During a lull in work, Pam and I found the opportunity to drive down to San Carlos, the gringo-fied town just outside of Guaymas.
I’ve been researching boats for sale down there for a couple of years now, but rarely make the time available. It’s about a six hour-plus drive, and when you include all the brief stops the dogs seem to need, well, it just adds up.
Strangely enough, Gilligan didn’t puke during the entire time on the road.
Approaching Hermosillo, we stopped on a side road off the freeway to let the dogs relieve themselves. As we were buttoning up, a local policia municipal rolled up alongside, checking on us.
“We’re fine, just a banos break for los perros.”
“Okay”, and they drove away, turning around to head back out to the freeway. Just as we were making the turn ourselves, they pulled us over.
“License, por favor.”
We had done nothing wrong that I could think of, but the cops were insisting that we had.
They started yammering about our needing to pay 4,400+ pesos at their headquarters, about $220.00, and memories of the interaction we’d had with Sonoyta’s Finest almost three years ago came flooding back. “We’ll pay the full amount at the department headquarters. We will follow you there”, but they kept insisting that we pay there, on the spot. Every time I refuted one of their spurious charges, they’d come up with another bullshit one.
Unfortunately, we still had about 2+ hours of driving to go, and I’d prefer not to arrive after dark.
Well, the friggin’ bullies stole our lunch money, $25.00. It angers me how they abused their authority like that, and I was seething for the next 24 hours. Actually, I’m still seething. Those bastiges…
Rolling into San Carlos, we needed to locate our accommodations, an RV park called “Totonaka”. When I researched it a few days before the drive, the owner said he had a room with a king-sized bed for $50.00/night, dogs okay.
We’re not used to paying for a place to sleep in Mexico, besides the very reasonable slip fees at Marina Fonatur in Rocky Point. Checking in, the attendant quoted me slightly less than the $150.00 I was expecting to pay, as long as I paid with a credit card. Well, that partially makes up for the event back in Hermosillo.
We hit the marina for dinner that evening, a place called Hammerhead’s. Struck up a conversation with a gentleman named Virgil Bridgewater, who was looking forward to splashing his Camper & Nicholson Halcyon Days the next morning. He’d been on the hard for quite awhile dealing with life’s issues, so we congratulated him, got a boat card from him and said we’d check in with him tomorrow at Marina Real.
Some things never change, like following after the dogs with a plastic bag during their morning ablutions, and good coffee. I had brewed 3 pots the morning we left for San Carlos, and put them in the freezer to chill while stocking the cooler.
Well, I forgot to pack them, and a frenzied internet search was on for a close-by coffee shop. D’oh! So much for the savings on the room!
Pakal Kin Coffee Shop has some excellent espressos, just not quite strong enough for my taste. I like my coffee strong enough to dissolve the enamel off your teeth, so to speak.
Back at the RV park, I broke out the old Coleman Dual Fuel and whomped up a mess of fried potatoes, onions and eggs. There’s something else that rarely seems to change, our breakfast habits.
After clean-up, we made our way on over to Marina Real, pier 13, slip 5, and no Camper Nicholson. No Virgil Bridgewater, either. I walked on over to the office, and the lady there knew what had happened. As Halcyon Days was being splashed she started taking on water, so was immediately hauled right back out. Crikey!
We drove over to the dry facility and asked around about Virgil, and one man was able to point out the boat to us. Knocking on the hull, still no Virgil, so I gave up for the time being.
Since we’re over thisaways, let’s check out Bahia Algodones, a beautiful crescent of beachfront.
The dogs loved it, and we made the short hike over to that rock feature in the upper left of the photo, climbing part way up.
That person you can barely see mid-left in the photo above is Pam.
I had set up a meeting that afternoon with a gentleman named Bob who’s selling a Valiant 40, and we met at his favorite haunt, the Club de Capitanes.
Great little bar/restaurant, and I hear Bob dances up a storm there in the evenings. So I bought him a beer while Pam waited with the dogs out on the patio. The boat’s out on a mooring in Bahia San Carlos, and tomorrow morning Bob will row his dinghy to shore to pick me up for an inspection of the Valiant.
While finishing up my beer with Bob, I noticed Virgil seated at the bar nursing a cold one. That was when I found out how the relaunching of Halcyon Days went kerflooie. Something near the stern tube or packing gland.
I commiserated with him briefly, until Pam announced she was ready to git. I guess the evening’s entertainers had started to trundle in their sound equipment, and Gilligan was starting to freak out a little with all the hubbub.
That dog’s special.
But before I left, Bob mentioned another boat coming up for sale, a Tayana 37 named Rebecca. He asked me if I’d like to arrange a look-see through a broker friend of his, and of course I said yes, giving him my cellphone number.
That night we enjoyed a dinner of tacos made from leftovers back at the RV park, heated in the room’s microwave.
After the usual, we ambled over to San Carlos marina and I used the office’s VHF radio to hail ‘ol Bob out in the bay. While I was checking out the Valiant, Pam was off trying to “rescue” a dog we’d encountered the day before. The dog was/is pitifully undernourished, so Pam to the rescue. Unfortunately, she was met with about eleven dogs, all demanding whatever food she’d brought with her. Overwhelmed, she got the heck outta there, but not before getting nipped by one member of the pack. As of Sunday the 12th, she hasn’t demonstrated any symptoms of rabies.
Some photos of the Valiant:
The rigging appeared to be in great shape even though it’s original. A lot of the deck trim plates were without goop, who knows for how long.
And finally, one of Captain Bob:
The Valiant is a well-designed racer/cruiser, but during their production run a number of the hulls were treated with an admixture of a type of fire retardant in the fiberglass resin, causing blisters. She’s one of the blister boats. I think this one would be more work than I’d want to undertake. Sorry, Bob.
I copied all the photos I took of her onto Bob’s laptop, hoping they might help him to sell her.
Later that day, I thought Pam and I should visit Guaymas and see how the marina there had fared during the recent hurricane that roared through, and on our way there I got a call from the broker that Virgil had talked about yesterday. Sure, we’ll head on back to San Carlos.
Some photos of the 37 Tayana Rebecca.
I’ve done a little research into her past. Back in 2012 her wooden mast was pulled and repaired due to some “dry rot”. It looked as if they’d done a fine repair job.
That’s a manual windlass.
She looks pretty good. Good enough for a deeper inspection.
Dinner that night was at a hole-in-the-wall taco joint named Tacos Don Lalo, where we had some delicious tripes de leche. Very tender cow milk gland meat with all the fixings.
We had to check out of the park by ten, and then it was off to Guaymas for a brief look at Marina Fonatur and its dry storage. Karin and Joe’s Columbia Flyin Sideways is there on the hard, and she looks good.
I can’t say the same for a few other boats there, undergoing repairs from Hurricane Newton’s ravages.
The Tayana I’d looked at back in May of 2016 had been sold recently. Zorra’s new owner is a man named John from Colorado. He posed for this picture with his granddaughter Clover in front of his new boat.
After Guaymas, we headed on back to Tucson, stopping at a chicken stand in Hermosillo for some great pollo al carbon.
I’ll be back.