Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Spoke Too Soon

That tiller isn't going anywhere today.

As it turned out, we did not leave yesterday, and as it turns out we will be staying put today. Yes, there was the usual hullabaloo with Immigration (Immigration: we need to stamp your zarpe. Us: but the port captain's office told us to check out with you first. Immigration: no, the zarpe comes first. Us: but we wanted to make just one trip to Cancun to pay for the zarpe and our exit fee. Immigration: there is no exit fee. Us: why does no one know how this works!!)

But in the end the port captain advised us to stay due to high seas and winds coming from this strange place called the zona inestable, which seems to be a really crappy band of weather that forever hovers just off the coast of Venezuela and Colombia, and not being one to argue with the most disarmingly pleasant official we've ever met we decided to take his advice.

And indeed, the wind has been a'blowin' and the seas are choppy even behind the reef. I don't see it on any weather report, but it's true. In fact, it's been blowing enough that we decided to break out the outboard yesterday evening because rowing was quickly becoming some sort of sick, twisted endurance test.

Funny thing about rowing the dinghy in this town, we get a lot of strange looks. Mainly they are looks of amusement - a sly smile here, a suppressed giggle there - but sometimes we got outright laughter from the locals hanging out or fishing from the pier. We could tell we were the subject of some humor, but it wasn't until Vlad put the outboard on last night and motored up to the pier that the full mockery burst forth. He said that all the fishermen were cheering and clapping for him, saying things like "good job" and "about time you found a motor" and "mas facil." One of them even called him Arnold Schwarzenegger. This puts Vlad in a rare class of people who can say they've been thoroughly mocked by Mexican fishermen. Definitely a trip highlight.


  1. Male mockery? Surely you jest! You are truly part of the community there now and are getting your wish not to leave! It is amusing to read about the lack of any kind of coherent process for getting into/out of Mexico. I do wonder why they do not have a process that everyone understands. How does that help them in any way? I only hope we can be as laid back about it as you two have tried to be. At least Mike has done some time in the military, so he knows how to take orders that are completely stupid without even cracking up about it. I, on the other hand, have worked for myself for so long that I fear getting involved with any kind of system that can lead to craziness. Maybe I'll have to let Mike handle Mexican immigration and customs.

  2. A bright spot in the check in/out process for you guys is that the West Coast is supposed to be much better, more streamlined and way easier to deal with. Alternatively, you can get an agent to take care of the whole thing for $50 to $100 bucks.

    All in all, it wasn't a bad experience, even with its moments of frustration.

  3. Oh no, you're stuck in paradise. How horrible for you. :P

  4. Charles, was that sarcasm I detected? Alas, it's not truly paradise unless you guys are here!

  5. As much as I would hate to pay an agent, sounds like it would be money well spent. Hope the weather cooperates for you and look forward to tales of your next landfall. :)