Return to AZ
The work was underway on Flying Cloud and
it proved to be an extensive project.
But for those readers that are interested in such stories we have setup
a separate section on this site that covers in detail all the work
involved. The first part shows the work accomplished in Mazatlan,
Mexico and the second section covers the rather lengthy refit of the
entire ship in Texas.
engine was removed and we were able to inspect all the areas of the
engine room and bilge, it was obvious we had taken on much more than we
anticipated. Even with our boat work experience, we had seriously
under-estimated the extent of this project.
Consequently our "to-do lists" were growing by the hour.
It was clear that we needed to take the transmission to San Diego and
have it rebuilt. Our new sails were due to arrive at the house in
Arizona very soon and we now needed to make a trip to West Marine and
make some sales persons day at the same time.
It was December 20, 2007 when we loaded up
the truck and started out on the drive to San Diego.
We made it to San Carlos and grabbed a room for the night. Just as we
settled in for the night the entire building began to vibrate from the
disco that was downstairs and on the other side of the building. Further
investigation showed that the disco had absolutely NO customers and the
music was at its maximum.
I asked for my money back and the desk clerk said he could put us in a
condo for the same price. I accepted and we found ourselves in a three
bedroom condo that was very quiet.
The next morning we checked out the local breakfast place and took a
drive into the marina area. Talking with the yard manager at Marina Seca
San Carlos we had decided that when Flying Cloud was ready to leave
Mazatlan, we would bring her here to do the exterior paint and refit the
Then we bumped into a couple in another boat yard and they gave us a tip
on a place in Guaymas. Not far from San Carlos. We located the place,
met with Gabriel, the manager and decided that this would be more suited
to our needs.
Then it was back on the road to Nogales where we had an hour and a half
wait to cross the border. Then on toward San Diego.
Later we stopped at a Motel 6 for the night just 2 hours from San Diego.
Early the next morning we were on the road with a plan to be at the
transmission shop when he opened that morning.
US Transmission was an incredible little company on Shelter Island. They
took the Borg Warner and promised to have it finished the next morning.
Then Teri found North Sails right around the corner. We had a sail that
needed modifying and they promised it the same day.
Right up the street we found West Marine and now we could collect all
the rest of the gear we needed.
This was incredible! It looked like we would get everything accomplished
with just one night spent in San Diego.
The following morning we were out of San Diego by 10:00 AM and headed
for Phoenix where we would pickup Sunbrella material, sewing supplies,
electrical supplies and maybe some Onan Generator parts.
I placed an order for new heat exchangers, exhaust manifold, oil coolers
and much more to be shipped to the Arizona house.
As we came across the border the day before I had called to have all the
utilities turned on at the house.
We knew the estate auction company had sold everything in the house but
still figured we could camp out there while we visited my step-dad and
waited for more parts to arrive.
Our third day back in the states and we were headed to the house. It was
getting late but we just continued on. Arriving about 11:30 that
As we walked up to the back door, Teri asked, "Do you here water
I opened the door and found the entire house flooded with 2 to 3 inches
of water! Every room was flooded and water was streaming from a faucet
where the clothes washer had been.
I shut off the water and when we entered the house it was clear that the
auction company had sold the appliances and when they removed the washer,
they simply cut the water supply hose and never turned off the faucet.
So when I called and had the water turned on, it ran free for three
night it was nearly impossible to find a hotel that would allow Shorty.
But we did find one and got to bed around 2:00am.
I called the insurance company and they sent out an emergency response
crew that arrived in about 45 minutes with five trucks and trailers and
tons of blowers and de-humidifiers.
They were like ants. They were everywhere and in no time the water was
gone and the drying-out process had begun.
It took nearly a week to get the placed dry and we found ourselves
living in a motel that the manager described as "we are not the
Marriott. But we are clean".
He was correct and he was also another character source for our story.
Richard was about six foot two and wiry. He had a military air about him
and a no bullshit attitude.
He ran this motel which was located in the worst part of town, like it
was his private encampment and he was the ultimate authority. He very
much liked authority as was evidenced by the 38 caliber Smith and Wesson
he carried on his hip.
He was very selective in his clientele. Not that there was a criteria
that made sense to anyone other than himself. But he could turn on you
in moments notice and take a dislike to someone. If that happened, that
poor soul was out on the street. The best they could do was clear out as
fast as possible before Richard cleared them out his way.
We went round
and round with the adjuster, insurance company, contractors and the
Finally, seeing that if the repair work was going to get done and fit
into our schedule to get back to Mazatlan, we would have to do it
ourselves and fight for the money from the insurance later.
