Finally in Mexico!
19 November 2011 | Ensenada
We finally passed over the border and entered Mexico! We arrived in Ensenada yesterday at 11:00am after an all night passage. Still no wind so motored all the way. My little Volvo diesel is getting quite a work out on this trip.
We stayed at Marina Corral which is about 3 miles outside downtown La Paz.
We spent the afternoon yesterday getting all our paperwork done for entering Mexico. The Marina staff helped us through this step. They drove us to the office where the paperwork is completed and guided us through the entire process for $25.00 apiece. The office is called the Centro Integral De Services and you have to check in at 3 different areas, immigration, port captain and customs. First we went to immigration where we found a short, dark haired man watching Pirates of the Caribbean on his TV as he helped the customers. Here we filled out paper work for our 6 month tourist cards. You cannot pay for them at the immigration office so we had to go to the bank to pay and then back to immigration to get them. On the bank window there was a large sign that stated cell phones were prohibido and directly behind this sign was the young employee on her cell phone. Each time she finished with a customer she had to wait for the copy machine to work so during this short break she would get her cell phone out. Bonnie and I got a chuckle out of this especially since when she found something interesting she would share it with the guy working next to her. Once we had the cards in hand I was instructed to go outside to the copy room and get copies of them for one of the other steps. Then we went to the Port Captains window to get our entrance and exit papers. Once that was done, out to the copy room I went again to get copies of these papers. Then we went back to the bank window where we filled out paper work for our temporary import permit for the boat and paid for that. With all this paperwork in hand we went to customs. We filled out papers here stating we were not bringing firearms or livestock into Mexico and then got to push the magic button. This button is the way customs determine whether or not your boat is going to be searched. It looks like a small stoplight on a post without the middle yellow light. There is a red light on the top and a green light on the bottom. If you push the button and the green light lights up you are good to go, if the red light lights then they take you aside for further inspection. Luckily for us the light flashed green so were good to go.
Back at the Marina we got to take some much needed showers and got ready to go into Ensenada and explore a little. The marina was supposed to have a shuttle bus that would take us to town and back but when we asked about this we were told there were none available so we decided to take a bus instead. There was no designated bus stop for the bus outside the marina so we stood where some other people were standing and in a few minutes a small crowded bus stopped for us. A young man politely gave up his seat for Bonnie and we roared into town with the driver chatting on his cell phone. Things are definitely different here. In town we looked for a bank to get some pesos but they all closed at 4:00 so we ended up getting some out of an ATM at a grocery store. After that we treated ourselves to our first beers in Mexico. We were pretty tired from being up all night so we did not stay very long. We went back to where the bus dropped us off , flagged down three buses before we found the correct one, rode back to the Marina and then got settled back on board.
We are getting ready to leave today for our next stop which is Turtle Bay. This will be one of our longer passages which should take us somewhere between 50 and 60 hours.