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Monday, 12 May 2014

Haul-out in Ensenada

On arrival in Ensenada, the efficient marina manager made copies of our various customs and immigration documents and bound them into the exact form the various officials would want to see.  He dismissed our 'outbound clearance' document issued by US customs in San Diego advising us that it was now only required for vessels over 500 tonnes. Good that we did not know that!  We would have missed all our delightful experiences in San Diego.

After getting 'partially lost' walking the waterfront streets, we eventually found our way to the port captain's office. Mercifully, unlike in a few of the countries we have visited, immigration, customs, a government bank and the port captain were all in the same waiting room of the same building.  Little time was required to get back out of the building with stamped passports and all the other required pieces of paper.

As always in a new marina, little time had passed before we met some of the other sailors.
Many hands make light work

Sam's boat was in the next slip. Sam's wife fell in love with this fine boat of classic design which displays masses of 'brightwork' - beautifully varnished wood - both inside and out. Her busy life as a psychiatrist in the interior of the US leaves her little time for sailing on the Mexican coast so during his greater supply of time-off, Sam invites his friend Leo to help him sail.  Leo is an ex-plumber/handyman and talented cook; Sam develops high tech devices [which can't be named] for lettered government agencies with an aversion to publicity. [there's some poetic licence in how we tell this!].
Crossing the promenade

Robert, on a different boat, is also from the US.  He plans to sail to the South Pacific when his boat is ready.  He glides, sails, repairs electronics in aircraft and like many others we have met is very talented and thoroughly likable.  Of course we are here to have our boat painted so the fine paint job on Robert's boat, done by the folks here at Baja Naval boatyard, is quite reassuring.
Virgen del Carmen

Today, three days ahead of our reservation made many months ago, the boatyard staff appeared precisely at 8am and boarded our boat to help us over to the lift.  It was one of the most painless lifts we have ever experienced. There were a few more hands than needed  rather than a few less than ideal  (as is so often the case).  The fine waterside promenade which graces the shore in this small city was closed briefly as we crossed it into the yard under the watchful eyes of the statue of 'Nuestra Virgen del Carmen' who blesses all ships and sailors.

Tired Propeller
High and Dry
We now sit high above the harbor waters. Our propeller has already been removed and sent away for refurbishing after 7000 hours of faithfully churning through the water.  The propeller and prop-shaft are the last two items to be put right after our drive train and vibration problems of last summer.

Tomorrow the dust, noise and smell of sanding and other painting preparation will start and so we will vacate our [usually] floating home in favor of a motel to avoid all the fuss.  Mary Anne has already settled into life here by joining a gym and is searching out Spanish lessons.

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