Thursday, March 18, 2010

Trouble in Paradise

It is a requirement in Mexico, that you visit the Port Captain's office before you leave and when you arrive at a port. The paperwork on the boat is examined, The Port Captain, (or usually one of his underlings) stamps the old paper, issues new papers for the new arrival.

On the Saturday I left Barra de Navidad, I went to Port Captain's office and waited outside patiently for them to open. A little after 9 am, a woman who lived next door and came out to sweep the sidewalk, informed me that since Monday was going to be a holiday, the office was closed until Tuesday morning. So I left without the paperwork.

When I arrived in Zihuatanejo, the Port Captain's people didn't believe me that the Barra guy would close up for 3 straight days, so they told me to come back the next day. They were going to call him.

The next day, the issue of not having a "despacho" was not mentioned. Evidently my story proved out. (People are not expected to sit around for three days waiting). But another issue came up: my registration papers on the boat had expired. "Of course," I said, "the boat has been in Mexican waters since 1997."

Nevertheless, the Port Captain wants me to produce current registration within two weeks and he's forbidden me to move the boat until I do.

But the point being is why is the Mexican government enforcing the California Vehicle Code?

The last registration was 2005 in California. I know that if I show up at Fish & Game in Tucson with the title, they will happily make this an Arizona boat for less than $20.

California, on the other hand, would punish me dearly, for not updating the thing. The problem is, that all the other ship's documents have the California issued numbers (the same numbers painted on the bow), and all that would have to change when I switched to Arizona documentation.

It may be that I'll have to have the importation papers redone to match. Oh, well. My current plan is to take a bus to Barra de Navidad, get the Nissan Quest and drive it San Carlos, pick up the 1st Mate and then Tucson.

We both have business in Tucson.

Then I'll catch a plane from Hermosillo to either Zihuat or Guadalajara (and bus down). Show the paperwork to the Port Captain, and hopefully, be done with that. But my guess is that I'll have to have my papers revised at Aduana...  Mexican customs, to reflect the change in registration.

That's the plan.


Chrissy y Keith said...

or, just pay someone to forge them for you.

MxSailor said...

Very tempting, isn't it? But I've committed to do some other things up north now as well.

ZihuaRob said...

Perhaps the port captain official was looking for a mordida. Try speaking with Angel Lara, we call him "Angel del Mar" for having rescued so many people at sea (as well as several deer and dogs). He is a good guy as well as a long time friend, and he should be able to answer your questions and straighten out any misunderstandings for you.

MxSailor said...

I don't think so. He took me in to see the Port Captain himself, who is above such things (at least in my estimation). I was very impressed by this man. The discussion never veered toward "options" that may be available.