Across the Mexican Border
07 November 2007 | Puerto Madero, Mexico
We decided to stop for the night in Puerto Madero, Mexico, which is just across the border from Guatemala. The weather window to cross the Gulf of Tehuantepec is not until Friday, so we thought we would stop here, get checked in and continue on tomorrow to catch the window. The entrance was a little bit hairy, through two rocky breakwaters and large swell, but once we got inside it was nice and calm. There is a small fishing village and fish processing plant, but it's otherwise largely undeveloped. We anchored towards the back of the inlet - the only boat here.
At first we thought maybe we would try to just catch a night of sleep and leave first thing in the morning without contacting the officials, but decided against that and called the Port Captain on the radio and he told us to come see him at 9am. Good thing because we got a visit from the Navy not an hour later. I was in the shower and Chris called down "Julie, can you get dressed and come up top immediately?" I came up expecting to see some locals selling lobster or something, but instead there was a panga full of 8 Mexican officials wielding AK- 47s, as well as a drug searching dog. They asked permission to come aboard and the puppy went below in search of our non-existent stash of Columbian Bam Bam while we sat up top with the Navy official in charge to fill out their paperwork. It turned out they were very nice and the whole thing went very smoothly. I was even able to joke a little with them in my limited Spanish. But all things said, we were glad to see them go.
Andrew cooked up half of the mahi-mahi that we caught the day before for a lovely dinner of fish tacos, beans and rice. It's always nice to have dinner at a stationary table after a few days of sailing, not to mention a good 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep. This morning Chris and I will go ashore to clear with the Port Captain, Immigration and Customs while unfortunately Andrew will stay aboard to keep an eye on things. Our guide book says that pilfering is common here, so we'll err on the safe side.