Jerry Mitchell of Depoe Bay, OR, asks:
I have followed your sojourn since Nov. 3, 2001. I have gleaned much information from both yor experience with the "Bulldog" and from the forum section of your site. My question is, Is there a standard way to get in and out of customs or is each country diffrent? Do you tip? If so, how much?
Joe Meglen responds:
Unfortunately there is no standard method of clearing customs and immigration. The process can even vary at different ports of entry in the same country. In years past we used to clear in and out ourselves. Invariably, the port captain's office would be at one end of town, and immigration would be at the other - and we were on foot. Clearing could take the better part of a day, sometimes more. We have found it much easier and faster to engage an agent to handle clearances for us. As far as fees for this service go, they vary. During our final leg no. 5 "Nordhavn" cleared out of Acapulco, then in and out twice more. The process took about four hours (if we did it ourselves you could double that time) and the fees for clearing in and out in Bahia Naviad and Puerto Vallarta was about U.S. $77.
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