Georgia J

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Kim’s Blog 11/10/14- Mexico Officialdom

The few days we spent in Ensenada were both enjoyable and frustrating.  We loved getting back to the spicy Mexican food after Costa Rican tipico meals.   The hotel we stayed at was nice and the city of Ensenada is much improved since our last visit.

The frustration first arose with Mexican immigration and customs.  A few years ago Ensenada placed all the different officials for visiting boaters in an “Integrated Services” building to streamline the process.  The President of the country even attended the grand opening.  The immigration window was easy-stamp, stamp, stamp and you are done.   However, the temporary import tax (about $50) could only be paid after the Captain of the Port stamps your papers.  Many US boats were impounded for months last year for failing to pay this tax- so this is important.

The lady at the Port Captain window insisted that we didn’t need a stamping since Georgia J arrived on a ship.   We bounced back and forth between the two windows, but neither official wanted to talk to each other.  Every country (except the USA) has ask us for a crew list showing the people on board when we arrive and leave.  The Port Captain kept rejecting our crew list showing only Sharon and I were on board.  Even the guy from the fishing license office came out and tried to help solve the problem.  Finally, the Mexican standoff was broken by a friendly bystander who told us to list zero people on board.  The crew member was to be listed as “Rickmers Yokohama”, the ship which brought Georgia J to Mexico.  However, we needed the birthplace of the Rickmers Yokohama before the form would be accepted.  The immigration guy suggested Liberia (since many ships are registered there) and happily stamped all five copies of this new crew list.  Showing Rickmers Yokohama as the sole crew member gained the approval of the Port Captain and were ready to pay our tax. 

Unfortunately, the tax lady could not process the form.  Georgia J had received a temporary import certificate 11 years ago when we took her to Mexico.  Although this permit expired after 10 years, the new computer system would not allow data entry.   Mexico City must be consulted, please come back in two hours. 

When we came back our form was ready and could then visit the customs official for one more approval.  Total time elapsed under the streamlined process- 5 hours.

Of course, we had to go back the next day to check out of the country which also took 4 hours.  Never again will we complain about the California DMV.

s/v Georgia J

Now in the USA

Pharmaceuticals are plentiful and cheap in Mexico, but marketing seems somewhat unprofessional

11/2/14-  We arrived in Ensenada, Mexico today.  It was an easy trip from San Diego.   We simply walked a mile to the bus stop, took the bus, took two trolleys to the border, walked across the border to Tijuana, walked to the bus stop, rode the bus to Ensenada and took a taxi to the hotel.  Total transit 5 hours, cost $21.90 per person.

We were last in Ensenada 10 years ago and it certainly seems more upscale.  Our hotel is surrounded by nice shops and restaurants.  Of course, our impressions could be influenced by traveling in places that are more down the scale. 

The ship carrying Georgia J is now in La Paz and should arrive here on November 5th.  We have a leaking propeller shaft which requires a haul out.  We will then head back to San Diego.



Ensenada from our hotel balcony