The only obvious difference about this Spring is gamefish are late to show. We have been working long and hard to scratch out a few fish. Reports indicate the condition is the same from Cabo stretching up past La Paz. I'm confident it will change one day soon.
Every year it is required by the authorities that all charter boats are inspected and that they meet safety standards for operation. The boat is not to be operated until issuance of a certificate of safety.
In years past we have been able to get our "CERTIFICADO NATIONAL DE SEGURIDAD" with a wink and a hand shake. Now, those days are gone and it is proven to not be the "Wild West" anymore.
Yesterday a military inspector from the Marines showed up to perform the inspection of Jen Wren III. There was a seven page check list to be completed. I was amazed and for a moment a little nervous that we wouldn't pass. Questions from where do we dispose of our trash, to inspecting our required Bitacora (log book), life jackets with the boat name, throw ring, flares in code, fire extinguisher and the list went on. We had to broadcast and receive on our VHF radio, honk the horn and display our navigation lights.
We are very diligent when it comes to safety and in the end the inspector could't find one box on the list that couldn't be checked off and today our certificate was issued.
I believe the requirements are good and provide a level of safety. There is no Cavalry here to rescue a vessel in trouble and I'm glad the authorities are finally taking it seriously. There have been too many ill equipped boats operating in potentially dangerous conditions for anglers arriving with the assumption their boat is prepared for an emergency.