We jumped in, hired a little outside help and set about fixing all the
dry-wall, floors, paint, cabinets and more.
Weeks went by and we spent our days working on the house and living at
"Not The Marriott". At least Richard still liked us.
Finally after a month we could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Things were wrapping up quickly and a lot of other un-expected issues
had come up that we were able to deal with since we were in town. Issues
that would have been difficult or nearly impossible to deal with had we
returned to Mazatlan.
It was now
the end of January and we were packing everything up for the return
trip. With a departure date two days away, the house in escrow at last
and the insurance company getting close to paying us, we planned to
leave in two days.
Back at Richards Compound we made plans to check-out (on good terms I
hoped) and get on the road.
We had a nice breakfast that morning and drove to the house for final
loading of gear. Driving down Highway 95 we were excited and our
conversation was about the trip back. When out of no where came some
guy, over the double line and straight into the front of the truck. He
caught us head-on and our one ton dually truck made short work of the
front end of his mid-size 1970’s Chevy sedan.
I tried to move the truck and no go. The front end was out of
commission. All I could think about was the delay all of this was going
I managed to get the truck to move over to the side. By now Teri was
starting to hurt. The hospital was only one mile away and I told the
police officer that I thought I could make it down there in the truck.
But it didn't take long to realize the truck was seriously damaged.
Still I limped into emergency and got Teri admitted.
As I stood up to enter the emergency room with her, I got half way to my
knees and realized I too was going to need some assistance.
So here we were. In the Bullhead City Emergency Room, the truck out of
commission, no house to stay in and that meant we were back at Richards
He welcomed us with open arms. But then thought again and said maybe he
didn't want us there. We might have a black cloud over our heads and he
didn't want it near his little world. But in the end, it was just his
twisted sense-of-humor and we were still in our old room with a
panoramic view of the fights, gun play and antics of King Richard!
month in gorgeous Bullhead City, AZ. I prefer to call it Butthead City
we managed to wrap things up with the insurance company on both the
house repair and the truck repairs.
We stopped in Phoenix on our way south and picked up the insurance
checks for everything. Same insurance company so it made for a single
stop and then on the road to Nogales and back to Mazatlan.
We crossed the border and as I drove a few miles down the road, I
realized that I just wasn’t up to driving. I ask Teri to take over and I
sat in the passenger seat, tilted back and just gazed at the scenery as
we rolled south.
Then it hit me. I knew what was happening to me. I turned to Teri and
said, “I just realized that at last we are free of everything in the US.
I don’t care if I ever go back”.
We talked of our future and the places we wanted to cruise in Flying
Cloud. All the while trusting that the boys back in Mazatlan had been
working steady on Flying Cloud in our near three month absence.
the next day to yet another huge disappointment. NOTHING had been done
on the boat since we left! We were right back to where we left off.
So we set about to just
do it all ourselves. We were at the mercy of these pirates and the only
way to get free was to proceed alone.
We decided to move off
the boat again. We rented a condo on the beach and started to move some
of our things into the new abode.
Teri's birthday was
coming up soon so we made arrangements to have dinner with some new
friends that evening.
On the morning of March
23 we got our morning going a little bit late. I went down to the
parking area to get the truck out. It was a tight fit in the parking
As I walked out the
lobby doors I didn't see the truck anywhere. I couldn't believe it! Then
it hit me that the truck, with a good amount of gear for the boat, was
I couldn't believe it.
Then I recalled that the day before I was returning to the marina when I
was stopped by Rafael (one of the mechanics working on the engine), He
was sitting with the broker we bought the boat thru at the local
Espresso store. As I walked by, he asked what kind of alarm I had on the
truck. I just said "a really good one".
Then he said " I can get past any alarm and steal any car I want. I
think I will steal your truck tonight". Sure enough, the next
morning the truck was gone. Never to be seem again. Ironically, he was
nowhere to be found either!
This really set me off.
I set my mind to find out more about this and decided I would do
everything in my power to get the truck back and make the thief pay far
more than the law would ever do.
During our delayed
stay in Arizona, we decided that we would have a local mechanic we knew,
completely rebuild the truck. The idea was that when we did come back from
cruising we would have a good vehicle that we wouldn't have to worry about.
We had just installed a new
motor before leaving Florida and after the transmission fiasco we now had a
new transmission. So why not go all the way.
