November 11, 2010: San Diego - Leaving the USA

We arrived in the wee hours back into Cruiseport Marina, Ensenada, on Friday, November 12th. We got some sleep and then trouped off to the Port Captain to do formalities. And then the made rush to say "Farewell". Now people had seen us ready to leave before; twice before. So we made our preparations with a certain grim determination and an eye watching the heavens for a waywatrd asteroid.

Jonathan and Venessa at Cruiseport did, as usuall, their calm and effective job in helping us with paperwork. They made living at Cruiseport pleasant.

Zu Tasa is a small chain of coffee shops in Ensenada. Diana acted as the official barista and part time teache to Matt and Drew who used the Zu Tasa on 1st St as they home school study hall. If Drew was obviously having too much fun to be studying she would tell him to get back to work. Hugo used to work there too until he graduated from College himself and went on to work with the Aduana.

Every Friday, Andre, Carol (aka Auntie Chickie), Sue, Jean, Celia, Paula, Michele (and the occassional Jehavah's Witness) would meet in the coffee shop at the CEARTE complex in Ensenada, with Belle, Nico and Clare, to form the local Dabblers club (knitting & painting).
We walked to the small local Canasta for meat (the owner has a great little butcher shop there), and other essentials. By the late afternoon we were BBQ'ing for dock friends and enjoying a "pot luch" farewell dinner.
This is the pilot boat, my wife's bête noire. It raucous and early morning departures to lead in the Carnival cruiseships twice a week were
This picture is of Hector (left) and Carlos(right) Castros. They are brothers and marine electricians.

They are two of the nicest people who worked for us. They always did a great job for us and were terrific value; though they had an odd sense of time.  They both like Clare's iced fruit buns.

This is Sue and her boy toy, Pete Kantor. They were a source of wise counsel and good conversation on the dock.
If you are eight and living on a dock, the water offers all kinds of distracting creatures.

One of Belle's favourite places in Ensenada - the Silk Road.

We had purchased a new canvas to shade the boat from Chicago Canvas. A huge mistake! The fabrice was a heavy cotton cloth but not really what we would call "canvas" and all the eye's pulled out in the first puff of wind. Clare remedied the situation by sewing on tabs in place of the eyes.
We had left Sergio with an order for fids to better secure the contents of our cupboards.  When we returned he was there with them ready, along with a beautifully made set of storage boxes, and then installed all the bits over the Friday and Saturday.

More of Belle's final photographs. At left the dock Snack machine; a favoured source of ilicit treats for the kids and the ultimate repository of much of my pocket change. In the middle is the Hurtado brand "Volcano" tricyle.  It had been abandoned on the dock and served as a general carrier and source of fun to the kids. We fed it spare parts to keep it running. To the righ is Belle's "Phantom of the Opera" mask that she made for dock's "Dia de Mortes" party.

Saturday came and went and we were still not ready to leave. In desperation I took on the final daunting task:  Operation Bower Bird. Belle's cabin has become the impossible last task. So many things that defied being stowed. With a patient I do no often display, the cabin was cleared and everything either discarded or stowed.
The boys were all packed, stowed and ready. The XBOX and the internet are at the rear nav station. Pew pew, pew pew pew - die Alien!

Sunday morning, November 14th, found us up earlier and almost ready in bright sunshine. Friends came bye for a final send off.  The day seemed to drag with last chores.

And then, finally, 12 months later than initially planned, 29 months since our arrival from the UK with the boat, still not really beleiving that we were departing, and late in the afternoon, we started the engine, cast off the lines, turned the boat around ....
.....and left Ensenada.