Zarpe diem or 6 busses for 6 Tacos

March 15, 2012

Today’s goal was to obtain a zarpe. For those who haven’t done this, a Zarpe is the official document that you get when you leave a country by boat. They aren’t strictly necessary, but you can be rejected from entering your next port if you don’t have one. We decided that a 2,800 miles U-turn was enough reason to jump through a few hoops.

So armed with a thousand opinions and rumors, we headed over to the Capitainia de Puerto in Puerto Vallarta. The Capitainia gave us a bit of a hard time but ended up giving us the paperwork we needed. After filling it out and giving them the correct paperwork we were directed to Immigration and Customs at the airport. The customs officer was very polite and very confused. I seems that the fact that our boat was in La Cruz created a bit of a jurisdictional problemo for our new friends. Finally one of the customs officers pointed us in the right direction.

And so it was that we got on our 4th bus of the day to Nuevo Vallarta. We arrived at the Capitania de Puerto for Nuevo Vallarta just minutes before quitting time (2:30pm). The Capitania was expecting me (our customs friends had called ahead) and cut me off a few minutes into my sad story to tell me, “I don’t want to hear what all the other people said, this is what you need to do.” He proceeded to instruct me to return with my boat when I wanted to leave. I am to call ahead (on VHF Channel 16) and they will summon customs and immigration. They will do everything there after which I am expected to leave the country immediately.

I left his office feeling pretty chipper. Sure I hadn’t got what I spent the whole day searching for, but I did get a gem to pass along to my fellow puddle jumpers and I learned something (possibly non-transferable) about Mexican bureaucracy.

On the bus home we transferred at Mescales. Tired and hungry, we took a chance on a taco stand that I had always noticed, but it was just outside our sketch-zone. The tacos were just fantastic and I kept ordering more until I couldn’t possibly eat another, then I ordered some plain tortillas and rolled them up with guacamole inside. It was a really good thing that Sitio (cab/bus thing) pulled right up outside the taquerilla or they might have had to remove me in a wheelbarrow.

So another day “wasted” on Mexican bureaucracy turned out to be another red letter day for the family of Convivia.


  1. Comment by ForgeOver via Facebook

    ForgeOver via Facebook March 16, 2012 at 7:36 am

    They sure did. I played it straight so I could give the correct information to the rest of the PPJers.

  2. Comment by Dave Benjamin via Facebook

    Dave Benjamin via Facebook March 16, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Good on ya. If people are planning a 3000 mile sail, spending a few hours in Banderas Bay between La Cruz and PV shouldn’t be too big a deal plus it’s a great time to hit Costco!

  3. Comment by Ann, Dave and Kara

    Ann, Dave and Kara March 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Are you gone? We are in El Salvador and so far so great. We were sad to leave Mexico. We couldn’t have visited a kinder or friendlier country. So far El Salvador has been the same. Kara is with three other kids. She is the youngest, but the oldest Carolyn (from Hotspur) takes her responsibility to include everyone very seriously. We miss you all. We found Miles’ lead line and a picture Ruby drew. Hope you have a quick uneventful passage.


  4. Comment by Cidnie

    Cidnie March 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Keep it in perspective. You are in a foreign country, on your boat preparing to cross an ocean. Its not a bureaucratic hassle, its part of the adventure!

  5. Comment by Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living

    Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living March 18, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I just found you via a comment you left from Annabel Candy’s post.
    I’m running a “My Gutsy Story” contest on my blog every Monday with some nice sponsors. If you’re interested, please come over and submit or read other “My Gutsy Stories.” Sounds like you’d fit in.

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