So we took the truck in and
told him to replace or rebuild all wheel bearings, hubs, disk rotors, drive
shaft bearing, u-joints, shocks and basically any moving parts under the
We ordered new wheels and tires and had the Gear Venders overdrive rebuilt.
A week and a half later we
headed for Phoenix and on to Mexico.
After an easy trip back to Mazatlan where we discovered NOTHING had been
done on Flying Cloud
by Bob Buchanan from Total Yacht Services. We decided to get off the
boat because it was just too difficult to live and work on the boat. We
rented a condo on the beach and moved-in, taking a lot of the boat stuff
I had planned on taking time in the evenings to read all the detailed log
books that came with Flying Cloud.
We arrived one night, tired and wore out from working on the boat in the hot
weather. I didn't feel up to unloading the boat stuff at that time. Thinking
I could do it next morning when it was cooler.
The next morning we went
down to the secured parking lot only to discover that the truck was gone! In
total shock I looked everywhere and couldn't find the truck anywhere. What
the hell now!
We called the police,
talked to the SECURITY Guard and got nothing but dumb-ass questions.
Then I remembered that the
previous afternoon I had returned from town with the truck and as I walked
past the little espresso shop, I was hailed by Rafael (Bob's partner), one of the mechanics
that was supposed to be working on Flying Cloud. He was sitting with Ray,
the broker that sold us the boat, at an outdoor table. I stopped to see what
he wanted and he asked what sort of alarm did I have on the truck.
I said "a good one", not wanting to give any details.
" I can get past any car alarm. They are useless", he said.
I made some comment back, just wanting to go on to the boat.
Then he said," I think I will steal your truck tonight".
I just walked away and forgot the whole thing. Until now! His words had come
We spent the entire day going from one Mexican Judicial office to another.
We were questioned and had to fill out reports with the City Police, Federal
Police and the State Police.
At one point they separated me and Teri and the detective asked me "do you
know who her lover is"?
I couldn't believe what they were implying. Then he asked, "do you have
your keys for the truck?', Then he wanted to know where her keys were. I am not
sure what they thought when we left. But basically they told me that Teri's
lover had stole my truck to get back at me. WOW!
So at the end of the day,
Teri's birthday, we were met by some friends and they suggested we all go
have some dinner and try to settle down a little bit.
We headed for a little restaurant-pub in the Marina Mazatlan and sat down.
As we were talking about
all that had happened that day, we were interrupted by one of the local yachties
who said he was looking for me.
He then told me that the US Coast Guard was on his single sideband radio and
wanting to talk to me immediately.
This seemed an odd thing to happen after such a crazy day. But he then said
that my EPIRB from Flying Cloud was going off and I needed to talk with them
I went with him to his boat
and he hailed the Coast Guard on the SSB. I talked with a female Major that
asked me to identify myself. She advised me that my EPIRB was sending out a
false Mayday. I told her I would go right to the boat and turn it off. Then
I remembered. The EPIRB was in the back of the camper on the truck.
When I told her this she said, "well that explains why it is showing a
location near Lipscomb Texas".
I told her the story of the truck being stolen and that she was actually
tracking my stolen truck.
She thought this was great and asked that if I would contact her in an hour
while she contacted local law enforcement to intercept the truck.
I returned to my table at
the restaurant and we all toasted to the fact that these guys were going to
get busted and not even know what happened.
I returned to the radio
excited that these guys were getting caught and made contact with the
officer that was tracking the truck. She wasn't happy about what had
transpired while I was away.
She called the local police in Lipscom Texas and explained the situation. He
responded by telling her that according to the National Computer data base,
this truck was not reported stolen and therefore there was nothing he could
do. Frankly he didn't care anything about the fact that there was a mayday
being broadcast. (I believe it is a very expensive penalty for false EPIRB
I asked if she still had a fix on the truck. She said "No. the truck stopped
about 45 minutes ago and after sitting for about ten minutes, the EPIRB went
I was crushed again. Just could not believe that a police officer would not
intercept this vehicle if for nothing else, transmitting a false Mayday.
She gave me all the co-ordinances she had logged and then said she would
call the FBI Office and see if they could assist.
I listened as a lady answered the phone and told her that there was no one
available to help. "It's Friday night and there won't be anyone in the
office until Monday morning".
The Coast Guard officer explained the situation and the ladies response was
insane..."If the fellow you are helping was dumb enough to take his truck to
Mexico, he deserves to have it stolen".
I could not believe what I had just heard.
