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I made the run down to Puerto Penasco on a Sunday, when everybody else was heading the other way.

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Been there, done that. Once.

My boat was sorta buried in amongst the other sailboats, but there was still enough room to start tearing her down. The outboard motor and rudder assembly were removed and I gave the trailer’s wheels’ lug nuts a spritz of WD40, just in case I had to do any roadside repairs on the trip back North. I prepped the gin pole for the next day’s mast drop, then hit Tacos Marcos for dinner.

The mosquitoes were hell that night, and I barely slept a wink. I’ve already got the forward hatch bug-proofed, but I’ve been pondering how to screen the companionway. Flyin Sideways’ owners have a pretty good system, it appears. A sturdy screening material with weights sewn in around the perimeter, which is attached to the deck forward of the sliding hatch. Then the material is just draped over the open companionway, and Bob’s your uncle. How it might be designed to work with the pop-top up is another consideration.

Day 2-

Damned mosquitoes. Anyway, before the sun came up, I had the mast down and secured for travel. Then the rudder assembly was hoisted into the cockpit (after draining it of seawater all night, another bit of work to do), and the big ratcheting strap installed to keep the boat from jumping off the trailer.

Miguel moved the surrounding boats, then dragged Sovereign out of her slot and over to the yard’s compressor to top off the trailer’s tires. I’m just about ready to hit the road.

Pay off the remaining rent that’s due for storage and tip Miguel well, make a final check of everything I could think of, and I’m out of the gate by 0845.

Those first 10-20 miles, you want to take it easy. Stop and check the trailer’s hubs for any abnormal heat development, indicating a wheel bearing problem. While pulling over on the dusty shoulder, I mistook the dust that was kicked up for smoke. It didn’t help that there was also the smell of smoke in the air as I exited the cab.

I checked both hubs, but they were okay. Somebody upwind was burning something, so thank goodness it wasn’t me. Still, I made a couple more checks along the way northward.

This time, the agent at the border wasn’t interested in inspecting Sovereign for contraband, saying “Welcome”, and I thanked him.

I arrived in Tucson around 1400, parked the boat in her usual spot and headed inside to the air-conditioned comfort of the Ranch. Since returning, I’ve pulled off her running rigging and given it all a much-needed bath. The boat’s still awaiting her bath, but Clem doesn’t seem to mind. He’s glad to have his perch back in town.

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Me too.

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