Welcome Home!!!Our border crossing was from someplace close to hell, but not all the way there. (no one was arrested.).
Within seconds of pulling up to talk with the border agent, we were asked to pull over to the special inspection area. We weren't worried, we weren't doing anything wrong. We had already thrown out all of Rudy's dog food (we got in trouble for that last time), and the bag of almonds we were snacking on. Then the total car unload began Let me repeat - Total Car Unload. Did you see the picture of our car? Every box, bag and storage container opened and gone through. Engine combed through, car doors tapped and banged. Things fine until.......the beach combing box is opened.
Oh ma'am. No..,...NO, NO, NO, NO and NO!
Car considerably lighter.
All bones (44 total) from any and every fish, land or sea mammal, including birds gone. All feathers gone. All soft coral gone, All shells were about to go, but they relented. I was given a pretty bad time about that, but he let me keep them. Star fish,,, ok. Paper Nautilus...ok. Sea urchin shell, ok. Rocks...okay. Some driftwood ok. Absolutely no parts of cactus allowed (any wood with a weave). Basically they had the right to take everything except the non-cactus wood and the rocks, but they were being nice and let me keep the shells.
The border agents were all very kind. They crowded around to see all the cool things that they were taking away. They very politely explained that by allowing animal parts/cactus wood parts in the country, we might be giving the Mexicans ideas that these things had value and then living specimens would be in danger of being harvested for profit. I totally understand the reasoning - I just had no idea that these things would be illegal to find on a beach and keep. I would never want to take part in anything that would cause the pointless destruction or harm to any living animal or plant, simply for a trophy. I was wrong and so are a lot of other cruisers I know. Consider yourself warned.
Possible fine to be determined later, when the boss gets there and catalogues my confiscated loot. Name, address, SS#, car registration, passport number all written down and recorded. I realized later that I got my SS # wrong since I haven't used it for so long! OOps! probably gave them the SS number of some Guantanamo escapee. Ouch.
9 hours ago