Monday, November 18, 2013

Hello San Diego... Hello Mexican Border!

Sound Discovery (and our Walker Bay) in Oxnard, Channel Islands Marina
It's finally here: the Mexican border is just a short hop and a skip away!

Clif and I arrived into San Diego on Saturday afternoon, bombarded by an overwhelming amount of sail boats just playing around in the bay. There were large, beautiful sailboats racing around buoys, yachts out of a cocktail pleasure crusie, smaller cruisers (like us) making their way into a marina, tiny dinghies tacking back and forth in between boats, and even a huge tanker, slowly inching its way through the chaos-- all sailboats moving out of the shipping lane for the monster to pass by.

San Diego has a great number of marinas, varying in price, size and amenities. We spent a large part of Saturday calling marinas, while under sail, and asking about availability. We finally found a decently priced small marina near the airport, Point Loma Marina, which also happened to have a small "tavern" located at the top of the ramp... how convenient.

Clif and I said goodbye to both his parents and our friend Andy in Oxnard on Wednesday evening. We took off, out of the Channel Islands Marina early before dawn on Thursday morning. We motored and sailed a long 60-mile day to Catalina Island, mooring up in Avalon Beach. Unfortunately, since we got there at night, we were less than exciting about putting the Walker Bay dinghy in the water and going ashore. Dinner and sleep was much more alluring. We took our time in the morning, leaving after it got light, and began motoring towards Oceanside (directly across from Catalina on the mainland, south of LA). The weather had picked up through out the day, which was anticipated. The wind waves and swell were a little too big to be fun. The wind was great for sailing, but out starboard spreader (supporting the shrouds and the mast) was sagging, and we wanted to avoid any more "sag," so we stuck to motoring. After motoring through the slop, tossing around all day, we got into Oceanside before dark.

In Oceanside, I helped hoist Clif up the mast to adjust the spreader, which was an easy fix. I made him hang out there for a bit to do a photo shoot, for your viewing pleasure...

Climbing monkey up the mast...

Thankfully on Saturday the wind and waves calmed down a bit and we were able to sail and motor our way down to San Diego. My Dad flew into San Diego later that evening, meeting us at the Marina! We are not only excited about our long-awaited entrance into Mexico, but also the fact that my dad gets to join us on the whole voyage down the Baja. No doubt we have tons a marine life viewing in store, some good fishing and a little more sunshine.

We spent yesterday running errands and crossing items off of my long Mexico to-do list, including purchasing Mexican fishing licenses, replacing some navigation lights, stocking up on dry goods and sunscreen, and testing out some fun inflatable SUP (Stand-up paddle) boards. No purchases of boards have been made, but we definitely had fun testing them out in the marina.

Xtra-tuffs drying out on the dock in Oxnard.
As far as our schedule goes, we will be leaving this afternoon to exit San Diego and cruise the 65 miles down to Ensenada through the night, arriving there tomorrow morning to do our "yachtistas" border crossing. We will most likely spend a full day in Ensenada making sure we have all of our paper work in order and we are good to go. After there, there's not a whole lot until Cabo, besides some beautiful coastline and small fishing villages. We'd like to enjoy the experience as much as possible, without rushing, but we will be arriving in Cabo San Lucas between Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving) and Dec. 1st. We will keep the tracker going, leaving points every couple of hours and continuing our trend of sending "We're OK!" messages in the early evening (if you're on the email list).

Our Mexican flag is ready to hoist, we're stocked up on rice and beans, and I bought some cheap beach towels... I think we're about ready!

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