03 January 2007 | Encenada, Mexico
Departing San Diego on Dec 23rd was a great relief. About dusk we were finally in Mexican waters off the Coronado Islands. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a red light, in the distance. When I took a closer look, I realized it was a flair, somewhere between the North and Middle Islands. I called the US Coast Guard in San Diego, via VHF and passed on our position and what I saw, giving an approximate position of the flair. All the while we had changed course and made our way toward the sighting, with the intent to get a closer look. After passing on to the USCG that we were in Mexican waters, they told us not to worry about it, and that they contacted the Mexican Navy. By this time we had traveled several miles, and I could make out a small light next to the Middle Coronado Island. When the USCG told us to go on our way, we changed course heading south. Once we changed course, the little light flashed brightly, signaling SOS. I never thought I would actually see someone signal a real SOS. We turned around again and made our way toward the little light. Sure enough, we found a 22ft Sea Swirl powerboat, with one person aboard, no radio and a dead engine. He had been able to anchor in 80ft, but was getting tossed about quite a bit. We contacted the USCG again, letting them know what we had found. After talking with the person aboard and relaying information to the Coast Guard, we made the decision to go ahead and tow them back to San Diego, Making it clear to them it was out of our way and that we expected to be compensated for our trouble. Hey I'm nice, but not that nice! He wasn't in danger, but he was going to be there a while if we didn't do something about it. To make a long story short, we towed him back, and the Coast Guard dispatcher set us up with a place to stay for the night. It made for a long night as well, and we made just enough cash in the process to pay for our entrance to Mexico, which was good.
We set out again for Mexico on the 24th, Christmas Eve. I was determined to give Mandy Mexico for Christmas. We spent twelve hours motoring and sailing. Finally warm weather! Off Punta San Miguel, making our final approach to Bahia De Todos Santos and Encenada, I whacked two Tuna. Our first fish that we caught this whole trip! We ate one and saved the other, for Armando a friend whom we met in Sand Diego and lived in Encenada. Shortly after catching the Tuna, we were surrounded by at least a hundred dolphins, maybe more. There were so many that the water absolutely boiled with life. I grabbed the video camera and took film of twenty to thirty dolphins playing off the bow of Boreas. Then, as quickly as they came, they swam into the depths and vanished. That night we anchored in Encenada harbor, spending Christmas eve in Mexico and hearing fire works until the wee hours of the morning, and watching Christmas movies on the computer, and decorating the inside of the boat with Christmas lights. I fell asleep to the movie "A Christmas Story."
Christmas Day, we pulled out all our presents which family had given us prior to departure. This was Vianne's first Christmas. She had so much fun opening up all her presents. However, in general I think she found the paper more exciting then anything else. We ate Christmas breakfast and went ashore to contact Armando. That afternoon he and his new fiancÚ Gezel picked us up in their car and gave us the grand tour of Encenada. We ended up at Gezel's parents house and shared food. Mandy had spent the morning baking and prepared a pumpkin pie, in addition to giving them the Tuna. Gezel's Mother had leftover Tamales from Christmas dinner, which I dare say I've never tasted better! I love Mexico!
The next day we mostly cleared into customs, and trying to meet up with Ryan. It wasn't until the 27th that I was able to sort out the last of the details for clearing the boat into Mexico, and Ryan found me at the Puerto de Capitan's office, which made it much easier to add him to the crew and get everything official. After getting fuel and other supplies, which took two more days to get done, in addition to meeting other great cruisers, we finally made our departure. On every Thursday night the Restraunte Le Vendemia holds a cruisers night, only for those who have boats and are sailing through the area. It's brilliant, two for one drinks and free food! How can you beat that? While there we met up with other cruisers, Adam and Kristina from Estella and Scotty with his family aboard Petra, as well as many others whom we hope to see again down the road! As a side note to any Pirates of the Caribbean fans. If any one is looking to the Black Pearl, it's located in Encenada. No really, the actual Black Pearl that was built for the second and third movies is sitting in Encenada. Unfortunately we forgot to take the camera with us when we drove the dingy over to take a look, so I have no proof of this. You'll just have to take my word for it.