Bridgie's Babble - Feb 22, 2007

Feb.22, 2007

Our first order of business in Ensenada, once settled in a slip, was to check in with the authorities and become legal visitors of
Mexico (now there's a novel concept...legally checkin to a country). We walked the mile or so to the "one stop shop", the CIS
(Centro Integrales de Sevicios) which includes the Port Captain, Aduana and Migracion. It's true what you read in the guides;
everything is under one roof, making it relatively easy. Since we had done our homework, we had 5 copies of EVERY
DOCUMENT required and we were armed with  serial numbers for our Volvo motor and Nissan outboard motor (a new
requirement as of early 2007) The check-in took us 3.5 hours. The delay was due mostly  to  very slow computer processing
connections. There are 5 windows to visit, each requiring a "fee", which must be paid before one can move on to the next window.
There is a lot of back and forth from windows to the bank. At the time we checked in, the photo copy machine was not working.
Those needing copies were directed to find a pharmacy within the city, get copies made and return to the back of the line. We found
that the chandlery right across the street made copies for free as a courtesy and to draw business. I'd recommend that one should
have either cash or credit cards to pay on hand when they arrive. The "bank" at the CIS is really more of a cashier; you can't
exchange money or make withdrawals, etc. The regular banks were closed on the day we were there, as they were preparing for
Carnaval. One woman in line tried to go to 3 different banks, to find they were all closed.

I'd also suggest buying Mexican Liability Insurance before entering Mexico. We had heard it could be purchased once in Ensenada
but decided to buy it in San Diego just in case. It's a good thing, too. The very first document the marina asked for was proof of
insurance. And, even though we still had our U.S. coverage, it was the Mexican policy they cared about.

We spent 4 days in Ensenada and had a good time. The  Carnaval Parade  was a spectacular sight of colorfully dressed young
women (and a few men) with typical Mexican music and dancing in the streets.
Young ladies in training for future Carnaval events
Next Bridgie's Babble Mar. 02, 2007