Unloading Libertad in Ensenada
03 July 2017
We got word that the freighter would arrive in Ensenada the afternoon of July 1st and would thus be unloading early the next morning, depending on when they could get a spot at the commercial pier cleared.
Early morning on Fri. July 1, Dennis took the Amtrak train down to San Diego, a shuttle bus to the Mexican border, walked across the border-clearing into the country, and then boarded an ABC bus for the 90 minute ride down to Ensenada.
While enroute he got a message saying they had scheduled us to unload at 11am that day. Don't know what happened - perhaps the boat arrived a full day early, but there was no way Dennis would be in Ensenada until late in the afternoon. They said they would figure something out and rearrange us. But this took numerous phone calls and emails among Virginia, Dennis, and our assigned agent in Ensenada. When Dennis arrived Libertad had been unloaded and was sitting alongside the freighter. The water taxi dropped Dennis at our boat and left. Dennis could not reach anyone on the freighter to ask for them to untie our dock lines and he couldn't reach them from Libertad's deck. He even rapped on their hull with our plastic mallet to no avail. After another set of phone calls among Virginia (still back in Santa Barbara), Dennis, our agent, and various officials with the transport company, we finally got word to the freighter crew and someone dropped our lines.
This story could go on for pages, but the short story is that Dennis had to stay in Ensenada for a few days to make arrangements with the boatyard and customs officials on Monday. We had heard a lot of horror stories about expired Temporary Import Permits, and we were prepared with all the required backup documentation to get ours cancelled and a new one issued, but.....it turns out that when they put our 2004 permit in the system they transposed some of the number of the paper permit so this mismatch requires us to send a lot of paperwork to Mexico city and wait for them to cancel the old before we can get issued the new. Unbelievable. Since Dennis basically spent the full day with Customs on this issue (thank you to the Baja Naval spanish speaking staff member who accompanied Dennis on this all day errand), he got to San Diego very late in the day. He had missed the Amtrak train and Greyhound buses to Santa Barbara. He was only able to get as far as Los Angeles. Virginia met him downtown LA at 11pm at the Greyhound station and got him home safe, but a bit exhausted and crazed.
We are now awaiting a schedule from the boatyard for the TLC we want to do to Libertad before sailing her home to Santa Barbara. We will most likely be making a few trips back and forth to Ensenada before we have Libertad berthed in Santa Barbara.