Quick Trip to Cabo San Lucas…..

September 9-10, 2008

There are certain things you never send in the mail: passports, original
boat documentation, original import permits, etc. These happened to be the
things that the office in charge of issuing permits to visit the
Archipelagos Revillagigedos required. So we flew to Cabo San Lucas.

Just reaching the right office to find out what was required to get a permit
was tricky. If it hadn\’t been for the patient & persistent assistance of
Elvira Lizarraga we would not have succeeded. Elvira is the best marina
manager in the entire world. I know we have not been around the world yet,
but we can say that without hesitation. She made multiple phone calls & sent
multiple emails on our behalf. The only private boats that go there are
divers. And not many cruisers are divers, so getting this permit was not a
commonly known procedure.

Once we found out the long list of original documentation required, we
realized we had to travel in person to the Oficina de Proteccion de Flora y
Fauna de Cabo San Lucas. We could have taken the ferry but that would have
been an all day trip each way & we were running short on time. Our flight
back to Los Angeles was booked for September 13. So Elvira booked the once
daily Mexicana flight to Cabo for us. Initially the price showed as $525 per
person, so Scott was going to go alone. But when Elvira pushed the \”Buy
Now\” button on the Spanish language Mexicana website, the price dropped in
half. Very interesting & noted for future reference. We decided it would be
more fun together since it was the same price we\’d planned to spend for
Scott alone.

At the end of the short flight we were assaulted by the Cabo hawkers for
taxis, timeshares, and rental cars. It turned out to be less expensive to
rent a car for the day than take a cab. After a few wrong turns we made it
to the office in town. Sr. Biol. Carlos Eduardo Narro Flores was most
helpful & we were glad to hear that they are now welcoming private boats to
the islands and that the permits are free. The area has a sad history of
fishermen slaughtering the manta rays & sharks that are an unintended
by-catch. It is now a marine sanctuary with a 12 mile \”no take\” zone. There
is a Navy outpost and they will investigate & prosecute reports of illegal
fishing. The islands were completely closed to visitors for 3 years, but now
the wildlife has recovered enough that they issue permits to a few live
aboard dive charter boats and as many private boats that wish to go. We were
only the 3rd private boat requesting a permit for this year.

Our planned visit to these islands is for the month of December. It is a
good thing we started early on the permit application process because once
Sr. Flores copied all the required documents he mailed copies to the La Paz
office for rubber stamping. The permit that was to be delivered via DHL to
Marina Mazatlan in \”1-2 weeks\” appeared (after much follow up from Elvira) 6
weeks later.

Scott posted a detailed outline of the process required on a cruising weblog
called the \”Southbound Net\” so that others might benefit from our

All our business was accomplished that first day. But there is only 1 flight
each way per day so we took it easy at the Comfort Inn, listening to the
rain. Strolling around Cabo\’s marina & town was not enjoyable due to the
aggressive hawkers everywhere. We felt accomplished & relieved to get back
to Mazatlan where the approach to tourists is much more mellow.

Scott & Cindy, Mazatlan, Mexico