I chatted with the Major
for a few minutes and headed back to my group at the restaurant. This was
The next morning I
contacted the the Sheriffs Department in Arizona where the truck was
registered. I explained the situation and they said they would have someone
contact me on my cell phone.
An hour later I got a call
from an officer that said he was at my address and had knocked on the door,
but no one answered. I explained that I was in Mexico. He said there was no
way he could take a stolen vehicle report without me being there.
So as we tried to find some way to get the truck reported in the US as a
stolen vehicle it became clear that we would have to go back to Arizona and
meet with one of the only two Border Auto Theft agents in Tucson Arizona. So
we found someone to take care of Shorty (our little Corgi) and hopped a late bus headed for
Nogales at the boarder.
The bus was slow and loud.
Mexicans love their music loud. But we managed to catch some sleep huddled
together, trying to stay warm. They also had the AC at full tilt.
Sometime in the middle of
the night, maybe 2 AM or so, the bus stopped and a Federally came on board
and told everyone to get off the bus. They rounded all of us up in a small
fenced area with some very young guards keeping an eye on us.
I was still trying to wake up when one of the young guards came towards me
and said something in Spanish that I didn't understand. Still in a daze and
trying to wake-up, I just smiled and looked the other way.
Then all of the sudden he shoves the barrel of his Uzi right into my rib
cage and repeats the same thing.
I said "English Por favor" and he then he started pushing me and making
gestures for me to do something.
next thing I knew he turned me around and started to frisk me. When he
finished everyone laughed and we got back on the bus.
Sleep came easy once again and we eventually arrived in Nogales after a
miserable 18 hours on this bus.
We walked thru town towards the border crossing.
As we re-entered the US I was asked if I had anything to declare. I said'
hell no, they stole near everything we had". The lady took our passports,
scanned them and told us to move-on.
We made our way to the insurance agents office that had provided our Mexican
insurance and reported the situation to him. While there we called and
rented a car then headed out for Tucson.
We arrived twenty minutes after the Border Task Force office had closed. So we found a room
and called it a day.
On the bus ride I was using my Blackberry to find us some sort of vehicle to
buy. We needed a vehicle that could be trusted to make it back to Mazatlan and
still be able to tow our cargo trailer back to the States.
I made some calls and found a nice Ford van in San Diego, Ca.
Next morning we arrived a bit early at the office of the Border Auto Theft Division and
sat down outside to wait.
Once they opened we went inside a small lobby where there was a secretary
seated behind at least an inch of bullet proof glass. I went to the window
and was told to wait. As I waited she called everyone she knew and carried
on long conversations while I just stood there. My patience was reaching the
breaking point when I heard Teri behind me, at the top of her voice,
screaming for someone to help us out. The lady paused for a moment and said,
:what can I do for you'?.
I explained that we were
here to see one of the officers ( we had their names) and she promptly told
me, " they are both on vacation and only one of them will return next week".
I (or rather Teri) demanded that someone help us.
The lady called someone and told us to have a seat. Then she went right back
to her phone conversation with her friend.
Eventually a guy came and
got us, took us into the back of the building and said that he would try to
It all came down to just one more failure of a government employee not
knowing what the fuck to do.
He got a standard Auto Theft form and explained that he didn't know how to
fill it out. Teri took it, filled in the info, handed it back to him. He
signed it and said he would get it on the National Database immediately.
We drove away in the rental
car, got on highway 8 and headed for San Diego. Sure that we were going to
find a vehicle that could do the job.
At the State Line, we were
advised that we could not take that rental car into California.
So, at the
Arizona/California state line we gave it back to Enterprise Rent,
walked across the street and rented one in California from Hertz. We arrived around
6:00 PM to look at this van. After a test drive, we handed him the cash and
At the airport we dropped off the rental and then headed out to find a room
for the night.
Teri didn't know it, but I
had a plan and I was ready to move on it. I wanted to go back to Kingman
Arizona where we had rented two storage lockers. Once there I was going to
get out some nice firearms that we stored and I was going to Lipscom Texas
to the co-ordinances that the Coast Guard Major had given me. I was going to
find the truck and take care of these shits that had done the deed. After
all, it wouldn't be the first time I had cornered some thieves. Plus we had
plenty of reason to believe it was Rafael.
We headed to the house in
Fort Mohave and spent the night. It was For Sale and empty, but we slept on
the floor and got some rest.
Teri eventually talked me out of going to Texas, so we tried to figure out
what to do next. The decision came pretty easy. We had accomplished what we
needed to do. File the theft report. So, why not just go back, re-group and
plan to get out of Marina Mazatlan ASAP and very quietly. I would go to
Lipscum, TX at a later date and alone.
