Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ensenada to Bahia de Tortugas

     Sailing from San Diego to Ensenada gave us time to adjust to leaving the land of big box stores. There's always a moment of trepidation when leaving familiar places, but it passed. Sailing with unfamiliar people to new places challenges more than just navigating skills. Privacy on a small boat is a figment of the imagination. I'm traveling with a couple of guys in a place the size of a large walk in closet. But something interesting happens when safety and comfort depend on the good will of others. Fortunately the petty nonsense, that would be irritating in other circumstances, takes a back seat. We don't have a lot in common, aside from wanting to sail to Mexico. But we each have valuable skills to contribute and they are the kind of people who will look out for me, which builds more trust than similarity might. That said, if we were all actually living in a closet, instead of a sailboat harbor hopping down an inhospitable coast, we'd probably shriek like howler monkeys after a week. As it is we're still having fun. 
     A school of dolphins escorted us out of Ensenada Harbor and a pair of gray whales met us at the entrance to Turtle Bay. In between (and I'll make an effort not to bore people silly with details of weather, sail changes and nautical miles logged) we saw some mighty fine sailing. The man who answered the VHF radio in Turtle Bay from his shack on the pier offered to sell us fuel. Turns out he's the Port Captain as well. The yapping dog that lives in an appropriately tiny dog house at the far end of the pier was introduced as el policia. His impressive under bite, the dog's not the man's, made his bark seem more like a plea to be taken seriously than a threat to keep people away. The town, a dusty treeless burg over a hundred miles by dirt road from the main highway, is rocking with Carnaval this week. Last night police cars with lights flashing lead a truck with a band playing loud fast music through town, followed by dancing revelers. Women dressed like men with painted beards and mustaches grabbed us for a dance in the street as the party swept by. I was sorely tempted to jump into the crowd of costumed fun loving folk and let the nachos fall where they may, but good sense prevailed. We returned to the boat and listened to wild music drifting across the bay. Just to say, places like Walnut Creek would be far more fun with the cut loose attitude we've seen at Carnaval, but I still marginally regret behaving like I grew up there by going to bed long before the party ended.
     To see more pictures and read Steve's blog (the boat owner and skipper) please visit sailblogs.com/member/sibon/, as usual I'm not in many pictures because I take most of them, but that's just fine with me.

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