Checked in to Mexico, at the dock in Ensenada

I am officially checked in to Mexico; Enrique (of Marina Cruiseport) drove myself and another boat’s folks over to the CIS (Centro Integral de Servicios) building and he accompanied us through the check-in with Immigration and the Port Captain.  As Tiger Beetle already has a TIP (Temporary Import Permit) I did not need to visit Aduana (Customs).  Boom – start at 8:30AM, at 10:30AM we’re done.  I have lots of stamped documents, paid $25 USD cash to Banjercito (Mexico military bank – about as official as it gets) for the FMM immigration form, and I have an official form from the Ensenada Puerto Capitan for the crew list and authorization of arrival, dispatch, and mooring.    Plus they stamped my passport, which is kinda fun!

So I’m here.


Beetle in the slip at Marina Cruiseport. The slips have 30 amp USA power (proper frequency and voltage) so we just plug in and are good to go. The marina also has WiFi available on the docks, and basura collection right on the docks.

It turns out that Marina Cruiseport has raised their berth rates, and it has now become less expensive to sign up for a month-long stay in the marina as compared to a 7 day stay.  So I’ve signed up for a month; go figure.  I have no intention of being here a month, but it is nice to know that if weather becomes an issue for departure next week (I’m heading south) at least they won’t kick me out of the slip.

The marina has nice showers, WiFi is available, Enrique’s time and expertise was gratis as part of the marina’s welcoming us into Mexico – all of that makes the unexpected expense of being here easy to rationalize and not get too upset about.


The neighborhood is pretty nice, given we’re all a lot of vagabonds out seeing things from the aquatic perspective. A Nordhavn 46 is opposite me, and a really big power boat is the end tie. The docks are the same concrete structures as found at Grand Marina in Alameda (though the cleats are substantially bigger here than in Alameda).

In the morning there is the Ensenada Cruiser’s VHF radio net on VHF 69.  Turn your radio on, set it to high power, and there are a fair number of folks here willing to help out, answer questions, provide rides if need be, take flat stamped mail back to the US for posting, that sort of thing.  This morning’s net was 10 minutes long, beginning to end.  I suspect if this were in the early part of the Mexico cruising season (November) it would be a much bigger crowd than the 15-20 boats here now in February.

Yesterday’s arrival in Ensenada went very smoothly, what breeze there was died away as I got closer to Ensenada, there was no fog, and by 4:30PM Beetle was backed into the slip and Steve next door hopped over from his Cal 2-46 to help tie up the lines (plus he didn’t want to get bonked by Beetle – the slips are missing the dock that would normally separate the boats, so we’re all side-tied and share a slip with the adjacent boat).

This morning I visited the marina office, we went through formalities, Enrique helped with the Mexico check-in, and it was back to Beetle.


Who says there can’t be fog in Ensenada? This fellow arrived this morning in pea-soup fog, I doubt the bridge could even see the water as we had 50′ visibility on the docks. This is one of the Carnival cruise ships tied up alongside one half of the exterior pier at Cruiseport – there’s a reason this place is called Cruiseport…

I decided to go find Pacifico Beer – that would be my job for the day.  Seemed like a simple task, go to the super market and get some.  Turned out not to be so easy.  It seems that there are two major breweries in Mexico: Grupo Modelo (Negra Modelo, Pacifico, and many others) and FEMSA (Tecate and many others).  It’s somewhat like Pepsi and Coca Cola – the two do not play well together, to the point that the shops advertising Tecate will have NO Pacifico, and the Modelo-rama shops have NO Tecate.  Unfortunately for me, I decided I would enjoy a Pacifico this evening… only to find that all the shops in town (including 7-11 and look-alike OXXO are Tecate shops).  Not so good.  I visited Calimax, the large supermarket, and it was Tecate.  I then walked about, checked several OXXO and 7-11 shops, all Tecate.  Rats!  After striking out for a Modelo-rama show on Google Maps as being four blocks away only to discover that structure is now a small ice cream shop, I decided to try Soriana Super (the locals’ big supermarket) and on the way found a Smart & Final.  I went in.  They have Tecate AND Pacifico – holy cow!  And Pacifico is sold in 8-pack cans, which is somewhat different than what I am used to, but now I have some.


When in Ensenada it’s important to shop at the Mexican shoppes! – at least these guys had the particular brew I was in search of.

Now it is 4:40PM, the folks next door have invited me to join them in the 2 for 1 fish tacos at the fish market – I suspect I’ve been there previously with Ben and Lucie while Beetle was hauled out in 2013 at Baja Naval, rather good tacos – and Jeanne on Nereida has just pulled in to the dock two slips over, so she has arrived.  Also met up with the catamaran Rum Doxy, they were at the San Diego police docks and are now here.  Also Dan’s Out Island 51 Hope that he was working on at Grand Marina in Alameda is here, though Dan is not (he’s at home overseas, apparently due back in April).

All is good, the fog is in, temperatures have cooled off.  Time to enjoy the evening!

– rob



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