Recently we helped friends sail their Seawind 1160 to San Diego from Ensenada, Mexico. First, that meant getting to the boat in Ensenada...it meant flying into the San Diego airport, and catching a ride to the border with a UBER driver. We went through Customs, crossing into Tijuana by foot, then picked up a taxi and drove straight to Ensenada. The taxi from the border to Ensenada was about $70.00 and took about 2 hours. The drive from Tijuana to Ensenada is soooooo easy. We soon arrived at the marina where “Flight Deck" was waiting. She had been cleaned and polished and was ready for our arrival.
We stayed in Ensenada for 2 nights. That’s a whole other story!
To clear out of Mexico, we visited an office downtown to ensure all of our paperwork was in order, then away we went. Leaving Ensenada harbor an a heading to San Diego was an exciting feeling. It’s about a 90-mile sail, and the weather forecast was good. We estimated it would take us about 11 hours to get to San Diego. Winds were light so we motor-sailed at 6-7 knots part of the way. In the afternoon we sailed, it was great.
About 8 hours into our sail we were stopped by a Mexican Navy vessel. This certainly got our attention. They wanted to see all of our passports, and all who were on board including all necessary boat documents proving ownership and port of departure and entry. They wanted to board, but there was too much chop so they couldn’t easily come alongside "Flight Deck." We exchanged all documents (current passports) via a long pole with a net! It was a bit unsettling handing over our documents. That said, the Mexican authorities were very professional, cordial and the entire process took about 20 minutes. Above all, in a situation like this, smile and be patient when dealing with the authorities! Whew!
After this exchange south of the U.S. border, arriving in San Diego harbor never felt so good. And by the way, I was seasick most of the time. UGH.