Captains Corner

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chiapas, Mexico

We made the crossing without a hitch.  The weather was beautiful the whole trip.  The only slight kink was when we saw lights behind us, about 5 miles.   The bleep on the radar kept getting closer to us.  We were on a straight path and wanted to keep to our course and not divert.  We hailed the boat, and then hailed him again.  We finally had Lucio try in Spanish and nothing.  Meanwhile he is getting closer and closer.  Finally Lucio tries one more time and the guy answers by saying Que Pasa?  Lucio says “why are you directly behind us?”  He yells – OH I move now, I move now.  Apparently he was ASLEEP!   OY.  

The radar is all we watch during an all night passing.

Aggie is such a good traveler.

 F        We made it into Chiapas, Mexico about 10 am.  Finding our way into the port entrance was a chore in itself, between the dredging and all of the fishing boats.  But it was picturesque.  The marina is still somewhat under construction, hence the dredging at the entrance and no power or water on the marina dock.  Everything is there and ready to be used, they are just waiting for “the signature” so they can turn it on.  They’ve been waiting for a year.   That’s Mexico!!

The Dredger  
 There were about 7 boats that entered the marina the same day as we and would also be making the crossing to El Salvador.  As the last boat came in, they announced that we cannot leave until Sunday because they are closing the marina for the dredging to continue.  After we all finished sighing and cursing we decided it was cocktail time.  But wait!

Military and immigration had to check us into port.  They boarded our boat with their drug sniffing dog (the dog wore boots on the front paws he wouldn’t scratch the boats???).  They asked us odd questions about the boat and then filled out enough paperwork to sink a ship!!!  At one point we thought we might be selling the boat to them. 

We were finally checked into our last port of call in Mexico.  We are only 12 miles from the Guatemala border. 
Now we need to find out where to provision.  We also need to find out how to check out of Mexico.  Checking out is a must when leaving the country.  You need to receive your Zarppe so you can present it to the next country of entry. 

The marina manager, Enrique, an extremely handsome man, and just as nice as can be,  came to our boat to tell us where to provision and that he and his assistant, Memo,  would take us the next day to check out.  They called for a 9:00am gathering time for all eight boats.  One person from each vessel came to the meeting .  By the time we got every paper we needed it was already 10:30. 

 So 8 of us went out on this adventure.  First to the Port Authority, paying $7.00 for the use of the water we were floating in.  That took about 2 hours.  Then to customs to have our passports stamped and pay $35.  This process only took about 1 ½ hours   Next,  the port captain,  to check our paper work and to receive the actual Zarppe.  To add insult to injury,  they could not give us the paperwork because their computers were down.  Note, however, there was no problem paying them the $134 fee after traveling 45 minutes to the bank and 45 minutes back!!!   This portion took 2 hours. 

When we arrived back at the port captain’s office to collect our Zarppe no one was there.  They were out for their siesta!!  We raised a stink so Enrique called the Port Captain.  He came back about 45 minutes later.  The entire process took  7 + hours.  And this, my friends, is what boaters call the Mexican “paper cha-cha-cha”.

Alright so now to our food shopping expedition and a little Mayan Ruin touring – not difficult right.  Well guess again.   Deborah, being the kind soul she is,  hired a car for us to get into the town.  They said they would send their large SUV so Deb invited 2 others to go with us Scott and Joyce from sv Life is Good.  (Has she not seen what I bring back to the boat when I shop????)  The SUV was the size of a sardine can. 

Joyce, Scott and Deb

More Ruins

 But first to the Ruins.  The Ruins we saw were the first ones that the Mayans built.  They are referred to as the classic period.  There were not really many and they were very basic.  We learned about the local trees and a bit about the Caçcoa (prounced cah cow) tree that produce the pods of cocoa beans.  We tasted all kinds of stuff and even went to a coffee place to buy this special coffee.


Turtle Ruin?

Inside the Cacao

The Cacao pods on the trees.

Now for the shopping.  Our friends bought 2 to 3 bags at each stop I, however, had 6-8.  We had so much stuff we could not fit it all into the SUV and I had to take a taxi back to the boat.  We were exhausted when we returned.  We unloaded and got to know the other boaters on in the Rally and waited to make our final crossing into El Salvador.

1 comment:

  1. Another great passage!
    Afer all the Mexican Ports you've cleared in and out of, you know luck and 'mordida' make it happen.
    Don't you just love dredges---you really never know for sure if you are in the right place till you have passed all their stuff.
    The pics of the ruins are incredible.
    Adios to Mexico

    May the Weather Gods stay with you!

    BTW---It is really fun following your adventures.
    Thanks for the Blog.
    All our best,
    Rick and Michael