A coastal bay 4 miles north of Tampico More Photos
With my flight plan filed, we loaded up the plane and performed a preflight inspection. I called Brownsville Customs using my cell phone. I am in Mexico making an international call to the US, so the number I dial is 001 (956) 542-8296.
I start the Arrow and call Tampico Tower to tell them I am ready for departure. The tower said they did not have our flight plan. I worry that a delay may cause an error in the time I have given US Customs for our arrival. But after only a very brief wait, the tower has obtained our flight plan and we are cleared to taxi to runway 13. We depart and make a left turnout.
As we cruise along the coastline we see whales. There are hundreds of them within 1/4 mile of the beach. They are all aligned in a NW to SE direction and the group extends for miles. We also witnessed this on our last trip to Huatulco. Unfortunately I am not able to get a good photo this time either. We are too high. If this happens again, I will fly lower and get a good photo.
When we are 50 NM south of Matamoros, I contact Matamoros Tower. As we near the border, they transfer me to Brownsville Tower.
On the Ground at Brownsville
I have to buy another sticker for the plane because the one I got last year has expired; they are good for one year. Maybe I will return to Mexico before the year expires this time. The sticker has to be purchased with a credit card, costs $27.50, and will be mailed to me. (It arrived less than a week later.)
The canine unit arrives. The dog goes in the plane and sniffs, then we are cleared to leave.
There are two FBOs (fixed base operators--like a service station for airplanes) on the field. Last time we went to the one north of the tower. They had nothing to eat. So this time we go to the one south of the tower, called Southmost. They at least have a vending machine with snacks--nothing good for you. We get the tanks topped off. The attendant thoughtfully turns the plane around for us--I had taxied into tight quarters from which I couldn't taxi out again. We are ready for the flight home to Georgetown, Texas.