We arrived in Marina
Mazatlan in the late afternoon and as we walked past the espresso cafe,
there sat Rafael again. We ignored him. But as we walked by he said, " I see
you lost one people mover and brought me another one". Referring to the van.
I wanted to strangle him. But just walked on.
We did everything we could to get the boat ready. But the mechanic had held
back the flywheel and a couple other required parts, just so we couldn't
install the engine on our own.
With a lot of shouting we eventually managed to get him to finish the job.
In the meantime I had been
doing some snooping around in an attempt to get something on this asshole
regarding the truck theft. I did manage to figure out how it all came down
and even that there were some other players I hadn't suspected. My snooping
only started some threats and slowed down the boat work.
I went to get some parts at the Parker store and a stranger approached me
and said, "I see your wife shops at the Gigante market alone sometimes".
Then he advised me to stop sticking my face into things I should be afraid
of and he walked away.
Other threats came at odd times, so once the engine was in the boat we
started doing sea trials.
First day out the engine over heated and had to be shut down. Further
investigation disclosed a red plastic plug that had been inserted into the
water intake for the heat exchanger.
I cleared it out and started the engine again.
This time it ran for a few minutes and shut down. A piece of plastic crammed
into the Racor filter inlet.
So it was clear to us that
we needed to leave Mazatlan. The decision was made to take the van and our
cargo trailer to Quaymas where we would later haul out Flying Cloud to make
the final repairs.
We waited for the weekend to come knowing that no one was ever around the
Marina on Sundays. I took the van and trailer late Friday night and set out
for Quaymas. I arrived early in the morning, paid advance rent to the yard
owner and got a ride to the bus station.
After a very long bus ride back, I arrived late in the evening. We had done
our provisioning before I left so Flying Cloud was ready. Just after sunrise
we headed out and North toward Bahia Conception. Leaving Mazatlan for good.
Eventually a lot of the
facts as to what really happened came out. We were contacted by the Border
Auto Theft agent. But only after writing to Senator John McCains office. A
liaison was appoint to assist us in any way we needed. I was amazed at what
started happening after his office got involved. Since I was still an
Arizona resident, that placed me in his district.
After many conversations
with the Border Theft Taskforce agent it became clear that they didn't steal the truck
for its value.
Instead, it was a pretty sure case of this guy stealing a truck that had a
2,000 mile range in fuel onboard and it was a diesel 4 X 4 and it had a
small camper shell on the back. He believed it had been used to transport illegal's into
Apparently this guy was able to carry close to 14 people and take them
across at some remote border crossing.
The thieves knew that if they stole the truck on a Friday, we would have all
day wasted in filing all the Mexican Reports. They also chose Friday because
there would be no way I could file a theft report without coming in person
to Arizona. With all these delays on my end and the truck still operating as
a legal vehicle in the States, it gave them a better chance of getting their
task done before everything came crashing down.
There were two unusual circumstances that made the theft of our truck
Normally, once they deliver
their people cargo, they take the vehicle out into the desert and burn it.
The other of course was the EPIRB that went off, giving away their
So it played out like this.. the truck was stolen and the guy (Rafael) knew
that this particular truck was so well equipped that he could sell it to a
chop shop and make some additional money.
He took the truck, ran as
hard as he could, all day and all night, crossed the border and dumped the illegal's, then headed
toward Lipscom where he knew he could sell it to a local chop shop.
The EPIRB had been stored in a cabinet inside the camper and had been placed
in a purple Crown Royale bag.
Someone in the back of the camper got curious about what was in the
cabinets. They found the Crown Royale bag, opened it and started fiddling
around with the EPIRB. In the process they set off the signal and tossed the
EPIRB aside, not knowing what it was.
This is when the SAR
station in Alameda California first picked up the signal and tried to track
it. They had recorded the truck moving as fast as 85 miles per hour headed
towards Amarillo Texas
. With the target moving
and being on land they acquired the name of the registered owner of the
EPIRB. I had not changed it to my name, so the guy we bought the boat from
was still in the database and they contacted a family member of his
They advised him of the situation and he called Ray the broker in Mazatlan to find out
what was going on.
Rays wife tried to find us and when she couldn't she put a call out on the
VHF radio. Someone answered and told them we had been seen at this
She then called the fellow that she thought was closest to the restaurant
and he made the call to the Coast Guard to establish communications. Then he
came to find me.
