Clearance in México can be a lengthy and frustrating process. Ensenada, however, was forward thinking enough to be the one place in the country that put all of the necessary government offices together in one building. This turns a two day process into a couple of hours. The only glitch we had was when we had to go find a bank mid-process because the payment desk in the building required cash.
We were finished our official clearance with enough time left over for a long stroll along the waterfront amongst the passengers of a newly arrived cruise ship - the same one we saw in San Diego and in Avalon. We also had time to stop in the marina office before they closed to come up with a plan for the next few weeks.
The ritual of swapping out our Q flag for the appropriate country flag
we are officially in Mexico
We were in Ensenada not just because it was on the way or because it was such an easy place to clear in. We also needed yet another haul out to (hopefully once and for all) address our recurring rudder problems.
The replacement rudders we got from Fountaine Pajot in 2014 have been giving us trouble ever since. We’ve slowly fixed one issue or another and all that remains is the not unsubstantial issue of water making its way into the blade. When we’ve removed the rudders at haul out, we’ve been confronted with the sight of rusty water dripping out of the shaft/fibreglass joint, which it should not have been doing.
Thus, we finally had to come to the conclusion that what needs to be done is to open up the rudders, see how bad they are inside, drain them, fill and rebuild them. If they’re bad enough, we may even have to have new ones fabricated. This task is above our skill level, so it was to fall into the hands of Baja Naval in Ensenada.
I had just barely got out of bed the next morning when José from the marina came by to say they were getting ready to haul us out now. I didn’t even have time to make coffee.
Haul out and Rudder removal
Well, our early haul out left us ahead of schedule, so we would be able to start on our long, unpleasant yard list right away.