Rough seas

February 11-13, 2006

After another overnight in Loreto I made a last minute decision to proceed to Santa Rosalia and take the overnight ferry across to Guaymas and then head north to Nogales and the border. I needed a vehicle permit to do that, but it was Sunday. After trying my Spanish out at the ferry office, the attendant called the local Banjercito girl to come in and write up a permit for me. She required photocopies of my passport, driver’s licence and insurance card, which I was able to provide. She also wanted a copy of my tourist visa, but since I had no copies of that, she consented to make one for me.

I was on my way.

The Santa Rosalia ferry as of this writing (February 2006) is scheduled for Tuesday, Friday and Sunday night departures at 8 p.m., but after talking to a biker who had gotten off the late-arriving ferry I learned that the seas were very rough during his daylight crossing. This would delay the departure.

Motorcycles are loaded first, then the rest of the vehicles. After strapping down the bike, I headed up to my cabin hoping that I’d get a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be the case. The scow listed badly from side to side in the rough sea crossing, and I was kept awake most of the night as we cruised across the Sea of Cortez. Needless to say, I was extremely happy to see the breakwater of Guaymas approaching at nine in the morning.

After a quick topoff in Guaymas, I rode north on the four-lane highway all the way to Nogales. I was very surprised by the trucks waiting to enter the U.S. They were lined up for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of feet, blocking all of the approach lanes to the border. I finally crossed over into the oncoming lanes to get past the trucks and into the car lanes. Apparently this is now standard procedure to get over the line.

While idling away in the lane, I witnessed a Border Patrol agent wrestle a pedestrian to the ground and escort him back to the Mexican side.

Welcome to America!

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