We packed up and left home to head back to the boat. We were flying into Phoenix then planning on catching the shuttle bus down to Puerto Penasco. We looked on the Airlines web site and saw that checked luggage was going to be $30 for the first bag and $50 for the second. We had a bunch of stuff to bring back. Between the two of us we had seven bags. Two carry on’s and five to check. $30 each for the first bag. $50 each for our second bag and then they nailed us for $150 for my third bag. Yup, $310 for baggage!!!!!! But still the easiest way to bring stuff back to the boat.
We arrived with all our luggage and spent a couple days in Phoenix doing some shopping for items too heavy and or not allowed on airplanes and making final arrangements for our new outboard to be delivered. Fortunately, the family that owns the boat yard in Puerto Penasco also has a home in Phoenix. The plan was that the engine would be delivered there, and we would make transport arrangements to get it south from there.
We were very lucky in that Salvador, the boat yard manager, agreed to come up to Phoenix and pick up the outboard and us and bring us back to the yard. Simple enough plan until we got to the Mexican border. We did not have all the necessary paperwork yet to get the outboard into Mexico without having to pay the 16 percent import duty (about $450). We had to stop at the small town of Lukeville on the US side and make arrangements to store the engine there. It appears to be a common issue as the gas station is set up with a temporary storage area. Cruisers can have packages shipped there and then picked up. We are clearly not the first people to run into this type of situation. Salvador spend the next day arranging the necessary documents, a pickup from Lukeville and we now have an engine. It was a little unnerving ordering an engine online, but it arrived as advertised.
We were, perhaps, overly optimistic that the work we requested the boat yard to do would be complete upon our return to the boat and that we would be back in the water and on our way a couple days after our arrival. It was not to be. There were “transportation issues” with getting the anti fouling bottom paint into Mexico. And all the boats have been waiting for it. Ours arrived about a week after we did. There was a ton of stuff that needed to be completed to recommission the boat and thus a couple of days turned into a couple of weeks. It looks like today is the day though. We are scheduled to go back in the water at 2pm.
There are about 80 boats in storage here at the boat yard. Currently there are about 50 people living and working on their boats. Some in preparation for the upcoming season and a few that have long term refit projects underway. As a group, cruisers are generally very social. Tuesday is Taco night – checking out different Taco Restaurants around town. Friday night is the bbq/potluck in the boat yard, and Sunday night is movie night in the cruisers lounge. We have met many cruisers here that have circumnavigated and many others who have been out cruising for 10+ years. Lots of interesting people to talk to. It’s kind of like summer camp except that instead of doing fun stuff during the day we are all working our asses off getting boat chores done.
So how do you melt a human? Take one middle aged, slightly out of shape guy who is used to the climate of the Pacific North West. Send him to Mexico where it is currently in the low to mid 30, degree celsius range and make him do all kinds of manual labour. Every day I wore a different 3 tone shirt. Dry sweat, wet sweat and a very small square of the original shirt colour. Fortunately it cooled down at night and we were able to sleep comfortably.