Tag Archives: Mexico

Navigating Mexian Food Regulations for Sailors

There’s often confusion among sailors about Mexican regulations on food when entering or leaving the country. The guidelines for what’s permissible are not clear and there isn’t a official Mexican government website but look at https://embamex.sre.gob.mx/finlandia/index.php/traveling/customs-information

Generally, fresh or frozen meat, fish, seeds, and fresh produce are prohibited. Processed or canned items are acceptable. Homemade goods are not accepted.

Check-in Regulations

Checking in from the North, such as in Ensenada on the Pacific side, is straightforward with no physical inspection and minimal paperwork. However, entering from the South, like in Chiapas, involves stricter procedures. Expect a thorough inspection, including a drug-sniffing dog, due to concerns about plant diseases and pests from Central America. Items like eggs, nuts, meat, and fresh produce will be confiscated. It’s advisable not to provision in El Salvador for Frans Polynesia with future stops in Mexico. Fortunately, supermarkets like Soriana, Walmart, and Sam’s Club are readily available in Chiapas.

Check-out Regulations

When departing Mexico for destinations like Galapagos or French Polynesia, provisioning in Chiapas with packaged goods, fruits, fresh or frozen vegetables, dairy, and liquor poses no issues. While there’s a physical inspection, it mainly focuses on contraband like drugs or human trafficking.

If heading to El Salvador, Costa Rica, or Panama, abide by their regulations, particularly regarding fresh produce. Consider making a hearty omelette while sailing and restocking in the next port, where supplies are plentiful and also reasonably priced.

Tips for Chiapas Departure

When checking out in Chiapas, attention to detail is crucial. Officials are stringent and scrutinize forms closely, even asking for a captain’s license. Ensure all documents are in order, and be prepared to clarify any discrepancies. Regarding the dinghy and Temporary Import Permit (T.I.P.), customs officials had a discussion with themselves. The outcome is: Dinghies shorter than 4.5 meters are considered part of the sailboat and do not require a separate T.I.P. Provide proof of ownership, such as purchase receipts or insurance papers or formal registration documents, to expedite the process.

Lastly, exercise caution when sharing information on social media platforms and messaging apps to avoid misinformation. I shaw some pretty wild statements, just partly true.

Bahia in Baja California (Sur)

Our trip into Mexico is one big adventure of beautiful bays and beaches, the Bahia ‘s. Kiskadee is doing super. Low draft, 4 feet, double engines, anchor bridle and a good anchor alarm (Vesper Cortex) Our sailing dates were 11 November to 13 December, after the Bajahaha rally. So most of these huge anchorages where empty or with one or two other boats.

Itinerary

For those of you intending to sail this bahia route, this is our itinerary: Puerto Santo Tomas – Bahia de San Quintin – Bahia Tortugas – Bahia Santa Maria – Cabo San Lucas bay – Marina San Jose de Cabo – Los Frailes – Bahia de los Muertos – Isla Partida – Isla Espiritu Santo – El Merito Cove – La Paz Channel – Punta Gaviotas.

Our itinerary down south through Baja California (Sur)

Most bahia’s are fine anchorages with shelter in the winter season . The dominant wind direction is North to North-West. We have many favorites and a few disappointments, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose de Cabo are to expensive and offers little. I don’t know why La Paz is called the cruisers paradise, anchorage in the channel is wind against current, filthy and noisy. We did some groceries and bought new zinc and left. Back to the coves and inlets just south of it. So much better and almost empty.

Nautical Information on spots

I have been searching for quite some time what the right site/app is to share nautical Information on spots and decided to use Noforeignland. Its not restricted, open. As an active sailor do register (follow SV Kiskadee and become a supporter) As a spectator follow us at https://www.noforeignland.com/boat/5287247765045248 So our electronic presence is on Facebook, this website and on Noforeignland. No more no less.

Bahia

So sailing south is fine and the promise of better temperatures, 20 Celsius and going up, helps. Remember, from October on every 1.000 NM south of B.C. Canada you gain 3 degrees Celsius. We are now close to 30.

High Lights

The islands of Partida and Espiritu Santo are incredible. We spent not enough time in the different bays. This is by far the spot with the clearest water, everywhere rocks, reefs and fish to snorkel too. Good anchorage and well protected. From bay to bay takes 1 or 2 hours of motor sailing.

Our next stop is Mazatlan on the main land.

Going South into Mexico

Coming from BC Canada, passing the Pacific Coast of US, we are now in Mexico. And every 1.000 NM the temperature, air and sea, is getting warmer. We do like it. Although I don’t know if it’s cultural or just the temperature, but people are outspoken, friendly and Spanish is a beautiful language. Cuando se habla rápido, es difícil entender.

Viva la Mexico

Ensenada

We first docked at Hotel Coral Marina in in Ensenada. It came with a pool and whirl-tub, nice restaurant, fuel dock. And across the street of the Marina a big grocery/supermarket, Soriana. We like the Mexican supermarkets for there one stop shopping, from groceries to my beloved yogurts, milk, meat, cleaning products, pasta, cans, frozen foods, wine and even booz, a good rum, gin or tequila. Because we are a dry boat, we enjoy a nice cocktail at anchor or in the marina.

The marina offers us a payed service to help us check-in into Mexico and we gladly accepted it. A typical Mexican thing is the TIP, a temporary, 10 years, import permit for your boat. The other thing are the Aviso de Arribo and de Salida, with you need in every port with a Port Captain.

On the first turn into the docks, no propulsion on my Port engine. My folding prop was needle rapped, ergo closed, with kelp.

Follow Sailors

In every marina you meet new people on boats, friendly, most experienced. Always with a word of advise and a strong story of high seas and strong winds just around the corner. And the numbers are really getting big as its all in feet.

The ongoing feet-meters, liters-US gallons, phantoms and fl-oz. confusion continues. Even the thread of bolts and nuts is different. And indeed SV Kiskadee is a metric boat. Hilarious, when my crew member looking at the Navionics chart in disbelief because he interrupted my 2 meters depth as 2 feet… So approaching a dock, it makes a lot of difference 3 feet or 3 meters… Conversion is easy, with the exception of F to C. So we know below 65 is cold and above 73F is nice. Enjoy

The first pictures of Mexico.