After the opening of the Coral Marina six to seven years ago, business has taken a precipitous drop in regards to
the small businesses patronized by the cruising community which are located along the waterfront of the Ensenada
harbor. When the author made his first appearance in the harbor in 1987, the boat was met almost a mile outside
by a local enterpriser with various services to offer to include a buoy or a slip, and taxi service ashore.  The last visit
was a stop for the evening in October of 2001 and there was no one offering anything, and some of the businesses
were closed and business was obviously slow for the remainder.  Before the opening of the Coral Marina, the
harbor would be jammed with cruising vessels in and out of season.  The Coral Marina is on par with the best of
marinas in the U.S. but in comparison to the harbor it is somewhat tedious to obtain a slip, the sailor first must tie
up to the fuel dock, gather the vessels documents, go to the office sign in and hand over a load of cash, walk down
to the marina and inspect the assigned slip, walk back and crank up the engine and hopefully get into the slip
without colliding with the boat already in the double slip.  This is a lot of bother if the stay is only one night, if this is
the case, the harbor is located only a mile or so further along and there, simply drop the anchor and leave the next
morning at no cost and no bother. The last time that the author checked in with the Port Captain and Immigration
was in 1997 and the officials were found to be quite officious and overbearing and further the anchorage and other
fees came to almost $50.00 for a four day layover so thereafter, the author was a guest of the harbor. At the time of
the last check in, it was noted the above offices were closed on Saturday and Sunday and as a matter of fact, they
were closed by 3:00 P.M. on Friday.  Therefore, a thoughtful sailor could time his arrival for after 3:00 P.M. on Friday
and stay the entire weekend without the onerous fees and bother. Departure should be prior to 8: A.M. on Monday.
There must be some precaution taken when anchoring in the harbor, the bottom is not only mud, its very soft mud
and when the afternoon wind rises to 18 to 22 knots or so, as it can do, the vessel will drag anchor even when
properly set and plenty of scope. The sailing vessels in photo foreground arrived in the night long after the author
arrived, anchorage was somewhat casual and the next morning most of the crew went ashore and that afternoon,
three drug up onto the rocks. Two got off with no apparent damage, one sustained a damaged rudder requiring
additional layover, haul out and repairs at the nearby shipyard. The author well aware of the propensity of the bottom,
had set a Bruce Anchor rather than the normal CQR and stayed aboard, the vessel did not drag anchor.
             Ensenada Harbor
UPDATE: In march of 2008, the northbound writer attempted to anchor in the harbor but was accosted by
the manager of Banditos and advised that the  Port Captain "frowned on anchoring in the harbor", not that it
was illegal but frowned upon.  After negotiating with the manager a nightly fee 0f $10.00 was agreed on
however, only about one half of the boat could be fitted into his slip so arrangements were made with
Cruiseport for a steep fee of $128.00 for two nights. There may be free anchoring for a night if a haul out by
Baja Naval is contemplated however, check with Baja Naval first.

When in the harbor it was noted that in addition to Banditos, there were additional slips under construction
located to the north of Baja Naval  and if can be had for $10.00 per night, they would be a bargain otherwise,
refuel at Coral and proceed to the Todos Santos.
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