I can't honestly remember the last time I've been this excited. I'm generally a low key, pretty mellow fellow, but today, I'm abuzz. We just checked in to Ensenada and have our 6 month visas in hand. We are free to roam the country, eat as many tacos as possible, and butcher the Spanish language until April 30th of 2017, at which time we can either move on to another country, or extend our stay for another 6 months. It's thrilling.

Our trip from San Diego to Ensenada was almost as exciting as actually getting here. We didn't have big seas or big winds, but the fact that we crossed the shared border of the US and Mexico while at sea, and I could see that imaginary line on our computer screen as we sailed over it, made me let out a huge “Woo Hoo!!!” for the whole ocean to hear. And the fact that we caught our first Mexican fish just after we crossed the border, well, that wasn't too shabby either.

When we left San Diego, we almost felt like we were back in Seattle. We had a thick blanket of fog that was cold and damp and had the visibility down to just barely past the bow of the boat. We put on coats and long pants for the first time in quite a while and wondered if somewhere along the way we made a serious wrong turn and somehow ended up back in the Puget Sound. We had been getting used to the 80+ degree weather that San Diego had blessed us with.

The skies never fully cleared on our way South, so we never had a view of the Mexican coastline until we were about 10 miles out of Ensenada (disappointing). But the 15 knots of breeze and 3-5 foot swell that was directly on our stern was about as perfect as you could ask for. The boat was stable, comfortable, and flying along towards our destination.

We must have been traveling at just the right speed because we were catching fish like crazy. Unfortunately, we don't know our Mexican fish species very well. We've heard that Bonito isn't a great fish to eat, and I was pretty sure that was what we were catching, so we ended up throwing them all back. It wasn't until after Brenda caught a whopper of a fish that our phones started working enough for us to Google “Mexican Fish Species”. That's when we found out her monster of a fish was a pretty tasty tuna that I just threw back in the ocean and just watched swim away. Oh, well. Today we are looking for a book to identify fish.

The marina we are staying at had told me to look for the Mexican flag when arriving in Ensenada as they are located directly in front of it. When the skies finally opened up, that flag was in plain sight from about 10 miles away. It's HUGE and seemed like a big welcome to Mexico sign that was put out just for us.

Checking in was a fairly painless process. Immigration, the Port Captain, the import office, and a bank are located in the same building to handle all of your paperwork. You go to the bank and pay your visa fee, then go to Immigration with your receipt, get a bunch of stamps, then to the Port Captain. The Port Captain tells us to go back to the bank and pay a fee then come back for a bunch of stamps. Then it's the import office. Same process. Go to the bank, pay a fee, and get a bunch of stamps. They love their stamps here.

The only problem we had was that we saw online that we could pay our fees with a credit card. Not the case. It was cash only and we didn't have any Pesos yet. We had to run all over town to find an ATM with enough money in it to cover all of the fees. If you are wondering, we emptied 6 ATM's. It wasn't like the fees were very expensive, it's just that none of the ATM's we went to had much in them. In the 3 hours it took to check in, 2 hours was spent trying to find Pesos. And then it was done. We had our visas in hand, about 400 stamped documents, and are officially residents of Mexico for the next 6 months.

What do you do after you are checked in? That's an easy answer. You get some tacos to celebrate. And what do you know, they were delicious...and cheap.

Since Ensenada is a tourist destination, I expected touristy prices. The menu at the first taco stand we saw had lunch for $18. A little steep for tacos I thought, but who cares, because we just made it to Mexico and they have 8 different types of homemade salsa to put on those tacos. Well, the prices are in Pesos. Our 18 Peso lunch of incredible tacos and salsa that will melt your face off actually costed us less than one American dollar. Amazing.

So, here we are. We are in Mexico and we got here by way of our little floating home. I've been dreaming of this for almost 20 years and Brenda and I have been working towards it for about 15. So far, it's better than I could have imagined. I'm not sure if it's because this place is awesome or it's just because I am so excited that we actually accomplished our goal. Either way, I'm pretty excited to be here and to see what comes our way.

We are going to be in Ensenada for the next couple of days to experience La Dia de Los Meurtos festival and then we'll be moving farther south along the Baja Peninsula looking for remote anchorages, surf, and sun. Yeah, I'm pretty excited.  

Our first Mexican fish...too small so he is back at sea.

Our first Mexican Sunrise!

Our first sighting of the Mexican coastline!
Our first Mexican tacos!


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