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Old 26-12-2013, 11:21   #1
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Clearing out of Mexico (east coast) Heading South

In a few months we will be departing Key West with our ultimate destination the Rio Dulce, Guatemala. we last did this trip in 2008 so I need some RECENT info.

Our first stop will be Isla Mujeres and I'm cool with the clear in (ie zarpe/CBP1300 from US etc) but not sure how to clear out! When we did it last you could clear out of Xcalak then bop down into San Pedro Belize, but now one CANNOT CLEAR OUT of Mexico from Xcalak. So how does one clear out of Mexico heading South? And still get to stop in all the interesting spots (Bahia Ascencion etc)

I spoke with one of the Isla marinas and they say you can clear out of Isla then just head on down, stopping when you need to, but I dunno..... Can you hang out somewhere for a week waiting for weather? Ok to get off the boat? Do you get the Mexican officials to list possible potential stops in Mexico on your Zarpe? Does Belize Have any issues with any of this?

One alternative is to gunkhole the Mexican coast then return to Isla, clear out, then zip on down to Belize, at worst anchoring overnight while remaining on the boat...would that work? I suppose PuertoAdventuras (which is closer )would also work but Isla has more experience with sailboat clearance ( I think). What Would the Mexican officials find acceptable?

My goal is twofold...enjoy the Mexican coast leisurely, clear out legally with minimal stress. Time isn't a factor, unless we bump into hurricane season( then scoot down to the Rio)

So what has anyone else done?
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Old 26-12-2013, 13:06   #2
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Re: Clearing out of Mexico (east coast) Heading South

I have never had a problem doing what you describe. Most recently (September 2013), I cleared out of Mexico at Isla Mujeres and on the way to Belize I stopped at Cozumel, Puerto Aventuras, and both Bahias. Took six weeks to transit from Isla to Placencia. Authorities on each end didn't seem to care. That may not be the official way to exit and transit, but I've never had a problem.
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Old 26-12-2013, 13:24   #3
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Re: Clearing out of Mexico (east coast) Heading South

Ontno1 Thankyou....that seems to agree with what the gentleman at Marina Paraiso told me but "That may not be the official way to exit and transit" is the part that makes me a tad nervous in light of recent(ish) examples of Mexico being more "rule oriented". I always found Belize more relaxed than Mexico so I'm not worried about them, I just don't feel like it would be a lotta fun explaining to the Mexican Navy why I'm hanging out in their waters six weeks after I cleared out.
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Old 26-12-2013, 14:13   #4
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Re: Clearing out of Mexico (east coast) Heading South

I cleared out of Isla Mujeres this October, 2013, and made a stop at El Cid marina, Puerto Moreles for a mechanical problem for 2 days. Didn't have to re-checkin or out. Left there and stopped at Bahia Ascencion for a night before leaving Mexican waters. I just don't go ashore. Have done the same in the past.
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Old 26-12-2013, 14:25   #5
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Re: Clearing out of Mexico (east coast) Heading South

Bob thanks! My take so far... 1. the prudent thing would be to stay cleared in, sail around wherever, taking my time, then return north to a clearance port, clear out, then sail back down "post haste" making brief stops if necessary, remaining on boat. Or.....2. clear out from Isla and take my time moseying down the coast, getting off whenever, which seems riskier but evidently has been done successfully.
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Old 26-12-2013, 18:46   #6
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Re: Clearing out of Mexico (east coast) Heading South

We cleared out of Isla, stopped at Punta Hut for 5 days, Stopped in Tulum for a day and then 3 days in Bahia Ascension. There is a navy base there and you might get checked. We did and explained we were tired and waiting for the winds to lay down. They didn't seem to have a problem with that. From there we checked in at San Pedro. No one ask anything about the time frame and Belize especially didn't seem to care. Guatemala is a different story. Easy to clear in at Livingston but the Port Captain will want a good explanation for any delays. It's best to clear out at Big Creek and get down to the River quickly. We did have to wait in Bahia la Graciosa for a couple of days waiting for weather and high enough tides to cross the bar. One boat we were traveling with had a 7 foot draft. They were perfectly OK with that. Have a great trip Chuck
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Old 26-12-2013, 19:33   #7
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Re: Clearing out of Mexico (east coast) Heading South

Thanks anchorage guy! Just trying to avoid hassles. . We never have had ANY problems with customs, immigration, police, or military in our travels, but don't know if we were lucky or smart. We do our best to follow the rules, but it helps that the Captain is a pleasant, patient Irishman. I, on the other hand, am an inpatient, short tempered New Yorker...so I just smile and keep my mouth shut while he does the official stuff.
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Old 28-12-2013, 20:45   #8
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Re: Clearing out of Mexico (east coast) Heading South

Chepo at Marina Peraiso says clear out at Porto Aventuras when headed south. If wx permits that is what we will do otherwise its Porto Morelos.
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Old 28-12-2013, 20:59   #9
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Re: Clearing out of Mexico (east coast) Heading South

Guy I have considered that but according to Noonsite:

"Although officials have to come from Playa del Carmen and an agent have to be used to arrange this, Puerto Aventuras is a Port of Entry. This can take several days and cost about US$450
Last updated January 2011."

Now leaving would be cheaper, I think. It would make life a little easier being a bit further down the coast. Anyone clear out of Puerto Aventuras recently?
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