Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thanksgiving in Ensenada

My children, Mark & Carrie, joined us in Ensenada for Thanksgiving.  When we arrived in Ensenada it was sunny with a nice breeze, so we dumped the bags below and took off for a sail to Islas Todos Santos.  

Leaving Marina Coral



As we got closer to the islands the wind got lighter so we headed southeast and put up the chute.  We'd never been to the main Ensenada port, just 2 miles south of Marina Coral, so we motored in to tour the harbor.

The port is busy with container ships, dry dock, a large fishing fleet and yacht harbor.  Ensenada is also a stop on the cruise ship circuit.

We motored back in to Marina Coral just as the sun was setting & BBQ'd steaks for dinner.  A perfect end to the day.

Thanksgiving Day

Instead of a traditional Pilgrim dinner, we decided to explore in town to find the best of Ensenada's renowned Fish Taco's!  Our first stop was Tacos Don Zefe, and we were just in time for their lunch special - 2 tacos for 7 pesos.  That's right, we had 8 tacos for $2.00 US total!  They also have Shrimp, Squid and "Gobernador" tacos .  Also on the menu was a Mantaraya Quesadilla - shredded manta ray.  I tried Mantaraya on a later visit and it was delicious.

The Pescado is fried in a tempura batter and the diner selects from tomato salsa, pickled onions, shredded cabbage, radish, fresh limes and a variety of sauces add spice and flavor.  Kathryn has been trying to get me try more spicy foods, so I thought this would be a good place to try.  One of the sauces was in a small bowl and lighter in color, so I thought why not, it must be lighter in heat, too.

This is a photo of Kathryn before she swallowed a bite of the taco with the "lighter" sauce.

This is the photo showing her squeezing the tears out of her eyes after a bite with the "lighter sauce".  I drank half the can of Coke after my bite!

Rancho El Fenix was another favorite stop on our quest.

One of the local tourist attractions is "La Bufadora", a blow-hole on the Punta Banda peninsula about 35 kilometers south of Ensenada.  

To get to the blow-hole, you had to run the gauntlet of tourist stands, but despite a low tide, the blow-hole itself was pretty spectacular.

La Bufadora

We made one more stop before heading back to the boat.  Just north of Marina Coral is the Punta Morro resort, which I was told had an excellent restaurant with a great view.  After our fish taco experience we wanted more local food, so we stopped at Punta Morro on the way home.  

The bar at Punta Morro

Ceviche and Lobster Quesadilla

 Islas Todos Santos from Punta Morro resort

Mark had to be back at work in San Diego on Friday by 3:00pm, so we got a very early start to drive Mark & Carrie back to San Diego.  


Kathryn and I arrived back to the boat early in the afternoon.  The wind was blowing 15 - 20 knots so we decided to head out for a quick sail.  As we neared Islas Todos Santos I noticed some spray near the island that I hadn't seen before.  As we got closer, I noticed that the spray was moving in our direction and we saw the spouting plumes and tail fins of two whales.  In the next 15 minutes we saw the pair breach completely out of the water half a dozen times.  It was amazing!  We didn't get closer than a few hundred meters, so even if I'd had my wits about me to grab the camera, I don't know how well the photos would have turned out.  Gray whales typically migrate down the Baja coast in late December to breed, so we'll have another chance to get some pics over the Christmas holiday!  Stay tuned.

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