Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Passage to Mexico

We have arrived in Mexico, and even though I would rather be back in Panama I was happy to be here.  It was almost like coming home.  Judy and I both love Mexico, the folks here have been in the tourista business for a long time, they are happy to have us and our money visiting, and they make it easy.  The import permit for our boat, that we got in Ensenada back in 2010 still has five years to run, the port captain and customs both have offices in the area and they processed us into the country in a matter of minutes. 

Contrast this with Costa Rica where we have to traipse around town for  couple days to three different offices and had the customs office reject the copy we made of our Coast Guard boat documentation.  They insisted we send to the US for the original, and placed us in "bond" until they arrived.

In the last five years of cruising, through seven countries, never did anyone object to us presenting a copy of our boat documentation.  The last time we were in Costa Rica they accepted it without comment 

Being placed in bond meant we had to go into a "bonding" marina.  Bonding means the marina promises the government they would hold Grace prisoner, not allowing us to leave until we presented the original copy of the Coast Guard document to customs.  This all would be a minor inconvenience except the going rate for docking in the marina was $2.35 per foot per day.  Grace is 40 feet long, so our nightly fee was $109 including taxes.  We heard from several locals the marina was kicking back a portion of this to the head of the customs office.  Nine days later we received our document and were able to leave, along with two uninvited guests, and return to Tierra Mar Marina, where we tied up to a mooring ball for $10 dollars a night.

Granted it's their country and we need to follow their rules but our copy was very high quality, and all the rest of our papers were in order.  This was our third time dealing with Costa Rican officials, the other two times they had no problems with our papers.  This office may have been taking advantage of a technicality to generate some extra income.

Mexico has had some issues with cruising boats in the past, when zealous officials harassed cruisers over technicalities, but if officials are out of line they are quickly brought back to reality.  Mexico doesn't want to upset the goose that's laying golden eggs. 

Anyway enough whining.  Its good to be back.

On our way out of Golfito we passed a yacht transporter loading boats headed north.  Leaving Golfito, they stop in La Paz, Ensenada and Victoria on Vancouver Island just 60 or so miles from Seattle.  We begged them for a ride, but no luck.  They were full.  The fare for Grace to be transported to Victoria would have been $15k which is a very good price.  We could have been in Seattle in a couple weeks and spent the summer riding our Harley with friends.   Enough whining!

Entering the squall
The passage north was pretty uneventful.  We did get stuck in one tormenta  while motor sailing off the coast of El Salvador.  There was a lot of lightening, thunder and rain, but no lightening closer then three miles except for one flash/bang strike I thought might have hit us.  There was no drama on board, no smoke, fire or burnt out electronics, but the last time we were hit there was no drama either, electrical parts just started failing all over the boat.  Since I wasn't sure if we got hit we motor sailed the rest of the way to Mexico in case electrical parts needed to restart the engine were damaged.
The last heavenly blue we saw
for several hours.

The devil has a yacht too!.
We completed the passage without more drama and are now lying in Marina Chiapas.  We will put the boat up on the hard and do some land traveling, maybe all the way back to Seattle, then continue north when the eastern Pacific hurricane season ends in November.


  1. We ae enjoying seeing activity on your blog again. You are a very good writer, Paul.

    Seattle looks a lot closer now! I'm sorry you couldn't hitch a ride. Do they come by again in a few months?


  2. Glad for the news. We miss you and your updates. The PSCC salmon bake is June 27th by sea or by land. We are looking forward to getting reacquainted.

  3. Well, glad to see you're back in Mexico. I'm home caring my wife while she recovers from several life-threatening things. It's difficult but she's coming along fine. Where in MX are you? We are planning to go to PV early next year for my nieces (one of 18!) wedding. If you're in PV early next year, let me know and maybe we can get out to play another round of golf! That would be great. Sure miss my time on the Sea of Cortez with my little Cape Dory. Hope to hear from you. Say HI to Judy! Dana Vincent