May 21, 2005, Saturday
We just got back from taking our new kayak out for her maiden voyage in Ensenada Harbor. We managed to get ourselves in and out of the kayak from our dock without falling in the water. Which is a really good thing, because we've had "red tide" here for the past couple of weeks and I really didn't want to fall in that water. Red tide is some sort of algae that gets in the water and it makes the water look red. It eventually kills the fish and it gets kind of stinky around here. On top of that, the seagulls think it's a banquet and eat the fish which cause them to poop all over the place. When we walk down the dock, it looks like we're dancing as we navigate around all the droppings.
We paddled the kayak out of Cruiseport Marina and into the harbor and over to the Royal Caribbean cruise ship. It was a fun little intro to kayaking and we think that we're going to enjoy this sport a lot. I don't know if it's good for my shoulder or not. I found out earlier this week that I need arthroscopic surgery on my right shoulder joint to shave the ends of the bone down. My shoulder has been giving me problems for the past few months, so I guess I have to do it if I want the pain to go away. This all stems from a fall I took last summer while jogging with Konto (our German Shepherd dog). I landed on my shoulder and screwed it up. I'm anxious to get it fixed, so I can do all the things I used to be able to do.
It's Saturday, the weather is in the mid 80's and there are two cruise ships here. So Ensenada is really active today. Bill and Linda from Creola are here for a few days, so we walked to their favorite taco stand for lunch. Had Tacos de Camarones (shrimp tacos) and washed them down with a beer while standing on the street corner. They were delicious. You squeeze a lime on the shrimp, spoon on some of the fresh tomato/onion/cilantro salsa, top it with a dollop of guacamole, and then you've got to remind yourself to chew because you are shovelling it in your mouth so fast. Yummmmm! They invited us to their boat tonight for a dock party. Linda bought some tamales that she plans to cut up and serve as hors d'oeuvres. She always serves the best food at her cocktail parties.
Earlier this week, we had a visit from Bob and Linda, a couple that we met at the Oakland Boat Show last month. They are considering buying a Hylas 49 and wanted to see how she sails. It was a perfect day for taking her out with winds ranging from 16 to 21 knots. We sailed for several hours letting them do all the steering and trimming of the sails. (see May photo album) They were impressed with how she handles (of course!) After returning to our slip, we gave Aquila a fresh water wash, wiped her down, and then Bob and Linda took us out for Margaritas and tacos at one of our favorite little sidewalk cafes.
We went home last weekend to attend Sean's police academy graduation. I was impressed with the ceremony. It was really well done, a patriotic goose bumps kind of experience. There were 35 graduates, all going to various Sheriff and Police Departments. We were so proud when Sean received an award for the highest scholastic marks in the class. (see May photo album)
During our short weekend home, our little social calendar was packed. We had a fun night with Russ, Ray and Virginia at Russ' beautiful new home in the Hollywood Hills. (see May photo album) Then we met Bill, Monica, Ray and his children for breakfast in the valley, after which we drove to Ventura Harbor to meet Connie and Lew for a late lunch at the Greek Restaurant. We sat outside on the patio overlooking the marina and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine, good food, and great friends.
Backing up to a little earlier in May, we attended the launch party for the newly formed La Vendimia Yacht Club. (see May photo album) La Vendimia is a restaurant here in Ensenada that we enjoy. In forming the Yacht Club, the first 100 members to join are classified as founding members. As a founding member, they put a picture of us (on our boat) on their wall. In addition, we are not required to pay annual dues. Plus, they host a yacht club happy hour every Thursday evening. Sounded good to us!
On Mother's Day, Mike took me to a lovely outdoor garden restaurant up in the wine country of Ensenada, called La Hacienda. They didn't speak much (if any) English, like most of the restaurants here in town do, so we were language-challenged. But we eventually figured out what to do by watching everyone else. It was buffet style ($12 each), and the food is prepared to order as you go from station to station. There were stations for omelettes, fresh tortillas, tortas, rice dishes, vegetables, and desserts. There was a large variety of meat dishes and many things that we didn't recognize. We did a lot of pointing as we ordered our lunch, and the food was good. They had a live band playing and we were amused that the songs were American oldies (from the 50's and 60's) sung in English!
May 24, 2005, Tuesday
We're sitting around waiting for Alejandro to come to the boat to take the measurements for our dodger and bimini. We waited all day yesterday, too. Alejandro is the local stainless steel guy and is one of the best. We've been trying to get this job started for several weeks. Alejandro is apparently a very busy guy. We are getting anxious (at least I am) because we are only going to be here in Ensenada until the end of June, and time is seeming to slip by very quickly. After Alejandro gets the stainless steel framework installed, then Felix (the local canvas guy) will fit the canvas over it. Neither Alejandro not Felix speak much English, so this whole process is really challenging. It's more stressful than merely trying to order food, because we want something very specific and there is no room for error in interpretation. After waiting for Alejandro yesterday, we decided to drive to his shop in the afternoon. He said he would come by today.
So we stopped at the Super Gigante (grocery store), picked up a few things for dinner, and invited Dave (from Bella) and Seth (from Fidéle) to join us for dinner. Mike grilled some steaks on his new BBQ grill, and I baked potatoes, sauteed vegetables and tossed a salad. Dave came with a bag of hot fresh bread from the bakery which we dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Seth is a young man from Indiana who is living aboard his uncle's recently purchased 50' Shannon. It is an older boat and Seth is here doing repairs to it in preparation for sailing south to the Sea of Cortez and then down to the Panama Canal and over to Key West (their home port). A few days ago, Seth was out riding his bicycle and was hit by a car and knocked off his bike. He broke his foot and both of his legs are black and blue and scrapped up. Amazingly, the driver did not stop! The emergency room bandaged up his foot. But it was Dave who took Seth to the orthopedic doctor's office and got his foot put in a proper cast. I was a bit worried about how Seth would be able to get aboard Aquila and down the companionway, but he's pretty good at hopping around on one foot and used his arms to drop down the hole. Seth enjoyed that Mike was serving good beer (Sam Adams) which he hadn't had for a long time.
Mike is trying to install our new Hart Tank Tender (a 5 tank gauge system for our fuel and water tanks) and is calling for my help. Uh-oh. I'd better go see what he's up to now. Oh! And Alejandro just showed up. Yay! See all the photos in the May Photo Album.