Arriving in Mazatlan we were faced with a major decision on whether to go ahead and keep Flying Cloud, which would entail a tremendous amount of work. Or, demand our money back, if we could get it and just return to the states.

 

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.

After the 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 spars.
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 evening.
As we walked up to the back door, Teri asked, "Do you here water running?"
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 days.

Late at 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 real-estate agent.
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 to cause.
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 Compound again!
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!

Another month in gorgeous Bullhead City, AZ. I prefer to call it Butthead City or worse.

Eventually 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.

We arrived 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 lot.

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 gone!

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 truck.
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 with us.
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 true.
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 ASAP.

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 signals)
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 dead".
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 just crazy.

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 help us.
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 drove away.
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 this country.
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 unique.

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 situation.
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 Reno Nevada.
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 restaurant.
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 it.
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 were.
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 Texas.
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 stopping point.

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.

 

Eventually, 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….

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Removing the old engine required cutting a huge hole in the cockpit floor.

 


To see a photo page of all the work done in Mazatlan, click..Here

 

 

 
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