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Sailing with Thor
Anchored at Isla San Martin
11/11/2010, San Diego, CA

After a 21 hour passage from Ensenada, we arrived and anchored at Caletta Hassler on the island of San Martin. We had fairly good winds overnight beginning with about 10 knots from the NW. Just after sunset , the wind increased to 18 knots and Thor took off. We sailed mostly wing and wing with the jib poled out on the port side. Later in the morning, the wind became very light and switched to the southeast so we motored the last 12 miles to the island.

Isla San Martin is a remnant of an extinct volcano, about 3 miles offshore of the mainland. It is circular in shape, has a crater in the middle with twin peaks on the craters border. The whole island is composed of lava and has very little vegetation. There are no permanent residents, here, but there are lobster fisherman who live in temporary camps when they are working. The camps are nothing but old shacks put together with corrugated steel and driftwood, but they give them shelter. The lobsters that they catch are kept in holding pens in the anchorage until they are sent to market.

Leaving Ensenada
sunny, 70 degrees
11/10/2010, Ensenada, Baja California Norte

After a day of exploring (and shopping) yesterday, we have set out sights on points farther south and will be leaving today. This will be our last city destination for some time, most likely until we get to Los Cabos in 10 days or so. We plan to make several stops at anchorages along the Baja coast as we make our way south, about 700 miles to Los Cabos. Internet service will be non existent for the most part and we will be relying on the radio email for communications.

Ensenada is a cruise ship destination as evidence by the two vessels that were here during our 2 day visit.

We clear in to Mexico
sunny, 68 degrees
11/09/2010, Ensenada, Baja California Norte

Ensenda is a really nice city...not what we expected. Since our visit here 27 years ago, the city is much improved. The waterfront, especially has been changed for the better. There is a new Malecon (stone boardwalk) all along the waterfront giving access to the charter boats, the small marinas that are here and directly to the downtown area. Anchoring is prohibited in the harbor and so we took a berth at Baja Naval. Rogelio Gregg is the dockmaster and the hospitatlity could not have been better. After arriving at 8 am on Monday, we walked the 6 blocks to the CIS office for our check in to Mexico. Here is where you see Immigration, the Port Captain and Customs all in the same building, and of course pay all your fees.

The process is a little like musical booths...We arrived a little after 10 and went to Immigration and obtained our Tourist Visas. The we went to the CAJA, the cashier and paid our immigration fee. Then we went back to Immigration with the receipt where he would stamp our visas and give them to us. After Immigration, it was on to the Port Captain next to present our crew list and then back to the CAJA to pay our port fee. Then we had to get all the paperwork and copies for our Temporary Import Permit for the boat ad pay the fee for that. And finally, we went to the window for our fishing licenses and then back to the CAJA to pay for those. Then to Customs where Lorrie pushed the button and PASE came up so we just had to fill out a declaration form which was stamped and then we were on our way. All in all it was about a 3 hour process. There were 4 other crews from boats all doing the same thing with us.

After the check in process, we found a nice little open air cafe and had fish tacos, civeche, and beers for the both of us for a whopping $8. Very good food and the gal who ran the place gave us some Spanish lessons, too!

The sea lions have taken over some of the marina floats providing entertainment to people walking along the Malecon.

Hello Mexico!
overcast, 68 degrees
11/08/2010, Ensenada, Baja California Norte

After an overnight passage from San Diego, we arrived in Ensenada at daybreak. The picture is actually of Pt. Loma at sunset last night as we departed San Diego. The passage was good with a nice following wind but the seas were very confused for most of the way and we pitched and rolled wildly at times. More on the entry procedures for Mexico in tomorrow's blog.

Big boats
sunny, 70 degrees
11/06/2010, San Diego, CA

Here is in San Diego, there are lots and lots of boats. This is the largest yacht we have seen so arrived this morning and is docked just across form where we are. As a comparison, there is a 48 foot sailboat and a 50 foot cruiser on the near side. We estimate this boat is in excess of 200 feet long.

Still in San Diego
sunny, 82 degrees
11/05/2010, San Diego, CA

It seems like we haven't been doing a whole lot the last several days, but in fact we have. We've done a couple of minor repairs, tracked down and purchased some much needed parts, purchased our electronic charts for Mexico, and done some grocery shopping. I should add that although we are in an area where all boat services are very close by and within walking distance, it's not the case for groceries. The closest grocery store is a 3 mile walk (6 miles round trip and we have now made the walk three times since we have been here). Getting there is not such a problem but the return trip hauling our purchased groceries can get a little tedious especially in 100 degree heat as it was yesterday. (Yes, San Diego set a record high for yesterday of 101). But, hey, we are glad to see the sun and feel the warmth and we enjoy the walk. We also have a little rolling cart that helps quite a bit. We are in the process of making a sun cover for over the cockpit area and we did not have quite enough material. We had a store order it for us and since the store is way too far to walk for even us, we took a bus and a trolley to pick it up. San Diego has a wonderful public transportation system, one that Seattle and other cities should take a close look at. We purchased day passes for $5 each and were able to cover quite a bit of territory including a stop at San Diego's Historic Old Town. Oh, and Bill, on the way back we stopped at Filippi's Pizza Grotto in Little Italy and had a fantastic meal. Thanks for the recommendation!

We plan on leaving San Diego on Sunday evening for an overnight trip to Ensenada. We'll use Ensenada as our Port of Entry and take care of all our entry procedures there.

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Who: Marc and Lorrie Cascio
Port: Bellingham, WA
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