to factory located the appropriate piece in Escondido, CA (not far from brother Vern's) but no way to get it from there to our boat.  After some careful maneuvering and cajoling, a plan emerged and put into gear.  

Road Trip!  We got on a bus on Sunday morning (22nd) and 90 minutes later, we were in Tiajuana.  Got into a cab and were dropped off in front of Hotel Ceasar (locally known as Ceasar's Palace).  This was where we were to meet Vern and "The Valve".  Vern had driven up to Escondido the day prior and retrieved the part.  

At the Ensenada Bus Depot

Tickets to Ride!
Looking towards the U.S. Border

We had lunch at Ceasar's, where ostensibly, the Ceasar Salad was "invented", sometime back in the late 1800's by the original proprietor of the hotel (oddly enough, named Mr. Ceasar, of Italian extraction).  We had fun, but had to head back to the bus station for the return trip.  We were back at the boat by 6:15 pm and spent some time admiring the 3-way valve.

Preparing the Ceasar Salad at our table

Son Steven turned another year older yesterday, but he tells us he only feels a day older.  We agree with that concept.  Have a couple more projects to wrap up before this weekend's planned departure, so this wraps up the current Blog update.  Will continue updating if, and as, we find the next wifi hotspot.....

Finally got around to installing the dinghy wheels we'd purchased some few months ago while still in San Diego.  Had to remove both lifting rings, fill in the holes, drill eight new holes, attach wheel brackets, and re-locate and re-mount the lifting rings.  Only ended up as a three-day project.  But hopefully, when we take to dink to the beach, we'll be able to get it up the beach far enough to keep it safe.

Wheels in "up" position.  Outboard motor fits between them.

Project done right at the dock...
We were in the local liquor store and noticed some posters hung up just below the ceiling and decided this one was a really good representation of what the Ensanada harbor looks like.  We are in the small marina right behind (above) the cruise liners.  The other small marinas are located along the shore in upper left side of poster. 

This is most likely the last posting from Ensenada.  We've enjoyed it here, meeting people, both locals and cruisers.  Had a chance to unwind a bit, but are now looking forward to continuing our adventures as we head south.  Until next time....