Ensenada at the head of Bahia de Todos Santos is a Port of Entry into Mexican waters and is about 65 n.m. from San Diego. Marina Coral greeted the Taco Runners with a banner and provided convenient International Arrival or Entrada Internacional at a small location near the marina. They presented a streamlined clearance process where all the representatives from all the required port authorities come together (Centro Integral de Servicios). The Taco Runners gathered at 9 am to apply and pay for visas, arrival and exit paperwork and Pasaporte de la Conservacion (Conservation Passport), all mandatory for entry. We were unfamiliar with the Conservation Passports. Further explanation told us there are 182 protected biosphere reserve areas on Baja California that the Conservation Passport allows access to. All visitors who are in these areas for any recreational activities are required to have the passports. We were also told the passports can be difficult to obtain unless you are at a Port of Entry so we purchased extras in case we have visitors on board. Just a few more pesos!
Marina Coral is about 2.5 miles NW of Ensenada harbor. The slip in Marina Coral gave us access to the resort swimming pools and hot tub. Although we did not take advantage of these niceties, we did visit the ATMs to stock up on pesos. We stayed two nights in Marina Coral and then moved to Cruiseport Village Marina inside the Ensenada harbor and adjacent to the cruise ship docks. Cruiseport Marina was closer to the downtown area and stores. We needed some major provisioning, so we Ubered to the Walmart Superstore with Alison and Kevin on Red Rover. We knew this would be the last port we would be visiting for nineteen days. We needed to stock up on BEER and a few other items. We estimated our probable beer (and visitors) consumption and calculated we would need four 30-packs or ten 12-packs to make sure we would not run low. We purchased milk, cheeses, lunch meats, fruits, vegetables and a few other items. We also bought Pepsi Cola, candy and Lucky Strikes. Why? We heard that these items could be traded for services in the small villages. Scott proudly held up his 10 packs of Lucky Strikes and proclaimed “This is the first time I have ever bought cigarettes!” Our Uber driver helped us load all the groceries (and beer) into the trunk of a Kia! The poor Kia was almost dragging bottom back to the marina!
We spent an afternoon with Alison and Kevin on Red Rover on the boardwalk. Many little shops selling handmade trinkets, outdoor restaurants, produce and fish stands. Alison was a great guide taking us to Lily’s Tacos for lunch where we ate “the best fish tacos in Ensenada” and sampled toppings ranging from hot to killer hot! We went to Mexico’s oldest cantina called Hussong’s and had a cold cerveza.
Vince and Linda on Last Arrow organized an adventure to a local boutique winery called Misiones de California Vinicola. We enjoyed a lesson on wine tasting and a 6-course gourmet meal served family style including oxtail sopecitos, asparagus cream with jamon crackling, grilled octopus with new potatoes con chili olive oil infused, fish tiradito, New York steak with demiglass sauce and potatoes, fish of the day with herbs and risotto, and sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. Vince hired a van and car for transport to the winery. We all dressed in our “Liveaboard best” and had an awesome time!
We departed Ensenada in the afternoon of November 1st for an overnight run to Bahia San Quintin. Adios Ensenada, we will be back!