We had once again not been successful on our hunt for a liveaboard sailboat. So I spontaneously head to Ensenada in Northern Mexico with Iñaki. Who would have thought that this idea would proof to be the best decision I could possibly make?
One step forward, two steps back
Oh dear, what a commotion. We were sitting at Hertz at the Los Angeles airport and couldn’t get our rental car because I didn’t have my driver’s license with me. It could have been so easy. I would have driven with Iñaki across the border to Ensenada, Mexico to his ship, would have worked with him on his vessel for a few days and then would have quietly driven back to the airport and flown home.
From rental car to greyhound bus
But now another solution had to be found. We booked the Greyhound Bus to get to Ensenada. Together with Pati we drove in an Uber taxi to the bus stop from where the greyhounds in Los Angeles start their journeys. We said goodbye to her and after a short wait we sat in the bus to Mexico.
GTA: Los Angeles
Since Iñaki and I are both passionate gamers, we were particularly fascinated by how much the city reminded us of Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto V while driving south through L.A. (Neeeeeerds!). At first, we sat in our seats a little clueless and pondered how our story should go on. Since Greyhound offer free WiFi in their buses, we decided to take the opportunity and look for ships for sale in Ensenada and the surrounding area.
Will we be sailing RAN soon?
We didn’t find much useful information, apart from the fact that we knew that RAN, a great sailboat from the YouTube channel of the same name, was also for sale in Ensenada. But suddenly we came across a Kelly Peterson 44 again. I had the feeling that I had already looked at the ad. But the price for the sailboat was too high back then. But now she was ‘more affordable’, and the photos and information about her made us even more curious.
It hits like a freight train
And then it hit with a big bang. While looking through the photos, Iñaki suddenly stopped me and said I should go back a few pictures. He recognized the name of a motorboat in the background. ‘This Kelly Peterson 44 lies right next to our vessel in the same marina’, he said with an incredulous expression on his face.
What the hell??
I immediately grabbed my cell phone and promptly reached the broker. After he had contacted the owner, a rendezvous with a new candidate named “Milagros” was announced for the next day. I suddenly had an extremely good feeling. It is difficult to describe. It felt as if all the star constellations in the universe had suddenly arranged just for our visit to Mexico.
Bus trip the Mexican way
After we had crossed the impressive US border from San Diego to Tijuana (my first time to Mexico!), we normally had to wait a while for the next bus. With Iñaki’s spanish skills however, we were able to dodge the wait. He negotiated a deal with a bus driver for a small fee. In the end, we were allowed to take a different bus than planned (for which we didn’t have a ticket) from Tijuana to Ensenada. We even arrived in the town a little earlier than planned.
A night out in Ensenada, Mexico
As it was getting late and dark, we didn’t meet much more than a few drunkards on the streets, who welcomed us two gringos in Ensenada with best wishes. Carrying our lugagge we walked through the bumpy streets towards Cruiseport Marina, where Blue and Milagros layed in their deep sleep. The marina is well guarded by security guards at the entrance. This unfortunately should prove to be a disadvantage in this case.
so close, yet so far
We arrived at the marina, and were looking forward to Blue and Milagros, a cold beer and a good night’s sleep, when we were turned back by the gentleman at the gate. Despite Iñaki’s request, the marina did not replace the names of the previous owners of Blue with those of Iñaki. Consequently, the guard wouldn’t let us enter the marina. Welcome to Mexico I guess.
Wandering through the streets
Iñaki gave up after an hour and a half of discussions with the guard (during which I regularly supplied us with beer from the nearby 7-eleven). We sat in Ensenada in the middle of the night, although our sleeping places were only a few minutes away on the dock. We had no choice but to spend the night in a hotel. Chauffeuring us through the city from hotel to hotel by various taxis, a driver finally came up with an idea. We found accommodation in a small hotel somewhere in the city. Would have been a lot of fun if I’d be stranded in Ensenada without Iñaki for sure…
Iñaki and Carmen’s Cal 2-46
In the next morning we went to the marina again. Now that the port office was open, Iñaki was able to quickly change the name of the entrance. We suddenly stood on in front of Iñaki and Carmen’s ship. A great boat that is just waiting to explore the seven seas.
The Girl next door
And next to it laid – Milagros. Another Kelly Peterson 44, another absolute beauty of a sailboat. I don’t know exactly whether it was the same or the next day, but the time had come. A tour of Milagros was due.