Friday, June 09, 2006

Dumbledore and Mother's Almost Excellent Adventure Abroad

Yesterday evening we journeyed to the Fleet 141 compound to drop off some boat equipment and a check and found that the skippers had just arrived the night before from San Carlos, northwestern Mexico. They'd journeyed down from the Butte early Friday morning, towing Magnum's Catalina 30 to the Sea of Cortez.

It was getting dark, since Carol Anne's car hadn't had its brakes repaired until late in the day in Albuquerque, giving us a late start on our errand. Neither Zorro nor any other sailors were in evidence, and cloudy skies, a tight schedule, and lack of launched boats ruling out the idea of a moonlight sail. So, we had a nice visit under the porch while the passing clouds gave us the music of raindrops pattering gently on the roof. We had a nice visit to catch up on Dumbledore and Mother's boat-hauling adventure to Mexico.

The trip was a success, though apparently not without a few adventures and misadventures, including spending a day being sent to find one or more marinas that didn't exist (Magnum, it turned out, had viewed a very realistic-looking depiction of a proposed (!) marina and resort complex, and the traveling group had also been told by another New Mexican sailor to look for a marina in the crowded commercial waterfront in Guaymas where none of the locals had ever heard of such a thing.)

There was also some interesting "learning experiences" involving the Marina Seca's big jacknife-like launching apparatus and a heavy duty launching crane. The latter, with the sailors' help, turned out to be just the solution for getting the boat in the water when the marina didn't have enough workers to operate the big jacknife launcher.

Another of their adventures involved the failure of the Gypsy Soul's fuel delivery system just as the boat arrived in the Marina Real. Dumbledore had Magnum steer into the nearest empty slip so he could diagnose the problem (an electric line that had come lose and shut off the fuel pump, plus some issues with the fuel pump's ability to fill up a big filter) and do more of his usual ingenious fixes, which ultimately involved splicing a squeeze bulb into the fuel line.

The good news was that paperwork and officialdom were quite gentle and easy to handle. The only surprise in the southbound border crossing was when Magnum and his wife and brother were waved through into the car lane and route, whereas Dumbledore and Mother, with Magnum's boat, were sent to the truck route; the crews were only reunited later at the 15-km checkpoint. The visa paperwork was taken care of at the 15-km checkpoint; a couple of toll booths were encountered on the journey south; and then boat paperwork was taken care of in San Carlos.

It was a long, hot journey, with some hardships. I suspect that Mother and Dumbledore still would immensely prefer the Pacific Northwest or northern New Mexico's Heron Lake to San Carlos in summer, but, as is said, different strokes for different folks. That's okay just so long as it's not a sunstroke!


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