Pendana Arrives in Mexico

Before I start, I just wanted to mention that the blog has a new feature called Quick Updates. This section comprises of little snippets of information re the coming and goings on board the good ship Pendana. In some way this will replace Facebook which was deleted around four months ago. Sorry, to those Face-bookers out there! If you want the very latest dose of boating then don’t forget to check out the Quick Updates Section.

July 4th fireworks at Marina del Rey
I must say that Marina Harbor Anchorage where Pendana stayed in Marina del Rey was yet again a real treat. Stable power, heated swimming pool, mess room, laundry facilities, secure parking, great view, full gym, walking trials and all this, a stone’s throw from Venice Beach. Throw in a wonderful marina manager and staff sure makes for a truly great marina! Thank you once again to the guys from Marina Harbor Anchorage for having us. If you are planning on coming to Los Angeles then don’t forget to give this marina a shout as I have no doubt, you will be pleased you did.

Marina Harbor Anchorage on yet another perfect night
With Lance Miller joining me from Hawaii for the short run south we left LA on Monday morning 9th to head for San Diego. The reason for stopping in San Diego was two-fold. One, I needed to top off Pendana’s fuel tanks and two, I also needed to have the guys at SeaNet Electronics install a power break switch to our new Furuno BR510 watch system as I don’t like it being permanently on. I appreciate that this is a requirement for commercial ships and certification etc but we are private, so for peace of mind I would rather my electronics be off while not in use. Just a quick note: the guys at Seanet Electronics I would trust with my life. Toby, the owner and his team are true professionals who truly know, what’s what! There are few companies I can think of that I trust as much as these guys so if you have any electronic requirements, additions or problems give these guys a shout as they are truly superb.

Furuno BR510 Watch System – Should be a mandatory piece of equipment on all long range trawlers!
Oscar ready to get going
Cuddles also at the ready
Fifi not so enthusiastic
It was a great trip south although the hum of Pendana had changed. Her rhythm was not as sweet, her confidence not as proud and her bow felt reluctant for the first time. This had absolutely nothing to do with Lance being aboard but rather the fact that Claire and the girls, were not. Amazing how Pendana just seemed to know that something didn’t feel right! That being said, however, Lance performed superbly and Pendana took him under her wings and made sure the trip was an enjoyable one.

Lance on watch as we headed south
Queen Mary based in Long Beach CA, truly a beautiful ship
Passing one of many oil platforms off the CA coast
Dolphins of the starboard bow!
When I started this blog I promised honesty, so in the spirit of that I must confess, as a man who is always 110% in control, financially, medically, emotionally and in every other way imaginable, I have found saying goodbye to Abi a rather emotionally painful process and something that has completely come out of left field. Place on top of this having Bianca and Claire in Australia helping Abi settle in, and Pendana is deathly silent. As a family we have all been together for the past three-and-half years full-time so being apart now, is proving somewhat of a challenge. A little like having both my arms removed by a Great White Shark, while having root canals without anesthetic and having your toes nails pulled off all at the same time! I say this to flag a potential downfall to the cruising life. While understanding ones children and being truly close to them is one enormous positive to cruising the world’s oceans together the disadvantage comes in spades when it is time to say goodbye and this, should not to be underestimated. I hear parents say, “Oh I can’t wait for my children to leave home” and I am sure, for some, that is true, but for me, right now, saying that goodbye is proving a bit of a hurdle although thankfully becoming a little more manageable as time passes, thank God.

Pendana’s pilothouse
Dolphins flanked both sides of Pendana as she made her way down the Baja coastline
There was an eerie calm for our arrival into Mexico
Baja coast getting closer as we track towards the marina
So once the new cut off switch was installed and our tanks were full to the brim with fuel we departed San Diego at midnight for the short run into Mexican waters and to our new berth which would be home until it’s time to depart for Puerto Vallarta. Our late night departure ensured light winds and slack water for our arrival into Mexico which in my view just makes everything a whole lot easier. That being said however, it also meant a dark night departure from San Diego harbour which increases the work load significantly in the Pilothouse. It always amazes me how background lights from a city harbour can play tricks with your eyes but thankfully all went to plan and we exited without any problems.

Pendana in MDR awaiting departure
Before refuelling
After refuelling
Our run down was perfect.  Dead calm
Once tied up at the beautiful Hotel Coral and Marina Jose, a staff member at Hotel Coral drove us to town to get cleared in with Mexican Customs. The entire process took about thirty minutes from start to finish. The process in Mexico for clearing customs is relatively simple and straightforward but it is a process that requires local help and language to ensure it goes smoothly. Thankfully, the marina provides a clearing in and out service which we were pleased to take advantage of. With rental car collected, Lance and I returned to the boat for a well-deserved rest and a few hours’ sleep.

