May05 Thursday Ensenada
From the moment I made RD fast to the dock in Cruiseport Marina, Ensenada I was warmly welcomed into the “E” dock community. I have been swept along in a tidal wave of friendliness and support by a bustling community of cruisers who stay here for the season rather than travel.
Two yachts immediately adjacent to me stand out. On the T dock is Kick Back, a 1930s classic wooden trawler. I had a tour of her and she equals anything I’ve visited in the San Diego Maritime museum.
Additionally I’m sharing my slip with Orca, a one-off cruising yacht of truly unique design, owned by Kojii and Cha Cha Banks.
We were each flying the “world flag” which instantly signaled our simpatico in values. It’s easy to label him anti-establishment, but I rather describe him as an original thinker who like Thoreau has re-chosen his early acculturation in favor or original values.
He and his wife ChaCha have been married for 40 years and sailing Orca for the past ten, and they are so charming interacting you get the impression they just met yesterday. He is a living guide book on harbors and gave me detailed information of Pacific ports. And I chose to trust him to winch me up my mast to untangle an errant spinnaker halyard, and to set me down gently. My trust was correctly placed.
Orca is a one off sleek sailing machine with an original rigging. The mast is a rigid structure well aft and all sails meet the wind unobstructed by the turbulence of a mast at the luff. Additionally it uses the same principle that birds use to fly — using their furcula (breast or wishbone) bone for compression and release for lightweight strength and power. Perhaps Orca, like her owner, is ahead of his time.
Doug Monroe took Kojii and me on a long guided tour of the commercial area and Gringo Gulch (the intensely commercial street and corridor that the passengers from cruise ships are herded along) and local specialty shops he loves for the best of fruit, bread, fish and staples. I apologize for calling it a “forced march”. The tour is my lasting impression of the vibrancy of the city of Ensenada.
A pot luck Cinco de Miyo party was scheduled for the evening, and the cornucopia of food rivaled any hotel’s Sunday brunch. A speaker gave us a summary history of Mexico and noted that the holiday is celebrated more in the U.S. than in Mexico. He conjectured that the reason was that Mexicans know that “Mexico won the battle but lost the war.” so their celebrating is muted.
I have not felt this level of inclusion at my own birthday party.
Here are a few gracious friends make me feel like I’ve been here months, and want to stay months more.
I am a better person because we met.
I depart tonight feeling I could be happy living here for a lifetime. Goodbye Mexico, and my fast friends on “E” dock.