Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Checking out of Mexico

MondayFirst stop: Port Captain to fill out the paperwork for a “zarpe” - the official leaving-the-country document. Everything went slowly but nicely until he asked for proof regarding our arrival at Marina Singlar and our final departure dates. He called the marina to explain and that we would come by to pick it up.

2nd stop: Marina Singlar. Ariana said she didn’t understand what the port captain wanted exactly, but she would write a letter which had to be signed by Ted the manager, but Ted hadn’t arrived in the office yet.

3rd stop: Immigration. We had our passports and tourist visas inspected. Dick got in trouble because his “very important” tourist visa was tattered around the edges (it had gone through the wash). Eventually we got our passports stamped, although we had to ask them to do this. The official wanted to know exactly what time we would be leaving. 4:00? if there’s wind. “OK, you should leave between 3 and 4:00. 3:30 would be best.”

4th stop: Sam’s Club to buy a package of D cell batteries. This is the only place in Guaymas to buy this size battery and we don‘t have a membership, but I found a very nice lady who bought them for me. And who did we run into? Ted the marina manager shopping with his family.

5th stop: Marina Singlar. We waited for Ted to arrive, then we waited for the letter.

6th stop: Port Captain. The office was closed for the day ... sigh.


1st stop:  Port captain.  Whew! the letter was fine.  Someone had brought a ripe watermelon into the office.  I got pieces right along with the rest of the office staff.

2nd stop:  the bank to pay the fee and get a receipt.

3rd stop:  Port captain.  Hurray!  Everything worked out just fine.  We have our zarpe!

The port captain was most gracious.  He came out of the office to say goodbye and asked when we might be returning to Guaymas.  Maybe in December, I told him.  Then he said, "OK, you buy me a shirt in French Polynesia and bring it with you in December.  I will pay you.  Extra-large."  This was the perfect antidote to the entire process.  I left with a smile.


  1. Oh boy I hate all the government CRAP, its the same in every port. Some just take bribes better than others.
    Ive been rading The puddle jump site and there has been discusion of a 12month visa if applied for before entering.

    1. Was a bit scary leaving Cabo , WITH NO ZARPE , and watching the Mexican navy cruise past as we snuck off at 4pm. I think this sort of added to the excitment of leaving the mainland on our first 21 day passage. Just keep this to yourself though , just incase we come back to Mexico one day.

  2. Arlete............You know, your other 'calling' could have been 'writer of funny stories'. I love the way you can find humour in the most frustrating of situations and of course in the genuinely funny ones as well. (I'll never forget 'Piggly Wiggly). I'm certain your sense of humour will carry you through any sticky situations you may be confronted with in the weeks and months ahead.......Marion