Apr 23

Mexican shipping blues

Tag: failures,preparation,routejonny5waldman @ 5:23 am

First it was the cushions. Now it’s getting the boat across the border.

We’d planned, months ago, to have Syzygy trucked up to San Francisco in mid March, during Jon’s spring break. Before Jon bought plane tickets to Mexico, I talked to Jazmin, at Marina San Carlos. She told me that the wacky spring tides were too low, preventing us from getting Syzygy out of the water until April 9th. (We later heard stories of other boats scraping against the bottom and getting stuck, right at the launch ramp.) So we rescheduled our trucking for April 14th, and pushed back Jon’s visit to April 25th. Since trucking Syzygy from San Carlos to San Francisco takes a week, we expected Syzygy to be here, well, now.

Then Jazmin quit (or got fired), and things got shuffled around.

Melissa, our new contact, assured me our plans were still on track.

Then Melissa sent me this email:

I am writing you regarding a situation we are having from the past couple of weeks. For the moment we are not able to cross a boat thru the border because, we need a number to import your boat back to the US. Customs told us it would take 10 days, to get this number, and the time has passed for about 1 month. They deny to give us the number and we are trying to figure it out what are we going to do regarding this situation. I had not sent you any e-mail, because I supposed this would be a matter of at least 15 days, but now it is out of my hands. For the moment I have 5 boats waiting to be ship to US, and I believe this would affect your date to be truck to Tucson. I already talked to your US Carrier and he told me it won’t be a problem at all. Believe we are trying to do the best we can to put everything on its place. I hope to hear very soon from you.

That’s why people don’t buy sailboats in Mexico…

As I began pulling my hair out, we discussed a) complaining to our congressmen/senators; b) calling Customs ourselves; and c) whether or not Syzygy would be here by April 25th, when Jon was scheduled to arrive.

Then I talked to Melissa, and she told me she could ship the boat on Friday, April 18th. Two weeks, ago, in Mexico, she told me (in person), that things were looking good, and that it would happen on April 17th. Hair-pulling slowed down.

Then, according to Melissa, another boat got delayed at the border, and there were problems getting their oversize truck permit, so we got pushed back to Monday the 21st (since customs is closed on the weekend.) The only benefit: $400 off our trucking bill. Hair-pulling picked up.

Melissa called me on Monday morning with news of another delay. Apparently truck drivers in Nogales are protesting lengthy customs inspections (which take a few hours) thereby lengthening customs inspections for everyone, and delaying the delivery of Syzygy at least another day, if not more. Hair-pulling continued.

By today (Tuesday) at noon, Melissa hadn’t called, so I knew things weren’t looking good. She called at 1pm, and told me that Syzygy wouldn’t head north until Thursday (and that she’d deduct another $200 from the tab). That’s not good news for us; Jon’ll be lucky if he even sees the boat, and, at any rate, I’ll be bald by then.

One Response to “Mexican shipping blues”

  1. NCG says:

    What a nightmare!!

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