Ensenada Harbor Navigation
31░50.39'N - 116░38.3'W
Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

ensenadachart.GIF (30219 bytes)Ensenada Harbor is undergoing changes and although slow, they are still happening.  Regulations governing harbor pollution are in effect.  The Malecon is completed.  The new cruise ships wharf is completed.  And there is now a charge to anchor in the harbor.....oh well, the docks are a lot more bettah!

Coming from the north, it is about 60 nm from San Diego to Ensenada, as the crow flies.  If you listen to any group of sailors after a Newport-Ensenada Race, you will find that there are many courses to Ensenada, inside, outside, down the rhumb line.  They are talking about route taken from the start in Newport.  Inside and outside mean on one side or the other of the Coronados (32░25'N - 117░15'W) but the rhumb line doesn't split the islands!  Located about 13 nm miles south of Point Loma, it is best to clear them at a distance, they look better that way. There are lights on both the north and south end of Coronado del  Sur.

The coastline is cliffs with short stretches of beach where canyons run down to the ocean.  There are many landmarks along the coast, including the power plant with its huge stack at Rosarito, the floating cans offshore also at Rosarito that the BIG oil tankers tie up to, and numerous points and lights.  First Punta Descanso, then Descanso Bay, Punta Salsipuedes and Punta San Miguel (light) which marks the north entrance to Todos Santo Bay. Across the entrance to the bay are the Todos Santos Islands which have a light at the north end of Todos Santos Norte. After Punta San Miguel, is Punta Morro with a concrete tower and light.  Stay away from Punta Morro with its shoals and kelp beds. Its best to stay at least 2 to 2 1/2 miles offshore.  Then is Punta Ensenada and you're there.  The new 15 story Mexican flag flies majestically above the harborside park and can be seen for miles.

From the south Cabo Punta Banda   (33░44'N - 116░15'W) marks the entrance to the bay and can be recognized by Banda Peak, 1 mile southeast of the point and 1,273 feet.  There is a light on Punta Banda.   Offshore and to the northwest lie the Todos Santos Islands.  The channel between Banda and Todos is wide and clear except for rocky shoals extending about a mile northwest of Punta Banda. 
Ensenada Harbor is at the northeast end of the rectangular bay and is protected by a mile long breakwater.  The entrance is at the southern end of the breakwater which is marked by a light. This is a port and the northwest part of the harbor is for the cruise ship berths, the fishing fleet and the big ship boatyards.  The anchorage is along the southeast.  The southeastern shore is home to many small marinas (docks) and the small boat shipyard.  South of here, the new cruise ship wharf is finished and a new marina is under construction.  The anchorage has a soft mud bottom, be sure to use enough scope, the wind will come up in the afternoon and boats will drag if not anchored properly.  And there is a charge to anchor in Ensenada Harbor.  Check with the docks, there may be a slip for you.  Much more convenient. 

Of course, if this is the Newport to Ensenada Race, all you need to look for is the MAGENTA LIGHT! STROBE LIGHT


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