Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Challenging check-in

Early Monday morning, we began our check-in procedure for Costa Rica, not expecting it to be an all-day affair. First we checked in with the Port Captain shortly before 09:00 and he then instructed us to then go the short distance to the Migration office. After waiting for a short period, we completed the paperwork and next went to the bank as instructed, but our teller did not know how to deal with our papers. We refused to leave and someone knowledgeable finally sorted it out so we could make the payment.

We went back to the Migration office as instructed and then had time for a quick lunch before keeping our 13:00 appointment at the Port Captain's office. There we met with the Inspection Officer who we took back to Sea Turtle in the dinghy so he could do his 30-second inspection of the boat. We brought him back to shore where he completed his paperwork for us.

We then waited 1 hour to catch the 15:00 bus to the Customs office that was only 25 km away. But this of course took 1 hour and the bus driver let us off 1 km past the office as he did not know where it was. Upon catching a ride from an elderly couple in the back of their truck, we arrived at the Customs office 16:05. The office closes at 16:00 and they refused to deal with our paperwork as we were 5 minutes late!! We had to catch 2 buses back to Bahias del Coco, once again at least an hour long ride.

The next morning, we made the return trip back to the Customs office in another hot bus. The officer apologized for not dealing with us the previous day but it only took about 15 minutes so we were not very happy about the whole situation. But oh well, what can you do.

This has been our most difficult check-in so far. We had been warned by other sailors that we would have to have multiple copies of all our documents as none of the officiating offices in Costa Rica will make a copy of your original documents. We never had an issue anywhere in Mexico and they always made copies of our originals for their records and returned the originals to us. It wasn't expensive to check-in, only about $60, but it was sure a hassle.

We think it's time to go to another port...

1 comment:

The Intrepid II Crew said...

What adventures! Now that the Intrepid II crew has arrived home, we hope to have time to go back and read all your posts we had to skim and will follow your journey faithfully! You are leading the way! Carol & Kelly