Monday, December 1, 2008

Leaving Marina Mazatlan...12.1.08

Woohoo! It's that time! We're fully stocked & ready. FINALLY!! It's time for us to be cruisers again, not dockers! Our plan today is to leave Marina Mazatlan around 2pm and go over to Stone Island, just outside of the old harbor. We will stay there for a couple days and get used to the movement of the boat and just RELAX, then leave for Isla Isabella, weather permitting.

We have had a couple of crazy days since Turkey day. On Friday, we took off early in the morning and did the last of our provisioning, went by Nid Art to see our sailboat they are making for us, and got to Immigration around 11:15. Our appointment wasn't until 12:00 but we decided since we were there, to just go in & wait. We had asked earlier in the week for them to move up our appointment and so when we arrived, the guard at the desk recognized us. Only 10-15 minutes later, more people started to arrive and pretty soon, there were over 25 people in the waiting room. Now remember, we have to get our FM3's and make it to customs by 2pm so that we can extend our vehicle import expiration date. If I haven't explained it, when you enter Mexico, you purchase a Tourist card which is good for 6 months. When you enter with your vehicle, your temporary import permit is only good for as long as you are allowed in, in this case, 6 months. The FM3 is a document that allows you to stay in the country for 1 year at a time. But our issue is that once we get our FM3, we have to take those copies & a request for extension to customs to extend our vehicle temporary import permit to the year expiration date. Whew! That's a mouthful.

So anyway, Twelve o'clock came around, nothing. Twelve thirty, one o'clock, and we're starting to panic. Finally at 1:15, they call us (we were the 1st ones called!) and we go upstairs, put our thumbprints on our FM3's and we were outta there by 1:20. We are officially 'Estados Unidos Mexicanos' or 'American Mexicans' now...hahaha... I guess I really have to learn Spanish now! haha. So we high-tail it down the street to make a couple copies of the FM3 and then take off for Customs. It just so happens, on a total random sighting, I see the Aduana (customs) building by accident and it was not where we thought it was supposed to be! A little hesitation on Michael's part as he knew we had very little time to get this done, we turned around and went inside. We clocked in at 1:25, and back out at 1:30!! Can you believe it!? It was one of the easiest parts of the day. We just walked in, presented our request, made some more photo copies, and wha-la! The Jeep is safe & legal again. Whew! That even we were supposed to participate in a dinghy raft-up but decided to bail & make it a mellow evening.

Saturday came and suddenly - we're only 1 day from leaving! It was one of those crazy days - first the morning net, then there was a swap meet right after the net (and we sold lots of items), then there was a cruiser 'talk' about cruising in Panama, Cell phones, & Tenacatita. There were books to return, beading instructions given, chatting with Debbie on S/V Lovely Reta after her surgery, and visiting with everyone on the docks. We cleaned & organized the boat in preparation for guests. That evening, we invited Elvira & her fiance, Ramiro, to dinner and Michael made his famous Crab Newburg with some cauliflower. We enjoyed chatting with them and after dinner, jumped in their car and they toured us through Mazatlan. It was so much fun!

Sunday morning, when I should have been sleeping, we heard lots of police activity and even a helicopter! Mazatlan holds a marathon every year on the weekend after Thanksgiving day. The runners were running right by the marina! So I threw on some clothes & went out for lots of clapping & encouragement. When I got back to the boat my laptop was delivered - virus free (actually, he couldn't find anything wrong with it...yippee!) - and we continued to work on the small cleanup items - install the jack lines on the boat, do the last loads of laundry, update the blogs (wink!), clean & organize from last night, try to find the geocache at El Cid, run the dinghy around to make sure it's working properly (it isn't), & other little stuff like that.
We are planning to buddy boat with Mike & Marylyn on S/V Lady Hawke while several of our friends catch up with us. Debbie & John on S/V Lovely Reta are stuck in Mazatlan for a couple more weeks as she recovers from knee surgery on Friday for a torn miniscus, Linda & Wally on S/V Andanzas are also stuck in Mazatlan for a while as he recovers from back surgery, Barry & Pat on S/V Pacific Voyager are stuck until their refrigerator is rebuilt, and Anne & Jeff on S/V Outrider are still in La Paz with repairs. So we're going to take off & explore and will look forward to seeing them later.
At Stone Island, a couple other boats from the marina are going to join us - in addition to Lady Hawke, Mike & Julie on S/V Slacker and Justin on S/V Tao Min are planning to anchor at Stone Island as well - and we'll have a nice party out there! We will miss all of our friends here at the marina, but are looking forward to meeting all of the others out there!

So, here we go! Follow us along as we attempt to explain what we're doing and all that we're seeing. I will insert pictures as often as we can, but will be posting all of my future posts via the Winlink system - over a Ham radio signal.
Enjoy the posts!


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