Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Viva Mexico!

It's a pre-Christmas miracle! We are finally in Mexico!

Celebrating our arrival with margaritas!
 We left San Diego at 5:30am only to turn back because our engine was making a funky high pitched noise. Since it is brand new, only 250 hours on it since Seattle, we had it re-aligned (like re-aligning the wheels on a car) by an engine mechanic when we arrived in San Diego. But, the alignment was a tad off and Tim could hear it, so better to be safe than sorry, we turned back. After a phone call to our mechanic, who was out of town and referred us to another guy, within 1.5 hours, we were back in business, and heading south to Mexico! When we arrived, we treated ourselves to a-mazing margaritas here at Hotel Coral & Marina and a nice dinner as well. We are enjoying this hotel; the facilities are awesome!

The lobby @ the Hotel Coral

What's what with checking into Mexico? For a $25 fee, this marina will take you to the immigration/customs office to get your visa, import permit for the boat and pay any port fees/taxes. When you arrive to the customs office, each window is marked with a number and on the wall, there are instructions on where to go, for which window. It actually seems pretty easy, however our fee included a nice guy who did all the work for us and ran from window to window with our paperwork :)

$25 x 2 for our visas
$20 Port Captain fees (taxes)
$50 Import permit for the boat
$120 later, we were in business!
(make sure to bring your engine serial number and original registration/boat documentation with you!)

Except...when Tim got a 'red' light. This is the Mexican security random check similar to our random security check at the airport in the US! What did it mean? That an inspector had to come out and check out the interior of our boat, to make sure we didn't have anything illegal on board. So, we drove back to the Hotel only to have the inspector come on board, and check that our engine serial number matched the number we gave him at the office. LOL. 3 minutes later, he left and we were checked in!

Port Captain - open from 9:30 - 2pm only!
 The rest of the 'windows'/offices are open from 8-5.

Instructions on checking in - modules = windows.

I was worried about getting Peanut/Olds into the country, which is why we chose to 'check in' to Mexico at this hotel since they do all the paperwork for you. There are two other places to check in to about 3 miles south of Hotel Coral (one is Cruiseport Village Marina, the other Baja Naval, both are cheaper, but you have to do-it-yourself check-in, and no access to swanky hotel amenities, or so I'm told...). When we arrived at Hotel Coral the administrator at the marina said that there was nothing that we had to do to check in pets. We were shocked. He said the only thing we had to do was give him a treat - lol. I asked twice and also asked the guy who took us into town today, and he said the same thing! Talk about a relief! But sheesh, in my other post about Sailing With An Oldsmobile, per the APHIS website and working with the gov. vet, we were required to have letters stating that our dog was vaccinated, examined and healthy, but they said none of it was needed. We decided that had we NOT done all that work, that they would have probably asked for paperwork....in talking with a few folks, it sounds like the regulations are a bit inconsistent, so it's better we have the paperwork than not, for insurance! Phew!

We are planning our route to head to Cabo and plan to be here for the next 2 days. Unfortunately, the weather has kicked up where we are going (gale winds, 10 ft waves, 'green' = bad on passageweather.com) so we may be here until Sunday when the weather clears up....stay tuned.

-K&T (getting our Mexico on finally, woo hoo!)

1 comment:

  1. Rodger and I looked at a map of Mexico last night to see exactly where you are and where you are going! So cool to be following along! Maybe tonight we'll make some of those giant margaritas, in your honor of course! :)