I kissed Ali and the kids goodbye and walked into the airport at eight o’clock in the morning. I finally reached the boat at six the next morning. Nobody said flying to Tucson and hopping a bus to Mexico was an efficient choice. But it did turn out to be a good choice for hauling boat gear over the border.
I had five boxes, one piece of luggage, one surfboard, and two shoulder bags to get back to the boat. All of which had been sent to a Bum friend’s house in Tucson. Bruce picked me up from the airport and we spent a few hours out at his house enjoying a good dinner and amazing views over the city and straight out to the mountains beyond.
He dropped me off at the Tufesa station around ten, and by midnight I was crossing the border. “Who has all the boxes?” asked the customs agent walking down the aisle.
But no, not crap, because I had my magic piece of paper from the Banjercito office in Guaymas. The blank, signed copy, that the big round lady with the inappropriate cleavage had given to me, and that I had had the foresight to actually fill out before climbing on the bus. She took one quick look at that and I was good to go.
The bus was about to pull away when it suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t get a tourist visa. Oh crap again. I ran up front and told the bus driver. He was hesitant, but eventually led me off the bus and over to the immigration office where the officer spent about fifteen seconds scribbling out a visa for me.
Okay, now we can go.
A taxi delivered me and my goods to the marina just after the sun came up. I found Bumfuzzle right where I left her with nothing but a dirty cockpit to indicate we hadn’t been there for a month. I opened the door and no bugs or critters scurried across the floor—always a good sign. Best of all the bilge pump wasn’t running. But since it wasn’t running I pulled open the engine compartment just to be sure it hadn’t simply failed. It hadn’t.
I spent the morning working on the engine. Basically repairing all the stuff that I discovered (i.e. broke) right before leaving last month. I finished up the fuel pump and repaired the basket for the raw water filter. Online they wanted like eighty dollars for one of those things—instead I mixed up some epoxy, pushed the broken pieces together, poured the epoxy in the bottom, twirled it around so it would get in all the mesh, and it was fixed for free. I also began the process of draining and flushing out all of the coolant so I can use some Bar’s Head Gasket Repair. I think the head gasket may be the culprit in the case of the missing coolant lately. I’m not certain, but figure this is worth a shot.
Then I worked on getting the wind instrument working again. I grabbed the new unit, ran through the setup procedure, and lo and behold we are back in business—after just eight months. Now I can head out and look for a gale.