Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chiapas to Costa Rica

Sunday, November 16th- We had an eventful morning!! (Ok...that was 3 days ago on Sunday, but we just got a wifi connection as we arrived in Papagayo, Costa Rica...so here's the latest) 
Brad alerted us last night to be ready at 9am sharp, as we were all supposed to meet with customs officials and have passports in hand so that we could clear immigration and "check-out" of Mexico.. However, as per the TMD (typical Mexican dealio) that time was pushed to 10:00 am. A woman who was our "agent" then arrived. She is a local attorney we hired ahead of time to expedite the process.. Otherwise we'd be here another 1-2 days tangled in customs paperwork just to get out of the country. After she showed up, we were told that we all had to go to see immigration officials at the airport...Which is a 20 minute drive away. Was she serious? We had just returned our rental van an hour earlier and would have kept it had we known this. Once she collected our crew list with all 7 of us listed on it, she had to go back to her office to prepare all of the documentation. She later returned to get Brad & Danny and took them to immigration at the airport. Luckily, the rest of us didn't have to go since there was only the "agents" small car to use as a shuttle bus. Phew!
Brad sent me this photo from the immigration office.. A local baptism at la playa! 
We spent some time checking out the bat rays in the marina to pass the time..

Then, while the boys were gone a sweet customs agent named Carlos arrived. Carlos drove and hour and a half to get to our marina in order to check us out of the country... He was the closest agent working on a Sunday. What a champ!
I had him wait on the boat in the AC and gave him some water while we waited for Brad & Danny to return with everyone's passports. Once the boys returned and Carlos finalized his paperwork, we departed the marina and headed to the fuel dock to fill up. 
We also were meeting the customs officials at the fuel dock with their "narc squad" to search our vessel. Cue the narc squad...quite the motley crew. The sight of their various outfits cracked me up... Especially the sailor in his cap!
They looked harmless on their "panga" boat approach, however upon arrival at our swim step they had a bit of an intimidating presence as they well should. The dog and the gun were what sealed the deal.. Haha! There were a few more that boarded our boat as they had arrived via car at the fuel dock. 6 guys total. Three were dressed like navy officers, one was dressed as a sailor, and two were military federales who would throw you in the "clinker" if you misbehaved. All of them were very nice, however no one spoke a lick of English. I asked them in Spanish if I could take photos, and they obliged. Yet, the marine with the machine gun (gun #157 to be exact!) told me no. Being the rebel I am, I still took his photo when he wasn't looking through our tinted glass. I think he knew and smiled at me anyway...oooh yeah! I found this whole "narc squad" experience SO exciting, I could hardly stand myself! I should have been a CIA agent in another life...I find it insanely intriguing.
After about a 45 minute inspection (and them surprisingly asking for Incognito t-shirts... Those cheeky monkeys!) the boat was thoroughly searched and sniffed out. More and more paperwork, our signatures on some official docs and we were free to go! Then Brad and Danny walked across the street to the port captains office to get the international "Zarpe" document which will be needed to enter the next country. 
We finally left the port just after 2:00pm, so the whole process to leave the country of Mexico took 4 hours. Unreal. Off to Papagayo, Costa Rica we go! 
This guy has to be melting in his outfit! You know how badly he wants to say... 
"go ahead, make my day!" 

     The gang observing the paperwork     bonanza.
            Here poochie, poochie...

             Adios my narc amigos!
We immediately headed straight out about 15 miles to get into the international waters in order to fish. We will only be in these waters for 2-3 hours, so it wasn't worth it to get fishing licenses for everyone. We will then head south and run the boat about 50 miles offshore. The first countries we will pass is Guatemala & El Salvador, then Honduras and Nicaragua. Olé! 
  Monday, November 17th- sunset off the coast of Honduras.  Just breathtaking! 

Tuesday, November 18th. We had a great cruise south these past few days and it was an easy run with the exception of the Papagayo winds this am at 35 knots which bounced everything & everyone around the boat for about 4 hours this morning. These winds come off of Lake Nicaragua & tend to be strong and blustery.. Such as the Tehuantepec winds were.  E-gads. We were happy to arrive in Papagayo today.. Just in time for lunch and all of us are looking forward to a great dinner at the Four Seasons hotel!!!!  
The natural beauty of Costa Rica is off the charts GORGEOUS!!! 
         View off Papgayo Peninsula. 

              Lemurs are everywhere! 

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