Back in Mexico!
January 24, 2017
After a month visiting with friends and family in the States, we finally headed back to Adagio in Mexico. While we were stateside, we had to pick up supplies for the boat that aren’t easy to acquire in Mexico. We left Mexico with just a couple of backpacks and a duffel bag. We were returning with nine bags, including some large suitcases! Among the items we picked up were a rebuild kit for our wind generator, a new SSB radio (ours was broken) and a speargun for Mike!
Our first challenge was getting all of this gear to the airport and on the plane. We packed and repacked trying to make sure each bag was under the 50 lbs limit, but with so many bags we still ended up paying a price to get them all on the plane. Next, we had to make it through customs in Puerto Vallarta.
Mexico lets you bring personal items and other equipment into the country with some limitation, but if you are over a certain dollar figure, you have to pay a duty of 16%. While everything we brought back was for our personal use, and we have a temporary import permit for our boat and equipment, there was always a chance that some over-zealous customs official might decide that our items required the payment of duty.
So, we got in the line with all of the tourists coming to PV on holiday with our giant cart of bags. When you go through the line, you get questioned by an official. If they don’t find anything suspicious and you say you have nothing to declare, you push a button. A green light means go on through, a red light means your bags get x-rayed and scrutinized.
Most of our bags looked like ordinary suitcases and luggage. But, the speargun was in a long, odd-shaped box. The customs official started questioning us about what was in the box. She knew some English, but she didn’t understand “speargun.” We know some Spanish, but didn’t know how to say speargun in Spanish. So, in my horrible Spanish, I tried to explain it was for fishing, but not a fishing rod. It was for fishing while swimming under water. Finally, she said, “buceo?”, which means diving. Yes! we both exclaimed. That satisfied her and she told us to push the button. We got green! So, off we went through the airport to find a taxi big enough to haul all our gear to the marina.
We’re in Mexico!
Back at the marina, we have started a long list of boat maintenance projects before heading south:
(1) installing the new SSB radio
(2) rebuilding the wind generator that was off balance and creating too much vibration
(3) service the outboard engines for the dinghy
(4) change the fuel filters on the diesel engine
(5) tune the rigging
(6) seal the deck hatches (a couple were leaking)
(7) wash and wax the boat and polish the stainless steel
(8) remark our anchor chain
The great thing about Banderas Bay is that there are so many cruisers here and great resources to help you with boat projects. And, we were so excited to run into our friends on Kenta Anae that we left back at the end of the summer in the Sea of Cortez. Mike is really hoping to go surfing with Merle and the boys soon!
We retuned the rig to get ready for the next year of sailing, but there is always so much more to learn. So, Mike & I headed over to Nuevo Vallarta for a seminar on sails and rigging. We met our buddy Dale from Adios for the seminar and then went to dinner with him, Lana and Richard. After dinner we headed down to the beach for a walk and were lucky enough to get to experience the release of some baby sea turtles!
There is a local volunteer conservation organization that is trying to help the sea turtle population. All of the sea turtles are endangered, the result of various problems including illegal fishing practices and pollution. (If you didn’t know, the turtles mainly eat jellyfish. And, plastic bags floating in the ocean look like jellyfish. So think about that the next time you use a plastic bag or see litter that might make its way down to the ocean!)
These baby olive ridley turtles hatched less than 24 hours ago. The baby turtles face huge hurtles as they are a prime meal for sea birds and fish. So, the volunteers take them down to the water after dusk when there are less birds and it is harder for fish to see them. They want to give these little guys a chance!
Baby olive ridley sea turtles…
Waiting for the turtles to be released…
Go turtles go…
We’re hoping we only have about another week here in the marina in La Cruz, so we can finally head out and begin exploring again!