By Chris Foster 2/27/18
The last several weeks have been hectic as we have been getting Embajador ready to head south on the first leg of her 3-year mission to travel southward through Mexico, Central America and through the Panama Canal on to the Caribbean.
Embajador is not my first boat. I guess that I have a bit of an addiction to boats. I currently own 4, including Coastal Estate, the Offshore 58, which Embajador replaces. Coastal Estate (CE) is currently for sale in San Diego. We cruised CE extensively throughout Baja California and Mainland Coastal Mexico over the last 3 years.
Notwithstanding the above, getting Embajador ready has been especially stressful as we set a fairly aggressive schedule to get her ready to go and of course, LOTS of stuff comes up with any new boat. Given the yacht’s size, age and many systems, the minor refit we envisioned has turned into a real project. Everyone knows the saying, “BOAT stands for Breakout Another Thousand” – I only wish that there much of anything that you can by for a boat that only costs a thousand; the saying might better be termed, “Breakout Another Ten-Thousand”!
Back in December of 2018 when I invited my operating partner, Ted Herrick, life long friend, Kevin Halkola (often referred to as “Tebe”, and new buddy, Roger Wist to join me on the maiden voyage down the Baja Peninsula we set a target departure date of February 18. As we got closer that date went out the window. We moved the date to February 22, so everyone arrived on the 21st. It was about then that the real “fun” began as we discovered hydraulic leak after leak and leaks just about everywhere else that there is a pipe connected to the engines and/or generators.
Anyway, we ended up leaving on the 25th (after yet another hurried visit by our mechanics that morning) and even then decided we needed another short shakedown first so headed out to Mission Bay (about 6 miles north (the wrong direction!) around 3:30 that day. Still, we had a nice cruise up there and dropped anchor in Mariner’s Cove just inside the jetty.
About 10 PM, after a nice dinner consisting of homemade French Onion soup, brussels sprouts and tri tip prepared on the grill up on the boat deck by Kevin, all accompanied by a couple of bottles of wine, Alex called down and shouted, “We have to move, we are in very shallow water!”
The boat had shifted around with the wind and we were quite close to shore. So, up came the engines and we were off to Ensenada in the middle of the night.
We reached the entrance to the El Coral Marina jetty around 7 AM and spent the remainder of the day alternating between napping and traveling into town to complete our Mexican paperwork with the very skillful help of the marina officials.
About 5 PM we caught a cab back into town for a nice traditional Mexican meal. Before heading back to the boat, we walked over the to an Ensenada icon, Hussong’s for a drink where we were the only americans in the whole place.