Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cruzin' On Down The Road -- February 2, 2014

The Embargo Precautorio Ends - For Us

[Note: If you have not been following our experience with Mexican officialdom, the following will not make any sense.  Take a look at our four previous posts if you want to understand what we are explaining.]

On January 31 we were given a copy of a letter from the Servicio de Administracion Tributaria (SAT) to the Capitania de Puerto listing the more than 50 vessels released from embargo precautorio -- and we are more than happy to report that Abracadabra was on this list!

We immediately went to the office of the Capitania and filed an Aviso de Salida (Advisement of Departure) and obtained the Capitania's official stamp on it.  According to our aviso we will depart the marina, noon on Monday, February 3. 
(Insert your favorite happy dance music here _________)

More on our plans below.

It Ended Like It Began - Indirectly

For about a week, we had watched what looked to us to be growing pressure on the SAT to resolve the embargo.  The story was carried by the Mexican press in a way that was unfavorable to SAT.  In one story the SAT was reported to have said that the boats in the Marina Riviera Nayarit had already been released!  Officials in the tourism department of the government were quoted as saying extremely derisive things about SAT's embargo.

We were told by officials at Marina Riviera Nayarit that the settlement for all of the embargoed boats with proper documentation (including Abracadabra, we were repeatedly assured) was coming soon.  Very soon.  Maybe next week.

Then we were told that SAT would be coming with the final "settlement" document on the 29th; that Abracadabra was one of the boats listed on that clearance document.  Then we were told they would be coming on the 30th.  Some days we felt hopeful.  Other days we planned a trip to Morelia with the crew of Dodger Too to try to keep ourselves sane.  But we didn't buy our bus tickets because . . . we hoped.

On the morning of the 30th, on the morning net (a radio chat that includes weather reports, information about things going on around town, a chance to ask for assistance from other cruisers, and general "coconut telegraph" news), a charter captain that had been providing information from the marina via the net told those of us affected by the embargo that we would have the opportunity to meet with SAT at 13:00 that day. 

That didn't sound good to us.  If they had already decided to clear all of the properly documented boats - what would we say to them? 

So on the 30th, we showered (wanted to make a good impression!) and put on "town clothes" and went to the restaurant at the marina, clutching our documentation folder and our list of questions.  We ordered limonadas and sat, watching the two men from SAT talk on their cell phones and shift through a huge stack of paper (impressive even to those of us that spent years in civil servicedom).  Finally, we decided they had talked and shifted enough - and that they might be receptive to talking to us. 

Bryce approached and in his best Spanish, introduced himself as an owner of Abracadabra, one of the boats under embargo.  He offered to provide copies of any of our documents or a tour of the boat, if any of that could be helpful.  The official that looked like the most in-charge guy of the two assured him that all of the boats would be released that very day and that they did not need anything further from the crew of Abracadabra. 

We decided to quit while it looked like we might be ahead, and left.

The next morning we were given a copy of the "release letter" and shortly thereafter beetled off to the Capitania!  That night we went out to dinner at a German restaurant (yes, really - a German restaurant in La Cruz) with some Dutch friends (who were much happier with their meal than we were with ours).  We ate too much, drank wine, talked about things other than sailing and listened to two really wonderful musicians Latcho and Andrea.  We felt free!

So - What Now?

We're stocking up on food and necessary paper products, and getting all our clothes and sheets washed in preparation for the first leg of our journey southward.  At the risk of jinxing our plans (calling up lousy weather - or worse, no wind) here's the general idea for our truncated sailing season:

  • Monday: Depart the marina and spend a few days touring some anchorages in Bandaras Bay we've never visited (Punta Mita; Tres Marietas) to acclimate ourselves and Abracadabra to life off the dock.  
  • When The Weather Looks Good: Around Cabo Corrientes and continue overnight to wherever it seems like a good idea to stop (Chamela?  Tenacatita?).
  • The Rest of February:  Southerly ho - Barra de Navidad; Bahia Santiago.
  • March 2-9 (some or all?):  Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa for the Zihuatanejo Guitar Festival. 
  • The Rest of March: Terra y mar incognito -- new places for us, such as Acapulco, Bahias de Huatulco, Golfo de Tehuantepec (there be monsters) and Chiapas.
  • April-ish:  Central America -- probably no further than El Salvador this year.  

All under sail, when possible!  

Stay tuned, and we'll let you know how it goes for us.    


1 comment:

  1. Congratulations you two !! We're so happy to hear you are free to go.... stay safe and have a wonderful time. Carolyn, Kathy & Princess Sophie