How Does One Week Turn Into Three?

La Paz, Mexico

We had planned on being in Mazatlan for one week. It took us three to get out of there and we finally made it to La Paz a couple of days ago. So what took so long?

When we arrived in Mazatlan our Yanmar had logged just over 1,000 hours; and since there is a Yanmar service center in Mazatlan we decided to have them help us with our 1,000 hour service so we could be ready for the Baja Bash. We believe that our engine is one of our biggest safety features and it needs to be treated with lots of TLC. So far “the beast” (our engine’s serial number ends in 666) has treated us with nothing but respect in return. Knock on fiberglass.

A mechanic came by to remove our heat exchanger, fuel injectors and various other things to be serviced. Turns out we had some pitting in the heat exchanger and it would need to be sent to a machine shop to get welded. This was supposed to take a couple of days. After one entire week(!) and many inquiries of progress we were finally told that the heat exchanger won’t take the weld and we would need a new part – and it would take at least 10 days to get the new part! This being Mexico there is no guarantee for that and 10 days is probably being overly confident as things tend to get held up in customs.

So rather than wait for the new heat exchanger to come to Mexico we took action. We ordered the part to be overnighted to the Yanmar dealer in Los Angeles and booked a flight for Mike to fly to LAX the very next day.

Since his trip coincided with the weekend, Mike had some spare time and was able to do some other shopping for us as well – such as Trader Joes’s, REI and West Marine. Best of all, Mike’s cousin Randy was headed to Cabo by van and was able to bring everything down to us in La Paz (including a new battery), rather than Mike carrying it back on the plane. How about that for serendipity?!

If the machine shop had been successful we would have looked at a bill of about $700. Here are the numbers for what really happened. At least now we have a brand new part and lots of goodies from the US.

Air travel (using some air-miles): $270
Yanmar parts in LA (new heat exchanger, gaskets, misc): $1,300
Overnight shipping from east coast: $70
Rental car (three days): $85
Gas (for rental car): $46
Bill from Yanmar mechanic in Mazatlan: $450
Boat moorage for two extra weeks beyond planned: $260
Total: $2,381

Of course there were other expenses like food and shopping but I’m not including those in this total. If you’re interested in this month’s total expenses take a look at our monthly expenses.

Our fourth crossing of the Sea of Cortez was a breeze. Literally. We even got to sail some in the south-westerly winds that appeared as forecast on our favorite weather website stormsurfing (check it out – this site has much higher resolution wind forecasts than other free weather sites).

Arriving in Bahia Balandra (10 miles from La Paz) after our crossing this was what we were greeted by: Sunrise to the east and a full moon setting to the west. Beautiful!
Sunset over the Baja peninsula
The ice-cream man in Bahia Balandra makes in-water deliveries
We’re currently in a slip for just a few days to replenish food and fuel
Mission in La Paz (founded 1720, built 1861)
Goodies from the US

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