25 April 2016
OK – the big check in adventure! Bruce and three other captains left the marina at 10:30 in the morning to check in and get our TIP (temporary import permit to bring DreamCatcher into the country). The marina arranged a taxi, no a/c, one window did not open, virtually no shocks. Sigh. Visited three offices, gave them money and lots of paperwork and then returned to the marina. They then completed more paperwork and were off to the Mexico/Guatemala border to get the TIP. Approaching the border there was a huge traffic jam of American school buses towing other school buses, pickups towing pickups or pickups towing trailers loaded with refrigerators, dryers, etc., all used and being delivered to Guatemala for repair and resale. The source of the traffic jam was from the registered taxi drivers on strike closing the border trying to get the government to crack down on unregistered taxis and taxi motorcycles! The taxi driver checked it out on foot and determined it wouldn’t be possible or safe to continue by walking across the border so they returned to the marina. Underway the taxi started making lots of new noises and upon arrival it was decided there was another border crossing that was clear so they switched taxis to a pickup truck (which was cooler and more comfortable riding in the back!) until halfway there when the engine died. Sigh again. Rescue cab came and picked everyone up and the new border was clear – more paperwork, more cash and all boats had their TIP (good for 10 years). The return trip was uneventful with an arrival at 8:00 pm! Very LONG day!