Saturday, January 1, 2011

The best laid plans...

Where we're NOT going... :(

What’s that quote?  “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
I knew as soon as I wrote our plans on paper, something would change.  As they say, the only certain thing in life is change, right?  Our plan was to leave here in March and go to the Galapagos.  In order to get to the Galapagos, you have to get a cruising permit called an Autographo.   This is a lengthy process and can be frustrating.  I started talking to agents in the Galapagos in early December.  I had done my research ahead of time and through Google translate, had written all of my letters in Spanish and thought things were going pretty good.  We had talked to two agents and had chosen one with a good reputation.  He had very clearly laid out all of the requirements… or so I thought.

Earlier this week, I sent him all of our paperwork to actually get the process started.  The response I got was that it was now not possible to get an autographo unless we paid $200 per person, per day.  It was like I was talking to another person entirely.  I went back and forth with him, even sending his original email that stated this charge was for bigger yachts and he did not intend to charge us.  No luck.  He’s standing his ground.  I checked on a discussion board that I frequent and others are getting similar answers.

What does this mean for us?  Well, it looks like we’re going to head straight to the Marquesas.  It’s a huge disappointment.  Especially for Andy.  It’s been a lifelong dream for him and being an underwater photographer, he was really excited.  But I let him make the decision and he decided to bypass it.  There are still ways we could go, but it would be wildly expensive and/or we wouldn’t get to see very much. 

Every dark side has a sunny side and this one does too.  We will be saving at least $1000 (I estimate double that) AND about 1700 nautical miles.  It’s almost 1300 miles there from Puerto Vallarta and it’s 3000 from the Galapagos to the Marquesas.  By leaving from PV and going straight to the Marquesas, we only have to go 2600 miles… still a lot, but now week's less time.  All of these #’s are estimates of course…by now you probably know I’m not real precise, more of a big picture kind of person (I put this disclaimer in here for all of the cruisers reading who know exactly how many miles it is and are correcting me to their spouses).

This doesn’t change any of our preparations we have to do, so I’m still stressing and planning and planning and stressing.  I did my reconnaissance mission at Costco yesterday, pricing things out.  It took some serious restraint not to buy everything I wanted (especially those chocolate covered raisins and that huge tenderloin).

Another huge disappointment (the same day we got our email from the Galapagos) was that our boat is too wide for the lift where we planned to haul out.  So now we have to try and negotiate with the ridiculously overpriced boat yard here in La Cruz.  Instead of the $1200 or so we planned, they’re wanting $3000 (there goes that savings I spoke of earlier). 

I seriously almost posted a paypal “Buy us a beer” button on the blog at the end of that day!  But we’re now over the whining (it ends with this post) and moving along with our new plans and whatever the new year brings.

Which brings me to today… it’s New Year’s eve.  No big plans here, but we hope everyone has a fun, safe and Happy New Year! 


Red Charlotte said...

Oh I'm so sorry to hear you can't make it to the Galapagos :( I was going to watch how you did it and then try to do the same thing. Gah! Happy New Year regardless. Have fun out there.

Diane, Evan and Maia said...

Oh, I'm sorry. We came to the same conclusion last month--especially after talking to friends who did it last year. The fact it's a La Nina year also played a role for us--it looked like we'd spend more on fuel getting to the Galapagos than we wanted too...
We're hoping to get there someday--hopefully if we sail all the way around.
Bummer on the haulout--we we annoyed by our terrible paint job in La Paz and ended up redoing it while beached in Bay of LA. Make sure you supervize prepping an painting if you are not doing the work. We know the workers who did our took several short cuts (and may have shorted us a gallon of paint) and we've heard many similar stories.
See you soon.

Merle said...

We are also sorry to hear that you felt it necessary to change your plans. As you said, it always seems to work out. Looks like you had a good Christmas and we did also. Even though it is not the same we learn to appreciate the time we do have. We love you lots & appreciate the updates.

puddytat said...

Hi Guys....Shame to hear about your news...We had come to that conclusion a while back and are now just planning on playing for a while around the Panamanian Islands and then leaving for our Pacific crossing from there. Hope you watch those guys very carefully in the yard..:-P
Lots a hugs
Sylvie and David...

By the way....something has gone wrong with my blog page so to read up on what we have been up, ( still working on getting it up to date)go to this site and join up there..thanks.. at Sea

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