Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Boarded by the Mexican navy (Betsy)

Shoes off, please
We arrived in Tenacatita, one of our all-time favorite Mexican anchorages, and within ten minutes of putting the hook down the Mexican navy came aboard Mystic. They didn't announce themselves nor did they ask permission to board. They just brought their launch alongside and stepped aboard.

Three well-armed men stood on our swim platform and were about to enter the boat when I stopped them and (in my best Spanish) said they were welcome to come into the boat but they needed to take off their black-soled shoes first. They looked at me like I was crazy (and so did David) but I stood my ground and after a moment of "What the ...?" two of the Uzi-wielding soldiers took off their shoes and came inside.

While their companion waited outside the other two asked us two pages of questions in Spanish. Did I mention that David and I barely speak Spanish? We offered them lemonade and chips with guacamole but they kindly declined saying they'd already had lunch on their big gray mother ship. The guys in the salon were polite and friendly and the third guy stood on the aft deck looking totally left out.

Having satisfactorily answered their many questions one of the guys pulled out a small camera and took photos of our passports, our radios and all the electronics in our navigation console. As they prepared to leave I said they couldn't go until we had a photo together. David looked at me again like I was crazy but picked up a camera and took a shot of me with two of the Mexican Navy's finest.

After a few more pleasantries the two guys put their heavy black shoes back on, climbed back into their launch and shot off back to their mother ship.

Mind you, this experience was far more pleasant than any experience we have had with our U.S. Homeland Security. See: We just wanted to have lunch