I have quite a bit to cover today, so let's get right into this. First of all, I had started writing a blog post last night that covered our last week of adventure. You know, the same old usual stuff. But this morning we woke to a changed world and it doesn't seem like my usual rambling is important right now. If you want to hear about what we've been doing and not how I'm feeling this morning about our election, just feel free to skip down a few paragraphs and read on.

I'm sure you are aware that we are not in the United States and we just had what could be the most important election of my lifetime. Actually, if I'm going to be honest, each election I have had the privilege of voting in has felt pretty important to me. But before you get too worried, I'm not going to go on a big political rant here. I've done my best to keep my political views out of this rambling, and more than anything, my views are mine, and the fact that I think a certain way isn't going to change your views and make you think another way. I sincerely believe each and everyone of us has the right to our own opinion. It's what makes our country great.

I know there are a lot of people who read this who have never met Brenda nor I, and then there are people reading this who know us well. Those of you who know us well know exactly how we feel on most issues. Some of you think we are crazy, and guess what, we think some of you are crazy. Some of my family and best friends are the looniest people I know, but we still love them. Again, a diverse population with differing views is one of the things that makes us great.

All I really want to say about the madness that is our political process is that I am still hopeful, albeit in a different way than when I went to sleep last night. Last night I was hopeful that the issues I believe in would be progressed. This morning I am hopeful that progress which was made in the last century isn't lost. I am hopeful that the environment will be taken seriously. I am hopeful that kindness, tolerance, and human decency will prevail. I am hopeful that World War 3 isn't started because of a random tweet at 3 in the morning. I am hopeful that our Constitution holds our country together. I am hopeful that equal rights for all isn't thrown by the wayside. I am hopeful that we the people, as a nation, can come together respectfully and work together to keep our great country great.

Yes, we woke up this morning to a changed world. There is no one who can dispute that fact. All that I feel I can do today is hope that hope is not lost. And that is all I'm going to say about that. Now, back to your regular scheduled programming.

I'm going to try my best to not keep telling you how excited we are to be in Mexico on our little floating home. I'm sure you get it. But before I stop repeating myself, I'm going to say it one more time and then I'll let it die. We are really excited to be here. I'm not normally an overly emotional guy, but during the short handful of days we spent in Ensenada, I was so excited that I could almost cry. If a random Mexican would have stopped me on the street and given me a random hug, I would have surely burst into tears. It is that exciting.

It is so exciting to be here that it just about washed away the hassle of checking into Mexico and checking out of Ensenada when we left to head farther south. Almost. Checking in to Mexico wasn't too bad. It took us 3 hours to get it done. The strange part was that every other cruiser who was checking in had a different set of processes and hassles than we did. We were told that we had to pay all of our fees in cash so we had to wander around town raiding ATM's to pull out enough to get it done. The funny thing is that the guy in line next to us was able to use his credit card...and same with the guy behind us.

Even though we are checked into Mexico, we still had to check out of Ensenada before we could move farther south down the coast. That meant another whole day chasing down paperwork, official stamps, and back and forth between offices.

The officer who was checking us out of Ensenada looked at us, and with shifty eyes, said, “do you know about the extra fees for me to check you out?” (if you didn't catch that, he was asking for his palms to be greased...yes, a bribe)

“Um, we already paid the fees when we checked in. See, look at all of the stamps on all of the documents” said me.

“Well, someone should have told you about the extra fees for me to check you out on a weekend.”

“It's Wednesday and we were told there would be no fees to check out” I said politely defiant.

After a bit of round and round, when he realized he wasn't going to get anything from us, he finally said, “oh, I didn't realize you were trying to check out. You're right, checking out doesn't cost anything.” Then he took all of our paperwork and told us to come back in an hour so he could work on our “case” (the “case” involves him stamping our exit papers...5 seconds of work if he's moving slowly). He also told us to get a letter from the marina we were staying at showing that we paid our bill. When I showed the officer the signed and stamped letter from the marina with the signed and stamped receipt (authorities everywhere love stamps), he told us that wasn't good enough and that we needed to go back to the marina and have them write us another letter to go along with the letter we already brought and come back again. And of course get the new letter stamped. I'm pretty sure he was being politely defiant to counter our polite defiance in not greasing his palms. Oh well, it's done and we checked out of Ensenada.

Even with the formality runaround, Ensenada was great. We've been there before, but for some reason, getting their by our sailboat made it that much better. It's a bustling little city of about 200,000 people who could be some of the friendliest people on earth. We asked for directions on two different occasions and on two different occasions had generosity that we aren't used to.

If you've been following along on our adventure, you will know that Brenda loves to walk. We rounded up some of our new sailing friends and went for one of Brenda's world famous walking tours. And of course, her directions were as wrong as they almost always are. We stopped and asked a guy who was standing in his front yard where the fish market was, and rather than just point us in the right direction, he jumped in his car to drive us there. We asked another lady on a different occasion for another set of directions, and when she noticed our Spanish wasn't keeping up with her description, she decided she was going to walk us all the way across town just to make sure we got where we were trying to go. I'm not sure about you, but I've never dropped everything I was doing just to guide some random tourists a few miles across town to make sure they got where they were trying to go. Incredible.

Even with all the fun and excitement of being in Ensenada, after a few short days, it was time to move on. Mexico is a big country and we're trying to see as much of it as we can. That means no dilly-dallying around.

We left Ensenada with 2 other boats and started making our way south down the Baja Peninsula. The Baja is roughly 700 miles of rough and rugged terrain that has a severe shortage of protected anchorages along the way. Most places we can stop at are what are known as “road-stead” anchorages. There is just a small nook of land that we can duck behind for some cover from the swell and wind off the mighty Pacific. And really, those little nooks of land don't block much of anything. Over the last week or so, we've stayed the night in a few of these anchorages along the way. Each night was spent rocking and rolling and missing our beautifully protected and calm bays back home in the Pacific Northwest.

In one anchorage in particular, there was a 6-8 foot swell that was rolling into our protected area of the bay. 6-8 feet of swell rolling in means that when we are at the bottom of the trough, all of the other anchored boats around us disappear behind a wall of water and then reappear when we are at the top of the wave. It also means that sleeping is utterly impossible. It's an unnatural feeling to have the boat moving up and down and side to side all night long when we aren't sailing on the big blue ocean.

Since 700 miles by sailboat is a quite a long way to go with no real gas stations along the way, we've been doing our best to sail as much as possible. Up until now, when there hasn't been enough wind to get us sailing at a certain speed (4 knots), we've fired up the diesel engine, burned up some dead dinosaurs, and motored along our merry way, knowing that in every port we pull into we can get diesel. Not the case anymore. We are now working on our light wind sailing skills and doing our best to keep the dead dinosaurs in our fuel tank. That means sometimes we are ghosting along at 2 knots, which is painfully slow. That is basically the same speed as if we were taking a leisurely stroll and walking down the coast of Mexico.

You know what, that's all I can do today. I'm too depressed to continue and I'm too depressed to even proof read this.  If I didn't spell things correctly or punctuate in the right places, oh well.  In a few days, when I regain my composure, I'll get back to writing this bit of nonsense and I'll post more when we get back to another wifi signal. Right now I'm going to drown my sorrows in tacos. Peace out United States. Good luck. I should also mention that I'm hopeful the new wall that is supposedly going up doesn't keep us from coming home at some point.

Our wifi signal isn't good enough to load pictures, so this is all you get for now.  We'll catch up soon.


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