Friday, January 30, 2015

Buses to Blowholes

Spending much more time in Ensenada than anticipated, we felt the need to get out an explore. One of the popular attractions in the area is La Bufadora.  We inquired at the tourist center about the best way to get there and they were adamant that we use the tourist bus each way which would have cost $60 round trip for the four of us. No gracias! We opted to show our girls public transportation Mexican style. A few blocks walk and we were rubbing elbows with the locals at the bus station. With a little patience and some Spanglish we were headed on an adventure for less than $1 per person minus the cruise ship crowd. 

One of the highlights of spending many days in Ensenada was finishing our movie "So You Think You Can Sail".  Our weather window has changed so we are leaving Ensenada today. The next stop for this crew is Turtle Bay. We expect to be there either Sunday or Monday depending upon Mother Nature.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Clearing into Mexico

We made it to Ensenada!  It took us exactly 12 hours from San Diego and it was all motor the whole way.  We saw several pods of gray whales, and dolphins along the way.  For the last few hours we had 20 knots of wind right on the nose which made for a bumpy ride, but we still made very good time.  We tied up at Baja Naval Marina at 4pm and were all asleep by 7:30.

The next day we headed to the immigration office to clear in, get out Temporary Import Permit (TIP) for the boat, and our fishing licenses. Before we left, I was a bit unsure whether or not to apply for any of this ahead of time, since some of the information in the interwebs is conflicting, but it turned out to be very easy to get everything done here.  The immigration office also houses the port captain, customs, fishing license office, and Banjercito to pay for everything and get the TIP.  We were in and out in less than an hour. The awesome staff here at Baja Naval helped us get together all of the paperwork and copies that we needed.  Here is the process, docs needed and fees for anyone interested.

Head to the "Centro Integral de Servicios" office and you will find each agency needed in this small building.

Step 1: Immigration

Cost: approx. $23 per person


- Crew list (arrival and zarpe, 5 copies each)   Baja Naval prepared these for us.
- Passports for each person

Immigration will give you your tourist cards to fill out and take your passports and crew lists. Pay the fees at Banjercito, then they stamp your tourist card, passports and crew lists and hand them back to you.

Step 2: Port Captain

Cost: for us it was about $18, but it depends on gross tonnage.


- Crew lists (must be stamped by immigration)
- Copy of USCG Documentation
- Copy of Mexican Liability Insurance
- Copy of Passport (Captain only)

They filled out the application for us here.  All we had to do way pay the fee at Banjercito and then they gave us our crew lists with the approval stamp.

Step 3: Temporary Import Permit

Cost: $60 USD


- All documents from Step 2
- Copy of tourist card for Captain (There is a copy machine onsite for 10 pesos per copy)
- Engine serial numbers VERY IMPORTANT! Make sure you write down the serial number for your engine/engines.  You should also have the Hull ID# if it is not on your insurance policy.  They will ask for this information.  If you are including a dinghy on your TIP, make sure you have the hull serial number and outboard serial number as well.

Hand in these to Banjercito and they will process the TIP and take payment.

Step 4: Fishing Licenses

Cost: $50 per adult for 1 year license


-Photo ID with address

Fishing licenses are required for each adult on board if your boat has any fishing gear at all.  Just give them your ID and they will prepare the permit.  Pay at Banjercito and get your license. Super easy.

On the way back, we picked up a little gift for Murphy to welcome him to Mexico!

We decided to stay in Ensenada for an extra day to wait for our friend Mike, who will be sailing his boat to La Paz as well.  Currently, we plan to depart tomorrow (Thursday, Jan. 29th) for the 2.5 day sail to Turtle Bay.

Monday, January 19, 2015

One week left

In one week this crew and cat will be in Mexico!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Video tour of s/v Terrapin

You asked for here it is, a tour of s/v Terrapin. Yes, it's  an 18 minute video of us blabbering but we tried to give you a good idea of where we live. No need to call the Emmy's, professionals we are not!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dead tour pays off 25 years later with a new sponsor!

 Long time friend,  high school/college buddy and Dead tour companion Dan has hooked us up with our latest sponsor, Jammin on Haight.  We are thrilled to have our own tie dyed Terrapin flags.  Designed to match our boat logo we can't wait to fly both of these awesome flags. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Rain = Movie Time

We're guessing because of the larger than average (average equalling almost zero) amount of rain we've received in San Diego this winter the question most asked of us is, "what do you do when it rains?"

We're not sure if people see living on a boat synonymous with living in a van down by the river or what. We cope with the rain just as everyone else would. Hang out inside.

We get cozy on the couch and either play games or pop popcorn and watch movies. For anyone considering sailing with children we would highly recommend a movie projector that can play directly off your hard drive. We recently purchased a LED  entertainment projector off Amazon that connects directly into the hard drive through a USB. Drop down a white sheet to project on and voila it's movie time

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Money Matters

We really should of come up with this sailing idea sooner. The last few months has consisted of tracking down the best credit card, debit card and bank accounts for cruisers abroad. It really sucks to think of all the money we've thrown down the toilet in garbage banking fees, ATM fees, etc. charged by who we've been banking with.

After some research we've come out with some good financial resources we'd like to share.

First off. Ditch your bank. Skank of America. Hells Fargo. They all suck. Just leave!

We  recently opened a few accounts with Charles Schwab.  If you're one who isn't into paying ANY banking garbage fees and loves the online/ smart phone convenience then this bank is for you. But wait. That's not all.

With a high yield investor checking account  (like the account we just opened) you will never have to pay another ATM fee again. Never. Ever.  Worldwide.  In fact, if another bank charges a fee, Schwab will reimburse you! I know, I know. Music to your ears. Especially if you're like me and could swear that your spouse intentionally will drive past 5 bank branches to take money out an ATM that charges more in fees to take the money out than the actual amount he'd like to withdraw. So happy those days are over.  No minimum balance required, no fees, and fully accessible online or from your phone. 

And for all you highfalutin yachties like us (pure sarcasm) this checking account links directly to your brokerage account.  The money can sit in your brokerage account and automatically link to your checking to cover checks you write or drafts from your debit card. Why does this matter? With any "regular" bank you're limited to the number of times you can transfer money out of your savings into your checking before they charge you. I know. I've seen it happen.  Since your money is in a "brokerage account" (which you never have to do anything with) it can be transferred into checking as many times throughout the money as you fees.

So go for it. Drive all over creation and use any ATM you want, there's no fee. 

Now that we got the banking side of things taken care of we needed a credit card. After checking out a few good resources such as NerdWallet and Nomadic Matt we decided on a Capital One Venture card.

Remember when Capital One first came out and everyone couldn't wait to get one of their cards? Ya, till you found out that the limit was a lousy $1,500.  That's a bar tab!  

Well times have changed and Capital One is now offering a much larger limit and if you ask nicely they'll give you an even bigger limit.  Perfect for annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. 

Between Capital One and Chuck we think we've got the money matters covered. We'll let you know how this works out.