Sunday, May 13, 2012

Birthday in Ensenada

Spanish Lessons ... Our next trip to Ensenada was an extended two week trip to complete a Spanish immersion class.  Our instructor, Dey Lopez, came to Agave Azul every morning for 10 days.  Kathryn studied Spanish before we went to Patagonia on a backpacking trip so she was very well prepared.  I recently tried Rosetta Stone and the Coffee Break Spanish podcasts, but I had lots of trouble understanding verb conjugation.  Fortunately, that was the focus of this class.  Although I didn't learn much conversational Spanish, I feel that a second attempt with Rosetta Stone and Spanish podcasts will work much better when I try again.

Our Instructor, Dey Lopez in Agave Azul's Classroom 

Lunch Break

Birthday Splurge ... The first week in March was a big birthday for me ... the one that typically signals retirement for most of us.  I wanted to get a light lunch at a restaurant that had been highly recommended by a local sailor we met.  It's a small place on the pier where the fishing boats come into port.  It seats only about 20 people and it's only open part of the week.  We  had a couple appetizers, but that was the perfect snack and we were determined to return to sample their full tasting menu.  Chef Davida Martinez Garza previously worked with Benito Molina at Manzanilla.

Muelle Tres

Ceviche at Muelle Tres

Manzanilla ... The main event that evening was at Manzanilla restaurant.  Manzanilla is located next to the Port Captain's office in an industrial area of the Port of Ensenada ... you have to do some searching to find the place.  It was also highly recommended and was also an excellent food experience.  Chef Benito Molina got his start at Maxim's Mexico City and graduated from the New England Culinary Institute.  I only included a few photos of the restaurant and the food ... after starting our meal, I was more focused on eating rather than picture taking.  Happy Birthday to me!

Manzanilla's Bar


Tiradito de Pescado 

We did get out for a short sail on my birthday.  It was one of the most mellow days we've been out sailing the whole time we've been in Mexico.  I was pleased that a pair of dolphins came out to wish me a happy birthday ... a nice way to end the day.

Birthday Dolphins

Birthday Sail

Weekend Chores ... We did have some chores to do on the weekend between our Spanish classes.  One was to check out my new wetsuit & snorkel gear.  I didn't spend the big bucks for the waterproof back zipper, so the cold water seeped through pretty quickly.  I also need to get some weights.  When I tried to swim under the boat to get close to the rudder and prop, I floated up to the bottom of the hull.  That was a bit claustrophobic and I need more time in the water to practice.

The whole outfit

I can already feel the water seeping in the back of the suit ... 

Our primary propane tank ran out on this trip, but it gave me an opportunity to practice my beginner's Spanish.  It worked!

The propane fill-up station is just a few miles north in El Sausal.

The BBQ tank was almost full, but the stove tank was empty.

Back to Muelle Tres ... Manzanilla was awesome, but I was anxious to get back to Muelle Tres to try their tasting menu.  And it was reasonably priced at 300 pesos for the 5 course Menu de Degustación (tasting menu).  There are a lot of great values in Ensenada, but this is one of my favorites.  We'll be back!

A nice afternoon by the fishing pier.

Ceviche de Almejas

Meijillones al Vapor y Papas Fritas

Camarón Quesedilla y Almohaditas de Camarón

This was Kathryn's final trip to Ensenada.  It has been a wonderful experience for both of us and we're looking forward to another long visit on our next trip down the baja coast.

One more trip across the Border

On the way to San Diego airport, we stopped at the San Diego Yacht Club, where we will bring Agave Azul for a few days when we come back into the US.  We'll be here for engine maintenance and provisioning before sailing back up to San Francisco.  This is the nicest yacht club either of us have ever visited.

San Diego Yacht Club

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