Coronados: The Mexican frontier islands


Sailing is the best border crossing ever.

No traffic, no officials; only our cel phones bling bling indicated we had crossed into Mexico, sometime during the 3 hours passage from San Diego to the Coronado Islands. We basked in the relief of leaving the dock and its never ending projects!

We got a rebuilt alternator from an Iranian mechanic, new engine belts/ gauges with help from a Johnny Depp pirate look-alike, finished installing our watermaker, bought spare parts at four marine stores with discounts by local friends (thanks Eric!), new tools (thanks Robby!), shoved it all into the boat, and shoved off.

IMG_9287After one or two motorcycle breakdowns on Interstate 5, our friend and ship’s carpenter Matt managed to make it for this leg down from San Diego to Turtle Bay, halfway down the Baja peninsula. He joined Aldebaran’s four main crew members (Kristian, Sabrina, Ryan, Michael) who are onboard for the first 6 months of the voyage.


It was Matt’s first time snorkeling in a few years and he stepped up to the challenging open ocean conditions on the Coronados, which are basically 3 huge rocks. We dove through caves and noted the iconic Garibaldi, no longer protected as our California’s state fish. Poor orange fish, lacking any manner of self-defense, targeted for fish tacos now that we’re south of the “border”.


We awoke to chef MC’s amazing huevos rancheros a la Santa Barbara style, to celebrate our first day in foreign waters, and set sail heading south to Ensenada. By evening we were eating the freshest sashimi from a big 15lb Bonita that MC caught!! What a culinary beginning!

(I should add that 3 weeks into the voyage, we have eaten better than anytime else in our lives- and the standards don’t seem to be waning just yet)

About an hour before dark, the wind picking up, we decided to veer course towards Todos Santos island, which began our first unexpected adventure.