Well, it is absolutely dumping rain and the deep thunder is kicking in. Had remnants of hurricane Frederick pass through a couple nights back and Man! What a show! Lightning like I have never seen and rain that gave new meaning to the word "buckets"! It was so nice not worrying if a job was leaking!
Was gonna go check the boat that night, and as I walked out of the house to my truck, a bolt of lightning crashed into a power transformer no more than 50 yards from me!!! The Clap of thunder was instantaneous and unbelievably loud! I could hear the crackling of the current and my hairs literally stood on end! Ran back into the house like a scared lil bitch, my heart was pounding! I waited on checking the boat.
Now, about that trip down. Let me just say that I have never in my life, towed anything near that 28 foot, 9' 10" wide, 8000 lb Whaler! I drove to Ventura boatyard, where my boat had been getting new bottom paint, bilge pumps, lower end service and windlass fixed. I had a trailer made to spec and had dropped it off a couple days earlier for them to set the boat up on it. I told them I wanted the tounge weight no more than 800 lbs. and they told me they had no way to measure the weight, which I couldn't believe.
I really had to know for my piece of mind and, after bottoming out my crane scale for fish up to 600 lbs. I located a place that rented commercial grade scales in ventura and got one. Good thing too, as the weight was at 1300 lbs. (also double spares and hubs up front). Ended up moving boat back 13 inches and adjusting everything. Whew. Now the fun part. I had my tundra 1/2 ton fitted with air bags to help, and had new brakes and tires installed the previous week. Pulled out really tenative and kept telling myself to go WIDE on the turns! Alright, 1800 miles to go! Trial by fire-I hit the road!
The trailer towed amazing and I soon began to forget the BEAST that was chasing me. The brakes worked flawless and the truck was a stud! Drove all night and hit Nogales at 7:00 a.m. Things got a lil shakey as I pulled across the border and the U.S customs guy looks at my rig and says I should have crossed where the big rigs go and 99 percent the mexicans were gonna turn me around. I said oh well, I aint turning this thing around and across I went. NO problemo! After checking my papers and raising an eyebrow at the 10 guns in my passenger seat, they waved me on. Yee haw!
I headed up the road for T.I.P's on the boat and truck and headed to Hermosillo, where my buddy was waiting to make the ride down with me. Soon after exiting Nogalas, I was going pretty good on a 2 lane road down. Encountered a slow moving Semi and went to pass it on the left. As I was even with it and accelerating by, Another semi came flying by on MY left, on the other way! Holy shit. As I looked into my left mirror, I literally watched the bumper which goes around the whaler, KISS off the trailer of the truck!! Yikes! I held on with white knuckles as the trailer got squirley, but the rig went by so fast I was able to drift away from the truck on the right, whom, I had been no more than 6 inches from the entire time. Welcome to Mexico! Pretty sure I didn't ease up on my grip the rest of the way. Met Pepe in Hermosillo and continued down.
We had planned a schedule that would take me to the halfway point just before dark, when I did NOT want to be on the road! Supposed to be the Zar hotel, which could accomodate my truck and boat, in a secure and guarded spot. It became pretty evident that we weren't gonna make it when I was about 100 miles short as the sun was setting. Now I had been driving 24 hours STRAIGHT by now and was done! We tried a couple hotels, but nobody had a secure space for my rig. Ended up desperado and pulled into the back of a Pemex gas station, IN SINALOA!! I pulled next to a couple semi's, grabbed a bean bag out of the boat, tossed it on all my gear in the back of my truck, and went to sleep! With a can of bear spray next to me! I shit you not! Pepe slept in the boat and was already awake when I opened my eyes at 5 a.m.
We got back on the road and were rolling when we hit some detours and construction. Ended up taking a quicker route suggested by Pepe's dad, Although all my warning signs were blaring "danger,danger". Stick to the main highway! We were making great time on the alt. route, when a federal Policia car went blasting by on my left, lights flashing. I commented how he must be after someone and a few turns later we could see him pulled over to the right with lights still flashing. I again commented that they must've got who they were after, but as we approached it was evident there was no second car, That is when both doors opened and the driver stepped in front of me, flashing his light for me to stop! Oh fck. We were in the middle of nowhere, in SINALOA!!!
I slowly stopped a rolled down my window. He walked up to me and just looked at me. I said "Hola, Americano, solo habla paquito espanol" He just looked (they both had dark shades on) and then gave a slight nod to his partner (whom had been leaning against the car, with a piece of straw in his mouth). The second guy walked slowly to the back of the truck and looked up at the boat for about 10 seconds. I held my breath and watched in the mirror as he turned and gave the first guy a slight nod,no. Then THAT guy turns back to me, smiles and sticks out his right hand. I slowly take it and we shake, an extremely firm handshake. Then the smile fades and he nods with his chin down the road. I ask him "go? and he nods yes and raises his chin again-NEVER saying a word the whole time!! I start driving and say to pepe " wtf? and he just says "drive"! I swear, It was like some quentin taratino movie!! Scared the shit out of me.
After getting back on Mex 200, we continued on only to encounter the devils best shot! No more than 90 minutes from our destination, the skies opened and torrents of rain fell, accompanied by ferocious winds and unbelievable lightning. I held on for dear life and every time I would slow, some crazy fck would pass me recklessly, diving back into the lane just feet from oncoming semis!! I drove in this for 20 minutes and after the lines in the road disappeared, I was using headlights from oncoming traffic to gauge my lane position, with the boat sticking out like a foot on both sides!!
Then, like a beacon in the night, God throws me another bone in the form of ANOTHER Pemex gas station! I pulled in and unpried my cramping fingers from the wheel and took some time to compose myself. I jumped up in the boat to find it full of branches and leaves and the hardtop and radar dome were stained and beaten by rainforest branches. I cleaned it best I could, removed a broken outrigger and finished what I started!! Thank God!
I really underestimated the drive down TOWING THAT BOAT! I don't think I would ever try it again. That road is littered with a thousand crosses and shrines to many who weren't as lucky!
People would ask me before I left, if I was excited about the move. with all that was going on, I would always say " I'll be excited when I am in my boat, headed to Corbatenia! I can't even tell you how surreal that was, when I was actually doing it after that journey!!
Well, there it is. With great risk comes great rewards-so lets just see what the future holds in store!!