Once I talked to the Coast
Guard as he was listening in, he had the full story. When I left his boat,
he called the yacht broker and told him the story of what was happening.
We later found out that after he advise the broker of the situation, a cell
phone call was placed to a cell phone tower in Texas. This person placed the
call to the thief and told him that an EPIRB was going off in the truck.
The truck then stopped for a few minutes and the EPIRB went dead. Assuming
that they found the EPIRB and manually switched it off.
The next morning the EPIRB broadcasted another signal and the SAR team was
working on refining the position when the signal started to fade and
eventually went dead completely.
SAR felt that the battery had finally gone dead.
As this was coming down, we were being distracted with reports and a weekend
wasted trying to get the truck reported as stolen back in the States.
After all we had been thru
at this point over the past year, we just wanted to go someplace and be left
the Hell alone. Especially away from the threats.
So after my return from dropping off the van and trailer, we set sail very
early on a Sunday morning planning to sail non-stop well into the upper
regions of the Sea of Cortez where we could just kick back and forget all of
But, that wasn't to be.
At some remote anchorage one morning I decided to tune into the Baja Net on
single side band and just listen for a while. Maybe get some weather report.
Then came a call from someone in Mazatlan that was wanting to find the
location of Flying Cloud. I certainly did not want to tell any one where
Then another vessel came on in response and advised this person that Flying
Cloud was anchored in a cove along one of the islands.
It wasn't us because we had kept to our selves.
then a few days later another inquiry came over the net. Again someone told
them that Flying Cloud was at another location. But not our location.
After a few days we figured
out that there was another Flying Cloud in the North part of the Sea of
Cortez and it was their friends that gave these reports. As far as I know,
they never figured out where we were. But they certainly tried because the
other boat was not the one being sought.
Eventually we sailed to San
Carlos and made arrangements to have flying Cloud shipped to Tucson.
We anchored in San Carlos, hitched a ride to Quaymas, picked up the van and
trailer. where I was told that two men had been waiting for me when they
found out that my van and trailer were being stored there. The marina
operator promised he would call them if I arrived. I asked that he not do
that for fear of violence. He agreed. Whether he called them or not, I have
no idea. However, once we were sure Flying Cloud would be headed North by truck,
we left Mexico as fast as we could to NEVER return
Some months later while
Teri went to Nebraska to visit her mom, I decide to take a road trip to go
get her. It just so happened that from where I was at the time, I could take
some back roads and go all the way to her moms while passing thru Lipscom
I took all the Coast Guard fixes and followed them to the last one. It was
an intersection of a road that turned North (along my route) or I could
continue straight and be passing some more remote areas.
Using Google Earth I
plotted all my fixes and then looked at everything surrounding this
intersection. The EPIRB was no where to be found of course. So I made a plan to wait
until dark and start looking around on the dirt roads around this area.
Eventually I found ,about 4 miles from the intersection, a ranch with a huge
metal barn. it was very remote so I pretended to be someone lost on the road
and drove right into their driveway. I slowly looped around to head out when
I noticed that beside the barn were four late model Ford dually in various
stages of dismantle.
I quickly snapped a few photos and without ever being disturbed by anyone,
turned and drove away. A few months later I contacted the Texas Rangers and
talked with an agent in Amarillo.
I gave him all my info and suspicions and he said he would look into it and
get back to me.
I had given up when one day
he called to tell me that he had joined up with the local Sheriff and they
had flown over the property to take a look. He didn't need to take photos or
pursue it any further because the Sheriff already knew that there were two
brothers known to be dealing in stolen Ford Trucks and parts and that it was
just a matter of time before they could catch them.
The last I heard of it was
when I went online to check the trucks VIN number on the stolen vehicle list
and my truck was no longer listed. Meaning it had been found
but there was no disposition on whether it was retrieved or scraped.
There are a lot more
details that I uncovered while trying to trace the truck to it's final
But I have made the
decision to leave out certain parts for fear of retaliation or them finding
out where I live.
Rafael was definitely
connected to some very dangerous people.
with a tremendous amount of fussing, arguing and prodding, the new
engine did get installed and we finished up most of the projects that we
wanted completed before departure.
We were now
making plans. However, with all the delays up to this point, we now
found ourselves into hurricane season and we couldn’t head south as
planned. We didn’t want to chance getting caught by one in Mazatlan. So
our only option was to sail North, well up into the upper region of the
Sea of Cortez. That was fine with me as I had wanted to explore that
area for many years. So, off we went….