Featured Boat - Fish Tacos
The barren Midriff Islands about ½ way up the Sea of Cortez have been calling to me for years and Extra Action seemed the perfect "cruising" boat to go and check them out. The plan was the two of us to drop the boat to the launch ramp in Bahia de Los Angles and go for a week of tee shirt floating while others were enjoying their turkey indoors. I didn't let the fact I had owned the boat for ohh three weeks, that she was last in the water in 1998, that I still had a very unplugged hole in the hull for the depth sounder, that there were two areas of open balsa core on deck at the turning blocks, that both aft lower U bolts had pulled out of the deck, that the rudder bearings were frozen, that there were two frozen wheels and a rusted through tongue on the trailer faze me at all. I did recognize that there was a strong chance that this idle plan of lazily floating around at 29 degrees south may not actually come true but it was worth a shot right? Why put all that work into something without a plan to enjoy it all right?
A sticker on my friend's toolbox reads "Don't start vast projects with half vast ideas" and I had always taken this idea to heart... well except for this time!
A day later than planned we were rolling down Mexico Hwy 1 with ohh about 8" of lane showing in the rearview on either side of the trailer wheels… don't sweat it and stay smooth we can do this right! Passing graffiti on a rock says "Big Dumb Bob" and we laugh. Afternoon becomes night at 430 pm and we are still rolling with a sharp lookout for the dreaded black vacas of Baja, during the day it's the tan ones that are the problem as they just blend into the background. Anyway we are being carefulish and hoping for the best and we have to make the high tide at 11 am for the launch.
So far so good and the dawn is dead clam and things would remain this way for two days... perfect launching weather. Get the boat wet and anchored and about ten kayak trips later all the junk is aboard and we are motoring off to an anchorage to stow things and sleep for the first time all alone on the Extra Action. Orange and brown rocky slopes all the way to the water... blue and clear sea… dolphin puffs in the night and ohh this all feels so good.
Finback whales, killer whales, billions of dolphin, osprey, tuna fish, frigate birds, no see ems, rain, big current, contrary wind, and a crazy close call on a rock right in midchannel. A perfect day of doing nothing, no footprints on the beach and a great ride downwind to the cheers of the kayakers and it was time to get the girl back on her trailer… this time the tide was a foot shorter and we would struggle. Finally dropped the trailer off the end of the ramp (69 degree water) and then used the primary (yes this boat has 4) winches to float the trailer up to the boat and then tug like hell and that was easy - right! Lots of beers and even the bottle of bubbles that was reserved just for pulling off this feat.
Dawn and we're rolling north… for an hour then a puff of dust stops us. Prius left the road and flopped over. The big cones come out rapido from the back of the truck we stop Mexico Hwy 1 and we are getting bloody Bob out and onto the ground. The graffiti comes to mind. Sat phone, lots of helpers, tow truck and finally ambulance and Bob is off for a six hr. ride to Ensenada. Fingers crossed for him… actually toes too.
Three hours of idling at the diesel at the border, secondary inspection, an x-ray for Extra Action, duck behind the wall to not get shot (no shit- some smart asses thought they should pull their guns on the guy in the booth at the border), hot tub in San Diego and ohh yeah I'm at work now! I better stop now as I have to pay for all those fish tacos. Nice cruising boat – really.