Adios Ensenada

Our time here in Ensenada has flown by and within weeks we will be heading north to San Diego.  The reason we are headed back to Southern California is two-fold.  One, the state of California restricts foreign vessels and or non-state US registered vessels to a period of six months before they become eligible to pay state taxes. Secondly, the girls want to spend another six months in Southern California before we head south towards the Panama Canal.

Ensenada was, as I said in an earlier blog, everything we thought it wouldnt be and full of surprises. One surprise in particular was the fact of how well Ensenada is serviced for the marine sector. Who would have known?  Ensenada has not one, but two full service boat yards being, Baja Naval, for vessels up to 75T and Gran Peninsula for vessels up to 2,500T,  with both yards being owned and operated by fellow Nordhavn 62 owner Tomas Fernandez, although these days it is his sons who operate the family business.

Baja Naval lifting another boat
Busy yard thats for sure
 Baja Naval was established in 1987 in Ensenada Baja California, Mexico. Their mission was to provide customers with a fair and memorable haul-out experience while increasing the safety and value of the customers yacht.

Another boat waiting for a haul-out
Tomas told me that their 120,000 sq. ft. facility and 75 ton travel-lift allows them to work on up to 32 boats simultaneously. They are a full service yard. In-house workshops include: carpentry, bottom work, L.P. paint systems, blister repair, mechanical, hull extensions, stainless steel or aluminium mig and tig welding and fabrication and, teak deck systems, among others. They work on fiberglass, wood, steel or aluminium pleasure craft, providing their clients with a capable, stable and growing team of experts and artisans plus a modern boat yard focused on meeting clients needs. More comprehensive refits, hull extensions, structural updates, which they have done plenty of, usually require the support of Naval Architects and Engineers which, again they have on staff.

Gran Peninsula boat yard Ensenada in action
Now thats a big ship
and in case you are wondering, yes all this, here in Ensenada. Pretty darn impressive!
Baja Naval also owns and operates a 50-slip marina with docks up to 100 ft., providing all the services needed by the cruising community and this marina, unlike Cruiseport, truly is located downtown!

Both boat yards and marina clearly outlined above
Since 2005  Gran Peninsula has been servicing the boating community providing services to megayachts and commercial vessels from all around the globe. At Gran Peninsula they are able to dry dock up to 3,200 linear feet of vessels on their 14 acre property. They are capable of hauling vessels with LOA of 85m and beams of up to 16m, on a 2,500 ton, 16 motor Lloyds Register and certified  Syncrolift. Even longer vessels could be accommodated upon reviewing the docking configuration.

Gran Peninsula’s Syncrolift in action
The basics of a Syncrolift
After about two hours the boat is raised and perfectly supported.  Certainly a much kinder way to raise a boat from the water than slings
Gran Peninsula is the result of a market driven conversion to meet the growing demands of larger yachts. Gran Peninsula is clearly focused on high standards of quality, yacht customer service and competitive pricing. Located only 60 NM southeast from San Diego, Gran Peninsula is a substantial option for servicing and maintenance of the 80′ and above yachts that navigate in the eastern Pacific from Alaska to Hawaii, Panama and beyond.

Is there anything these guys cant do?
Gran Peninsula have the ability to do just about anything
I used one of the guys from Baja Naval to install a new diaphragm on the M-Series main head pump.  If you have ever done this job you will realise super human core strength is required to move the very heavy pump to gain access.  Baja Naval knocked the job over in a couple of hours and I was most impressed with the chaps knowledge, skill and speed at which the job was done.  GO BAJA NAVAL!

Seriously though if you are passing this way and need work done, then I think these guys are worth serious consideration and dont think that they cant get parts from the USA quickly as these guys have a truck which goes to San Diego to collect parts required twice a week. Passionate, proud, capable and competitive is how I would sum up both Gran Peninsula and Baja Naval.  Worth considering thats for sure.

Well, well, well… Claire and I have noticed a rather large build-up of large trucks/4x4s/transport semi-trailers and dune buggies of late. Low and behold, if we are not in the thick of it as the start of the BAJA 1000 Rally is now only days away (at time of writing)  and the build-up of these massive cars/trucks/4x4s seems never ending.

Ensenadas main street
The streets in town are turning into a tent filled, taco serving heaven with the backdrop of ridiculously loud engines to warm the soul. This epic endurance event has developed into a sort of a mix between Mad Max, the Dakar Rally and The Twilight Zone, attracting hundreds of racing legends, thrill-seekers, movie stars and rank amateurs to Northern Mexico to take on the longest non-stop point-to-point race in the world (most off road). Sure, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is hard going, the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500 are also tricky, but those guys and girls don’t have to deal with oncoming traffic and fan-built booby-traps.

I met with one of the crew today who works for team McMillan (Go McMillans!) and he explained to me that some of the cars are worth a staggering US$700,000.00 – INSANE! Honestly most look like cars you would see in a rather dodgy used car lot. Clearly I know less than nothing about cars!

The marina carpark was filled to overflowing with cars/trucks prepping for the race, ok so not in this picture but trust me!
Anyway, as this is clearly a large event, I had planned to take my camera out to make sure I got a few photos but alas, the draw of noisy engines and cars was simply not enough to move me.  Sorry folks, but I guess I am just not that into cars.

File shot
Bianca having a ball on the jet ski
Bianca and I passed some lovely seals and had to stop for a pic
Oyster farm at the end of our dock
The guys who work here seem to love what they do
Yet another insane sunrise. Almost unbelievable
For those of you who enjoy the  interview section on pendanablog, you will have noticed that the last interview for 2017 was with a non Nordhavn owner.  As these interviews continue to develop my plan is to start looking further afield for candidates to interview.  While Nordhavn owners will still take the lions share, I can reveal now that the kick off interview for 2018 (releasing Feb 1st) is not a Nordhavn owner but is someone who is truly cruising royalty and someone who has been kind enough to be involved, so stay tuned!.

With Christmas upon us all that is left to say is, on behalf of all of us aboard the good ship Pendana we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and sensational New Year! 

Stay Safe


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