Exploring Ensenada

Hello! I, Karis, and the rest of us have all been postponing this update because we all thought that we’d be able to write that we were at a new port. Unfortunately, we are still here in Ensenada. The reason for this overextended stay is twofold, first, there was a significant storm coming in a day or two after we arrived in port, and so we decided to weather it in the marina instead of running from it down the coast. After that, Dad, in a routine check on the engine, smelled coolant. This was a significant enough problem that we would not take the risk of leaving our slip until we knew what was wrong and had fixed it. So Dad has daily transformed himself into a greasy pretzel around the engine hunting for the leak.

In the meantime, we slowly but surely explored Ensenada. During the very first outing to a grocery store (I know, not exactly thrilling), I was a bit overwhelmed at the culture-shock, albeit slight. But when I stepped into the Calimax I breathed a sigh of relief, I may not speak the language, have a penny on me, or know how to get back to the marina, but I knew my way around a grocery store. We muddled our way through the checkout – our already small Spanish vocabulary was feeling very, very inadequate, and we quickly resolved to having a more thorough look at numbers past 20. We walked the few blocks home only to remember the security guard who was on duty to only admit people going to and from the cruise ships docked in the same compound. Nobody had minded us leaving, and fortunately, we were allowed back in with a flurry of gesticulation and some toddler level communication.

HUGE Mexican flag on display for Carnival

The next day while outside working on a finicky windlass, we met many of the other cruisers on our dock, and we learned about a local radio net each morning on VHF. Now you uninformed landlubbers probably don’t have the slightest idea what a radio net is, so I’ll enlighten you. Sometimes, on long range Ham radios people set up a net where at a specific time, people listen in and, in turn, talk or discuss whatever was planned. This is the same concept only on a different radio system that is legally required on all US vessels. We listened in and we heard news on the weather and tides and also some tips on boaty stuff. Each day, if you are listening, you are supposed to call in the name of your boat, and it became a running joke that no one could hear our name correctly. Our name changed to Salt & Lake, Sultan Light, Falcon Light and others. Every one of us tried checking in in the hopes that a different voice would do the trick, but to no avail. Let’s just say laughter is a good antidote to frustration.

View of Ensenada harbor, our boat/marina is behind the cruise ship

On a sunny day after the storm, we needed a break from engine work and decided on a hike up a tall hill overlooking the ocean. Remember, we do not have a car, so even before the hike we had to walk a good distance to get to the base of the hill, which was both steep and tall. It was a rewarding climb though, considering the spectacular view down over the expansive city and windswept pacific. Another more necessary walk we took was to the Home Depot to buy bolts for the engine, and that was a long, long, walk. On the way we saw preparations for the Carnival that was to begin later that afternoon and last through the next day. We saw some of it and its parade the next day, and the crowds were thick despite steady rain.

The colorful Carnival parade from a distance

We met quite a few boaters in a monthly cruisers potluck last Friday, including Jan and Chuck who reacquainted us with the card game pinochle, amid laughter, stories, and not too subtle hints. Another sailor we met was Gary, who built his own beautiful sailboat, and now has downsized to building exquisite model sailboats which are fully functional and very pretty. They are so interesting, in fact, that Toby and I are thinking about making one ourselves. Also we’ve enjoyed trying new restaurants that have made me want to figure out just what they put in those fish tacos that make them that good! All in all, we’ve had a good time exploring Ensenada.

Model sail boat, sailing away

11 thoughts on “Exploring Ensenada”

  1. Sounds like you are having a great time along with some challenges. Fun to read your updates. Please wish your Mother a HAPPY BIRTHDAY on March 1st from Gordy and I.

  2. It sounds like your adventure continues to be fun, as well as frustrating, with the weather and the boat throwing curve balls your way. Hopefully the fun, excitement and anticipation of future sailings outweigh the frustration.

    I continue to pray for you daily. I love you all.

  3. Love hearing all your doings! Isaac and David were at Hume Lake this past weekend, with Caleb H. there as well. Isaac said how much they wished Toby could have been there too. Just so he knows he is missed! Praying for your engine! Did you figure it all out? Sending hugs to all of you!

  4. Karis,
    Wonderful entry! Made me smile learning about your latest adventures. We miss you all and are thrilled you’re doing well and enjoying the trip.
    God Bless you all!
    Rosa Lee

  5. I love these posts. Missing you. Envious of the adventure. Pray for me as I hit 6 Mediterranean port cities in 8 days this weekend and next. The trip is to set up partnerships for the African migrant crisis in Europe.

  6. That was SO much fun, Karis! Thanks for taking the time for the nice long post, the pics, and especially the laughs. (Under the circumstances, I think “Sultan Light” is my favorite.) I love that you let so much of who you are come through in your writing. Of course, as Grandma, I’m just a little biased, but I can see the expressions on your face, hear your voice and see your body language. So, hugs to all: the Calimax Queen; the future boat-maker Toby missed by his buds at camp; the tall, I-just-want-to-SAIL, greasy pretzel; and the Birthday Girl (who needs to stop running into ladders). I miss you, each one, and know God will send you on your way south when the time is just right – maybe not perfect, but just right! Love!!!! (that’s four exclamation points – get it?)

  7. You do not know me, but I’m an old friend of Nini’s. (Since 5th grade). I’m enjoying hearing of your adventures and look forward to future texts. Thanks for letting me “sail” along.

  8. Karis honey,
    Thank you for sharing your very entertaining and elucidating perspective on Ensenada. What a talented writer you are!. Isn’t God wonderful in bringing a storm that kept you all safe in harbor while your pa figures out the engine snafu!??! That would be somewhat more stressful to be exploring while out at sea! I’m just sayin’ …
    Love to Toby and your parents from me. (Thank you, Kristin for email. Meant alot!).
    PS: Can’t wait to see what comes of your inspiration to build a model sailboat.

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