Clearing in is often your first encounter with Spanish when you sail into a
Spanish-speaking port. You're often tired after the passage and the prospect
of speaking Spanish to men in uniforms can be daunting.
Here are Bilingual Crew Lists and other Clearance forms that you can download, fill in with your information and print copies as needed.
These forms were developed with the assistance of Rogelio Gregg, DockMaster at Baja Naval in Ensenada, Baja California (Mexico), They are similar to the forms that Baja Naval uses in helping boats clear in and out of Mexico.
Thank you, Rogelio and Baja Naval for your help.
Also thanks to cruiser Irving Bied who suggested adding another version of the Forms with Passport numbers. He reports that in some ports, the Port Captains were retyping his Crew List adding a column for Passport number.
Although crew lists are not usually necessary, they are often appreciated by officials in Spanish-speaking countries who find most all the information there to fill out their forms.
In the Dominican Republic, we had customs, immigration, port control, agriculture (plus a few others) all aboard our boat at once, each filling out their forms. We gave them all copies of our crew list and it helped speed up the process.
A Spanish-English Crew List will also help you respond to questions since you can see at a glance the Spanish and English words for captain, crew, date of birth, documentation number, type of vessel, draft, beam, etc.
Many boaters have reported that the officials really like the Spanish-English Crew List. They are curious about the English words that pertain to their jobs and will ask you how to pronounce them. A chance for you to learn some Spanish while teaching them a little English!
Lots of the officials are quite nice and great sources of local information. You can even meet them later for drinks in town and continue your “lessons”.