Entering marina in Mexico
Not the widest of entrances that for sure
Cuddles our Mexican adopted stray looking out the window towards his homeland
You will remember I flew in EJ and James from Victoria CA while in LA to give Pendana some wax loving recently. I am pleased to report this tweaked the interest of a fellow Nordhavn owner who while in Victoria is also having EJ drop by to give his beautiful Nordhavn, San Souci the royal treatment. I will say this again, there is much more to waxing a boat than most realise and EJ and his boys are simply masters at the craft. Having just anyone wax your boat usually leads to a job that won’t last, swirl marks and a lack of detailing that does not satisfy most owners’ expectations, well, certainly not mine! I am glad San Souci is getting the royal treatment!

EJ working his magic on San Souci in Victoria. Photo supplied by Ken
EJ working his magic on Pendana in LA a few weeks ago in LA
Now that’s what I am talking about.  The key here, is it will last a very long time.  Why? Because it’s been applied properly! Photo supplied by EJ
While Lance was still on board we decided to do a few odd jobs to make sure everything was in tip top shape before he left to fly home. When I say jobs, I am talking a basic main engine oil change and fitting some new ProStock fender covers to our much loved fenders. When EJ was waxing Pendana on LA a few weeks ago, he mentioned that it wasn’t acceptable, under any circumstance, to not have covers on the fenders. As such, covers were ordered and installed which will help reduce marking the hull, keep the squeaking noise away and help keep Pendana looking great!

Lance cleaning the crud off the bottom of fenders before we put the covers on
Looking as pretty as a picture!
Now that’s what I call being properly fendered
Any surge inside marina will be easily handled and managed now
Fifi exhausted after a long day of do nothing at all!
Lance and I also decided to get the much loved tender and Jetski down so that we could enjoy a few hours on the water. I must say that I do love the Caribe DL15 tender as its fast, has a great hull making for a comfortable ride and is simply lots of fun! I also love the Seadoo RXP 215HP high performance ski. This machine will rocket you along at 70kts+ on dead calm water and while I never expected to like it as much I do, Lance and I sure gave it one hell of a work out off the coast of Mexico. While Lance was still in town we also visited a few local restaurants to consume some of the flavours of Mexico. Just a quick word, if ever in Ensenada do not miss Sanos Steakhouse it’s an absolute gem of a place and probably the best restaurant in town.

Lance about to enjoy some Mexican food
Mexican flag in town flying high
Lance in-front of the famous Ensenada sign
Menu from one of the local restaurants along the water’s edge
During the day I received an email from Mike Potter, former owner of Slobada N47 to see if we made it down the coast ok, to which I replied with a picture of Ensenada and said “yes, mate we did”. Mike then sent a pic of his own with his lovely wife Nicole and two other rather special people Kevin and Alison from Red Rover N55 based in Seattle. In the picture below you can see Kevin is, in fact, wearing, his, ‘I Love Pendana’ shirt. Kev, I am surprised you still have that mate!

L-R The lovely Nicole, The equally lovely Alison, the sometimes charming Kev and young Mike. Truly a lovely bunch of people!
Lance on the ski downtown
Simply too much fun mucking around taking turns
After spending a few hours on the ski and tender Lance and I headed to Agua Mala which is one of the largest micro brewers in Mexico. With lunch time upon us and hunger setting in I knew that they made a truly great burger and I also knew that Lance may get a kick out of trying a few of their beers. Very cool place which is made entirely of shipping containers overlooking the water. Not being a beer drinker I left as sober as I entered but poor Lance, on the other hand was feeling the effects of the six small beer sample tray! Poor Lance!

Bar upstairs looking out over the ocean
Lance enjoying a few samples from the Agua Mala range
With Pendana safely in Mexico and the days rolling on it was time for Lance to leave and return to his much loved, actually, everyone’s much loved Hawaii. For me it is time to hit the gym and count down the weeks until Claire and Bianca return so that we can continue our journey south. I have a quick trip scheduled to Australia and Hong Kong once Claire returns, as such, we don’t plan to be underway for Puerto Vallarta, Costa Rica etc until November 1st which considering the hurricane season in this part of the world is a good thing. So for now, I plan to install (yes, on my own!) a Maretron outside air-temp probe and link it to my Furuno F170, relax and try not to eat too many 20cent Tacos!

Stay Safe


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