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I wanted to get some sailing in, as it had been a month since the last visit, so I packed for a solo trip down to Puerto Penasco. Never have I been so “inspected” at the Mexican border as I was this time. The agent asked if I could speak Spanish, then asked for the truck’s documents and my passport. He even rummaged around the cab, looking for what, I don’t know. He then smiled and said “Okay”.

Onward.

Before I drove down to the boat, the forecast for Puerto Penasco was calling for peaks of 20 kilometer-per-hour winds during my stay. Spirited, but acceptable for my little boat.

Ha!

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All the flags were flying and the halyards slapping to the tune of 30 kilometers-per-hour, with gusts going beyond that. Call me chicken, I don’t mind.

Seeing as how I’d made the drive down, I might as well splash the boat and head over to Marina Fonatur. My usual slip was open, and the crosswind only made my solo docking maneuver a little more exciting.

I had emailed an acquaintance who lives in the area, inviting him and his wife for a daysail, but he politely refused, citing work that needed doing. Considering the winds, I’ve got some work to do, too.

I finally cobbled together that mainsail clew outhaul from parts that I had laying around the boat.

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A 2 to 1 purchase should be enough, I figure. The control end of the outhaul was terminated just aft of the boom vang in a V cleat, which will be reachable when hove to.

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Besides boat repairs in paradise, some truck repair got thrown into the mix, as well.

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I had locked my truck up Monday night, and next morning, my key wasn’t working. No amount of jiggling was having any effect, so I crawled in from the passenger side and tried to pull up on the lock button. Still no-go.

Then the fun part; removing the interior door panel with the door closed. Roll down the window, remove the window crank handle, the door opening lever and the armrest. A small flat bar was employed to dig under the perimeter, and by sliding the driver’s seat fore and aft, I was able to pop off all of the keepers, and then finagle the panel up and out of the way.

I soon found the problem, a lack of lubrication on a connecting mechanism between the key lock and the button, and applied some light oil. Success!
I still need to get back in there with a bit of grease, and replace the keepers that crumbled during the pop-off phase. Might as well replace that broken exterior door handle in the meantime too, before it breaks off completely in somebody’s untrained hand.

After putting it all back together, I haven’t locked that door since. There’s nothing in the cab worth stealing, anyway. 😉

Nobody was putting out of the harbor except this one sailboat at low tide, and he made the same mistake I’ve made, playing too close to the Northern side of the channel, grounding to a screeching halt.

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The panga headed on over to see if he could help out, but the skipper was able to power off the shoals by himself, and then headed straight back in to Safe Marina. Smart move.

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I walked over to Safe Marina to interview the sailors, and we laughed together, because everyone runs aground at some time, right?

While at Safe Marina, I checked out the other sailboats.

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A beauty, but I think I’d want a fender between that stern and the dock. Upon closer inspection, I noticed a small sticker next to the backstay’s chainplate.

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And on the companionway bulkhead, two stickers. One indicating port, and the other, of course, starboard.

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Okay then. Maybe it’s a teaching sailboat for students learning to sail. I dunno.

I also made a stop across the harbor at that Challenger ketch I’d sorta looked at on Valentine’s day, and learned that “Mr. Smith” had died just a week ago, I’m sorry to say.

Here’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith, in happier days.

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All in all, I spent Monday afternoon through Thursday morning just tied up at the dock, not even venturing over to the fine restaurants at the malecon. I did stop for a bowl of very delicious ceviche at El Doctor’s little roadside cart on the way out of town.

Except for the “no sailing” part, it was just what El Doctor ordered.

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