For those who like chronological order, here’s a spoiler alert, we are now in Esenada Mexico. The holidays and boat departure preparations robbed me of time to post regarding our transit from Newport Beach to San Diego and some great times in San Diego. Future posts will flash back to those halcyon days. Our 60 mile passage to Ensenada was uneventful. We left San Diego at sunset and motor sailed under light winds staying 6-9 miles off shore. We arrived with sunrise at Baja Naval Marina. Clearing customs took most of the morning. Although the process is pretty well organized in one location, we still needed to be sharp to follow the process (a bit difficult after night watches). Aside from a funny reference in one of the receipts to our home port being in the Caiman Islands, things look fine. We enjoyed fish tacos and garlic shrimp at a stand near the fish market and watched Captain Phillips at the local cinema. Today we head down to Bahia Tortuga (two days at sea). We will likely be out of contact for the next several days.
Feliz nuevo ano.
Our sojourn in Newport Beach was a wonderful three month stay. Eric was able to use his firm’s Irvine office to wrap up his legal practice. We both enjoyed being a short drive from our daughter Jean in Irvine, sailing to Catalina Island, being part of the harbor scene on a variety of moorings, taking long beach walks, and watching the seasons change from Halloween, to Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The season’s changes were not marked by weather, which remained sunny and warm, but by the changing decorations on Balboa Island. We ended our Newport Beach stay with both of our daughters sailing with us south to Dana Point to begin our move to San Diego.
This entrepreneur would regularly drive past Elizabeth Jean. The ski doo forces water through the boots of the customer, allowing her to levitate above the water surface (don’t try this at home ;-)).
Our mooring area also served as the race area for one the local yacht club’s racing program. They start young in the area. Two locals are contending for the U.S. Olympic sailing team.
Our visit to Catalina Island coincided unexpectedly with Buccaneers weekend. We didn’t get the memo and were one of the few boats in the harbor without a pirate flag burgee.
This huge catamaran, rumored to belong to Richard Branson, was a fixture in our mooring field. Oh well, there goes the neighborhood.
Halloween decorations on Balboa Island
Christmas decorations on Balboa Island
A short distance from our mooring field was this great bike path. Out of view to Eulalie’s left is the Pacific Ocean.
The beach view’s were glorious, regardless the time of day.
After shaking down Elizabeth Jean and ourselves we are ready to venture into foreign waters. We plan to depart San Diego for Baja Mexico in the next week. Those curious about our last 3 months in Southern California stay tuned over the next couple of days for a flurry of posts that will bring our travels up to date.
In our travels thus far, we –as did Blanche Dubois–have benefited from the kindness of strangers. For example, Shani (a friend of our daughter Jean) put us in touch with her friend Jerry, who lined up moorage for us in Newport Beach. Jerry’s wife Annie invited Lal on hikes, yoga on the beach, and to go paddle boarding. Similarly, after mooring off of 11th Street on Balboa Peninsula and coming to the beach with our dinghy for almost two months we got to know Barbara and Steve Barnard. After inviting them for cocktails on Elizabeth Jean, they reciprocated with a wonderful evening at the Newport Beach Yacht Club. There we enjoyed cocktails, the buffet, and a dazzling presentation by the crew of the Astor on the Fife Regatta. For an account of the Newport Beach Fife Regatta see our previous December 22 post. We are learning that strangers are just new best friends in disguise. We look forward to paying forward these many kindnesses as we proceed and look forward to meeting more new best friends.
Our new friends, Steve and Barbara Barnard, hosted us for an evening at the Newport Beach Yachtclub. The evening provided a high energy introduction to Newport Beach’s sailing legend Astor, a 1923 vessel built at the Scotland Fife boatyard, and the Fife Regatta. For those who love classic wooden boats check out the links below:
Newport Beach Yacht Club
Newport Beach Yacht Club Trophy Room
Slide show on Astor and Fife Regatta
Astor in Antigua Rally.
Astor’s distinctive Fife Boat yard logo